: 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