1 Samuel 4:3
New International Version
When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, "Why did the LORD bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the LORD's covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies."

New Living Translation
After the battle was over, the troops retreated to their camp, and the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the LORD allow us to be defeated by the Philistines?” Then they said, “Let’s bring the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD from Shiloh. If we carry it into battle with us, it will save us from our enemies.”

English Standard Version
And when the people came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the LORD defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.”

Berean Study Bible
When the troops returned to the camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why has the LORD brought defeat on us before the Philistines today? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD from Shiloh, so that it may go with us to save us from the hand of our enemies.”

King James Bible
And when the people were come into the camp, 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.

New King James Version
And when the people had come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the LORD defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD from Shiloh to us, that when it comes among us it may save us from the hand of our enemies.”

New American Standard Bible
When the people came into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the LORD defeated us today before the Philistines? Let’s take the ark of the covenant of the LORD from Shiloh, so that He may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.”

NASB 1995
When the people came into the camp, the elders of Israel said, "Why has the LORD defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us take to ourselves from Shiloh the ark of the covenant of the LORD, that it may come among us and deliver us from the power of our enemies."

NASB 1977
When the people came into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the LORD defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us take to ourselves from Shiloh the ark of the covenant of the LORD, that it may come among us and deliver us from the power of our enemies.”

Amplified Bible
When the people (soldiers) came into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the LORD defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD here from Shiloh, so that He may come among us and save us from the hand of our enemies.”

Christian Standard Bible
When the troops returned to the camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the LORD defeat us today before the Philistines? Let’s bring the ark of the LORD’s covenant from Shiloh. Then it will go with us and save us from our enemies.”

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When the troops returned to the camp, the elders of Israel asked, "Why did the LORD let us be defeated today by the Philistines? Let's bring the ark of the LORD's covenant from Shiloh. Then it will go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies."

American Standard Version
And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath Jehovah smitten us to-day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of Jehovah out of Shiloh unto us, that it may come among us, and save us out of the hand of our enemies.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And the people came to the encampment and the Elders of Israel said: “Why has LORD JEHOVAH broken us today before the Philistines? We will take to ourselves the Ark of the Covenant of LORD JEHOVAH of Hosts from Shiloh, and it shall go with us and it shall save us from the hand of our enemies!”

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And the people came to the camp, and the elders of Israel said, Why has the Lord caused us to fall this day before the Philistines? let us take the ark of our God out of Selom, and let it proceed from the midst of us, and it shall save us from the hand of our enemies.

Contemporary English Version
The Israelite army returned to their camp, and the leaders said, "Why did the LORD let us lose to the Philistines today? Let's get the sacred chest where the LORD's agreement with Israel is kept. Then the LORD will help us and rescue us from our enemies."

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the people returned to the camp: and the ancients of Israel said: Why hath the Lord defeated us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch unto us the ark of the covenant of the Lord from Silo, and let it come in the midst of us, that it may save us from the hand of our enemies.

English Revised Version
And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us today before the Philistines? Let as fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that it may come among us, and save us out of the hand of our enemies.

Good News Translation
When the survivors came back to camp, the leaders of Israel said, "Why did the LORD let the Philistines defeat us today? Let's go and bring the LORD's Covenant Box from Shiloh, so that he will go with us and save us from our enemies."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When the troops came back to the camp, the leaders of Israel asked, "Why has the LORD used the Philistines to defeat us today? Let's get the ark of the LORD's promise from Shiloh so that he may be with us and save us from our enemies."

International Standard Version
When the people came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, "Why did the LORD defeat us today when we fought the Philistines? Let's take the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD from Shiloh, so it may go with us and deliver us from the power of our enemies."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And when the people were come into the camp, 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 He may come among us, and save us out of the hand of our enemies.'

Literal Standard Version
And the people come into the camp, and [the] elderly of Israel say, “Why has YHWH struck us today before the Philistines? We take the Ark of the Covenant of YHWH from Shiloh to ourselves, and it comes into our midst, and He saves us out of the hand of our enemies.”

NET Bible
When the army came back to the camp, the elders of Israel said, "Why did the LORD let us be defeated today by the Philistines? Let's take with us the ark of the covenant of the LORD from Shiloh. When it is with us, it will save us from the hand of our enemies.

