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1 Samuel 5

1 The Philistines captured the Ark of God and they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.

2 They brought it into the temple of Dagon and placed it beside Dagon.

3 Early the next day the people of Ashdod saw that Dagon had fallen forward on the ground in front of Jehovah’s Ark. So they took Dagon and put him back in his place.

4 But the next morning they saw that Dagon had again fallen forward on the ground in front of Jehovah’s Ark. Dagon’s head and his two hands were cut off and were lying on the temple’s threshold. The rest of Dagon’s body was intact.

5 That is why the priests of Dagon and everyone else who enters Dagon’s temple in Ashdod do not step on the temple’s threshold, even to this day.

6 Jehovah dealt harshly with the people of Ashdod. He destroyed them by striking the people in the vicinity of Ashdod with tumors.

7 When the people of Ashdod realized what was happening, they said: »The Ark of the God of Israel must not stay with us. Their God is dealing harshly with our god Dagon and with us.«

8 The people of Ashdod called together the Philistine rulers. »What shall we do with the Ark of the God of Israel?« They asked. The rulers said: »The Ark of the God of Israel must be taken to Gath.« So the people took the Ark of the God of Israel there.

9 After they had moved it, Jehovah threw the city into a great panic. He struck all the people in the city and they were covered with tumors.

10 So the people of Gath sent the Ark of God to Ekron. But when the Ark of God came to Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out: »They brought the Ark of the God of Israel here to kill us.«

11 The people of Ekron called for another meeting of the Philistine rulers and told them: »Send this chest back where it belongs. Then it will not kill us.« Everyone was in a panic, because God was causing a lot of people to die.

12 The survivors suffered from the sores, so they all cried to their gods for help.

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