1 Samuel 4:22
And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.
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4:19-22 The wife of Phinehas seems to have been a person of piety. Her dying regret was for the loss of the ark, and the departure of the glory from Israel. What is any earthly joy to her that feels herself dying? No joy but that which is spiritual and divine, will stand in any stead then; death is too serious a thing to admit the relish of any earthly joy. What is it to one that is lamenting the loss of the ark? What pleasure can we take in our creature comforts and enjoyments, if we want God's word and ordinances; especially if we want the comfort of his gracious presence, and the light of his countenance? If God go, the glory goes, and all good goes. Woe unto us if he depart! But though the glory is withdrawn from one sinful nation, city, or village after another, yet it shall never depart altogether, but shines forth in one place when eclipsed in another.The lesson of the ruin brought upon Churches by the covetousness and profligacy of their priests, which is here taught us so forcibly, and which has been again and again illustrated in Jews and Christians, is too solemn and important to be overlooked. When the glory of holiness departs from what should be a holy community, the glory of God's presence has already departed, and the outward tokens of His protection may be expected to depart soon likewise. (Compare Ezekiel 10:18; Ezekiel 11:23; Revelation 2:5.) But though particular congregations may fall, our Lord's promise will never fail his people Matthew 28:20. 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. This is repeated to show her piety, and that the public and spiritual loss lay heavier upon her spirit than her personal or domestic calamity.

And she said,.... Repeating what she had said before, for the confirmation of it, or as correcting what the women had said; and so may be rendered:

but she said; giving her own and only reason for the name of the child:

the glory is departed from Israel, for the ark of God is taken; so when the word, worship, and ordinances of God are removed from a people, the glory is gone from them; the God of glory is no more seen among them, who is so glorious in his nature, perfections, and works; and Christ, the Lord of life and glory, is no more held forth unto them in the glories of his person, offices, and grace; and the glorious Gospel of Christ is no more preached unto them, so full of glorious doctrines and promises; and the glorious ordinances of it no more administered: and, when this is the case, the glory is departed from a people; and which is owing to their formality, lukewarmness, unfruitfulness, negligent attendance on the worship of God, contempt of the word and ordinances, and an unbecoming walk and conversation.

And she said, {k} The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.

(k) She uttered her great sorrow by repeating her words.

1 Samuel 4:22The judgment which fell upon Eli through this stroke extended still further. His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was with child (near) to be delivered. ללת, contracted from ללדת (from ילד: see Ges. 69, 3, note 1; Ewald, 238, c.). When she heard the tidings of the capture (אל־הלּקח, "with regard to the being taken away") of the ark of God, and the death of her father-in-law and husband, she fell upon her knees and was delivered, for her pains had fallen upon her (lit. had turned against her), and died in consequence. Her death, however, was but a subordinate matter to the historian. He simply refers to it casually in the words, "and about the time of her death," for the purpose of giving her last words, in which she gave utterance to her grief at the loss of the ark, as a matter of greater importance in relation to his object. As she lay dying, the women who stood round sought to comfort her, by telling her that she had brought forth a son; but "she did not answer, and took no notice (לב שׁוּת equals לב שׂוּם, animum advertere; cf. Psalm 62:11), but called to the boy (i.e., named him), Ichabod (כבוד אי, no glory), saying, The glory of Israel is departed," referring to the capture of the ark of God, and also to her father-in-law and husband. She then said again, "Gone (גּלה, wandered away, carried off) is the glory of Israel, for the ark of God is taken." The repetition of these words shows how deeply the wife of the godless Phinehas had taken to heart the carrying off of the ark, and how in her estimation the glory of Israel had departed with it. Israel could not be brought lower. With the surrender of the earthly throne of His glory, the Lord appeared to have abolished His covenant of grace with Israel; for the ark, with the tables of the law and the capporeth, was the visible pledge of the covenant of grace which Jehovah had made with Israel.
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