The LORD’s hand was heavy on the people of Ashdod and its vicinity; he brought devastation on them and afflicted them with tumors.
When the people of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, “The ark of the god of Israel must not stay here with us, because his hand is heavy on us and on Dagon our god.”
So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and asked them, “What shall we do with the ark of the god of Israel?” They answered, “Have the ark of the god of Israel moved to Gath.” So they moved the ark of the God of Israel.
But after they had moved it, the LORD’s hand was against that city, throwing it into a great panic. He afflicted the people of the city, both young and old, with an outbreak of tumors.
So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. As the ark of God was entering Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out, “They have brought the ark of the god of Israel around to us to kill us and our people.”
So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and said, “Send the ark of the god of Israel away; let it go back to its own place, or it will kill us and our people.” For death had filled the city with panic; God’s hand was very heavy on it.
Those who did not die were afflicted with tumors, and the outcry of the city went up to heaven.