I Samuel 4

1and Shmuel's word went forth to all Yisrael.Yisrael marched out to engage the Philistines in battle; they encamped near Even Ha-Ezer, while the Philistines encamped at Aphek.

אוַיְהִי דְבַר־שְׁמוּאֵל לְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֵּצֵא יִשְׂרָאֵל לִקְרַאת פְּלִשְׁתִּים לַמִּלְחָמָה וַיַּחֲנוּ עַל־הָאֶבֶן הָעֵזֶר וּפְלִשְׁתִּים חָנוּ בַאֲפֵק׃

2The Philistines arrayed themselves against Yisrael; and when the battle was fought, Yisrael was routed by the Philistines, who slew about four thousand men on the field of battle.

בוַיַּעַרְכוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים לִקְרַאת יִשְׂרָאֵל וַתִּטֹּשׁ הַמִּלְחָמָה וַיִּנָּגֶף יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים וַיַּכּוּ בַמַּעֲרָכָה בַּשָּׂדֶה כְּאַרְבַּעַת אֲלָפִים אִישׁ׃

3When the [Israelite] troops returned to the camp, the elders of Yisrael asked, “Why did Hashem put us to rout today before the Philistines? Let us fetch the Aron Brit Hashem from Shilo; thus He will be present among us and will deliver us from the hands of our enemies.”

גוַיָּבֹא הָעָם אֶל־הַמַּחֲנֶה וַיֹּאמְרוּ זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לָמָּה נְגָפָנוּ יְהֹוָה הַיּוֹם לִפְנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים נִקְחָה אֵלֵינוּ מִשִּׁלֹה אֶת־אֲרוֹן בְּרִית יְהֹוָה וְיָבֹא בְקִרְבֵּנוּ וְיֹשִׁעֵנוּ מִכַּף אֹיְבֵינוּ׃

4So the troops sent men to Shilo; there Eli's two sons, Chofni and Pinchas, were in charge of the Aron Brit Hashem, and they brought down from there the Aron Habrit of the lord of Hosts Enthroned on the Keruvim.

דוַיִּשְׁלַח הָעָם שִׁלֹה וַיִּשְׂאוּ מִשָּׁם אֵת אֲרוֹן בְּרִית־יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת יֹשֵׁב הַכְּרֻבִים וְשָׁם שְׁנֵי בְנֵי־עֵלִי עִם־אֲרוֹן בְּרִית הָאֱלֹהִים חָפְנִי וּפִינְחָס׃

5When the Aron Brit Hashem entered the camp, all Yisrael burst into a great shout, so that the earth resounded.

הוַיְהִי כְּבוֹא אֲרוֹן בְּרִית־יְהֹוָה אֶל־הַמַּחֲנֶה וַיָּרִעוּ כָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל תְּרוּעָה גְדוֹלָה וַתֵּהֹם הָאָרֶץ׃

6The Philistines heard the noise of the shouting and they wondered, “Why is there such a loud shouting in the camp of the Hebrews?” And when they learned that the Aron of Hashem had come to the camp,

ווַיִּשְׁמְעוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים אֶת־קוֹל הַתְּרוּעָה וַיֹּאמְרוּ מֶה קוֹל הַתְּרוּעָה הַגְּדוֹלָה הַזֹּאת בְּמַחֲנֵה הָעִבְרִים וַיֵּדְעוּ כִּי אֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה בָּא אֶל־הַמַּחֲנֶה׃

7the Philistines were frightened; for they said, “Hashem has come to the camp.” And they cried, “Woe to us! Nothing like this has ever happened before.

זוַיִּרְאוּ הַפְּלִשְׁתִּים כִּי אָמְרוּ בָּא אֱלֹהִים אֶל־הַמַּחֲנֶה וַיֹּאמְרוּ אוֹי לָנוּ כִּי לֹא הָיְתָה כָּזֹאת אֶתְמוֹל שִׁלְשֹׁם׃

8Woe to us! Who will save us from the power of this mighty Hashem? He is the same Hashem who struck the Egyptians with every kind of plague in the wilderness!

