And the Philistines took the ark of God
Which fell into their hands, Israel being beaten, and caused to flee, and the priests that had the care of the ark slain; and when possessed of it, they did not destroy it, nor take out of it what was in it, only took it up:
and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod.
Ebenezer was the place where the camp of Israel was pitched, ( 1 Samuel 4:1 ) and near to which the battle was fought. Ashdod was one of the five principalities of the Philistines, the same with Azotus, ( Acts 8:40 ) . The distance between these two places, according to Bunting F17 was one hundred and sixty miles; though one would think the distance from each other was not so great: why it was carried to Ashdod is not plain; perhaps it might be the nearest place of note in their country; and certain it is that it was one of their most famous cities, if not the most famous; (See Gill on Isaiah 20:1), and had a famous idol temple in it.
F17 Travels of the Patriarchs p. 122.