The Art Archive/Anagni Cathedral, Italy/Dagli Orti (A)

The prophecy against Eli is confirmed when his sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are killed in battle by the Philistines (1 Samuel 4:11; White’s scene 4). As depicted in this 13th-century fresco from the ceiling of the Anagni Cathedral in Italy, Eli’s sons carry the Ark of the Covenant into the Israelites’ camp, hoping it will deliver the Israelites from their enemies. But the Philistines attack, and 30,000 Israelite soldiers are killed—including Hophni and Phinehas, as the oracle to Samuel had predicted. Eli himself dies the same day (1 Samuel 4:18). With the demise of Eli and his family, the stage is set for the emergence of Saul as king over Israel.