1 Samuel 4:13
Parallel Verses
New International Version
When he arrived, there was Eli sitting on his chair by the side of the road, watching, because his heart feared for the ark of God. When the man entered the town and told what had happened, the whole town sent up a cry.

New Living Translation
Eli was waiting beside the road to hear the news of the battle, for his heart trembled for the safety of the Ark of God. When the messenger arrived and told what had happened, an outcry resounded throughout the town.

English Standard Version
When he arrived, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city and told the news, all the city cried out.

New American Standard Bible
When he came, behold, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road eagerly watching, because his heart was trembling for the ark of God. So the man came to tell it in the city, and all the city cried out.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When he arrived, there was Eli sitting on his chair beside the road watching, because he was anxious about the ark of God. When the man entered the city to give a report, the entire city cried out.

International Standard Version
When he arrived, Eli was sitting there on a seat beside the road, watching because his heart trembled for the Ark of God. The man went into the town to give the report, and the whole town cried out.

NET Bible
When he arrived in Shiloh, Eli was sitting in his chair watching by the side of the road, for he was very worried about the ark of God. As the man entered the city to give his report, the whole city cried out.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When he arrived, Eli was sitting on a chair beside the road, watching. He was worried about the ark of God. The man went into the city to tell the news. The whole city cried out.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And when he came, behold 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 gave the news, all the city cried out.

King James 2000 Bible
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.

American King James Version
And when he came, see, Eli sat on 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.

American Standard Version
And when he came, lo, Eli was sitting upon his 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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when he was come, Heli sat upon a stool over against the way watching. For his heart was fearful for the ark of God. And when the man was come into the city, he told it: and all the city cried out.

Darby Bible Translation
And when he came, behold, Eli was sitting upon the seat by the way-side watching; for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And the man came to tell it in the city, and all the city cried out.

English Revised Version
And when he came, lo, Eli sat upon his seat by the way side 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.

Webster's Bible Translation
And when he came, lo, Eli sat upon a seat by the way-side 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.

World English Bible
When he came, behold, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road watching; for his heart trembled for the ark of God. When the man came into the city, and told it, all the city cried out.

Young's Literal Translation
and he cometh in, and lo, Eli is sitting on the throne by the side of the way, watching, for his heart hath been trembling for the ark of God, and the man hath come in to declare it in the city, and all the city crieth out.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:12-18 The defeat of the army was very grievous to Eli as a judge; the tidings of the death of his two sons, to whom he had been so indulgent, and who, as he had reason to fear, died impenitent, touched him as a father; yet there was a greater concern on his spirit. And when the messenger concluded his story with, The ark of God is taken, he is struck to the heart, and died immediately. A man may die miserably, yet not die eternally; may come to an untimely end, yet the end be peace.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 13. - Upon a seat - literally, "the throne" - by the wayside, whither his official chair had been removed to some spot near the gate of the city (see ver. 18), and probably commanding a view of the pathway by which a messenger would arrive. There probably for hours he had sat, anxiously awaiting tidings of the ark, which, we may feel sure, he had very unwillingly allowed to be carried away into the camp. When the man came into the city. Literally the words are, "And the man came to tell it in the city, and all the city cried out." We are not to suppose with some that Eli, being old and now blind, let the messenger slip by unobserved. A man of his high rank would not be alone, and the mention of his throne suggests that he was seated there in somewhat of official dignity. And so, as the runner drew near, with the symbols of disaster upon his person, the priests and Levites in attendance upon Eli would begin the cry of sorrow, and soon it would spread throughout all Shiloh.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And when he came,.... To Shiloh; he either passed by Eli, who being blind could not see him, 1 Samuel 4:15 or he came in at another gate of the city on the other side of it, as Abarbinel thinks; though the former seems more likely by what follows, he not choosing to deliver the bad news to Eli first, whom he knew it would very much grieve, and therefore slipped by him into the city:

lo, Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside watching: by the "hand" of the way, as the marginal reading, and which we follow; it seems to be a place where two ways or more met, and where was a way post erected, with an hand directing what places they led to. The text is, "he", or "it smote", as if his heart smote him for letting the ark go; so Kimchi (f); here Eli had a seat placed, which, as the Targum says, was at the ascent of the way to the gate; and so the Septuagint has it, at the gate; and Josephus (g) says it was at one of the gates; either of his own house, or of the tabernacle, or rather of the city; here he was watching for news, to hear what he could, and as soon as he could, how it fared with the army, with his sons, and especially with the ark:

