Battle of Aphek

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Battle of Aphek
Weltchronik Fulda Aa88 209r detail.jpg
The battle depicted in Rudolf von Ems' Weltchronik
Location Aphek
Result Decisive Philistine victory
Ark of the Covenant captured
Belligerents
Israelite Army
~34,000
Philistines
Casualties and losses
~34,000 Israelite soldiers
Two Priests
unknown

The Battle of Aphek is a biblical episode described in 1 Samuel 4:1-10 of the Hebrew Bible. During this battle the Philistines defeated the Israelite army and captured the Ark of the Covenant.

Biblical account[edit]

The Book of Samuel records that the Philistines were camped at Aphek and the Israelites at Eben-Ezer. The Philistines defeated the Israelites during the first battle, killing 4,000 Israelites. The Israelites then brought up the Ark of the Covenant from Shiloh, and the Philistines again defeated the Israelites, this time killing 30,000 and capturing the Ark.

Samuel records that the two sons of the judge Eli, Hophni and Phineas, died that day, as well as Eli, who "[a]s 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." (1 Samuel 4:18)

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