1 Samuel 4:18
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
When the messenger mentioned what had happened to the Ark of God, Eli fell backward from his seat beside the gate. He broke his neck and died, for he was old and overweight. He had been Israel's judge for forty years.

English Standard Version
As soon as he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell over backward from his seat by the side of the gate, and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy. He had judged Israel forty years.

New American Standard Bible
When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell off the seat backward beside the gate, and his neck was broken and he died, for he was old and heavy. Thus he judged Israel forty years.

King James Bible
And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off the chair by the city gate, and since he was old and heavy, his neck broke and he died. Eli had judged Israel 40 years.

International Standard Version
When he mentioned the Ark of God, Eli fell off the seat backwards by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, since he was old and heavy. Eli had judged Israel for 40 years.

NET Bible
When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward from his chair beside the gate. He broke his neck and died, for he was old and heavy. He had judged Israel for forty years.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When the messenger mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell from his chair backwards toward the gate. He broke his neck, and he died. (The man was old and heavy.) He had judged Israel for 40 years.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And it came to pass 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 broke, and he died; for he was an old man and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

King James 2000 Bible
And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck broke, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

American King James Version
And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck broke, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

American Standard Version
And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that Eli feel from off his seat backward by the side of the gate; and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when he had named the ark of God, he fell from his stool backwards by the door, and broke his neck, and died. For he was an old man, and far advanced in years: and he judged Israel forty years.

Darby Bible Translation
And it came to pass, when he mentioned the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck broke, and he died; for the man was old, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

English Revised Version
And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off his seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

Webster's Bible Translation
And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck broke, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

World English Bible
It happened, when he made mention of the ark of God, that Eli fell from off his seat backward by the side of the gate; and his neck broke, and he died; for he was an old man, and heavy. He had judged Israel forty years.

Young's Literal Translation
And it cometh to pass, at his mentioning the ark of God, that he falleth from off the throne backward, by the side of the gate, and his neck is broken, and he dieth, for the man is old and heavy, and he hath judged Israel forty years.
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 18. - At this last sad news the old man's spirit failed; and though it was his own want of a firm sense of duty that had prepared the way for this sad ruin of his country, yet we cannot but respect his deep attachment and reverent love for the symbol of his faith. The rest he could have borne; but that the ark of God, especially intrusted to his care, was now captive in heathen hands was a calamity that broke his heart. He had judged Israel forty years. The Septuagint reads twenty, but these differences in numbers occur constantly. In either case he would have been well advanced in years before he reached the judgeship, and probably he attained to it slowly; not by one great act, but by the qualities of a statesman, by which he lightened the yoke of the Philistines, and rendered the people for a long time a match for them in war. His character is not that of a hero, but of a wise, patient, and prudent ruler, but one whose good qualities were spoiled at last by his weak partiality for his unworthy sons.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God,.... Of the taking of that, it struck him to the heart, and killed him; the rest he bore tolerably well, the flight of Israel before the Philistines, the great slaughter made of them, the death of his two sons; but the taking of the ark was so dreadful to him, that he could not support under it:

that he fell from off the seat backward, by the side of the gate; which confirms the sense of 1 Samuel 4:13 though whether it was the gate of his own house, or of the tabernacle, or of the city is not certain; the latter is most probable: it seems the seat on which he sat had no back to it, and might be placed only for present convenience:

and his neck brake; the back part of it, the "vertebrae" of it, which has its name in Hebrew from the several joints in it:

and he died; not through the breaking of his neck, for it is very probable he died directly upon hearing the ark was taken, and which was the reason of his falling backward, and that brake his neck:

for he was an old man, and heavy; full of flesh, a very fat man, and so fell heavy, which occasioned the breaking of his neck:

and he had judged Israel forty years; had governed them in the capacity both of an high priest and judge, so that he must enter on his government when fifty eight years of age; the Septuagint version has it very wrongly twenty years. According to the Jews (i), he died on the tenth of Ijar, answering to part of April and May, and his two sons and the ark taken; for which a fast was kept on it.

(i) Schulchan Aruch, par. 1. c. 580. sect. 2.



1 Samuel 4:18 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Death of Eli
17Then the one who brought the news replied, "Israel has fled before the Philistines and there has also been a great slaughter among the people, and your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been taken." 18When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell off the seat backward beside the gate, and his neck was broken and he died, for he was old and heavy. Thus he judged Israel forty years. 19Now his daughter-in-law, Phinehas's wife, was pregnant and about to give birth; and when she heard the news that the ark of God was taken and that her father-in-law and her husband had died, she kneeled down and gave birth, for her pains came upon her.…
Cross References
1 Samuel 4:13
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.

1 Samuel 4:17
The man who brought the news replied, "Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured."

1 Samuel 4:19
His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and near the time of delivery. When she heard the news that the ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth, but was overcome by her labor pains.
Treasury of Scripture

And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck broke, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

when he made

1 Samuel 4:21,22 And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from …

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

Psalm 42:3,10 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually …

Psalm 69:9 For the zeal of your house has eaten me up; and the reproaches of …

Lamentations 2:15-19 All that pass by clap their hands at you; they hiss and wag their …

his neck

1 Samuel 2:31,32 Behold, the days come, that I will cut off your arm, and the arm …

1 Samuel 3:12,13 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken …

Leviticus 10:3 Then Moses said to Aaron, This is it that the LORD spoke, saying, …

1 Corinthians 11:30-32 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep…

1 Peter 4:17,18 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: …

And he had. `He seems to have been a judge to do justice only, and that in south-west Israel.'

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