NASB — 1 Samuel 6 — KJV

The Ark Returned to Israel

1 Now the ark of the LORD had been in the Icountry of the Philistines seven months. 2 And athe Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, “What shall we do with the ark of the LORD? Tell us Ihow we shall send it to its place.” 3 They said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, ado not send it empty; but you shall surely breturn to Him a guilt offering. Then you will be healed and it will be known to you why His hand is not removed from you.” 4 Then they said, “What shall be the guilt offering which we shall return to Him?” And they said, “Five golden atumors and five golden mice b[according to] the number of the lords of the Philistines, for one plague was on all of Iyou and on your lords. 5 So you shall make likenesses of your tumors and likenesses of your mice that ravage the land, and ayou shall give glory to the God of Israel; perhaps bHe will ease His hand from you, cyour gods, and your land. 6 Why then do you harden your hearts aas the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He had severely dealt with them, bdid they not allow Ithe people to go, and they departed? 7 Now therefore, take and aprepare a new cart and two milch cows on which there bhas never been a yoke; and hitch the cows to the cart and take their calves home, away from them. 8 Take the ark of the LORD and place it on the cart; and put athe articles of gold which you return to Him as ba guilt offering in a box by its side. Then send it away that it may go. 9 Watch, if it goes up by the way of its own territory to aBeth-shemesh, then He has done us this great evil. But if not, then bwe will know that it was not His hand that struck us; it happened to us by chance.”

[1] ILit field
[2] IOr with what aGn 41:8; Ex 7:11; Is 2:6
[3] aEx 23:15; Dt 16:16 bLv 5:15, 16
[4] ILit them a1S 5:6, 9, 12; 6:17 bJsh 13:3; Jg 3:3; 1S 6:17, 18
[5] aJsh 7:19; 1Ch 16:28, 29; Is 42:12; Jr 13:16; Jn 9:24; Rv 14:7 b1S 5:6, 11 c1S 5:3, 4, 7
[6] ILit them aEx 7:13; 8:15, 32; 9:34; 14:17 bEx 12:31
[7] a2S 6:3 bNu 19:2; Dt 21:3, 4
[8] a1S 6:4, 5 b1S 6:3
[9] aJsh 15:10; 21:16 b1S 6:3

10 ¶ Then the men did so, and took two milch cows and hitched them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home. 11 They put the ark of the LORD on the cart, and the box with the golden mice and the likenesses of their tumors. 12 And the cows took the straight way in the Idirection of aBeth-shemesh; they went along bthe highway, lowing as they went, and did not turn aside to the right or to the left. And the lords of the Philistines followed them to the border of Beth-shemesh.

[12] ILit way a1S 6:9 bNu 20:19

13 ¶ Now [the people of] Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley, and they raised their eyes and saw the ark and were glad to see [it]. 14 The cart came into the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite and stood there where there [was] a large stone; and they split the wood of the cart and aoffered the cows as a burnt offering to the LORD. 15 aThe Levites took down the ark of the LORD and the box that was with it, in which were the articles of gold, and put them on the large stone; and the men of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices that day to the LORD. 16 When the afive lords of the Philistines saw it, they returned to Ekron that day.

[14] a2S 24:22; 1K 19:21
[15] aJsh 3:3
[16] aJsh 13:3; Jg 3:3

17aThese are the golden tumors which the Philistines returned for a guilt offering to the LORD: one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ashkelon, one for Gath, one for Ekron; 18 and the golden mice, [according] to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, aboth of fortified cities and of country villages. bThe large Istone on which they set the ark of the LORD [is a witness] to this day in the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite.

[17] a1S 6:4
[18] ISo some mss and versions; Heb Abel aDt 3:5 b1S 6:14, 15

19aHe struck down some of the men of Beth-shemesh because they had looked into the ark of the LORD. He struck down of all the people, 50,070 men, and the people mourned because the LORD had struck the people with a great slaughter. 20 The men of Beth-shemesh said, “aWho is able to stand before the LORD, this holy God? And to whom shall He go up from us?” 21 So they sent messengers to the inhabitants of aKiriath-jearim, saying, “The Philistines have brought back the ark of the LORD; come down and take it up to you.”

[19] aEx 19:21; Nu 4:5, 15, 20; 2S 6:7
[20] aLv 11:44, 45; 2S 6:9; Mal 3:2; Rv 6:17
[21] aJsh 9:17; 15:9, 60; 1Ch 13:5, 6


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After seven months the Philistines take counsel how to send back the Ark.

