1And the ark was seven months in the country of the Philistines, and their land brought forth swarms of mice.
2And the Philistines call their priests, and their prophets, and their enchanters, saying, What shall we do to the ark of the Lord? teach us wherewith we shall send it away to its place.
3And they said, If ye send away the ark of the covenant of the Lord God of Israel, do not on any account send it away empty, but by all means render to it an offering for the plague; and then shall ye be healed, and an atonement shall be made for you: should not his hand be thus stayed from off you?
4And they say, What is the offering for the plague which we shall return to it? and they said,
5According to the number of the lords of the Philistines, five golden emerods, for the plague was on you, and on your rulers, and on the people; and golden mice, the likeness of the mice that destroy your land: and ye shall give glory to the Lord, that he may lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land.
6And why do ye harden your hearts, as Egypt and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? was it not so when he mocked them, that they let the people go, and they departed?
7And now take wood and make a new wagon, and take two cows, that have calved for the first time, without their calves; and do ye yoke the cows to the wagon, and lead away the calves from behind them home.
8And ye shall take the ark and put it on the wagon; and ye shall restore to it the golden articles for the trespass offering in a coffer by the side of it: and ye shall let it go, and send it away, and ye shall depart.
9And ye shall see, if it shall go the way of its coasts along by Beth-shemesh, he has brought upon us this great affliction; and if not, then shall we know that his hand has not touched us, but this is a chance which has happened to us.
10And the Philistines did so; and they took two cows that had calved for the first time, and yoked them to the wagon, and shut up their calves at home.
11And they set the ark of the Lord, and the coffer, and the golden mice, on the wagon.
12And the cows went straight on the way to the way of Beth-shemesh, they went along one track; and labored, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left, and the lords of the Philistines went after it as far as the coasts of Beth-shemesh.
13And the men of Beth-shemesh were reaping the wheat harvest in the valley; and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark of the Lord, and rejoiced to meet it.
14And the wagon entered into the field of Joshua, which was in Beth-shemesh, and they set there by it a great stone; and they split the wood of the wagon, and offered up the cows for a whole burnt offering to the Lord.
15And the Levites brought up the ark of the Lord, and the coffer with it, and the golden articles upon it, and placed them on the great stone, and the men of Beth-shemesh offered whole burnt offerings and meat offerings on that day to the Lord.
16And the five lords of the Philistines saw, and returned to Ashkelon in that day.
17And these are the golden emerods which the lords of the Philistines gave as a trespass offering to the Lord; for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Ashkelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one.
18And the golden mice according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines, belonging to the five lords, from the fenced city to the village of the Perizzite, and to the great stone, on which they placed the ark of the covenant of the Lord, that was in the field of Joshua the Beth-shemeshite.
19And the sons of Jechonias were not pleased with the men of Beth-shemesh, because they saw the ark of the Lord; and the Lord smote among them seventy men, and fifty thousand men: and the people mourned, because the Lord had inflicted on the people a very great plague.
20And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who shall be able to pass before this holy Lord God? and to whom shall the ark of the Lord go up from us?
21And they send messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath-jearim, saying, The Philistines have brought back the ark of the Lord, go down and take it home to yourselves.