“And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.”
King James Version (KJV)
4:18 He fell - Being so oppressed with grief and astonishment, that he had no strength left to support him. The gate - The gate of the city, which was most convenient for the speedy understanding of all occurrences. Old - Old, and therefore weak and apt to fall; heavy, and therefore his fall more dangerous. So fell the high - priest and judge of Israel! So fell his heavy head, when he had lived within two of an hundred years! So fell the crown from his head, when he had judged Israel forty years: thus did his sun set under a cloud. Thus was the wickedness of those sons of his, whom he had indulged, his ruin. Thus does God sometimes set marks of his displeasure on good men, that others may hear and fear. Yet we must observe, it was the loss of the ark that was his death, and not the slaughter of his sons. He says in effect, Let me fall with the ark! Who can live, when the ordinances of God are removed? Farewell all in this world, even Life itself, if the ark be gone!