The Ark Afflicts the Philistines
1Now the Philistines had taken the ark of God and they brought it from Eben-ezer to Ashdod.
2The Philistines took the ark of God and brought it to the temple of Dagon, and placed it beside Dagon.
3But when the Ashdodites arose early next morning, to everyone’s surprise, Dagon had fallen to his face on the ground before the ark of Adonai. So they took Dagon up and put him back in his place.
4But when they arose early the following morning, surprisingly, Dagon had fallen to his face on the ground before the ark of Adonai, and the head of Dagon and both palms of his hands were cut off on the threshold; only Dagon’s trunk was left on him.
5That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor any who enter Dagon’s house will tread on Dagon’s threshold in Ashdod.
6Then the hand of Adonai was heavy upon the Ashdodites, ravaging them and afflicting Ashdod and its vicinity with tumors.
7When the men of Ashdod saw what was happening they said, “The ark of the God of Israel must not stay with us, for His hand has dealt harshly against us as well as against our god Dagon.”
8So they sent word and gathered all the lords of the Philistines to them and asked, “What will we do with the ark of the God of Israel?” They replied, “Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried over to Gath.” So they carried the ark of the God of Israel over.
9But it came about, that after they had carried it around, that the hand of Adonai was against the city causing very great panic, as He struck the people of the city, from the youngest to the oldest, so that tumors broke out on them.
10So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. But it came about as the ark of God came to Ekron that the Ekronites cried out saying, “They’ve brought around the ark of the God of Israel to us to kill us and our people!”
11So they sent word and gathered all the lords of the Philistines and said, “Send the ark of the God of Israel away—let it go back to its own place, so it won’t kill us and our people!” For a panic of death was throughout the entire city, as God’s hand was very heavy there.
12The people who did not die were afflicted with tumors, so that the outcry of the city went up to heaven.