So the army sent orders to Shiloh. They brought the Chest of the Covenant of God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the Cherubim-Enthroned-God. Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, accompanied the Chest of the Covenant of God.
When the Chest of the Covenant of God was brought into camp, everyone gave a huge cheer. The shouts were like thunderclaps shaking the very ground.
The Philistines heard the shouting and wondered what on earth was going on: "What's all this shouting among the Hebrews?"
The Philistines panicked: "Their gods have come to their camp! Nothing like this has ever happened before.
We're done for! Who can save us from the clutches of these supergods? These are the same gods who hit the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues out in the wilderness.
On your feet, Philistines! Courage! We're about to become slaves to the Hebrews, just as they have been slaves to us. Show what you're made of! Fight for your lives!"
And did they ever fight! It turned into a rout. They thrashed Israel so mercilessly that the Israelite soldiers ran for their lives, leaving behind an incredible 30,000 dead.
As if that wasn't bad enough, the Chest of God was taken and the two sons of Eli - Hophni and Phinehas - were killed. Glory Is Exiled from Israel
Immediately, a Benjaminite raced from the front lines back to Shiloh. Shirt torn and face smeared with dirt,
he entered the town. Eli was sitting on his stool beside the road keeping vigil, for he was extremely worried about the Chest of God. When the man ran straight into town to tell the bad news, everyone wept.
They were appalled. Eli heard the loud wailing and asked, "Why this uproar?" The messenger hurried over and reported.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)