The Ark in Philistine Hands

After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer(A) to Ashdod,(B) brought it into the temple of Dagon[a](C) and placed it next to his statue.[b] When the people of Ashdod got up early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen with his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord.(D) So they took Dagon and returned him to his place. But when they got up early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen with his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord. This time, Dagon’s head and both of his hands were broken off and lying on the threshold. Only Dagon’s torso remained.[c] That is why, still today, the priests of Dagon and everyone who enters the temple of Dagon in Ashdod do not step on Dagon’s threshold.

The Lord’s hand was heavy on the people of Ashdod.(E) He terrified(F) the people of Ashdod and its territory and afflicted them with tumors.[d][e](G) When the people of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, “The ark of Israel’s God must not stay here with us, because his hand is strongly against us and our god Dagon.” So they called all the Philistine rulers together(H) and asked, “What should we do with the ark of Israel’s God?”

“The ark of Israel’s God should be moved to Gath,” they replied. So they moved the ark of Israel’s God. After they had moved it, the Lord’s hand was against the city of Gath,(I) causing a great panic. He afflicted the people of the city, from the youngest to the oldest, with an outbreak of tumors.(J)

10 The people of Gath then sent the ark of God to Ekron, but when it got there, the Ekronites cried out, “They’ve moved the ark of Israel’s God to us to kill us and our people!” [f]

11 The Ekronites called all the Philistine rulers together.(K) They said, “Send the ark of Israel’s God away. Let it return to its place so it won’t kill us and our people!” [g] For the fear of death pervaded the city; God’s hand was oppressing them.(L) 12 Those who did not die were afflicted with tumors, and the outcry of the city went up to heaven.(M)

The Return of the Ark

When the ark of the Lord had been in Philistine territory for seven months, the Philistines summoned the priests and the diviners(N) and pleaded, “What should we do with the ark of the Lord? Tell us how we can send it back to its place.”

They replied, “If you send the ark of Israel’s God away, do not send it without an offering.(O) Send back a guilt offering to him,(P) and you will be healed. Then the reason his hand hasn’t been removed from you will be revealed.”[h]

They asked, “What guilt offering should we send back to him?”

And they answered, “Five gold tumors and five gold mice(Q) corresponding to the number of Philistine rulers,(R) since there was one plague for both you[i] and your rulers. Make images of your tumors and of your mice that are destroying the land. Give glory to Israel’s God,(S) and perhaps he will stop oppressing you,[j](T) your gods, and your land.(U) Why harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened theirs?(V) When he afflicted them, didn’t they send Israel away, and Israel left?(W)

“Now then, prepare one new cart and two milk cows that have never been yoked.(X) Hitch the cows to the cart, but take their calves away and pen them up. Take the ark of the Lord, place it on the cart, and put the gold objects that you’re sending him as a guilt offering in a box(Y) beside the ark.(Z) Send it off and let it go its way. Then watch: If it goes up the road to its homeland toward Beth-shemesh,(AA) it is the Lord who has made this terrible trouble for us. However, if it doesn’t, we will know that it was not his hand that punished(AB) us—it was just something that happened to us by chance.”

10 The men did this: They took two milk cows, hitched them to the cart, and confined their calves in the pen. 11 Then they put the ark of the Lord on the cart, along with the box containing the gold mice and the images of their tumors. 12 The cows went straight up the road to Beth-shemesh.(AC) They stayed on that one highway,(AD) lowing as they went; they never strayed to the right or to the left. The Philistine rulers were walking behind them to the territory of Beth-shemesh.

13 The people of Beth-shemesh were harvesting wheat in the valley, and when they looked up and saw the ark, they were overjoyed to see it. 14 The cart came to the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh and stopped there near a large rock. The people of the city chopped up the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering to the Lord.(AE) 15 The Levites(AF) removed the ark of the Lord, along with the box containing the gold objects, and placed them on the large rock. That day the people of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and made sacrifices to the Lord. 16 When the five Philistine rulers(AG) observed this, they returned to Ekron that same day.

17 As a guilt offering to the Lord, the Philistines had sent back one gold tumor for each city:(AH) Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron. 18 The number of gold mice also corresponded to the number of Philistine cities of the five rulers, the fortified cities and the outlying villages.(AI) The large rock[k](AJ) on which the ark of the Lord was placed is still in the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh today.

19 God struck down the people of Beth-shemesh because they looked inside the ark of the Lord.[l](AK) He struck down seventy persons.[m] The people mourned because the Lord struck them with a great slaughter. 20 The people of Beth-shemesh asked, “Who is able to stand in the presence of the Lord this holy God?(AL) To whom should the ark go from here?”

21 They sent messengers to the residents of Kiriath-jearim,(AM) saying, “The Philistines have returned the ark of the Lord. Come down and get it.”[n]

Footnotes

  1. 5:2 A Philistine god of the sea, grain, or storm
  2. 5:2 Lit to Dagon
  3. 5:4 LXX; Hb reads Only Dagon remained on it
  4. 5:6 LXX adds He brought up mice against them, and they swarmed in their ships. Then mice went up into the land and there was a mortal panic in the city.
  5. 5:6 Perhaps bubonic plague
  6. 5:10 DSS, LXX read “Why have you moved... people?”
  7. 5:11 DSS, LXX read “Why don’t you return it to... people?”
  8. 6:3 DSS, LXX read healed, and an atonement shall be made for you. Shouldn’t his hand be removed from you?”
  9. 6:4 Some Hb mss, LXX; other Hb mss read them
  10. 6:5 Lit will lighten the heaviness of his hand from you
  11. 6:18 Some Hb mss, LXX, Tg; other Hb mss read meadow
  12. 6:19 LXX reads But the sons of Jeconiah did not rejoice with the men of Beth-shemesh when they saw the ark of the Lord.
  13. 6:19 Some Hb mss, Josephus; other Hb mss read 70 men, 50,000 men
  14. 6:21 Lit and bring it up to you

