When the ark of the LORD’s covenant came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout that the ground shook.
Hearing the uproar, the Philistines asked, “What’s all this shouting in the Hebrew camp?” When they learned that the ark of the LORD had come into the camp,
the Philistines were afraid. “A god has come into the camp,” they said. “Oh no! Nothing like this has happened before.
We’re doomed! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? They are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness.
Be strong, Philistines! Be men, or you will be subject to the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Be men, and fight!”
So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers.
The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.
That same day a Benjamite ran from the battle line and went to Shiloh with his clothes torn and dust on his head.
When he arrived, there was Eli 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 eyes had failed so that he could not see.