חאוֹי לָנוּ מִי יַצִּילֵנוּ מִיַּד הָאֱלֹהִים הָאַדִּירִים הָאֵלֶּה אֵלֶּה הֵם הָאֱלֹהִים הַמַּכִּים אֶת־מִצְרַיִם בְּכָל־מַכָּה בַּמִּדְבָּר׃

9Brace yourselves and be men, O Philistines! Or you will become slaves to the Hebrews as they were slaves to you. Be men and fight!”

טהִתְחַזְּקוּ וִהְיוּ לַאֲנָשִׁים פְּלִשְׁתִּים פֶּן תַּעַבְדוּ לָעִבְרִים כַּאֲשֶׁר עָבְדוּ לָכֶם וִהְיִיתֶם לַאֲנָשִׁים וְנִלְחַמְתֶּם׃

10The Philistines fought; Yisrael was routed, and they all fled to their homes. The defeat was very great, thirty thousand foot soldiers of Yisrael fell there.

יוַיִּלָּחֲמוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים וַיִּנָּגֶף יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיָּנֻסוּ אִישׁ לְאֹהָלָיו וַתְּהִי הַמַּכָּה גְּדוֹלָה מְאֹד וַיִּפֹּל מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל שְׁלֹשִׁים אֶלֶף רַגְלִי׃

11The Aron of Hashem was captured, and Eli's two sons, Chofni and Pinchas, were slain.

יאוַאֲרוֹן אֱלֹהִים נִלְקָח וּשְׁנֵי בְנֵי־עֵלִי מֵתוּ חָפְנִי וּפִינְחָס׃

12A Binyaminite ran from the battlefield and reached Shilo the same day; his clothes were rent and there was earth on his head.

יבוַיָּרָץ אִישׁ־בִּנְיָמִן מֵהַמַּעֲרָכָה וַיָּבֹא שִׁלֹה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וּמַדָּיו קְרֻעִים וַאֲדָמָה עַל־רֹאשׁוֹ׃

13When he arrived, he found Eli sitting on a seat, waiting beside the road—his heart trembling for the Aron of Hashem. The man entered the city to spread the news, and the whole city broke out in a cry.

va-ya-VO v'-hi-NAY ay-LEE yo-SHAYV al ha-ki-SAY YAD DE-rekh m'-tza-PEH kee ha-YAH li-BO kha-RAYD AL a-RON ha-e-lo-HEEM v'-ha-EESH BA l'-ha-GEED ba-EER va-tiz-AK kol ha-EER

יגוַיָּבוֹא וְהִנֵּה עֵלִי יֹשֵׁב עַל־הַכִּסֵּא יך [יַד] דֶּרֶךְ מְצַפֶּה כִּי־הָיָה לִבּוֹ חָרֵד עַל אֲרוֹן הָאֱלֹהִים וְהָאִישׁ בָּא לְהַגִּיד בָּעִיר וַתִּזְעַק כָּל־הָעִיר׃

 4:13   The whole city broke out in a cry

After the terrible battlefield loss to the Philistines, a man from the tribe of Binyamin runs to Shilo to deliver the news to Eli. Rashi reports a tradition that this man was none other than Shaul, who would later be selected as the first king of Israel. This is significant, as leaders of Israel are often military men. For example, Avraham (see Genesis 14, which describes the war he fought to save his nephew Lot), Moshe (see Numbers 21, where he leads Israel in battle against Sihon and Og) and Yehoshua were all spiritual and military figures. Fighting just wars is an imperative, and it is the responsibility of the Israelite leader to lead his troops into battle. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the first king of Israel is also a soldier.

14And when Eli heard the sound of the outcry and asked, “What is the meaning of this uproar?” the man rushed over to tell Eli.

