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, see ( Psalms 53:1 ) ( 99:1 )
and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there
with the ark
of the covenant of God;
these, either with or without the leave of Eli, took the ark out of the tabernacle, and carried it on their shoulders to the camp, or however attended it there, being borne by other priests or Levites; and by this means they were brought into the camp, and so to battle, to meet their doom there; according to Bunting F4, it was carried by them forty two miles.
F4 Travels of the Patriarchs p. 123.