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1 Samuel 4:12 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day, with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now 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.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the battle, and came to Shiloh the same day, with his clothes rent and with earth upon his head.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and entered Shiloh on the same day,—with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And a man of Benjamin runneth out of the ranks, and cometh into Shiloh, on that day, and his long robes [are] rent, and earth on his head;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Silo the same day, with his clothes rent, and his head strewed with dust.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And there ran a man of Beniamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes rent, and with earth vpon his head.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the battle, and he came to Shelah{gr.Selom} on that day: and his clothes [were] rent, and earth [was] upon his head.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And there ran a man of Binyamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And there ran 7323
{7323} Prime
A primitive root; to run (for whatever reason, especially to rush).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
a man 376
{0376} Prime
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
of Binymn בִּניָמִין 1144
{1144} Prime
From H1121 and H3225; son of (the) right hand; Binjamin, youngest son of Jacob; also the tribe descended from him, and its territory.
out of the army, 4634
{4634} Prime
Feminine of H4633; an arrangement; concretely a pile; specifically a military array.
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
and came 935
{0935} Prime
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
to l שִׁילֹה 7887
{7887} Prime
From the same as H7886; Shiloh, a place in Palestine.
the same x1931
(1931) Complement
The second form is the feminine beyond the Pentateuch; a primitive word, the third person pronoun singular, he (she or it); only expressed when emphatic or without a verb; also (intensively) self, or (especially with the article) the same; sometimes (as demonstrative) this or that; occasionally (instead of copula) as or are.
day 3117
{3117} Prime
From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially).
with his clothes 4055
{4055} Prime
From H4058; properly extent, that is, height; also a measure; by implication a vesture (as measured); also a carpet.
rent, 7167
{7167} Prime
A primitive root; to rend, literally or figuratively (revile, paint the eyes, as if enlarging them).
<8803> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Passive (See H8815)
Count - 1415
and with earth 127
{0127} Prime
From H0119; soil (from its general redness).
upon x5921
(5921) Complement
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
his head. 7218
{7218} Prime
From an unused root apparently meaning to shake; the head (as most easily shaken), whether literally or figuratively (in many applications, of place, time, rank, etc.).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

1 Samuel 4:12

_ _ 1 Samuel 4:12-22. Eli hearing the tidings.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

1 Samuel 4:12-18

_ _ Tidings are here brought to Shiloh of the fatal issue of their battle with the Philistines. Bad news flies fast. This soon spread through all Israel; every man that fled to his tent brought it, with too plain a proof of it, to his neighbours. But no place was so nearly concerned as Shiloh. Thither therefore an express posted away immediately; it was a man of Benjamin; the Jews fancy it was Saul. He rent his clothes, and put earth upon his head, by these signs to proclaim the sorrowful news to all that saw him as he ran, and to show how much he himself was affected with it, 1 Samuel 4:12. He went straight to Shiloh with it; and here we are told,

_ _ I. How the city received it. Eli sat in the gate (1 Samuel 4:13, 1 Samuel 4:18), but the messenger was loth to tell him first, and therefore passed him by, and told it in the city, with all the aggravating circumstances; and now both the ears of every one that heard it tingled, as was foretold, 1 Samuel 3:11. Their hearts trembled, and every face gathered blackness. All the city cried out (1 Samuel 3:13), and well they might, for, besides that this was a calamity to all Israel, it was a particular loss to Shiloh, and the ruin of that place; for, though the ark was soon rescued out of the hands of the Philistines, yet it never returned to Shiloh again; their candlestick was removed out of its place, because they had left their first love, and their city dwindled, and sunk, and came to nothing. Now God forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, they having driven him from them; and the tribe of Ephraim, which had for 340 years been blessed with the presence of the ark in it, lost the honour (Psalms 78:60, Psalms 78:67), and, some time after, it was transferred to the tribe of Judah, the Mount Sion which he loved, as it follows there (Psalms 78:68), because the men of Shiloh knew not the day of their visitation. This abandoning of Shiloh Jerusalem is long afterwards reminded of, and told to take warning by. Jeremiah 7:12, “Go see what I did to Shiloh. From this day, this fatal day, let the desolations of Shiloh be dated.” They had therefore reason enough to cry out when they heard that the ark was taken.