New Heart English Bible
When the people had come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, "Why has the LORD struck us today before the Philistines? Let us get the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh to us, that it may come among us, and save us out of the hand of our enemies."

World English Bible
When the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, "Why has Yahweh struck us today before the Philistines? Let us get the ark of the covenant of Yahweh out of Shiloh to us, that it may come among us, and save us out of the hand of our enemies."

Young's Literal Translation
And the people cometh in unto the camp, and the elders of Israel say, 'Why hath Jehovah smitten us to-day before the Philistines? we take unto us from Shiloh the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, and it cometh into our midst, and He doth save us out of the hand of our enemies.'

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Philistines Capture the Ark
2The Philistines arrayed themselves against Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who struck down about four thousand men on the battlefield. 3When the troops returned to the camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why has the LORD brought defeat on us before the Philistines today? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD from Shiloh, so that it may go with us to save us from the hand of our enemies.” 4So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the LORD of Hosts, who sits enthroned between the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.…

Cross References
Numbers 10:35
Whenever the ark set out, Moses would say, "Rise up, O LORD! May Your enemies be scattered; may those who hate You flee before You."

Joshua 6:6
So Joshua son of Nun summoned the priests and said, "Take up the ark of the covenant and have seven priests carry seven rams' horns in front of the ark of the LORD."

Joshua 7:7
"O, Lord GOD," Joshua said, "why did You ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to be destroyed? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan!

Joshua 7:8
O Lord, what can I say, now that Israel has turned its back and run from its enemies?

1 Samuel 1:24
Once she had weaned him, Hannah took the boy with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine. Though the boy was still young, she brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh.

1 Samuel 4:2
The Philistines arrayed themselves against Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who struck down about four thousand men on the battlefield.


Treasury of Scripture

And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Why has the LORD smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh to us, that, when it comes among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies.

Wherefore

Deuteronomy 29:24
Even all nations shall say, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger?

Psalm 74:1,11
Maschil of Asaph. O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture? …

Isaiah 50:1
Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.

Let us

1 Samuel 14:18
And Saul said unto Ahiah, Bring hither the ark of God. For the ark of God was at that time with the children of Israel.

Numbers 31:6
And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand.

Joshua 6:4,5
And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets…

fetch [heb] take unto us

Numbers 10:33
And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days' journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them.

Deuteronomy 31:26
Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.

Joshua 4:7
Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.

it may save

Jeremiah 7:8-11
Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit…

Amos 5:21,22
I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies…

Matthew 23:25-28
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess…









(3) Wherefore hath the Lord smitten us?--The people and the elders who, as we have seen above, had undertaken the war of liberty at the instigation or the young man of God, amazed at their defeat, were puzzled to understand why God was evidently not in their midst; they showed by their next procedure how thoroughly they had gone astray from the old pure religion.

Let us fetch the ark of the covenant.--Whether or not Samuel acquiesced in this fatal proposition we have no information. It evidently did not emanate from him. but, as we are expressly told, from the "elders of the people." Probably the lesson of the first defeat had deeply impressed him, and he saw that a thorough reformation throughout the land was needed before the invisible King would again be present among the people.

It may save us.--It was a curious delusion, this baseless hope of the elders, that the unseen God was inseparably connected with that strange and beautiful symbol of His presence, with that coffer of perishable wood and metal overshadowed by the lifeless golden angels carved on the shining seat which closed this sacred Ark--that glittering mercy seat, as it was called, round which so many hallowed memories of the glory vision had gathered. Far on in the people's story, one of the greatest of Samuel's successors, Jeremiah, presses home the same truth the people were so slow in learning, when he passionately urges his Israel, "Trust ye not in lying words, saying The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these. For if ye thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that 1 gave to your fathers, for ever and ever" (Jeremiah 7:4-5; Jeremiah 7:7).

Wordsworth here, with great force, thus writes:--"Probably David remembered this history when, with a clearer faith, he refused to allow the Ark to be carried with him in his retreat before Absalom out of Jerusalem; and even when the priests had brought it forth, he commanded them to carry it back to its place, saying, 'If I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me again, and show me both it and His habitation.' (2Samuel 15:25.)

"David, without the Ark visibly present, but with the unseen help of Him who was enthroned on the mercy-seat, triumphed, and was restored to Jerusalem; but Israel, with the Ark visibly present, but without the blessing of Him whose throne the Ark was, fell before their enemies, and were deprived of the sacred symbol, which was taken by the Philistines."

