6 Now the ark of the Lord had been in the [a]country of the Philistines seven months.2 And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? Tell us [b]how we shall send it to its place.”3 They said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty; but you shall surely return 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 tumors and five golden mice according to the number of the lords of the Philistines, for one plague was on all of [c]you and on your lords.5 So you shall make likenesses of your tumors and likenesses of your mice that ravage the land, and you shall give glory to the God of Israel; perhaps He will ease His hand from you, your gods, and your land.6 Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He had severely dealt with them, did they not allow [d]the people to go, and they departed?7 Now therefore, take and prepare a new cart and two milch cows on which there has 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 the articles of gold which you return to Him as a 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 Beth-shemesh, then He has done us this great evil. But if not, then we will know that it was not His hand that struck us; it happened to us by chance.”
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 [e]direction of Beth-shemesh; they went along the 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.
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