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5
The Ark Is Taken to Ashdod and Ekron
1The Philistines had captured the ark of God. They took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2They carried the ark into the temple of their god Dagon. They set it down beside the statue of Dagon.
3The people of Ashdod got up early the next day. They saw the statue of Dagon. There it was, lying on the ground! It had fallen on its face in front of the ark of the Lord. So they picked the statue of Dagon up. They put it back in its place.
4But the following morning when they got up, they saw the statue of Dagon. There it was, lying on the ground again! It had fallen on its face in front of the ark of the Lord. Its head and hands had been broken off. Only the body of the statue was left. Its head and hands were lying in the doorway of the temple. 5That's why to this very day no one steps on the bottom part of the doorway of Dagon's temple at Ashdod. Not even the priests of Dagon step there.
6The Lord's powerful hand punished the people of Ashdod and the settlements that were near it. He destroyed them. He made them suffer with growths in their bodies.
7The people of Ashdod saw what was happening. They said, "The ark of the god of Israel must not stay here with us. His powerful hand is punishing us and our god Dagon."
8So they called all of the rulers of the Philistines together. They asked them, "What should we do with the ark of the god of Israel?"
The rulers answered, "Have the ark moved to Gath." So they moved it.
9But after the people of Ashdod had moved the ark, the Lord's hand punished Gath. That threw its people into a great panic. The Lord made them break out with growths in their bodies. It happened to young people and old people alike. 10So the ark of God was sent to Ekron.
As the ark was entering Ekron, the people of the city cried out. They shouted, "They've brought the ark of the god of Israel to us. They want to kill us and our people."
11So they called all of the rulers of the Philistines together. They said, "Send the ark of the god of Israel away. Let it go back to its own place. If you don't, it will kill us and our people." The death of so many people had filled the city with panic. God's powerful hand was punishing the city. 12Those who didn't die suffered with growths in their bodies. The people of Ekron cried out to heaven for help.
5
CHAPTER 5.
1And the Philistines took the ark of God, and carried it from the Stone of help into Azotus.
2And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it into the temple of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.
3And when the Azotians arose early the next day, behold Dagon lay upon his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord: and they took Dagon, and set him again in his place.
4And the next day again, when they rose in the morning, they found Dagon lying upon his face on the earth before the ark of the Lord: and the head of Dagon, and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold:
5And only the stump of Dagon remained in its place. For this cause neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that go into the temple tread on the threshold of Dagon in Azotus unto this day.
6And the hand of the Lord was heavy upon the Azotians, and he destroyed them, and afflicted Azotus and the coasts thereof with emerods. And in the villages and fields in the midst of that country, there came forth a multitude of mice, and there was the confusion of a great mortality in the city.
7And the men of Azotus seeing this kind of plague, said: The ark of the God of Israel shall not stay with us: for his hand is heavy upon us, and upon Dagon our god.
8And sending, they gathered together all the lords of the Philistines to them, and said: What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And the Gethrites answered: Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about.
9And while they were carrying it about, the band of the Lord came upon every city with an exceeding great slaughter: and he smote the men of every city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts. And the Gethrites consulted together, and made themselves seats of skins.
10Therefore they sent the ark of God into Accaron. And when the ark of God was come into Accaron, the Accaronites cried out, saying: They have brought the ark of the God of Israel to us, to kill us and our people.
11They sent therefore and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines: and they said: Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it return into its own place, and not kill us and our people.
12For there was the fear of death in every city, and the hand of God was exceeding heavy. The men also that did not die, were afflicted with the emerods: and the cry of every city went up to heaven.