1 Samuel 4:9

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."

1 Samuel 4:9 Meaning and Commentary

1 Samuel 4:9

Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines
Since this was all they had to depend upon, their manly courage; if they did not exert that it was all over with them; and seeing their case was desperate, having gods as well as men to fight with, it became them to exert themselves to the uttermost; which did they, there was a possibility still of gaining victory, and so immortal honour to themselves; these words seem to be spoken by the generals and officers of the army of the Philistines to the common soldiers:

that ye be not servants to the Hebrews, as they have been to you;
that is, before and in the times of Samson; but it appears from hence that at this time neither the Philistines ruled over the Israelites, nor the Israelites over them; but as there was danger of their becoming subject to Israel, they had better die gloriously in the field of battle than to be in the base state of servitude:

quit yourselves like men, and fight;
this is repeated to animate them to battle, which they supposed was not far off by the shoutings of the Israelites, and which they must prepare for.

1 Samuel 4:9 In-Context

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."
10 So the Philistines fought; Israel was defeated, and they fled, everyone to his home. There was a very great slaughter, for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers.
11 The ark of God was captured; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.