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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - 1 Samuel 4:1-9

The first words of this paragraph, which relate to Samuel, that his word came to all Israel, seem not to have any reference to the following story, as if it was by any direction of his that the Israelites went out against the Philistines. Had they consulted him, though but newly initiated as a prophet, his counsel might have stood them in more stead than the presence of the ark did; but perhaps the princes of Israel despised his youth, and would not have recourse to him as an oracle, and he... read more

Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - 1 Samuel 4:10-11

Here is a short account of the issue of this battle. I. Israel was smitten, the army dispersed and totally routed, not retiring into the camp, as before (1 Sam. 4:2) when they hoped to rally again, but returning to their tents, every man shifting for his own safety and making the best of his way home, despairing to make head any more; and 30,000 were slain in the field of battle, 1 Sam. 4:10. Israel was put to the worse, 1. Though they had the better cause, were the people of God and the... read more

Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - 1 Samuel 4:12-18

Tidings are here brought to Shiloh of the fatal issue of their battle with the Philistines. Bad news flies fast. This soon spread through all Israel; every man that fled to his tent brought it, with too plain a proof of it, to his neighbours. But no place was so nearly concerned as Shiloh. Thither therefore an express posted away immediately; it was a man of Benjamin; the Jews fancy it was Saul. He rent his clothes, and put earth upon his head, by these signs to proclaim the sorrowful news to... read more

Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - 1 Samuel 4:19-22

We have here another melancholy story, that carries on the desolations of Eli's house, and the sorrowful feeling which the tidings of the ark's captivity excited. It is concerning the wife of Phinehas, one of those ungracious sons of Eli that had brought all this mischief on Israel. It cost her her life, though young, as well as that of her father-in-law, that was old; for many a green head, as well as many a hoary head, has been brought by sorrow to the grave: it worketh death. By what is... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - 1 Samuel 4:1

And the word of Samuel came to all Israel ,.... Or was "known", as the Targum, the word of prophecy by him, which related to what befell Eli and his family; this was spread throughout the land, and everyone almost had knowledge of it, and which began to be fulfilled in the war between Israel and the Philistines, later related; or the doctrine, instructions, and exhortations of Samuel to the people of Israel, were by the means of others conveyed throughout the land; and yet they went into... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - 1 Samuel 4:2

And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel ,.... Prepared for battle, and put themselves in a posture for it; formed themselves in a line of battle, and so invited and challenged the Israelites to fight them: and when they joined battle ; engaged with each other, the Israelites doing the same, putting themselves in a proper form and posture for fighting; or "the battle was spread", or "spread itself" F2 ותטש המלחמה "et diffusum est praelium", Pagninus, Montanus,... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - 1 Samuel 4:3

And when the people came into the camp ,.... At Ebenezer, where they pitched their tents, and from whence they went out to battle, and whither they returned after their defeat: the elders of Israel said, wherefore hath the Lord smitten us today before the Philistines ? they were right in ascribing it to the Lord, who had suffered them to be defeated by their enemies, but it is strange they should be so insensible of the cause of it; there was a reason ready at hand, their sins and... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - 1 Samuel 4:4

So the people sent to Shiloh ,.... They liked the proposal of the elders, took their advice, and joined with them in a message to Eli the high priest at Shiloh: that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubim ; which overshadowed the mercy seat that was upon the ark, and was the residence of the divine Majesty; wherefore having this with them, they concluded they should have the presence of God with them, and so success,... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - 1 Samuel 4:5

And when the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp ,.... Being brought thither by the men that carried it: all Israel shouted with a great shout , so that the earth rang again; this they did as now sure of victory, because of the ark, and to give spirit and courage to each other to go forth to battle, and to strike a panic into their enemies. read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - 1 Samuel 4:6

And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout ,.... For it being so loud as to make the earth ring, it was heard in the camp of the Philistines, which might not be at any great distance from the camp of Israel; how far from each other were Aphek and Ebenezer is not certain: they said, what meaneth the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews ? they could not conceive what should be the reason of it, seeing they had no occasion to shout for joy, having been lately... read more

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