The ark of the LORD was in the country of the Pelishtim seven months.
The Pelishtim called for the Kohanim and the diviners, saying, "What shall we do with the ark of the LORD? Show us with which we shall send it to its place."
They said, "If you send away the ark of the God of Yisra'el, don't send it empty; but by all means return him a trespass-offering: then you shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you."
Then they said, "What shall be the trespass-offering which we shall return to him?" They said, "Five golden tumors, and five golden mice, [according to] the number of the lords of the Pelishtim; for one plague was on you all, and on your lords.
Therefore you shall make images of your tumors, and images of your mice that mar the land; and you shall give glory to the God of Yisra'el: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land.
Why then do you harden your hearts, as the Mitzrim and Par`oh hardened their hearts? When he had worked wonderfully among them, didn't they let the people go, and they departed?
Now therefore take and prepare yourselves a new cart, and two milk cattle, on which there has come no yoke; and tie the cattle to the cart, and bring their calves home from them;
and take the ark of the LORD, and lay it on the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which you return him for a trespass-offering, in a coffer by the side of it; and send it away, that it may go.
Behold; if it goes up by the way of its own border to Beit-Shemesh, then he has done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that struck us; it was a chance that happened to us."
The men did so, and took two milk cattle, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home;
and they put the ark of the LORD on the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their tumors.
The cattle took the straight way by the way to Beit-Shemesh; they went along the highway, lowing as they went, and didn't turn aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Pelishtim went after them to the border of Beit-Shemesh.
They of Beit-Shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley; and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it.
The cart came into the field of Yehoshua the Beit-Shimshite, and stood there, where there was a great stone: and they split the wood of the cart, and offered up the cattle for a burnt offering to the LORD.
The Levites took down the ark of the LORD, and the coffer that was with it, in which the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone: and the men of Beit-Shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day to the LORD.
When the five lords of the Pelishtim had seen it, they returned to `Ekron the same day.
These are the golden tumors which the Pelishtim returned for a trespass-offering to the LORD: for Ashdod one, for `Aza one, for Ashkelon one, for Gat one, for `Ekron one;
and the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Pelishtim belonging to the five lords, both of fortified cities and of country villages, even to the great stone, whereon they set down the ark of the LORD, [which stone remains] to this day in the field of Yehoshua the Beit-Shimshite.
He struck of the men of Beit-Shemesh, because they had looked into the teivah of the LORD, he struck of the people fifty thousand seventy men; and the people mourned, because the LORD had struck the people with a great slaughter.
The men of Beit-Shemesh said, Who is able to stand before the LORD, this holy God? and to whom shall he go up from us?
They sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiryat-Ye`arim, saying, The Pelishtim have brought back the ark of the LORD; come you down, and bring it up to you.