1 ¶ And the ark of the LORD was in the country of the Philistines seven months. 2 And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, What shall we do to the ark of the LORD? tell us wherewith we shall send it to his place. 3 And they said, If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but in any wise return him a trespass offering: then ye shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you. 4 Then said they, What [shall be] the trespass offering which we shall return to him? They answered, Five golden emerods, and five golden mice, [according to] the number of the lords of the Philistines: for one plague [was] on you all, and on your lords. 5 Wherefore ye shall make images of your emerods, and images of your mice that mar the land; and ye shall give glory unto the God of Israel: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land. 6 Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? when he had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed? 7 Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves home from them: 8 And take the ark of the LORD, and lay it upon the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which ye return him [for] a trespass offering, in a coffer by the side thereof; and send it away, that it may go. 9 And see, if it goeth up by the way of his own coast to Bethshemesh, [then] he hath 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.

[1] 1S 5:1, 3, 10; Ps 78:61.
[2] Gn 41:8; Ex 7:11; Is 47:12; Dn 2:2; 5:7; Mi 6:6; Mt 2:4.
[3] Ex 23:15; 34:20; Lv 5:6, 15; 6:6; 7:1; Dt 16:16; 1S 5:7, 9, 11; 6:9; Jb 10:2; 34:31.
[4] Ex 12:35; Jsh 13:3; Jg 3:3; 1S 5:6, 9; 6:5, 17.
[5] Ex 8:5, 17, 24; 10:14; 12:12; Nu 33:4; Jsh 7:19; 1S 5:3, 6, 7, 11; Ps 18:44; 32:4; 39:10; 66:3; Is 19:1; 42:12; Jr 3:13; 13:16; Jol 1:4; 2:25; Mal 2:2; Jn 9:24; Rv 11:13; 16:9.
[6] Ex 7:13; 8:15; 9:16, 34; 10:3; 12:31; 14:17, 23; 15:14; Jb 9:4; Ps 95:8; Ro 2:5; He 3:13.
[7] Nu 19:2; 2S 6:3; 1Ch 13:7.
[8] 1S 6:4.
[9] Jsh 15:10; 21:16; 1S 6:3; 2S 1:6; Ec 9:11; Is 26:11; Am 3:6; Lk 10:31.

They bring it on a new cart with an offering unto Beth-shemesh.

10 ¶ And the men did so; and took two milch kine, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home: 11 And they laid the ark of the LORD upon the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their emerods. 12 And the kine took the straight way to the way of Bethshemesh, [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 Philistines went after them unto the border of Bethshemesh. 13 And [they of] Bethshemesh [were] reaping their wheat harvest in the valley: and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see [it]. 14 And the cart came into the field of Joshua, a Bethshemite, and stood there, where [there was] a great stone: and they clave the wood of the cart, and offered the kine a burnt offering unto the LORD. 15 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 Bethshemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day unto the LORD. 16 And when the five lords of the Philistines had seen [it], they returned to Ekron the same day. 17 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; 18 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] Abel, whereon they set down the ark of the LORD: [which stone remaineth] unto this day in the field of Joshua, the Bethshemite.

[11] 2S 6:3; 1Ch 13:7; 15:13.
[14] Ex 20:24; Jg 6:26; 21:4; 1S 7:9; 11:5; 20:29; 2S 24:18, 22, 25; 1K 18:30.
[16] Jsh 13:3; Jg 3:3; 16:5, 23; 1S 5:10; 6:4, 12.
[17] Jg 1:18; 16:1, 21; 1S 5:1, 8, 10; 6:4; 2S 1:20; 21:22; 2K 1:2; 2Ch 26:6; Jr 25:20; Am 1:7, 8; 6:2; Zc 9:5, 6.
[18] Jsh 13:3; 1S 6:16.

The people are smitten for looking into the Ark.

19 ¶ And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of 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. 20 And the men of Bethshemesh said, Who is able to stand before this holy LORD God? and to whom shall he go up from us?

[19] Ex 19:21; Lv 10:1; Nu 4:4, 15, 20; Dt 29:29; 2S 6:7; 1Ch 13:9; Col 2:18; 1P 4:17.
[20] Nu 17:12; 1S 5:8; 2S 6:7, 9; 1Ch 13:11; Ps 76:7; Mal 3:2; Lk 5:8; 8:37.

They send to them of Kirjath-Jearim to fetch it.

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

[21] Jsh 18:14; Jg 18:12; 1Ch 13:5; Ps 78:60; Jr 7:12, 14.


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