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I Samuel 4:12-22

Victor M. Eskew


1.      Outline


i.                    THE REPORT OF THE BATTLE (I Sam. 4:12-18)

ii.                  THE RUE OF PHINEHAS’ WIFE (I Sam. 4:19-22)


2.      From what tribe did the man belong who came as a messenger about the battle against the Philistines? (I Sam. 4:12)


And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army…


A.    Benjamin


B.      The men of Benjamin were an awesome fighting force.  They were especially good with a sling (Judges 20:16).


Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men lefthanded; every one could sling stone at a hair breath, and not miss.


3.      What is the significance of his clothes being rent and earth upon his head? (I Sam. 4:12)


…and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes rent, and with earth on his head.


A.    These were actions men took when they were in deep grief.


B.      “The clothes rent, signified the rending, dividing, and scattering, of the people; the earth, or ashes on the head, signified their humiliation” (Clarke, e-sword).


C.     We have numerous examples this type of behavior.

1.      Jacob (Gen. 37:34)

2.      Joshua and the elders of Israel (Josh. 7:6)

3.      Tamar (II Sam. 13:19)


4.      For what did Eli tremble? (I Sam. 4:13)


And when he came, lo, Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside watching:  for his heart trembled for the ark of God…


A.    His heart trembled for the ark of God.


B.      Two things about Eli:

1.      He was concerned about the ark.  Again, he shows us that he has a heart for God.

2.      Notice that he is the high priest.  He has full authority over the ark.  Still, his sons have taken the ark to the field of battle.  They still have control over their father.  Again, he shows us a lack of control over his sons.


5.      Define:  tremble (I Sam. 4:13)


A.    Strong (2730):  fearful                  :- afraid


B.      BDB:  fearful, afraid


6.      What did the city do when the messenger reported his news of the battle? (I Sam. 4:13)


…And when the man came into the city, and told it, all the city cried out.


A.    The inhabitants of the city cried out.


B.      Notice the figure of speech.  The city in which the people live is said to have cried out.  This is called metonymy.  Cities do not actually cry out, but the inhabitants of the city do.


7.      T – F    Eli did not want to know about “the noise of the tumult.” (I Sam. 4:14)


And when Eli hard the noise of the crying, he said, What meaneth the noise of this tumult?  And the man came in hastily, and told Eli.


A.    False.  He asked the question:  “What meaneth the noise of this tumult?”


8.      What are two personal facts that we learn about Eli from I Samuel 4:15?


Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see.


A.     He was 98 years old.


B.       He was blind.  The word “dim” means set, and “seems to express the ‘fixed state’ of the blind eye” (Barnes, e-sword).


9.      What four things did the messenger report unto Eli about the battle? (I Sam. 4:16-17).


And the man said unto Eli, I am he that came out of the army, and I fled today out of the army.  And he said, What is there done my son?  And the messenger answered and said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath also been a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken.


A.     Israel fled from the Philistines


B.       The slaughter of the people was great


C.      Eli’s sons were dead


D.     The ark of God was captured


NOTE:  Each part of the message grows continually worse.  For God’s people to flee is not good.  Death is even worse.  Then, a father learns of the death of his sons.  Lastly, the report concerned the spiritual news that the ark was taken.


10.  Which part of the report cause Eli to fall from off his seat backward? (I Sam. 4:18)


And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate…


A.    When he heard the ark was taken.

B.      This was Eli’s greatest fear. 

1.      The ark had been taken with no authorization from God.

2.      It was now out of Eli’s sight.  As far as we know, this as a first for Eli.

3.      He knew the Philistines had won the first skirmish, but did not stop the ark from being taken.


11.  What brought about his death? (I Sam. 4:18)


…that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck broke, and he died…


A.    Eli broke his neck.


B.      Clarke makes an interesting observation about the end of Eli.  But shall we say that this man, however remiss in the education of his children, and criminal in his indulgence towards his profligate sons, which arose more from the easiness of his disposition than from a desire to encourage vice, is gone to perdition? God forbid! No man ever died with such benevolent and religious feelings, and yet perished” (e-sword).


12.  “…for he was an old man, and heavy.” (I Sam. 4:18)



13.  How long had Eli judged Israel? (I Sam. 4:18)


…And he judged Israel forty years.


A.    He judged Israel 40 years.  This would mean that he began judging Israel at the age of 58.


B.      Exactly how long he served in the position of high priest we are not told.


14.  Whose wife was pregnant at the time of this battle? (I Sam. 4:19)


And his daughter in law, Phinehas’ wife, was with child, near to be delivered…


A.    Phinehas’ wife was pregnant at this time.


B.      Sadly, she was going to become another victim because of the disgrace that had come upon Israel.


15.  What two news items caused her to go into labor? (I Sam. 4:19)


…and when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and that he father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed; and her pain came upon her.


