DEATH OF ELI AND HIS SONS.
: Old Testament Stories
In the morning Samuel feared to tell Eli what the Lord had shown him;
but Eli bade him do so, saying to Samuel, "God do so to thee, and more
also, if thou hide any thing from me of all that He said unto thee."
So Samuel told Eli all God had said, keeping nothing back, and Eli
answered, "It is the Lord: let Him do what seemeth Him good."
Afterwards there was war between the Israelites and the Philistines,
nd both sides prepared for battle. They fought; the Israelites were
defeated, and many of them slain. Then they sent to Shiloh and fetched
the ark of the covenant out of the Tabernacle, carrying it to the
camp, and thinking that if the ark were with them they would overcome
their enemies. But the ark only signified God's presence in their
midst; it was not God Himself, to give them victory. It was very
sinful of them thus to use what God had made so holy; and God suffered
them again to be defeated. The ark was taken by the Philistines, and
many of the Israelites were slain.
Eli, who was then ninety-eight years old, and nearly blind, sat by the
wayside, trembling for the safety of the ark, and waiting for
messengers to bring news of the battle. Presently a messenger came who
told him the Israelites had fled before the Philistines, that his two
sons Hophni and Phinehas were slain, and that the ark of God had been
taken. When he heard that the ark had been taken, he fell backward
from off his seat and died. Thus God's judgment upon Eli and his sons
came to pass. In our picture we see the messenger, who has just come
from the field of battle, telling Eli the sad tidings that caused his