Faith Triumphs

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,(A) we have peace[a] with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.(B) We have also obtained access through him(C) by faith[b] into this grace in which we stand,(D) and we boast[c] in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that,(E) but we also boast in our afflictions,(F) because we know that affliction produces endurance,(G) endurance produces proven character,(H) and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us,(I) because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts(J) through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

The Justified Are Reconciled

For while we were still helpless, at the right time,(K) Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves(L) his own love for us(M) in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. How much more then, since we have now been justified by his blood,(N) will we be saved through him from wrath.(O) 10 For if, while we were enemies,(P) we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life.(Q) 11 And not only that, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.(R)

Death through Adam and Life through Christ

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man,(S) and death through sin,(T) in this way death spread to all people,(U) because all sinned.[d] 13 In fact, sin was in the world before the law, but sin is not charged to a person’s account when there is no law.(V) 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam’s transgression.(W) He is a type of the Coming One.(X)

15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift which comes through the grace of the one man(Y) Jesus Christ overflowed to the many. 16 And the gift is not like the one man’s sin, because from one sin came the judgment,(Z) resulting in condemnation, but from many trespasses came the gift, resulting in justification.[e] 17 If by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life(AA) through the one man, Jesus Christ.

18 So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone, so also through one righteous act there is justification leading to life(AB) for everyone. 19 For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners,(AC) so also through the one man’s obedience(AD) the many will be made righteous. 20 The law came along to multiply the trespass.(AE) But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more(AF) 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death,(AG) so also grace will reign(AH) through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Footnotes

  1. 5:1 Other mss read faith, let us have peace, which can also be translated faith, let us grasp the fact that we have peace
  2. 5:2 Other mss omit by faith
  3. 5:2 Or rejoice, also in vv. 3,11
  4. 5:12 Or have sinned
  5. 5:16 Or acquittal

Jeremiah’s Counsel Rejected

43 When Jeremiah had finished speaking to all the people all the words of the Lord their God—all these words the Lord their God had sent him to give them— then Azariah[a] son of Hoshaiah,(A) Johanan son of Kareah, and all the other arrogant men responded to Jeremiah, “You are speaking a lie! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to stay there for a while!’ Rather, Baruch son of Neriah is inciting you against us to hand us over to the Chaldeans to put us to death or to deport us to Babylon!”

So Johanan son of Kareah, all the commanders of the armies, and all the people failed to obey the Lord’s command to stay in the land of Judah. Instead, Johanan son of Kareah and all the commanders of the armies led away the whole remnant of Judah,(B) those who had returned to stay in the land of Judah from all the nations where they had been banished. They led away the men, women, children, king’s daughters, and everyone whom Nebuzaradan, captain of the guards, had allowed to remain with Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan.(C) They also led the prophet Jeremiah and Baruch son of Neriah away. They went to the land of Egypt because they did not obey the Lord. They went as far as Tahpanhes.(D)

God’s Sign to the People in Egypt

Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah at Tahpanhes: “Pick up some large stones and set them in the mortar of the brick pavement that is at the opening of Pharaoh’s palace at Tahpanhes. Do this in the sight of the Judean men 10 and tell them, ‘This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I will send for my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and I will place his throne on these stones that I have embedded, and he will pitch his pavilion over them. 11 He will come and strike down the land of Egypt(E)—those destined for death, to death; those destined for captivity, to captivity; and those destined for the sword, to the sword.(F) 12 I[b] will kindle a fire in the temples of Egypt’s gods,(G) and he will burn them and take them captive. He will clean the land of Egypt as a shepherd picks lice off[c] his clothes,(H) and he will leave there unscathed. 13 He will smash the sacred pillars of the sun temple[d][e] in the land of Egypt and burn the temples of the Egyptian gods.’”

Footnotes

  1. 43:2 = Jezaniah
  2. 43:12 LXX, Syr, Vg read He
  3. 43:12 Or will wrap himself in the land of Egypt as a shepherd wraps himself in
  4. 43:13 Or Beth-shemesh
  5. 43:13 = of Heliopolis

Psalm 19

The Witness of Creation and Scripture

For the choir director. A psalm of David.

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the expanse(A) proclaims the work of his hands.(B)
Day after day they pour out speech;
night after night they communicate knowledge.[a]
There is no speech; there are no words;
their voice is not heard.
Their message[b] has gone out to the whole earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.(C)
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun.(D)
It is like a bridegroom coming from his home;
it rejoices like an athlete running a course.
It rises from one end of the heavens
and circles to their other end;(E)
nothing is hidden from its heat.

The instruction of the Lord is perfect,
renewing one’s life;(F)
the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy,
making the inexperienced wise.(G)
The precepts of the Lord are right,
making the heart glad;(H)
the command of the Lord is radiant,
making the eyes light up.(I)
The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever;(J)
the ordinances of the Lord are reliable
and altogether righteous.(K)
10 They are more desirable than gold—
than an abundance of pure gold;(L)
and sweeter than honey
dripping from a honeycomb.(M)
11 In addition, your servant is warned by them,
and in keeping them there is an abundant reward.(N)

12 Who perceives his unintentional sins?
Cleanse me from my hidden faults.(O)
13 Moreover, keep your servant from willful sins;(P)
do not let them rule me.(Q)
Then I will be blameless
and cleansed from blatant rebellion.(R)
14 May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to you,(S)
Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.(T)

Footnotes

  1. 19:2 Or Day to day pours out speech, and night to night communicates knowledge
  2. 19:4 LXX, Sym, Syr, Vg; MT reads line

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