1 Samuel 3:21-4:18
21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord.
1 And the word of Samuel came to all Israel.
The Ark of God Captured
In those days the Philistines mustered for war against Israel, and Israel went out to battle against them; they encamped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines encamped at Aphek.
2 The Philistines drew up in line against Israel, and when the battle was joined, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand men on the field of battle.
3 When the troops came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, ‘Why has the Lord put us to rout 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 power of our enemies.’
4 So the people sent to Shiloh, and brought from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, who is enthroned on the cherubim. The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
5 When the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel gave a mighty shout, so that the earth resounded.
6 When the Philistines heard the noise of the shouting, they said, ‘What does this great shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean?’ When they learned that the ark of the Lord had come to the camp,
7 the Philistines were afraid; for they said, ‘Gods have come into the camp.’ They also said, ‘Woe to us! For nothing like this has happened before.
8 Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with every sort of plague in the wilderness.
9 Take courage, and be men, O Philistines, in order not to become slaves to the Hebrews as they have been to you; be men and fight.’
10 So the Philistines fought; Israel was defeated, and they fled, everyone to his home. There was a very great slaughter, for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot-soldiers.
11 The ark of God was captured; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.
Death of Eli
12 A man of Benjamin ran from the battle line, and came to Shiloh the same day, with his clothes torn and with earth upon his head.
13 When he arrived, Eli was sitting upon his seat by the road watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. When the man came into the city and told the news, all the city cried out.
14 When Eli heard the sound of the outcry, he said, ‘What is this uproar?’ Then the man came quickly and told Eli.
15 Now Eli was ninety-eight years old and his eyes were set, so that he could not see.
16 The man said to Eli, ‘I have just come from the battle; I fled from the battle today.’ He said, ‘How did it go, my son?’
17 The messenger replied, ‘Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has also been a great slaughter among the troops; your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.’
18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell over backwards from his seat by the side of the gate; and his neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and heavy. He had judged Israel for forty years.
11 My child, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof,
12 for the Lord reproves the one he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.
The True Wealth
13 Happy are those who find wisdom, and those who get understanding,
14 for her income is better than silver, and her revenue better than gold.
15 She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honour.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called happy.
God’s Wisdom in Creation
19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens;
20 by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew.
The True Security
21 My child, do not let these escape from your sight: keep sound wisdom and prudence,
22 and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck.
23 Then you will walk on your way securely and your foot will not stumble.
24 If you sit down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden panic, or of the storm that strikes the wicked;
26 for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
28 Do not say to your neighbour, ‘Go, and come again; tomorrow I will give it’—when you have it with you.
29 Do not plan harm against your neighbour who lives trustingly beside you.
30 Do not quarrel with anyone without cause, when no harm has been done to you.
31 Do not envy the violent and do not choose any of their ways;
32 for the perverse are an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are in his confidence.
33 The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the abode of the righteous.
34 Towards the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he shows favour.
35 The wise will inherit honour, but stubborn fools, disgrace.
1 Listen, children, to a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight;
2 for I give you good precepts: do not forsake my teaching.
3 When I was a son with my father, tender, and my mother’s favourite,
4 he taught me, and said to me, ‘Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live.
5 Get wisdom; get insight: do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
6 Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you.
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever else you get, get insight.
8 Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honour you if you embrace her.
9 She will place on your head a fair garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.’
Admonition to Keep to the Right Path
10 Hear, my child, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many.
11 I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
12 When you walk, your step will not be hampered; and if you run, you will not stumble.
13 Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evildoers.
31 And you, O generation, behold the word of the Lord! Have I been a wilderness to Israel, or a land of thick darkness? Why then do my people say, ‘We are free, we will come to you no more’?
32 Can a girl forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number.
33 How well you direct your course to seek lovers! So that even to wicked women you have taught your ways.
34 Also on your skirts is found the lifeblood of the innocent poor, though you did not catch them breaking in. Yet in spite of all these things
35 you say, ‘I am innocent; surely his anger has turned from me.’ Now I am bringing you to judgement
for saying, ‘I have not sinned.’
36 How lightly you gad about, changing your ways! You shall be put to shame by Egypt as you were put to shame by Assyria.
37 From there also you will come away with your hands on your head; for the Lord has rejected those in whom you trust, and you will not prosper through them.
1 If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man’s wife, will he return to her? Would not such a land be greatly polluted? You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me? says the Lord.
2 Look up to the bare heights, and see! Where have you not been lain with? By the waysides you have sat waiting for lovers, like a nomad in the wilderness. You have polluted the land with your whoring and wickedness.
3 Therefore the showers have been withheld, and the spring rain has not come; yet you have the forehead of a whore, you refuse to be ashamed.
4 Have you not just now called to me, ‘My Father, you are the friend of my youth—
5 will he be angry for ever, will he be indignant to the end?’ This is how you have spoken, but you have done all the evil that you could.
A Call to Repentance
6 The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and played the whore there?
7 And I thought, ‘After she has done all this she will return to me’; but she did not return, and her false sister Judah saw it.
8 She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce; yet her false sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore.
9 Because she took her whoredom so lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree.
10 Yet for all this her false sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but only in pretence, says the Lord.
11 Then the Lord said to me: Faithless Israel has shown herself less guilty than false Judah.
12 Go, and proclaim these words towards the north, and say: Return, faithless Israel, says the Lord.
I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, says the Lord; I will not be angry for ever.
13 Only acknowledge your guilt, that you have rebelled against the Lord your God, and scattered your favours among strangers under every green tree, and have not obeyed my voice, says the Lord.
14 Return, O faithless children, says the Lord, for I am your master; I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.
15 I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.
16 And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the Lord, they shall no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; nor shall another one be made.