Front Matter The Garden of Eden The First Great Crime The Flood The Tower of Babel Abraham Moves into Canaan Sodom and Gomorrah The Trial of Abraham's Faith Searching for a Wife for Isaac Isaac and Rebekah Esau Sells his Birthright Jacob Serves for Rachel Jacob Returns to Canaan Joseph is Sold into Egypt Pharaoh's Dream Joseph's Brethren Buy Corn Jacob Moves into Egypt The Early Life of Moses Egyptians Smitten with Plagues Egyptians Drowned in Red Sea The Lord Provides for Israel Plan to Build the Tabernacle The Golden Calf Wanderings of the Israelites Spying Out the Land of Canaan Punishing the Israelites Balaam is Made to Prophesy Border of the Promised Land Last Days of Moses Rahab Saves the Spies The Destruction of Jericho The Capture of Ai Joshua Conquers Canaan Gideon is Given a Sign Gideon Overcomes Midianites The Punishment of Abimelech Jephthah's Daughter The Young Samson Samson and the Philistines The Death of Samson Naomi and Ruth Ruth and Boaz The Young Samuel Philistines Capture the Ark Philistines Return the Ark Saul in Anointed King Jonathan and the Philistines The Disobedience of Saul Samuel Anoints David David and Goliath Saul is Jealous of David David and Jonathan The Madness of Saul David Spares the Life of Saul The Last Days of King Saul David Becomes King The Rebellion of Absalom The Death of Absalom Solomon Becomes King The Wisdom of Solomon Solomon Builds the Temple Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon Revolt of the Ten Tribes The Wickedness of Jeroboam Elijah Begins His Ministry Elijah Destroys the Prophets Elisha is Made a Prophet Death of Ahab Sickness of Ahaziah Last Days of Elijah Miracles of Elisha Naaman is Cured of Leprosy Flight of the Syrians Jehu is Appointed King The Story of Joash Last days of Elisha Destruction of Sennacherib Judah Led into Captivity Destruction of Jerusalem Daniel Interprets the Dream The Fiery Furnace Madness of Nebuchadnezzer Handwriting on the Wall Daniel in the Lion's Den Jonah Swallowed by a Fish Jonah Warns Nineveh Esther Becomes Queen The Vengeance of Haman Esther Saves Her People The Return from Captivity Nehemiah Rebuilds Jerusalem

Heroes of Israel - Lawton Evans

The Philistines Capture the Ark

Samuel continued to grow and the Lord was with him. He attended faithfully to the duties of the tabernacle and everybody knew that he was to be a prophet of the Lord. The Lord appeared to Samuel again in Shiloh and told him many things that he should know, for he was to become one of the great prophets of Israel.

Now the time came when the people of Israel went out to give battle to the Philistines. The Philistines attacked the people of Israel so fiercely that they smote them and slew about four thousand men. The elders of Israel cried out: "Why has the Lord smitten us at the hands of the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant out of Shiloh that it may save us out of the hands of our enemies."

The people then went to Shiloh to bring the ark of the covenant. The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there and helped bring the ark to the camp of Israel. When the ark was brought into the camp all the people of Israel shouted with a great shout for they thought that the presence of the ark would surely bring them victory over the Philistines.

When the Philistines heard the noise of the shouting of the Israelites they were afraid and said among themselves: "Their God is going into their camp. Who shall deliver us out of the hands of this mighty God? This is the God that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues!"

The leaders of the Philistines went among their ranks and called out to the people: "So be strong, and carry yourselves like men, oh you Philistines! for if you do not you shall be servants unto the Hebrews as they have been to you. You must go as men and fight."

But the Lord was not with Israel, though the ark of the covenant was in their camp. The Philistines fought and Israel was smitten and fled every man into his tent, and there was a very great slaughter, for there fell that day, thirty thousand men of Israel. The ark of God was taken by the Philistines and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain just as the voice of the Lord had said to Samuel.

A man of the tribe of Benjamin ran out of the camp to Shiloh with his clothes torn and with earth upon his head. When he came near Shiloh he saw the old priest Eli, sitting upon a seat by the way-side, watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. The man ran into the city and told the people that the Philistines had slain thirty thousand of the Israelites. Then all the people cried out with a great cry.

Eli heard the cries and wailings of the people and said to those around him: "What means the noise of all this turmoil?" and the man who had run out of the camp of Israel to Shiloh came where Eli was and told him what had happened. Eli was ninety-eight years old and his eyes were so dim that he could not see.

"Tell me what has happened to my sons?" Eli said to the man.

"Israel has fled before the Philistines and there has been a great slaughter among the people and your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken by the Philistines," the messenger answered.

When the old Eli heard that his sons were dead and that the ark of God had been taken he fell over from his seat backward by the side of the gate of the city. His neck was broken and he died. He was an old man and heavy of weight and had judged Israel for forty years.