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The Philistines and the Ark
1When the Philistines captured the ark of God, they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon and set it up beside Dagon. 3And when the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and put him back in his place. 4But when they rose early on the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord, and the head of Dagon and both his hands were lying cut off on the threshold. Only the trunk of Dagon was left to him. 5This is why the priests of Dagon and all who enter the house of Dagon do not tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.
6The hand of the Lord was heavy against the people of Ashdod, and he terrified and afflicted them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territory. 7And when the men of Ashdod saw how things were, they said, "The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for his hand is hard against us and against Dagon our god." 8So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines and said, "What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?" They answered, "Let the ark of the God of Israel be brought around to Gath." So they brought the ark of the God of Israel there. 9But after they had brought it around, the hand of the Lord was against the city, causing a very great panic, and he afflicted the men of the city, both young and old, so that tumors broke out on them. 10So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. But as soon as the ark of God came to Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out, "They have brought around to us the ark of the God of Israel to kill us and our people." 11They sent therefore and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines and said, "Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it return to its own place, that it may not kill us and our people." For there was a deathly panic throughout the whole city. The hand of God was very heavy there. 12The men who did not die were struck with tumors, and the cry of the city went up to heaven.
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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.