Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 4

About Ichabod

1 Samuel 4:19-22

Ichabod was the son of Phinehas, who was the son of Eli, Israelís chief priest. So, Ichabod was born into one of the greatest families in Israel. However, he was born at a terrible time in Israelís history.

Like many boys in Israel at that time, Ichabod never knew his father. Ichabodís father died on the day that Ichabod was born, in the battle against Philistiaís army. In that series of two battles, 34,000 men from Israel died. Many families lost their fathers during those battles.

Ichabod never knew his mother either. When the news came of his fatherís death, she began to give birth suddenly. Ichabod was born alive, but his mother died.

We do not know who brought up Ichabod. Perhaps it was his older brother, Ahijah. Ahijah appears in 1 Samuel 14:3, when he was carrying out some of the duties of a chief priest.

Even Shiloh, Ichabodís town and Israelís most holy place, did not last long. In 1 Samuel chapter 21, the priests were carrying out their duties at another town, called Nob.

Ichabodís name would always remind him of the terrible events that happened at the time of his birth. It means Ďno gloryí, in other words Ďno greatnessí. Nothing seemed great or good in Israel still. His mother chose that name for him when she heard about the deaths of Ichabodís father and grandfather. However, she chose it because a much worse thing had happened in Israel on that day. Israelís enemy had taken away the ark, or box, which acted as evidence of Israelís relationship with God. She said, ĎThe glory has left Israel.í She did not merely mean that Israel was no longer a great nation. By the word Ďgloryí, she meant God himself. God had left Israel; and without Godís kindness, there is no hope for anyone.

Next part: How to deal with a sacred object (1 Samuel 5:1-2)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.