Chapter 3

  1. Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside Ebenezer; and the Philistines pitched in Aphek, and the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel. And when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines, and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men.
  2. And when the people had come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Why has the Lord smitten us today before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of Shiloh unto us, that when it comes among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies. So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of Hosts who dwells between the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. And when the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again.
  3. And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, What does the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean? And they understood that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp. And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God has come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us, for there has not been such a thing before now. Woe unto us, who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness. Be strong and conduct yourselves like men, O you Philistines, that you be not servants unto the Hebrews as they have been to you. Conduct yourselves like men and fight.
  4. And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent. And there was a very great slaughter, for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers, and the ark of God was taken. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.
  5. And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army and came to Shiloh the same day, with his clothes rent and with earth upon his head. And when he came, behold, Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city and told it, all the city cried out. And when Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, What does the noise of this tumult mean?
  6. And the man came in hastily and told Eli. Now Eli was ninety-eight years old and his eyes were dim, that he could not see. And the man said unto Eli, I am he that came out of the army, and I fled today out of the army. And he said, What is there done, my son? And the messenger answered and said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there has been also a great slaughter among the people; and your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken. And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck broke, and he died; for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.
  7. And his daughter-in-law, Phinehas’ wife, was with child, near to be delivered. And when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed, for her pains came upon her. And about the time of her death, the women that stood by her said unto her, Fear not, for you have borne a son. But she answered not, neither did she regard it. And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory has departed from Israel — because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father-in-law and her husband. And she said, The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God is taken.
  8. And the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod. When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon and set it by Dagon. And when they of Ashdod arose early on the next day, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the Lord. And they took Dagon and set him in his place again. And when they arose early on the next morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord. And the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him. Therefore, neither the priests of Dagon nor any that come into Dagon’s house tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day.
  9. But the hand of the Lord was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them and smote them with tumors, even Ashdod and the borders thereof. And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us, for his hand is heavy upon us and upon Dagon our god. They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines unto them, and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And they answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about unto Gath.
  10. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about there. And it was so, that after they had carried it about, the hand of the Lord was against the city with a very great destruction. And he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had tumors in their secret parts. Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron.
  11. And it came to pass, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to slay us and our people! So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel and let it go again to his own place, that it slay us not and our people; for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city. The hand of God was very heavy there, and the men that died not were smitten with the tumors. And the cry of the city went up to Heaven.
  12. And the ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistines seven months. And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, What shall we do to the ark of the Lord? Tell us how we shall send it to his place. And they said, If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty, but surely return him a trespass offering. Then you shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you. Then said they, What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him? They answered, Five golden tumors and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines; for one plague was on you all, and on your lords.
  13. Wherefore, you shall make images of your tumors and images of your mice that mar the land, and you shall give glory unto the God of Israel, that perhaps he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land. Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When he had worked wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed?
  14. Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milk-giving cows on which there has come no yoke, and tie the cows to the cart, and bring their calves home from them. And take the ark of the Lord and lay it upon the cart. And put the jewels of gold which you return him for a trespass offering in a coffer by the side thereof, and send it away, that it may go. And see, if it goes up by the way of his own border to Bethshemesh, then he has done us this great evil. But if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that smote us, it was a chance that happened to us.
  15. And the men did so, and took two milk-giving cows and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home. And they laid the ark of the Lord upon the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their tumors. And the cows took the straight way to the way of Bethshemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left. And the lords of the Philistines went after them unto the border of Bethshemesh.
  16. And they of Bethshemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley. And they lifted up their eyes and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it. And the cart came into the field of Joshua, a Bethshemite, and stood there, where there was a great stone. And they cleaved the wood of the cart and offered the cows a burnt offering unto the Lord. And the Levites took down the ark of the Lord, and the coffer that was with it wherein the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone. And the men of Bethshemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day unto the Lord. And when the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day.
  17. And these are the golden tumors which the Philistines returned for a trespass offering unto the Lord: for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Ashkelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one. And the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fortified cities and of country villages, even unto the great stone of Abel, on which they set down the ark of the Lord, which stone remains unto this day in the field of Joshua, the Bethshemite.
  18. And he smote the men of Bethshemesh because they had looked into the ark of the Lord, even he smote of the people fifty thousand seventy men. And the people lamented because the Lord had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter. And the men of Bethshemesh said, Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God? And to whom shall he go up from us?
  19. And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath-Jearim, saying, The Philistines have brought again the ark of the Lord; come down and fetch it up to you. And the men of Kiriath-Jearim came and fetched up the ark of the Lord, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the Lord. And it came to pass, while the ark remained in Kiriath-Jearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years. And all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord.
  20. And Samuel spoke unto all the house of Israel, saying, If you do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only; and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth and served the Lord only.
  21. And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the Lord. And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the Lord, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the Lord. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh.
  22. And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines. And Samuel took a sucking lamb and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the Lord. And Samuel cried unto the Lord for Israel, and the Lord heard him. And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines and routed them, and they were smitten before Israel. And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh and pursued the Philistines, and smote them until they came under Bethcar.
  23. Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto has the Lord helped us. So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more into the borders of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even unto Gath. And the borders thereof did Israel deliver out of the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
  24. And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. And he went from year to year in circuit to Beth-el, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places. And his return was to Ramah, for there was his house. And there he judged Israel, and there he built an altar unto the Lord.






Learn of Christ

Learn who He is and about his continued work in restoring his Gospel in our day.

Learn more »

Baptism

Come unto Christ by being baptized or re-baptized.

Learn more »

Fellowship

Worship and serve God with other believers in Christ.

Learn more »