1 Samuel 4:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
That same day a Benjamite ran from the battle line and went to Shiloh with his clothes torn and dust on his head.

King James Bible
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 Bible Translation
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.

World English Bible
There ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day, with his clothes torn, and with earth on his head.

Young's Literal Translation
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;

1 Samuel 4:12 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Came to Shiloh the same day - The field of battle could not have been at any great distance, for this young man reached Shiloh the same evening after the defeat.

With his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head - These were signs of sorrow and distress among all nations. The clothes rent, signified the rending, dividing, and scattering, of the people; the earth, or ashes on the head, signified their humiliation: "We are brought down to the dust of the earth; we are near to our graves." When the Trojan fleet was burnt, Aeneas is represented as tearing his robe from his shoulder, and invoking the aid of his gods: -

Tum pius Aeneas humeris abscindere vestem,

Auxilioque vocare Deos, et tendere palmas.

Virg. Aen. lib. v., ver. 685.

"The prince then tore his robes in deep despair,

Raised high his hands, and thus address'd his prayer."

Pitt.

We have a remarkable example in the same poet, where he represents the queen of King Latinus resolving on her own death, when she found that the Trojans had taken the city by storm: -

Purpueros moritura manu discindit amictus.

Aen. lib. xii., ver. 603.

She tears with both her hands her purple vest.

But the image is complete in King Latinus himself, when he heard of the death of his queen, and saw his city in flames: -

- It scissa veste Latinus, Conjugis attonitus fatis, urbisque ruina,

continued...

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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 on his head...

with earth

Joshua 7:6 And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide...

2 Samuel 13:19 And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colors that was on her, and laid her hand on her head...

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...

Nehemiah 9:1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackcloths...

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...

Library
Faithlessness and Defeat
'And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside Eben-ezer: and the Philistines pitched in Aphek. 2. And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men. 3. And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the Lord smitten us today before the Philistines?
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Form and Spirit of Religion
Now, three points this morning inferred from our narrative. The first point is this--that the outward form of religion is to be carefully and reverently observed. But my second and most important head is this--you will notice that the very men who have the least of the spirit of religion are the most superstitiously observant of the form of it; just as you find the people here, who did not care for God, had a very superstitious regard for that chest called the ark of the covenant. And then, my third
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 4: 1858

Cross References
Joshua 7:6
Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the LORD, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads.

2 Samuel 1:2
On the third day a man arrived from Saul's camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground to pay him honor.

2 Samuel 13:19
Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornate robe she was wearing. She put her hands on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went.

2 Samuel 15:32
When David arrived at the summit, where people used to worship God, Hushai the Arkite was there to meet him, his robe torn and dust on his head.

Nehemiah 9:1
On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads.

Job 2:12
When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads.

Jeremiah 26:6
then I will make this house like Shiloh and this city a curse among all the nations of the earth.'"

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