1 Samuel 6:1-21

6 ** And the ark of Jehovah was in the Philistines’ countryside seven months. 2  And the Philistines called the priests and the diviners with the question “What shall we do with the ark of Jehovah? inform us with what observance we shall send it away to its own place.” 3  And they said “If you are sending away the ark of the god of Israel, do not send it away portionless but return it an indemnity: then you shall be restored to health, and it shall become manifest to you why his hand is not taken off from you.” 4 * And they said “What is to be the indemnity that we return to it?” And they said “The same number as the Sarns of the Philistines, five golden buboes, because you and your Sarns suffered one and the same calamity. 5 * And you shall make golden mice, a likeness of your mice that are ravaging the country, and give glory to the god of Israel: perhaps he may lift off his hand from you and your gods and your country. 6 * And why should you act haughtily as the Pharaoh and the Egyptians did? after he had done his will upon them they let them go in the end, did they not? 7  Now get and fit out a new cart and two cows with sucking calves, cows that have never had a yoke put on them, and hitch the cows to the cart and take the calves back home away from the mothers, 8  and take the ark of Jehovah and set it on the cart, and put in the box at its side the golden objects that you return to it as indemnity, and send it off and let it go, 9  and see: if it goes up toward Beth-Shemesh, toward its own territory, it was he that did us this great harm; but if not, we shall know that it was not his hand that touched us, it was a chance that happened to us.” 10  And the men did so: they took two cows with sucking calves and hitched them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home, 11  and put the ark of Jehovah on the cart, and the box and the golden mice; 12  and the cows took a straight course toward Beth-Shemesh, going along one highway, mooing as they went, and not turning off to right or to left; and the Sarns of the Philistines went behind them to the Beth-Shemesh boundary. 13  And the men of Beth-Shemesh, who were reaping the wheat harvest in the vale, raised their eyes and saw the ark and came joyfully to meet it; 14  and the cart came into the field of Joshuaʽ the Beth-Shemite, and stood there, where there was a great stone; and they split the wood of the cart and sacrificed the cows as a burnt-offering to Jehovah. 15  And the Levites took down the ark of Jehovah and the box that was with it, in which the golden objects were, and put them on the great stone, and the men of Beth-Shemesh offered burnt-offerings and sacrifices on that day to Jehovah; 16  and the five Sarns of the Philistines saw it, and went back to ʽEkron that same day. 17  And these are the golden buboes which the Philistines returned as indemnity to Jehovah: for Ashdod one, for Ghaza one, for Ashkelon one, for Gath one, for ʽEkron one; 18 * and golden mice to the number of all the cities of the Philistines, for the five Sarns, from fortified city to country hamlet. And the great stone on which they put down the ark of Jehovah is still in the field of Joshuaʽ the Beth-Shemite to this day. 19 ** And the sons of Jeconiah were not blithe among the men of Beth-Shemesh when they looked upon the ark of Jehovah; and he smote among them seventy men; and the people mourned, because Jehovah had made great havoc among the people. 20 * And the men of Beth-Shemesh said “Who can stand before this holy God Jehovah? to whom may he go up away from us?” 21  and sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjath-Jeʽarim to say “The Philistines have sent back the ark of Jehovah: come down and fetch it up to yourselves.”


6:1 Var. omits of Jehovah
6:1 Var. seven months; and their country swarmed with mice.
6:4 Var. buboes and five golden mice
6:5 Var. make likenesses of your buboes and likenesses of
6:6 Lit. let them go, and they went
6:18 Susp.; codd. village, and to the great meadow on which they put down the ark of Jehovah, in the field of Joshuaʽ the BethShemite to this day
6:19 Var. And he smote among the men of Beth-Shemesh because they looked
6:19 Var. seventy men, fifty thousand men
6:20 Or Who can wait on