1 Samuel 51 Then the Philistines took the ark of God, and they transported it from the Stone of Assistance into Ashdod. 2 And the Philistines took the ark of God, and carried it into the temple of Dagon. And they stationed it beside Dagon. 3 And when the Ashdodites had risen up at first light on the next day, behold, Dagon was lying prone on the ground before the ark of the Lord. And they took Dagon, and they set him again in his place. 4 And again, on the next day, rising up in the morning, they found Dagon lying on his face upon the ground, before the ark of the Lord. But the head of Dagon, and both palms of his hands had been cut off upon the threshold. 5 Moreover, only the trunk of Dagon remained in its place. For this reason, the priests of Dagon, and all who enter his temple, do not tread upon the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod, even to this day. 6 Now the hand of the Lord weighed heavily upon the Ashdodites, and he destroyed them. And he struck Ashdod and its borders at the inner part of the buttocks. And in the villages and fields, in the midst of that region, mice rose up and burst forth. And this caused a great tumult unto death in the city. 7 Then the men of Ashdod, seeing this kind of plague, said: “The ark of the God of Israel shall not remain with us. For his hand is harsh, over us and over Dagon, our god.” 8 And sending, they gathered together all the princes of the Philistines to them, and they said, “What shall we do about the ark of the God of Israel?” And the Gathites responded, “Let the ark of the God of Israel be led around.” And they led the ark of the God of Israel around. 9 And as they were carrying it around, the hand of the Lord fell upon every single city with an exceedingly great slaughter. And he struck down the men of each and every city, from the small even to the great. And cysts were festering at their buttocks. And the Gathites took counsel, and they made for themselves seat covers from pelts. 10 Therefore, they sent the ark of God into Ekron. And when the ark of God had arrived at Ekron, the Ekronites cried out, saying, “They have brought the ark of the God of Israel to us, so that it may kill us and our people!” 11 And so they sent and gathered together all the princes of the Philistines, and they said: “Release the ark of the God of Israel, and return it to its own place. And let it not kill us, with our people.” 12 For the fear of death fell upon every single city, and the hand of God was very heavy. Also, the men who did not die were being afflicted in the inner part of the buttocks. And the wailing of each city was ascending to heaven.
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