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the vision God had sent him. Then Eli called Samuel to him, and said, “What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide anything from me of all the things that He said unto thee.” And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him.

When Eli heard the solemn judgment of God, he bowed himself in humble submission before it, only saying, “ It is the LORD, let Him do what seemeth Him good.

God's Judgment came, even as He had said. Israel was at war with the Philistines, and Israel was smitten, and about four thousand men were slain. Then 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."

So the people sent to Shiloh, and took the ark of the covenant of the LORD of Hosts from between the cherubims; and Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, went with it. Then when the ark of God came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth

rang again. 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 were tola that the ark of the LORD was come into the camp.

Then the Philistines were very much afraid, and they said, “God is come into the camp; woe unto us, for there hath not been such a thing heretofore! woe unto us! Who shall deliver us out of the hands of these mighty Gods ? these are the Gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness ! Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, Oye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight.”

The battle began ; the Philistines fought very bravely, and Israel had not the upholding Hand of the LORD, because they had displeased Him. So Israel was smitten, and fled before their enemies, and the slaughter was very great: thirty thousand men were slain,—the ark of God was taken by the Philistines, and Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, who were with it, were killed. The aged Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside, watching for tidings. He was a very old man, having seen ninety and eight summers ; his eyes were dim so that he could not see, and his heart trembled for the ark of God. Then a man who had escaped from the defeated army came to Shiloh, with rent garments, and dust upon his head, and as soon as he reached the city, he told his sorrowful tidings, and all the people cried out for grief. When Eli heard the tumult, he asked what it meant ? and the man came hastily in, and told him, saying, “I am he that came out of the army, and I fled to-day out of the army.”

Then Eli asked, trembling, “What is there done, my son ?” And the messenger told him all, he spared nothing, but 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.'

And it came to pass, that when he made mention of the ark of God, Eli fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died. He could bear to hear of the loss of his sons and his friends, but not that God's Glory was touched. So Eli died.

Phinehas's wife also died in giving birth to a son, when she heard all the sad tidings of her father-in-law, and husband, and that the ark of God was taken. And as she departed, she named her child Ichabod, which means, “Where is the glory?" saying, “The glory is departed from Israel, the ark of God is taken."

THE ARK OF THE LORD.

Meanwhile the Philistines were very glad to have the ark of God; they took it to Ashdod, and put it into the temple of their idol Dagon. But the next morning, on going into the temple, they found that the image of Dago had fallen upon its face to the earth before the Ark of the LORD. They took the image, and set it again in its place, but the next morning, again Dagon was found on his face before the ark of the LORD ; and this time his head and both his hands were cut off. Moreover, the LORD visited the people of Ashdod heavily, sending them a deadly plague of boils.

Then the men of Ashdod said, “The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us, for His Hand is sore upon us and upon Dagon our god.” So they called all the lords of the Philis

tines to Ashdod, and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel ?" Then the lords of the Philistines answered, “Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried into Gath."

So the ark was carried to Gath; but forthwith the Hand of the LORD was against that city, as it had been against Ashdod, with a very great destruction. Then they sent the ark on to Ekron, but it was the same there, so that when the people saw it arrive they cried out,

They have brought the ark of God of Israel to slay us and our people.” And they sent and gathered the lords of the Philistines, and said, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to his own place, that it slay us not and our people.” And the cry of the city went up to Heaven.

The Philistines consulted their priests and wise men how they should send back the ark, and they said, “ Send it not empty, but in any wise return the LORD a trespass-offering, then shall ye be healed. And it shall be known unto you why His Hand is not removed from you.

Furthermore, these heathen were so struck with the Lord's might, that they went on to say, “ Ye shall give glory unto the God of Israel, peradventure He will lighten His Hand

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