AT THE BATTLE of Ebenezer, the Philistines initially routed their Israelite neighbors. Hoping to turn the tide of battle, the Israelites summoned their powerful sacred paladin, the Ark of the Covenant, to lead them in battle. As depicted in this 17th-century painting by Gerrit Claesz Bleker, the Philistines captured the Ark and killed the chest’s priestly guardians, Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of the priest Eli (1 Samuel 4–5). Philistine victory was seemingly complete—but was it?