ידוַיִּשְׁמַע עֵלִי אֶת־קוֹל הַצְּעָקָה וַיֹּאמֶר מֶה קוֹל הֶהָמוֹן הַזֶּה וְהָאִישׁ מִהַר וַיָּבֹא וַיַּגֵּד לְעֵלִי׃

15Now Eli was ninety-eight years old; his eyes were fixed in a blind stare.

טווְעֵלִי בֶּן־תִּשְׁעִים וּשְׁמֹנֶה שָׁנָה וְעֵינָיו קָמָה וְלֹא יָכוֹל לִרְאוֹת׃

16The man said to Eli, “I am the one who came from the battlefield; I have just fled from the battlefield.” [Eli] asked, “What happened, my son?”

טזוַיֹּאמֶר הָאִישׁ אֶל־עֵלִי אָנֹכִי הַבָּא מִן־הַמַּעֲרָכָה וַאֲנִי מִן־הַמַּעֲרָכָה נַסְתִּי הַיּוֹם וַיֹּאמֶר מֶה־הָיָה הַדָּבָר בְּנִי׃

17The bearer of the news replied, “Yisrael fled before the Philistines and the troops also suffered a great slaughter. Your two sons, Chofni and Pinchas, are dead, and the Aron of Hashem has been captured.”

יזוַיַּעַן הַמְבַשֵּׂר וַיֹּאמֶר נָס יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים וְגַם מַגֵּפָה גְדוֹלָה הָיְתָה בָעָם וְגַם־שְׁנֵי בָנֶיךָ מֵתוּ חָפְנִי וּפִינְחָס וַאֲרוֹן הָאֱלֹהִים נִלְקָחָה׃

18When he mentioned the Aron of Hashem, [Eli] fell backward off the seat beside the gate, broke his neck and died; for he was an old man and heavy. He had been a chieftain of Yisrael for forty years.

יחוַיְהִי כְּהַזְכִּירוֹ אֶת־אֲרוֹן הָאֱלֹהִים וַיִּפֹּל מֵעַל־הַכִּסֵּא אֲחֹרַנִּית בְּעַד יַד הַשַּׁעַר וַתִּשָּׁבֵר מַפְרַקְתּוֹ וַיָּמֹת כִּי־זָקֵן הָאִישׁ וְכָבֵד וְהוּא שָׁפַט אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה׃

19His daughter-in-law, the wife of Pinchas, was with child, about to give birth. When she heard the report that the Aron of Hashem was captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she was seized with labor pains, and she crouched down and gave birth.

יטוְכַלָּתוֹ אֵשֶׁת־פִּינְחָס הָרָה לָלַת וַתִּשְׁמַע אֶת־הַשְּׁמֻעָה אֶל־הִלָּקַח אֲרוֹן הָאֱלֹהִים וּמֵת חָמִיהָ וְאִישָׁהּ וַתִּכְרַע וַתֵּלֶד כִּי־נֶהֶפְכוּ עָלֶיהָ צִרֶיהָ׃

20As she lay dying, the women attending her said, “Do not be afraid, for you have borne a son.” But she did not respond or pay heed.

כוּכְעֵת מוּתָהּ וַתְּדַבֵּרְנָה הַנִּצָּבוֹת עָלֶיהָ אַל־תִּירְאִי כִּי בֵן יָלָדְתְּ וְלֹא עָנְתָה וְלֹא־שָׁתָה לִבָּהּ׃

21She named the boy Ichabod, meaning, “The glory has departed from Yisrael”—referring to the capture of the Aron of Hashem and to [the death of] her father-in-law and her husband.

כאוַתִּקְרָא לַנַּעַר אִי־כָבוֹד לֵאמֹר גָּלָה כָבוֹד מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־הִלָּקַח אֲרוֹן הָאֱלֹהִים וְאֶל־חָמִיהָ וְאִישָׁהּ׃

22“The glory is gone from Yisrael,” she said, “for the Aron of Hashem has been captured.”

כבוַתֹּאמֶר גָּלָה כָבוֹד מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל כִּי נִלְקַח אֲרוֹן הָאֱלֹהִים׃