1 Samuel 6
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1 Samuel 6
The Ark of the Covenant Returned to Israel...
And the ark of YHWH was in the field of the Philistines for seven months.
And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, 'What do we do with the ark of YHWH? Let us know with what we should send it to its place.'
And they said, 'If you send away the ark of the Elohim of Yisra'el, do not send it empty, but you shall certainly return it to Him with a guilt offering. Then you are going to be healed, and it shall be known to you why His hand does not turn aside from you.'
And they said, 'What is the guilt offering which we return to Him?' And they answered, 'The number of the princes of the Philistines: five golden tumours and five golden rats. For the same plague was on all of you and on your princes.
'And you shall make images of your tumours and images of your rats that ruin the land, and you shall give esteem to the Elohim of Yisra'el. It could be that He does lift His hand from you, from your mighty ones, and from your land.
'And why do you harden your hearts as the Mitsrites and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He had severely dealt with them, did they not send them away, and they went?
'And now, take and make a new wagon, and two milk cows which have never been yoked, and hitch the cows to the wagon. And take their calves home, away from them.
'And take the ark of YHWH and put it on the wagon. And put the objects of gold which you are returning to Him as a guilt offering in a chest by its side, and send it away, and it shall go.
'And you shall see, if it goes up the way to its own border, to Beyth Shemesh, then He has done us this great evil. But if not, then we shall know that His hand has not come against us - an accident it was to us.'
And the men did so and took two milk cows and hitched them to the wagon, and shut up their calves at home.
And they put the ark of YHWH on the wagon, and the chest with the gold rats and the images of their tumours.
And the cows went straight for the way to Beyth Shemesh, and went along the highway, bellowing as they went, and did not turn aside, right or left. And the princes of the Philistines went after them to the border of Beyth Shemesh.
And they of Beyth Shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley. And they lifted their eyes and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it.
And the wagon came into the field of Yehoshua of Beyth Shemesh and stood there, and there was a great stone. So they split the wood of the wagon and offered the cows as a burnt offering to YHWH.
And the Lewites took down the ark of YHWH and the chest that was with it, in which were the objects of gold, and put them on the great stone. And the men of Beyth Shemesh slaughtered burnt offerings and made offerings the same day to YHWH.
And when the five princes of the Philistines saw it, they returned to Eqron the same day.
And these are the gold tumours which the Philistines returned as a guilt offering to YHWH: one for Ashdod, one for Azzah, one for Ashqelon, one for Gath, one for Eqron,
and the gold rats, by the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five princes, both walled cities and country villages, even as far as the great meadow on which they placed the ark of YHWH, remain to this day in the field of Yehoshua of Beyth Shemesh.
And He smote among the men of Beyth Shemesh, for they had looked into the ark of YHWH. He smote among the people seventy men, and the people mourned because YHWH smote among the people, a great smiting.
And the men of Beyth Shemesh said, 'Who is able to stand before this set-apart YHWH Elohim? And to whom shall He go from us?'
And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Qiryath Ye'arim, saying, 'The Philistines have brought back the ark of YHWH. Come down, take it up to you.'
|1 Samuel 6|