After the Philistines captured the Ark of God, they took it from the battleground at Ebenezer to the city of Ashdod.
They carried the Ark of God into the temple of Dagon and placed it beside the idol of Dagon.
But when the citizens of Ashdod went to see it the next morning, Dagon had fallen with his face to the ground in front of the Ark of the LORD! So they set the idol up again.
But the next morning the same thing happened -- the idol had fallen face down before the Ark of the LORD again. This time his head and hands had broken off and were lying in the doorway. Only the trunk of his body was left intact.
That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor anyone who enters the temple of Dagon will step on its threshold.
Then the LORD began to afflict the people of Ashdod and the nearby villages with a plague of tumors. a7
When the people realized what was happening, they cried out, "We can't keep the Ark of the God of Israel here any longer! He is against us! We will all be destroyed along with our god Dagon."
So they called together the rulers of the five Philistine cities and asked, "What should we do with the Ark of the God of Israel?" The rulers discussed it and replied, "Move it to the city of Gath." So they moved the Ark of the God of Israel to Gath.
But when the Ark arrived at Gath, the LORD began afflicting its people, young and old, with a plague of tumors, and there was a great panic.
So they sent the Ark of God to the city of Ekron, but when the people of Ekron saw it coming they cried out, "They are bringing the Ark of the God of Israel here to kill us, too!"
So the people summoned the rulers again and begged them, "Please send the Ark of the God of Israel back to its own country, or it b will kill us all." For the plague from God had already begun, and great fear was sweeping across the city.
Those who didn't die were afflicted with tumors; and there was weeping everywhere.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)