When he arrived, there was Eli1 sitting on his chair by the side of the road, watching, because his heart feared for the ark of God. When the man entered the town and told what had happened, the whole town sent up a cry.
Eli heard the outcry and asked, "What is the meaning of this uproar?" The man hurried over to Eli,
who was ninety-eight years old and whose eyes2 were set so that he could not see.
He told Eli, "I have just come from the battle line; I fled from it this very day." Eli asked, "What happened, my son?"
The man who brought the news replied, "Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead,3 and the ark of God has been captured."418
When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man and heavy. He had leda5 Israel forty years.619
His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and near the time of delivery. When she heard the news that the ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth, but was overcome by her labor pains.
As she was dying, the women attending her said, "Don't despair; you have given birth to a son." But she did not respond or pay any attention.
She named the boy Ichabod,b7 saying, "The glory8 has departed from Israel"--because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband.
She said, "The glory9 has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured."10