_ _ II. What a fatal blow it was to old Eli. Let us see, 1. With what fear he expected the tidings. Though old, and blind, and heavy, yet he could not keep his chamber when he was sensible the glory of Israel lay at stake, but placed himself by the way-side, to receive the first intelligence; for his heart trembled for the ark of God, 1 Samuel 4:13. His careful thoughts represented to him what a dishonour it would be to God, and what an irreparable loss to Israel, if the ark should fall into the Philistines' hands, with what profane triumphs the tidings would be told in Gath and published in the streets of Ashkelon. He also apprehended what imminent danger there was of it. Israel had forfeited the ark (his own sons especially) and the Philistines would aim at it; and now the threatening comes to his mind, that he should see an enemy in God's habitation (1 Samuel 2:32); and perhaps his own heart reproached him for not using his authority to prevent the carrying of the ark into the camp. All these things made him tremble. Note, All good men lay the interests of God's church nearer their hearts than any secular interest or concern of their own, and cannot but be in pain and fear for them if at any time they are in peril. How can we be easy if the ark be not safe? 2. With what grief he received the tidings. Though he could not see, he could hear the tumult and crying of the city, and perceived it to be the voice of lamentation, and mourning, and woe; like a careful magistrate, he asks, What means the noise of this tumult? 1 Samuel 4:14. He is told there is an express come from the army, who relates the story to him very distinctly, and with great confidence, having himself been an eye-witness of it, 1 Samuel 4:16, 1 Samuel 4:17. The account of the defeat of the army, and the slaughter of a great number of the soldiers, was very grievous to him as a judge; the tidings of the death of his two sons, of whom he had been so indulgent, and who, he had reason to fear, died impenitent, touched him in a tender part as a father; yet it was not for these that his heart trembled: there is a greater concern upon his spirit, which swallows up the less; he does not interrupt the narrative with any passionate lamentations for his sons, like David for Absalom, but waits for the end of the story, not doubting but that the messenger, being an Israelite, would, without being asked, say something of the ark; and if he could but have said, “Yet the ark of God is safe, and we are bringing that home,” his joy for that would have overcome his grief for all the other disasters, and have made him easy; but, when the messenger concludes his story with, The ark of God is taken, he is struck to the heart, his spirits fail, and, it should seem, he swooned away, fell off his seat, and partly with the fainting, and partly with the fall, he died immediately, and never spoke a word more. His heart was broken first, and then his neck. So fell the high priest and judge of Israel, so fell his heavy head when he had lived within two of 100 years, so fell the crown from his head when he had judged Israel about forty years: thus did his sun set under a cloud, thus were the folly and wickedness of those sons of his, whom he had indulged, his ruin at last. Thus does God sometimes set marks of his displeasure in this life upon good men who have misconducted themselves, that others may hear, and fear, and take warning. A man may die miserably and yet not die eternally, may come to an untimely end and yet the end be peace. Dr. Lightfoot observes that Eli died the death of an unredeemed ass, whose neck was to be broken, Exodus 13:13. Yet we must observe, to Eli's praise, that it was the loss of the ark that was his death, not the slaughter of his sons. He does, in effect, say, “Let me fall with the ark, for what pious Israelite can live with any comfort when God's ordinances are removed?” Farewell all in this world, even life itself, if the ark be gone.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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Geneva Bible Translation Notes

1 Samuel 4:12

And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes (f) rent, and with earth upon his head.

(f) In token of sorrow and mourning.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
with his clothes rent:
These, as we have already remarked, were the general signs of sorrow and distress.
2 Samuel 1:2 It came even to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head: and [so] it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance.

with earth:

Joshua 7:6 And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads.
2 Samuel 13:19 And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colours that [was] on her, and laid her hand on her head, and went on crying.
2 Samuel 15:32 And it came to pass, that [when] David was come to the top [of the mount], where he worshipped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head:
Nehemiah 9:1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them.
Job 2:12 And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.
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Jsh 7:6. 2S 1:2; 13:19; 15:32. Ne 9:1. Jb 2:12.

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