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1 Samuel 5:1–7:17

Capture of the Ark Provokes God

1 Now the Philistines took the ark of God and abrought it from Ebenezer to bAshdod.

2 Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it to athe house of Dagon and set it by Dagon.

3 When the Ashdodites arose early the next morning, behold, aDagon had fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and bset him in his place again.

4 But when they arose early the next morning, behold, aDagon had fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord. And the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off on the threshold; 1only the trunk of Dagon was left to him.

5 Therefore neither the priests of Dagon nor all who enter Dagon’s house atread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.

6 Now athe hand of the Lord was heavy on the Ashdodites, and bHe ravaged them and smote them with ctumors, both Ashdod and its territories.

7 When the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for His hand is severe on us and on Dagon our god.”

8 So they sent and agathered all the lords of the Philistines to them and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?” And they said, “Let the ark of the God of Israel be brought around to Gath.” And they brought the ark of the God of Israel around.

9 After they had brought it around, athe hand of the Lord was against the city with very great confusion; and He smote the men of the city, both young and old, so that btumors broke out on them.

10 So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And as the ark of God came to Ekron the Ekronites cried out, saying, “They have brought the ark of the God of Israel around to 1us, to kill 1us and 2our people.”

11 They asent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines and said, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it return to its own place, so that it will not kill 1us and 2our people.” For there was a deadly confusion throughout the city; bthe hand of God was very heavy there.

12 And the men who did not die were smitten with tumors and athe cry of the city went up to heaven.

Chapter 6

The Ark Returned to Israel

1 Now the ark of the Lord had been in the 1country of the Philistines seven months.

2 And athe Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? Tell us 1how we shall send it to its place.”

3 They said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, ado not send it empty; but you shall surely breturn to Him a guilt offering. Then you will be healed and it will be known to you why His hand is not removed from you.”

4 Then they said, “What shall be the guilt offering which we shall return to Him?” And they said, “Five golden atumors and five golden mice baccording to the number of the lords of the Philistines, for one plague was on all of 1you and on your lords.

5 “So you shall make likenesses of your tumors and likenesses of your mice that ravage the land, and ayou shall give glory to the God of Israel; perhaps bHe will ease His hand from you, cyour gods, and your land.

6 “Why then do you harden your hearts aas the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He had severely dealt with them, bdid they not allow 1the people to go, and they departed?

7 “Now therefore, take and aprepare a new cart and two milch cows on which there bhas never been a yoke; and hitch the cows to the cart and take their calves home, away from them.

8 “Take the ark of the Lord and place it on the cart; and put athe articles of gold which you return to Him as ba guilt offering in a box by its side. Then send it away that it may go.

9 “Watch, if it goes up by the way of its own territory to aBeth-shemesh, then He has done us this great evil. But if not, then bwe will know that it was not His hand that struck us; it happened to us by chance.”

10 Then the men did so, and took two milch cows and hitched them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home.

11 They put the ark of the Lord on the cart, and the box with the golden mice and the likenesses of their tumors.

12 And the cows took the straight way in the 1direction of aBeth-shemesh; they went along bthe highway, lowing as they went, and did not turn aside to the right or to the left. And the lords of the Philistines followed them to the border of Beth-shemesh.

13 Now the people of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley, and they raised their eyes and saw the ark and were glad to see it.

14 The cart came into the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite and stood there where there was a large stone; and they split the wood of the cart and aoffered the cows as a burnt offering to the Lord.

15 aThe Levites took down the ark of the Lord and the box that was with it, in which were the articles of gold, and put them on the large stone; and the men of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices that day to the Lord.

16 When the afive lords of the Philistines saw it, they returned to Ekron that day.

17 aThese are the golden tumors which the Philistines returned for a guilt offering to the Lord: one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ashkelon, one for Gath, one for Ekron;

18 and the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, aboth of fortified cities and of country villages. bThe large 1stone on which they set the ark of the Lord is a witness to this day in the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite.

19 aHe struck down some of the men of Beth-shemesh because they had looked into the ark of the Lord. He struck down of all the people, 50,070 men, and the people mourned because the Lord had struck the people with a great slaughter.

20 The men of Beth-shemesh said, “aWho is able to stand before the Lord, this holy God? And to whom shall He go up from us?”

21 So they sent messengers to the inhabitants of aKiriath-jearim, saying, “The Philistines have brought back the ark of the Lord; come down and take it up to you.”

Chapter 7

Deliverance from the Philistines

1 And the men of Kiriath-jearim came and took the ark of the Lord and abrought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and consecrated Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the Lord.

2 From the day that the ark remained at Kiriath-jearim, the time was long, for it was twenty years; and all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord.

3 Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “aIf you return to the Lord with all your heart, bremove the foreign gods and the cAshtaroth from among you and ddirect your hearts to the Lord and eserve Him alone; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.”

4 So the sons of Israel removed the Baals and the Ashtaroth and served the Lord alone.

5 Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to aMizpah and bI will pray to the Lord for you.”

6 They gathered to Mizpah, and drew water and apoured it out before the Lord, and bfasted on that day and said there, “cWe have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the sons of Israel at Mizpah.

7 Now when the Philistines heard that the sons of Israel had gathered to Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the sons of Israel heard it, athey were afraid of the Philistines.

8 Then the sons of Israel said to Samuel, “aDo not cease to cry to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.”

9 Samuel took aa suckling lamb and offered it for a whole burnt offering to the Lord; and Samuel cried to the Lord for Israel and bthe Lord answered him.

10 Now Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, and the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But athe Lord thundered with a great 1thunder on that day against the Philistines and bconfused them, so that they were 2routed before Israel.

11 The men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and struck them down as far as below Beth-car.

12 Then Samuel atook a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it 1Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

13 aSo the Philistines were subdued and bthey did not come anymore within the border of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.

14 The cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even to Gath; and Israel delivered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. So there was peace between Israel and athe Amorites.

Samuel’s Ministry

15 Now Samuel ajudged Israel all the days of his life.

16 He used to go annually on circuit to aBethel and bGilgal and cMizpah, and he judged Israel in all these places.

17 Then his return was to aRamah, for his house was there, and there he judged Israel; and he bbuilt there an altar to the Lord.

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