A.    The ark of God was taken.


B.      Her father-in-law and her husband were dead.


C.     The stress of this horrible news is what caused her to go into labor.



16.  She gave birth to a ( son     daughter ). (I Sam. 4:20)


And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said unto her, Fear not; for thou hast born a son…


A.    A son


B.      If this were her firstborn, this news should have brought her great joy, even as her life was drifting from her.


17.  What was about to happen to Phinehas’ wife? (I Sam. 4:20)


A.    She was about to die.


18.  What did the woman who was with her tell her not to do? (I Sam. 4:20)


A.    They told her to “fear not.”


B.      They, too, thought the news of a son being born to her would bring her some comfort during this horrible hour of trial.


19.  How did Phinehas’s wife respond? (I Sam. 4:20)


…But she answered not, neither did she regard it.


A.    She did not regard their words at all.


B.      There was absolutely nothing that was going to bring her joy at this time.

1.      She was about to die.

2.      She would never be able to care for the child.

3.      The child would never know his mother

4.      Her husband was dead.

5.      The child would not know his father.

6.      Her father-in-law was dead.

7.      The child would not know his grandfather.

8.      And, the ark of God was captured by the Philistines.


20.  What did she name the child? (I Sam. 4:21)


And she named the child I-chabod…


21.  What is the meaning of the child’s name? (I Sam. 4:21).


A.    Definitions:

1.      Strong (350):  no glory, inglorious

2.      BDB:  no glory


B.      Clarke tells us that the word is really a question:  “Where is the glory?”

1.      The women were trying to comfort her by telling her she had a son.

2.      She was wondering:  “Where is the glory?” since the glory of Israel was gone.



22.  In what way was glory departed from Israel? (I Sam. 4:21b-22)


…saying, The glory is departed from Israel:  because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband.  And she said, The glory is departed from Israel:  for the ark of God is taken.


A.    We do not know anything about Phinehas’ wife except from this text.


B.      We know that she understood the importance of the ark of God to the Israelites. 

1.      She knew that the ark was the place of God.

2.      Now that the ark was gone, she knew that God’s glory was no longer with Israel.

3.      This troubled her more than the birth of a son brought her joy.


23.  How many times do we read the words “the ark of God” in this section?  6


A.    …for his heart trembled for the ark of God… (v. 13)

B.      …and the ark of God is taken (v. 17)

C.     …when he made mention of the ark of God… (v. 18)

D.    …when she heard tidings that the ark of God was taken… (v. 19)

E.      …because the ark of God was taken… (v. 21)

F.      …for the ark of God is taken” (v. 22)


































I Samuel 5:1-12

Victor M. Eskew




1.      Outline


i.                    I Samuel 5:1-7

ii.                  I Samuel 5:8-10

iii.                I Samuel 5:11-12


2.      Provide some background information about Ashdod (I Sam. 5:1).




3.      Who is Dagon? (I Sam. 5:2).



4.      What happened to Dagon the first night the ark was put in his house? (I Sam. 5:3).



5.      What happened the second night the ark was in the house of Dagon? (I Sam. 5:4).




6.      Where were the head and palms of the hands of Dagon put in Dagon’s temple? (I Sam. 5:4).



7.      T – F    The priests of Dagon will not tread on the threshingfloor of Dagon. (I Sam. 5:5).



8.      The description of God’s judgment is noted in three ways in I Samuel 5:6.  List the three ways it is described.










9.      Define:  destroyed (I Sam. 5:6)



10.  Define:  emrods (I Sam. 5:6)



11.  What did the men of Ashdod finally conclude? (I Sam. 5:7)



12.  Define:  sore (I Sam. 5:7)



13.  Who did the Philistines gather together to discuss where the ark should be sent? (I Sam. 5:8)




14.  Where did they decide to send it? (I Sam. 5:8)



15.  How is the destruction of Gath described? (I Sam. 5:9)




16.  In what place were those in Gath smitten with emrods? (I Sam. 5:9)



17.  What was the third city to receive the ark of God? (I Sam. 5:10)



18.  What did the Ekronites cry out when the ark came to them? (I Sam. 5:10)



19.  What did the lords of the Philistines finally decide to do with the ark of God? (I Sam. 5:11)



20.  How is the destruction of Ekron described? (I Sam. 5:11b-12)








21.  “…and the cry of the city went up to __________________.” (I Sam.5:12)