The P’lishtim (Philistines) fought, Isra’el was defeated, and every man fled to his tent. It was a terrible slaughter — 30,000 of Isra’el’s foot soldiers fell.
This is a bleak chapter and I struggle to find anything to say about it. I wonder if the Israelites were subject to punishment for being a party to the sins of Eli’s sons. They would have their men beat people who refused to let meat from their sacrifices be stolen by the coheanim. It doesn’t sound like the women hos sons were sinning with were being forced into it. Was it an honor to be with a holy man like a cohen? Other cultures used cult prostitutes as part of theit rites. I don’t want to carry on speculating.
There is one small part I can take comfort in: this story shows the Almighty’s justice and mercy. The LORD allowed a remnant to escape and live to fight another day. If we take the second chances Heaven gives us, if we can learn from mistakes, there is always a path to redemption.