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1 And the ark of Jehovah was in the land of the Philistines seven months.
2 And the Philistines summoned the priests and the diviners, saying, What shall we do with the ark of Jehovah? Make known to us how we shall send it to its place.
3 And they said, If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty; but turn it back to return it to Him with a trespass offering. Then you will be healed, and it will be known to you why His hand is not removed from you.
4 So they said, What is the trespass offering which we shall return to Him? And they answered, Five golden tumors and five golden mice, according to the number of the rulers of the Philistines. For the same plague was upon all of you and upon your rulers.
5 Therefore you shall make images of your tumors and images of your mice that are ruining the land, and you shall give glory to the God of Israel. Perhaps He will lighten His hand from off you, from off your gods, and from off your land.
6 Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He did mighty things among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed?
7 Now therefore, make a new cart, take two milk cows which have never been yoked, and when you have tied the cows to the cart, take their calves home, away from them.
8 And take the ark of Jehovah and set it on the cart; and put the articles of gold which you are returning to Him as a trespass offering in a chest by its side; and send it away, and let it go.
9 And watch: if it goes up the way to its own territory, to Beth Shemesh, then He has done us this great evil. But if not, then we shall know that it is not His hand that has struck us; it has happened to us by chance.
10 And the men did so: They took two milk cows and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home.
11 And they set the ark of Jehovah on the cart, and the chest with the gold mice and the images of their tumors.
12 And the cows headed straight for the way to Beth Shemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and did not turn aside to the right hand or the left. And the rulers of the Philistines went after them to the border of Beth Shemesh.
13 Now those of Beth Shemesh 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 of Beth Shemesh, and stood there; and a large stone was there. And they split the wood of the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering unto Jehovah.
15 And the Levites took down the ark of Jehovah and the chest 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 made sacrifices that day unto Jehovah.
16 And when the five rulers of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day.
17 And these are the golden tumors which the Philistines returned as a trespass offering unto Jehovah: 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 rulers, both fortified cities and rural villages, even as far as the large stone of Abel on which they set the ark of Jehovah, which stone remains to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh.
19 And He struck the men of Beth Shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Jehovah. He struck fifty thousand and seventy men of the people, and the people mourned because Jehovah had struck the people with a great slaughter.
20 And the men of Beth Shemesh said, Who is able to stand before Jehovah, this holy God? And to whom shall He go up from us?
21 And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjath Jearim, saying, The Philistines have brought back the ark of Jehovah; come down and take it up with you.