for his heart trembled for the ark of God; not so much for his sons, whose death he might expect from the divine prediction, but for the ark, about which he was doubtful; fearing lest it should fall into the hands of the uncircumcised Philistines, who would triumph upon it, and which would make sad the heart of every true Israelite, and reflect much dishonour on the God of Israel; and very probably he might tremble the more when he reflected on his own sin and folly in suffering his sons to take it with them. Eli here may represent a good man in pain for the church of God, and the interest of religion in declining times, both with respect to ministers of the word, and members of churches: as when Gospel ministers are removed by death, few raised up in their stead, and those that do appear in the ministry, either unregenerate, as it may be feared; or have not gifts and abilities qualifying them for it; or are of immoral lives and conversations, or propagate false doctrines, errors, and heresies: and also when among professors of religion and members of churches there is a great decay of powerful godliness; and they are got into a drowsy, sleepy, frame of spirit, are become lukewarm and indifferent to spiritual exercises, want zeal for the Gospel and cause of Christ; are careless about the honour and interest of religion, unstable and inconstant in doctrine and worship, and in their affections to one another, and the ministers of the word; and their conversation not as becomes their profession:

and when the man came into the city, and told it; how that the army of Israel was beaten, what a number of men was killed, among whom were the two sons of the high priest, and the ark was taken:

all the city cried out; that is, all the inhabitants of the city, having most of them perhaps relations and friends in the army, for whom they were concerned, fearing their lives were lost; but especially the loss of the ark was insupportable by them, it being of so much advantage to that city particularly, both with respect to things temporal and spiritual; wherefore, upon hearing this bad news, there was a general shriek and cry throughout the whole city.

(f) Vid. David de Pomis, Lexic. fol. 47. 1.((g) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 11. sect. 3.)

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

13-18. Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside—The aged priest, as a public magistrate, used, in dispensing justice, to seat himself daily in a spacious recess at the entrance gate of the city. In his intense anxiety to learn the issue of the battle, he took up his usual place as the most convenient for meeting with passers-by. His seat was an official chair, similar to those of the ancient Egyptian judges, richly carved, superbly ornamented, high, and without a back. The calamities announced to Samuel as about to fall upon the family of Eli [1Sa 2:34] were now inflicted in the death of his two sons, and after his death, by that of his daughter-in-law, whose infant son received a name that perpetuated the fallen glory of the church and nation [1Sa 4:19-22]. The public disaster was completed by the capture of the ark. Poor Eli! He was a good man, in spite of his unhappy weaknesses. So strongly were his sensibilities enlisted on the side of religion, that the news of the capture of the ark proved to him a knell of death; and yet his overindulgence, or sad neglect of his family—the main cause of all the evils that led to its fall—has been recorded, as a beacon to warn all heads of Christian families against making shipwreck on the same rock.

1 Samuel 4:13 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Death of Eli
12Now a man of Benjamin ran from the battle line and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes torn and dust on his head. 13When he came, behold, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road eagerly watching, because his heart was trembling for the ark of God. So the man came to tell it in the city, and all the city cried out. 14When Eli heard the noise of the outcry, he said, "What does the noise of this commotion mean?" Then the man came hurriedly and told Eli.…
Cross References
1 Samuel 1:9
Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the LORD's house.

1 Samuel 4:14
Eli heard the outcry and asked, "What is the meaning of this uproar?" The man hurried over to Eli,

1 Samuel 4:18
When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and he was heavy. He had led Israel forty years.

Jeremiah 48:19
Stand by the road and watch, you who live in Aroer. Ask the man fleeing and the woman escaping, ask them, 'What has happened?'
Treasury of Scripture

And when he came, see, Eli sat on 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.

sat upon

1 Samuel 1:9 So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk…

his heart

Joshua 7:9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear …

Nehemiah 1:3,4 And they said to me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there …

Psalm 26:8 LORD, I have loved the habitation of your house, and the place where …

Psalm 79:1-8 O God, the heathen are come into your inheritance; your holy temple …

Psalm 137:4-6 How shall we sing the LORD's song in a strange land…

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Alphabetical: a all and ark arrived because behold by came chair city cried cry eagerly Eli entered feared for God had happened he heart his in it man of on out road seat sent side sitting So tell the there to told town trembling up was watching what When whole

OT History: 1 Samuel 4:13 When he came behold Eli was sitting (1Sa iSam 1 Sam i sa) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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