Then the cows went straight up toward Beth Shemesh, keeping on the road and lowing all the way; they did not turn to the right or to the left. The rulers of the Philistines followed them as far as the border of Beth Shemesh.
Now the people of Beth Shemesh were harvesting their wheat1 in the valley, and when they looked up and saw the ark, they rejoiced at the sight.
The cart came to the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh, and there it stopped beside a large rock. The people chopped up the wood of the cart and sacrificed the cows as a burnt offering2 to the LORD.
The Levites3 took down the ark of the LORD, together with the chest containing the gold objects, and placed them on the large rock.4 On that day the people of Beth Shemesh5 offered burnt offerings and made sacrifices to the LORD.
The five rulers of the Philistines saw all this and then returned that same day to Ekron.
These are the gold tumors the Philistines sent as a guilt offering to the LORD--one each6 for Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath and Ekron.
And the number of the gold rats was according to the number of Philistine towns belonging to the five rulers--the fortified towns with their country villages. The large rock, on whicha they set the ark of the LORD, is a witness to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh.
But God struck down7 some of the men of Beth Shemesh, putting seventyb of them to death because they had looked8 into the ark of the LORD. The people mourned because of the heavy blow the LORD had dealt them,
and the men of Beth Shemesh asked, "Who can stand9 in the presence of the LORD, this holy10 God? To whom will the ark go up from here?"
Then they sent messengers to the people of Kiriath Jearim,11 saying, "The Philistines have returned the ark of the LORD. Come down and take it up to your place."