5 The Philistines took the sacred chest from near Ebenezer to the town of Ashdod. 2 They brought it into the temple of their god Dagon and put it next to the statue of Dagon, which they worshiped.
3 When the people of Ashdod got up early the next morning, they found the statue lying facedown on the floor in front of the sacred chest. They put the statue back where it belonged. 4 But early the next morning, it had fallen over again and was lying facedown on the floor in front of the chest. The body of the statue was still in one piece, but its head and both hands had broken off and were lying on the stone floor in the doorway. 5 This is the reason the priests and everyone else step over that part of the doorway when they enter the temple of Dagon in Ashdod.
6 The Lord caused a lot of trouble for the people of Ashdod and their neighbors. He made sores break out all over their bodies,[a] and everyone was in a panic.[b]7 Finally, they said, “The God of Israel did this. He is the one who caused all this trouble for us and our god Dagon. We’ve got to get rid of this chest.”
8 The people of Ashdod had all the Philistine rulers come to Ashdod, and they asked them, “What can we do with the sacred chest that belongs to the God of Israel?”
“Send it to Gath,” the rulers answered. But after they took it there, 9 the Lord made sores break out on everyone in town. The people of Gath were frightened, 10 so they sent the sacred chest to Ekron. But before they could take it through the town gates, the people of Ekron started screaming, “They’ve brought the sacred chest that belongs to the God of Israel! It will kill us and our families too!”
The Philistines Send Back the Sacred Chest
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 won’t kill us.”
Everyone was in a panic, because God was causing a lot of people to die, 12 and those who had survived were suffering from the sores. They all cried to their gods for help.
5.6sores. . . bodies: Or “He struck them with bubonic plague.”
5.6panic: Two ancient translations add “Rats came from their ships, and people were dying right and left.”
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
As an account holder, you can highlight Bible verses, mark your favorites, and take notes. Over the next few days, you’ll receive a few email tutorials on how to get the most out of your account.
For now, consider improving your experience even more by upgrading to Bible Gateway Plus! With Bible Gateway Plus, you gain instant access to a digital Bible study library, including complete notes from resources like the NIV Study Bible, the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible, and the abridged Expositor's Bible Commentary. Try it free for 30 days!