CHAPTER 3, VERSE 21
And the Lord appeared again in Shilo: for the Lord revealed himself to Shemu'el in Shilo by the word of the Lord.
And the word of Shemu'el came to all Yisra'el. Now Yisra'el went out against the Pelishtim to battle, and they pitched by Even-ha'ezer: and the Pelishtim pitched in Afeq. And the Pelistim put themselves in battle order against Yisra'el: and when they joined battle, Yisra'el was beaten before the Pelishtim: and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men. And when the people had come into the camp, the elders of Yisra'el said, Why has the Lord smitten us today before the Plishtim? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of Shilo to us, that, when it comes among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies. So the people sent to Shilo, that they might bring from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, who sits upon the keruvim: and the two sons of 'Eli, Hofni and Pinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. And when the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Yisra'el shouted with a great shout, so that the earth trembled. And when the Pelishtim heard the noise of the shout, they said, What is the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? And they understood that the ark of the Lord was come into the camp. And the Pelishtim were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe to us for there has not been such a thing before now. Woe to us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty gods? these are the gods that smote Mizrayim with all the plagues in the wilderness. Strengthen yourselves and act like me, O Pelishtim, lest you fall slaves to the Hebrews, as they have been slaves to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight. And the Pelishtim fought, and Yisra'el was beaten, and they fled every man to his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Yisra'el thirty thousand foot soldiers. And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of 'Eli, Hofni and Pinehas, were slain. And there ran a man of Binyamin out of the army, and came to Shilo the same day with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head. And when he came, 'Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside watching: for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city, and told it, all the city cried out. And when 'Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, What is the noise of this multitude? And the man said to 'Eli, I am he that came out of the battle line: indeed I fled today out of the battle line. And he said, What has happened, my son? And the messenger answered and said, Yisra'el is fled before the Pelishtim, and there has been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hofni and Pinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken. And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backwards by the side of the gate, and his neck was broken, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Yisra'el for forty years. And his daughter in law, the wife of Pinehas was with child, near to be delivered: and when she heard the tiding that the ark of God was taken, and that her father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and gave birth; for her pains came upon her. And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said to her, Fear not; for thou has born a son. But she answered not, neither did she regard it. And she named the child I-khavod, saying, Honour is departed from Yisra'el: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband. And she said, Honour is departed from Yisra'el: for the ark of God is taken.
And the Pelishtim took the ark of God, and brought it from Even-ha'ezer to Ashdod. When the Pelishtim took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. And they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, and behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the Lord. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. And they arose early on the next morning, and behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the gorund before the ark of the Lord and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands lay severed on the threshold; only the trunk of Dagon was left to him. Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon's house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.
But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with swellings, Ashdod and the surrounding areas. And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Yisra'el shall not abide with us: for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god. They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Pelishtim unto them, and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Yisra'el? And they answered, Let the ark of the God of Yisra'el be brought round to Gat. And they brought the ark of the God of Yisra'el there. And it was so, that, after they had brought it round, the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great panic: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they were inwardly struck with swellings. Therefore they sent the ark of God to 'Eqron. And it came to pass, as the ark of God came to 'Eqron, that the 'Eqronim cried out, saying, They have brought about the ark of the God Yisra'el to us, to slay us and our people. So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Pelishtim, and said, Send away the ark of the God of Yisra'el, and let it go back to its own place, that it slay us not, and our people: for there was deadly panic throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there. And the men that died not were smitten with swellings: and the cry of the city went up to heaven.
And the ark of the Lord was in the country of the Pelishtim seven months. And the Pelishtim called for the priests and magicians, saying, What shall we do to the ark of the Lord? tell us how we shall send it to its place. And they said, If you send away the ark of the God of Yisra'el, send it not empty; but make sure to return him a guilt offering: then you shall be healed, and you will learn why his hand is not removed from you. Then said they, What shall be the guilt offering which we shall return to him? They answered, Five golden swellings, 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. And you shall make images of your swellings, and images of your mice that ravage the land; and you shall give honour to the God of Yisra'el: perhaps he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land. Why harden your hearts, as Mizrayim and Par'o hardened their hearts? after all the inflictions he wrought among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed? Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milch cows, on which there has never been a yoke, and tie the cows to the cart, and leave their calves behind them at home; and take the ark of the Lord, and lay it upon the cart: and put the golden devices which you are restoring to him for a guilt offering in a box by the side of it; and send it away, that it may go. And see: if it goes up by the way of his border to Bet-shemesh, then he has done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that smote us; it was a chance that happened to us. And the men did so; and took two milch cows, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home: and they laid the ark of the Lord upon the cart, and the box with the mice of gold and the images of their swellings. And the cows took the straight way by the road of Bet-shemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Pelishtim went after them to the border of Bet-shemesh. And they of Bet-shemesh were reaping 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 Yehoshua, a man of Bet-shemesh, and stood there, where there was a great stone; and they split the wood of the cart, and offered the cows as a burnt offering to the Lord.
And the Levites took down the ark of the Lord, and the box that was with it, in which were the devices of gold, and put them on the great stone; and the men of Bet-shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices on that day to the Lord. And when the five lords of the Pelishtim had seen it, they returned to 'Eqron the same day.
And these are the golden swellings which the Pelishtim returned for a guilt offering to the Lord; for Ashdod one, for 'Aza one, for Ashqelon one, for Gat one, for 'Ekron one;
and the golden mice, accordingn to the number of the cities of the Pelishtim belonging to the five lords, both fortified cities, and open villages, as far as the great stone, on which they set down the ark of the Lord; which remains to this day in the field of Jehoshua, the Bet-Shimshite. And he smote the men of Bet-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord, smiting fifty thousand and seventy men of the people; and the people lamented, because the Lord had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter. And the men of Bet-shemesh said, Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God? and to whom shall he go up from us: And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Qiryat-ye'arim, saying, The Pelishtim have brought back the ark of the Lord; come down, and fetch it up to you.
And the men of Qiryat-ye'arim came, and fetched up the ark of the Lord, and brought it into the house of Avinadav on the hill, and sanctified El'azar his son to keep the ark of the Lord.