1 Samuel 6 ©

After that the ark had been seven months with the Philistines, v. 1, etc. They consult with their priests, how they shall send it back, 2. They advise not to send it back empty, but with a present, 3. Namely, with five golden emerods and mice, 4. On a new cart, 7. The Philistines did so, 10. The kine that were tied to the carts, went the straight way to Beth-shemesh, 12. Where the Levites offer sacrifice for it, 14. What princes and cities offered golden emerods and mice, 17. The Beth-shemites are grievously smitten of the Lord, for their curiosity in looking into the ark, 19. They request them of Kirjath-jearim, to fetch away the ark from thence, and to bring it into their own city, 20.


AND the ark of the LORD was in the country of the Philistines seven months.


And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, What shall we do to the ark of the LORD? tell us 1wherewith we shall send it to 2his place.


And they said, If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not 3empty; but in any wise 4return 5him a trespass offering: then ye shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his 6hand is not removed from you.


Then said they, What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him? They answered, Five golden emerods, and 7five golden mice, according to 8the number of the lords of the Philistines: for 9one plague was 10on you all, and on your lords.


Wherefore ye shall make images of your emerods, and images 11of your mice that mar the land; and 12ye shall give glory unto the God of Israel: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your 13gods, and from off your land.


Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the 14Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? 15when he had wrought wonderfully amonga16them, did they not let the 17people go, and they 18departed?


Now therefore 19make a 20new cart, and take two milchb kine, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring 21their calves 22home from them:


And take the ark of the LORD, and lay it upon the cart; and put the 23jewels of gold, which ye return 24him for a trespass offering, in a cofferc by the side thereof; and send it away, that it may go.


And see, if it goeth up by the way of his own coast to Beth-shemesh, then he 25hath done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that smote us: it was a 26chance that happened to us.


¶And the men did so; and took two milchd kine, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their 27calves at home:


And they laid the ark of the LORD upon the cart, and the coffere with the mice of gold and the images of their 28emerods.


And the kine took the straight way to the way of 29Beth-shemesh, and went along the highway, 30lowing as 31they went, and 32turned not aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them unto the border of Beth-shemesh.


And they of Beth-shemesh were 33reaping their wheat harvest in the valley: and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it.


And the cart came into the field of Joshua, a Beth-shemite, and stood there, where there was a great stone: and 34they clave the wood of the cart, and offered the kine a burnt offering unto the LORD.


And the Levites took down the ark of the LORD, and the coffer that was with it, wherein the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone: and the men of Beth-shemesh 35offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day unto the LORD.


And when the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day.


And these are the golden emerods which the Philistines returned for a trespass offering unto the LORD; for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Askelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one;


And the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fenced cities, and of country villages, even unto the great stone of 36Abel, whereon they set down the ark of the LORD: 37which stone remaineth unto this day in the field of Joshua, the Beth-shemite.


¶And he smote the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked 38into the ark of the LORD, even he smote 39of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.


And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to stand 40before this holy LORD God? and to whom shall he go up from us?


¶And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjath-jearim, saying, The Philistines have brought again the ark of the LORD; come ye down, and fetch it up to you.