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.
The LORD truly works in mysterious ways. Israel and Philistia both deserved a measure of punishment and that’s what they got. He chastened Israel through the Philistines and then oppressed them by striking wherever the Ark of the Covenant was in their land. In a way, the Ark served as Judge at that time.