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Catholic Dictionary




Grandson of Eli, he ruled Israel for forty years and died when he learned that the ark of Yahweh had been captured by the Philistines. At that very time his daughter-in-law, Phinehas' wife, was giving birth to a son. The realization that Eli was dead, that Phinehas had been killed in battle, and that the ark was now in alien hands impelled her to name the newborn "Ichabod" which means "inglorious" or "dishonor" in Hebrew (I Samuel 4:17-22). Ironically, the Philistines surrendered the ark within a few months, fearful of incurring Yahweh's wrath (I Samuel 6).