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
they could not conceive what should be the reason of it, seeing they had no occasion to shout for joy, having been lately defeated; and a shout is made generally just before a battle is begun, and the onset made, or when victory is obtained; neither of which was the case now:
and they understood that the ark of the Lord was come into the camp:
this they understood by spies, which they sent to find out the meaning of the shout; which is more probable than that they came to the knowledge of it by deserters; seeing it is not very likely that any Israelites would desert to the Philistines.