5:1 And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto a Ashdod.
(a) Which was one of the five principal cities of the Philistines. 5:2 When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of b Dagon, and set it by Dagon.
(b) Which was their chief idol, and as some write, from the navel downward was like a fish, and upward like a man. 5:5 Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagons house, c tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day.
(c) Thus instead of acknowledging the true God by this miracle, they fall into greater superstition. 5:8 They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines unto them, and said, d What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And they answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about unto Gath. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about [thither].
(d) Though they had felt Gods power and were afraid of it, yet they tried him even further, which God turned to their destruction and his glory. 5:11 So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, Send e away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to his own place, that it slay us not, and our people: for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.
(e) The wicked when they feel the hand of God, grudge and reject him, where the godly humble themselves, and cry for mercy.