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Friday, March 21 2014

1 Samuel 4: The Capture Of The Ark

"The Ark of God was taken"

The LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) declared the end of the house of the High Priest Eli. Notice that the reason for Eli's fall was not because he was corrupt, because he knew that his sons, who would have succeeded him, were corrupt - but he was too weak to correct them from "the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not." Eli's fatal flaw was that he was a "good man" who was weak in determination.

"3:11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. 3:12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. 3:13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. 3:14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever." (1 Samuel 3:11-14 KJV)

According to the Word of the LORD (see 1 Samuel 2: The Prophecy Of The House Of Eli), it all happened in a single day. First, Eli's corrupt sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were killed in war against the Philistines after they arrogantly removed the Ark of the Covenant from the Tabernacle and took it into the battlefield. The Ark was never to be taken out of the Holy Place (see also The Holy Place In History And Prophecy) that the LORD commanded it to be placed. The Ark was then captured by the Philistines (but, as we will cover in the next study, the Philistines were soon very eager to return it).

The Ark

"4:1 And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside Ebenezer: and the Philistines pitched in Aphek. 4:2 And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men. 4:3 And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies.

4:4 So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.

4:5 And when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again. 4:6 And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, What meaneth the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews?

And they understood that the ark of the LORD was come into the camp. 4:7 And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing heretofore. 4:8 Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty Gods? these are the Gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness. 4:9 Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight.

4:10 And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. 4:11 And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain." (1 Samuel 4:1-11 KJV)

When the news of the loss of his sons and the Ark of the Covenant reached Eli, "he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died." Eli had been a Judge for forty years.

"4:12 And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head. 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. And when the man came into the city, and told it, all the city cried out.

4:14 And when Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, What meaneth the noise of this tumult?

And the man came in hastily, and told Eli. 4:15 Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see. 4:16 And the man said unto Eli, I am he that came out of the army, and I fled to day out of the army.

And he said, What is there done, my son?

4:17 And the messenger answered and said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken.

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, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

4:19 And his daughter in law, Phinehas' wife, was with child, near to be delivered: and when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and that her father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed; for her pains came upon her. 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. But she answered not, neither did she regard it.

4:21 And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband. 4:22 And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken." (1 Samuel 4:12-22 KJV)

Fact Finder: When was the Ark made?
See Exodus 34: The Second Tables Of Stone, Exodus 36: The Building Of The Tabernacle and Exodus 37: The Tabernacle Furnishings


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This Day In History, March 21

537: The Siege of Rome: King Vitiges attempted to assault the northern and eastern city walls, but was driven back at the Praenestine Gate, known as the Vivarium, by the defenders under the Byzantine generals Bessas and Peranius.

Europe
717: The Battle of Vincy; Charles Martel fought Chilperic and Ragenfrid.

1152: The annulment of the marriage of King Louis VII of France and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine.

1188: Emperor Antoku acceded to the throne of Japan.

1413: Henry V became King of England.

1556: At Oxford, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was burned at the stake as a heretic.

1788: New Orleans, Louisiana, was nearly completely destroyed by fire.

1800: After being driven out of Rome during a rebellion, Pius VII was crowned Pope in Venice with a temporary papal tiara made of papier-mache.

1801: The Battle of Alexandria was fought between British and French forces near the ruins of Nicopolis in Egypt.

1804: The French civil code, the Code Napoleon, was proclaimed.

1844: The date set by "Adventist" founder William Miller for the day of Christ's return; when his prediction failed, he set a new date, October 22 1844, which also failed, becoming known as "the Great Disappointment" (see also When The Final Countdown Will Begin).

1857: An earthquake in Tokyo, Japan killed over 100,000 people.

1871: German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck opened the first Reichstag (Parliament) in the First German Reich (see also The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1871: Welsh journalist Henry Morton Stanley began his famous journey to find the Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone (Dr. Livingstone, I presume?").

1917: Czar Nicholas II and his family were arrested by communist revolutionary forces in Russia.

1918: The Second Battle of the Somme, the last German offensive of the First World War, began (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1927: Nationalist Chinese forces of Chiang Kai-shek took the city of Shanghai; communist forces and local warlords fled before they arrived.

1935: Persia was renamed Iran (see Ancient Empires - Persia and Has Another Haman Arisen?).

1963: Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay was closed.

1973: John Dean's "there's a cancer on the presidency" meeting with Richard Nixon.

1980: President Jimmy Carter announced that the U.S. Olympic team would not participate in the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow as a protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The U.S. itself thereafter invaded Afghanistan in 2001.

1990: Namibia became independent after 75 years of South African rule.


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