Verse 3. - When the people were come into the camp. Before the battle Israel had entrenched itself, so that upon its defeat it had a place capable of defence into which to retire. We find also that their communications were open, so that they could send to Shiloh. The army is called the people because battles were not fought in those days by men specially trained, but by all the inhabitants of the country of the proper age. The question, Wherefore hath Jehovah smitten us? expresses surprise. The elders had evidently expected victory, and therefore the domination of the Philistines could not have been so complete as it certainly was in the days of Samson. There must have been an intermediate period of successful warfare during which Eli had been their leader. Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of Jehovah. This, the remedy suggested by the elders, was to employ their God as a talisman or charm. The ark was the symbol of Jehovah's presence among them, and of their being his especial people, and by exposing it to danger they supposed that they would compel their God to interfere in their behalf. They would have done right in appealing to their covenant relation to Jehovah; and had they repented of the sins which had grown up among them, fostered by the evil example of Eli's sons, he would have shown them mercy. But for God to have given Israel the victory because of the presence of his ark in their camp would have been to overthrow all moral government, and would have insured their spiritual ruin as inevitably as would the granting to any order of men now the power of working miracles or of infallibly declaring the truth.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
When the troops
הָעָם֮ (hā·‘ām)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 5971: A people, a tribe, troops, attendants, a flock

returned
וַיָּבֹ֣א (way·yā·ḇō)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 935: To come in, come, go in, go

to
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

the camp,
הַֽמַּחֲנֶה֒ (ham·ma·ḥă·neh)
Article | Noun - common singular
Strong's 4264: An encampment, an army

the elders
זִקְנֵ֣י (ziq·nê)
Adjective - masculine plural construct
Strong's 2205: Old

of Israel
יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל (yiś·rā·’êl)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3478: Israel -- 'God strives', another name of Jacob and his desc

asked,
וַיֹּֽאמְרוּ֙ (way·yō·mə·rū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's 559: To utter, say

“Why
לָ֣מָּה (lām·māh)
Preposition-l | Interrogative
Strong's 4100: What?, what!, indefinitely what

has the LORD
יְהוָ֛ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

brought defeat on us
נְגָפָ֧נוּ (nə·ḡā·p̄ā·nū)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular | first person common plural
Strong's 5062: To push, gore, defeat, stub, inflict

before
לִפְנֵ֣י (lip̄·nê)
Preposition-l | Noun - common plural construct
Strong's 6440: The face

the Philistines
פְלִשְׁתִּ֑ים (p̄ə·liš·tîm)
Noun - proper - masculine plural
Strong's 6430: Philistines -- inhabitants of Philistia

today?
הַיּ֖וֹם (hay·yō·wm)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 3117: A day

Let us bring
נִקְחָ֧ה (niq·ḥāh)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect Cohortative - first person common plural
Strong's 3947: To take

the ark
אֲרוֹן֙ (’ă·rō·wn)
Noun - common singular construct
Strong's 727: A chest, ark

of the covenant
בְּרִ֣ית (bə·rîṯ)
Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's 1285: A covenant

of the LORD
יְהוָ֔ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

from Shiloh,
מִשִּׁלֹ֗ה (miš·ši·lōh)
Preposition-m | Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's 7887: Shiloh -- a city in Ephraim

so that it may go
וְיָבֹ֣א (wə·yā·ḇō)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive imperfect Jussive - third person masculine singular
Strong's 935: To come in, come, go in, go

with us
בְקִרְבֵּ֔נוּ (ḇə·qir·bê·nū)
Preposition-b | Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common plural
Strong's 7130: The nearest part, the center

to deliver us
וְיֹשִׁעֵ֖נוּ (wə·yō·ši·‘ê·nū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Hifil - Conjunctive imperfect - third person masculine singular | first person common plural
Strong's 3467: To be open, wide, free, to be safe, to free, succor

from the hand
מִכַּ֥ף (mik·kap̄)
Preposition-m | Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's 3709: Hollow or flat of the hand, palm, sole (of the foot), a pan

of our enemies.?
אֹיְבֵֽינוּ׃ (’ō·yə·ḇê·nū)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural construct | first person common plural
Strong's 341: Hating, an adversary


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OT History: 1 Samuel 4:3 When the people were come into (1Sa iSam 1 Sam i sa)
1 Samuel 4:2
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