1 Samuel 4:7

7 the Philistines were afraid; for they said, "Gods have come into the camp." They also said, "Woe to us! For nothing like this has happened before.

1 Samuel 4:7 Meaning and Commentary

1 Samuel 4:7

And the Philistines were afraid
When the spies returned, and reported to them the reason of the shouting:

for they said, God is come into the camp;
into the camp of Israel, because the ark represented him, and was the symbol of his presence; and these Heathens might take the ark itself for an idol of the Israelites; the Targum is,

``the ark of God is come''

and they said, woe unto us;
it is all over with us, destruction and ruin will be our case, victory will go on their side now their God is among them:

for there hath not been such a thing heretofore;
if by this they meant that the ark had never been in the camp of Israel before, they were mistaken; and it is no great wonder they should, being not so well acquainted with the affairs of Israel, and their customs; or rather, it was not so yesterday, or three days ago, when they were defeated; there was no shouting then: or the state of the war is altered; before we fought with the men of Israel, but now we must fight with the God of Israel also.

1 Samuel 4:7 In-Context

5 When the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel gave a mighty shout, so that the earth resounded.
6 When the Philistines heard the noise of the shouting, they said, "What does this great shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean?" When they learned that the ark of the Lord had come to the camp,
7 the Philistines were afraid; for they said, "Gods have come into the camp." They also said, "Woe to us! For nothing like this has happened before.
8 Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with every sort of plague in the wilderness.
9 Take courage, and be men, O Philistines, in order not to become slaves to the Hebrews as they have been to you; be men and fight."

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