And the ark of the LORD was in the country of the Philistinessevenmonths.2
And the Philistinescalled for the priests and the diviners , saying , What shall we do to the ark of the LORD?tell us wherewith we shall send it to his place.3
And they said , If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel,send it not empty; but in any wisereturn him a trespass offering: then ye shall be healed , and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you.
Then said they, What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him? They answered , Fivegoldenemerods , and fivegoldenmice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines: for oneplague was on you all, and on your lords.a5
Wherefore ye shall makeimages of your emerods , and images of your mice that mar the land; and ye shall giveglory unto the God of Israel: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land.6
Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaohhardened their hearts? when he had wrought wonderfullyb among them, did they not let the people go , and they departed ?
Now therefore makeanewcart, and taketwomilchkine, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calveshome from them:8
And take the ark of the LORD, and lay it upon the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which ye return him for a trespass offering, in a coffer by the side thereof; and send it away , that it may go .
And see , if it goeth up by the way of his own coast to Bethshemesh, then he hath done us this greatevil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that smote us: it was a chance that happened to us .
And the men did so ; and tooktwomilchkine, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home:11
And they laid the ark of the LORD upon the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their emerods.12
And the kine took the straightway to the way of Bethshemesh, and went along the highway , lowing as they went , and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistineswentafter them unto the border of Bethshemesh.13
And they of Bethshemesh were reaping their wheatharvest in the valley: and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it.
And the cartcame into the field of Joshua, a Bethshemite, and stood there, where there was a greatstone: and they clave the wood of the cart, and offered the kine a burnt offering unto the LORD.15
And the Levites took down the ark of the LORD, and the coffer that was with it, wherein the jewels of gold were, and put them on the greatstone: and the men of Bethshemeshoffered burnt offerings and sacrificedsacrifices the same day unto the LORD.16
And when the fivelords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day.17
And these are the goldenemerods which the Philistinesreturned for a trespass offering unto the LORD; for Ashdodone, for Gazaone, for Askelonone, for Gathone, for Ekronone;18
And the goldenmice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the fivelords, both of fencedcities, and of countryvillages, even unto the greatc stone of Abel, whereon they set down the ark of the LORD: which stone remaineth unto this day in the field of Joshua, the Bethshemite.19
And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the peoplefiftythousand and threescore and tenmen: and the peoplelamented , because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a greatslaughter.20
And the men of Bethshemeshsaid , Who is able to standbefore this holyLORDGod? and to whom shall he go up from us?
And they sentmessengers to the inhabitants of Kirjathjearim,saying , The Philistines have brought again the ark of the LORD; come ye down , and fetch it up to you.