Sh’mu’el Alef (1 Samuel) Chapter 4

The corresponding letter to this chapter is Dalet – door; way; dimensions; concern

Sh’mu’el Alef 4:1-11 Thus the word of Sh’mu’el came to all Israel. Now Israel went out to meet the P’lishtim battle and camped beside Even-Ezer (Ebenezer) while the P’lishtim camped in Afek. And the P’lishtim drew up in battle array to meet Israel. When the battle spread, Israel was defeated before the P’lishtim who killed about four thousand men on the battlefield. When the people came into the camp, the elders of Israel said, "Why has the L-RD defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us take to ourselves from Shiloh the ark of the covenant of the L-RD, that it may come among us and deliver us from the power of our enemies." So the people sent to Shiloh, and from there they carried the ark of the covenant of the L-RD of hosts who sits above the cherubim; and the two sons of Eli, Hofni and Pinchas, were there with the ark of the covenant of G-d. And it happened as the ark of the covenant of the L-RD came into the camp, that all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth resounded. And when the P’lishtim heard the noise of the shout, they said, "What does the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?" Then they understood that the ark of the L-RD had come into the camp. And the P’lishtim were afraid, for they said, "G-d has come into the camp." And they said, "Woe to us! For nothing like this has happened before. Woe to us! Who shall deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods who smote the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness. Take courage and be men, O Philistines, lest you become slaves to the Hebrews, as they have been slaves to you; therefore, be men and fight." So the P’lishtim fought and Israel was defeated, and every man fled to his tent, and the slaughter was very great; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers. And the ark of G-d was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hofni and Pinchas, died.

The Israelites should not have taken the Ark of the Covenant from the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle. They did this on their own like it was some sort of good luck charm and G-d did not give them the victory because they did not seek His will in the battle.

So Israel suffered heavy loses, the evil sons of Eli were killed, and the Ark was captured.

The ark of G-d was taken along with two thieves. They stole meat and fat from the sacrifice. This could be a foreshadowing of the two thieves that die beside Yeshua who is what the Ark of the Covenant represents.

Mark 15:27-28 And they crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left. [And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "And He was numbered with transgressors."]

Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 53:12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.

G-d’s word came to pass- the two sons of Eli died together.

Sh’mu’el Alef 4:12-17 Now a man of Benjamin ran from the battle line and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes torn and dust on his head. When he came, look, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road eagerly watching, because his heart was trembling for the ark of G-d. So the man came to tell it in the city, and all the city cried out. When Eli heard the noise of the outcry, he said, "What does the noise of this commotion mean?" Then the man came hurriedly and told Eli. Now Eli was ninety-eight years old, and his eyes were set so that he could not see. And the man said to Eli, "I am the one who came from the battle line. Indeed, I escaped from the battle line today." And he said, "How did things go, my son?" Then the one who brought the news answered and said, "Israel has fled before the P’lishtim and there has also been a great slaughter among the people, and your two sons also, Hofni and Pinchas, are dead, and the ark of G-d has been taken."

Notice the man of Benjamin was covered in dust and his clothes were torn. This was a sign of morning and of national disaster.

Sh’mu’el Alef 4:18-22 And it came about when he mentioned the ark of G-d that Eli fell off the seat backward beside the gate, and his neck was broken and he died, for he was old and heavy. Thus he judged Israel forty years. Now his daughter-in-law, Pinchas' wife, was pregnant and about to give birth; and when she heard the news that the ark of G-d was taken and that her father-in-law and her husband had died, she kneeled down and gave birth, for her pains came upon her. And about the time of her death the women who stood by her said to her, "Do not be afraid, for you have given birth to a son." But she did not answer or pay attention. And she called the boy Ichabod (no glory), saying, "The glory has departed from Israel," because the ark of G-d 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 G-d was taken." Or we could say “The ark of the covenant was numbered with the transgressors.” The glory of the L-rd left Israel and was given to the Gentiles.

Notice Eli does not lament the death of his sons. He laments the loss of the Ark of the Covenant.

On a hidden level, Yeshua too has been given and seen by the Gentiles so they could be grafted in to the Hebrew faith. In contrast, The P’lishtim will not be so blessed.

Romans 11:17-23 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if G-d did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you. Look, then the kindness and severity of G-d; to those who fell, severity, but to you, G-d's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for G-d is able to graft them in again.

The ark would returns to Israel and so will Yeshua one day.