5:1 Now the Philistines had taken the ark of God, and they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.
5:2 The Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.
5:3 When they of Ashdod arose early on the next day, behold, Dagon was fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of Yahweh. They took Dagon, and set him in his place again.
5:4 When they arose early on the next day morning, behold, Dagon was fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of Yahweh; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off on the threshold. Only Dagon’s torso was intact.
5:5 Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any who come into Dagon’s house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod, to this day.
5:6 But the hand of Yahweh was heavy on them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and struck them with tumors, even Ashdod and its borders.
5:7 When the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel shall not stay with us; for his hand is severe on us, and on Dagon our god.”
5:8 They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines to them, and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?” They answered, “Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried over to Gath.” They carried the ark of the God of Israel there.
5:9 It was so, that after they had carried it about, the hand of Yahweh was against the city with a very great confusion: and he struck the men of the city, both small and great; and tumors broke out on them.
5:10 So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. It happened, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, “They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to kill us and our people.”
5:11 They sent therefore and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and they said, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to its own place, that it not kill us and our people.” For there was a deadly confusion throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.
5:12 The men who didn’t die were struck with the tumors; and the cry of the city went up to heaven.
6:1 The ark of Yahweh was in the country of the Philistines seven months.
6:2 The Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, “What shall we do with the ark of Yahweh? Show us with which we shall send it to its place.”
6:3 They said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, don’t send it empty; but by all means return him a trespass offering: then you shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you.”
6:4 Then they said, “What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him?” They said, “Five golden tumors, and five golden mice, for the number of the lords of the Philistines; for one plague was on you all, and on your lords.
6:5 Therefore you shall make images of your tumors, and images of your mice that mar the land; and you shall give glory to the God of Israel: perhaps he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land.
6:6 Why then do you harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When he had worked wonderfully among them, didn’t they let the people go, and they departed?
6:7 “Now therefore take and prepare yourselves a new cart, and two milk cows, on which there has come no yoke; and tie the cows to the cart, and bring their calves home from them;
6:8 and take the ark of Yahweh, and lay it on the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which you return him for a trespass offering, in a coffer by its side; and send it away, that it may go.
6:9 Behold; if it goes up by the way of its own border to Beth Shemesh, then he has done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that struck us; it was a chance that happened to us.”
6:10 The men did so, and took two milk cows, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home;
6:11 and they put the ark of Yahweh on the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their tumors.
6:12 The cows took the straight way by the way to Beth Shemesh; they went along the highway, lowing as they went, and didn’t turn aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them to the border of Beth Shemesh.
6:13 They of Beth Shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley; and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it.
6:14 The cart came into the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh, and stood there, where there was a great stone: and they split the wood of the cart, and offered up the cows for a burnt offering to Yahweh.
6:15 The Levites took down the ark of Yahweh, and the coffer that was with it, in which the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone: and the men of Beth Shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day to Yahweh.
6:16 When the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day.
6:17 These are the golden tumors which the Philistines returned for a trespass offering to Yahweh: for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Ashkelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one;
6:18 and the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fortified cities and of country villages, even to the great stone, whereon they set down the ark of Yahweh. That stone remains to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh.
6:19 He struck of the men of Beth Shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Yahweh, he struck of the people fifty thousand seventy men; and the people mourned, because Yahweh had struck the people with a great slaughter.
6:20 The men of Beth Shemesh said, “Who is able to stand before Yahweh, this holy God? To whom shall he go up from us?”
6:21 They sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath Jearim, saying, “The Philistines have brought back the ark of Yahweh; come down, and bring it up to yourselves.”
from Daily #Bible Readings (WEB) http://ift.tt/28TnmBI