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And the Pelishtim (Philistines) captured the Aron HaElohim, and brought it from Even HaEzer unto Ashdod.

When the Pelishtim (Philistines) took the Aron HaElohim, they brought it into the Bais Dagon, and set it beside Dagon.

And when they of Ashdod arose early the next day, hinei, Dagon was fallen upon his face on the ground before the Aron Hashem. And they took Dagon, and returned him to his makom.

And when they arose baboker on the next day, hinei, Dagon was fallen upon his face on the ground before the Aron Hashem; and the rosh Dagon and both the kapot (palms) of his hands were cut off upon the miftan (threshold); only the trunk of Dagon was left to him.

Therefore neither the kohanim of Dagon, nor any that enter Bais Dagon, tread on the miftan (threshold) of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.

But the Yad Hashem was heavy upon the Ashdodim, and He brought desolation, and struck them with techorim (tumors), even Ashdod and the vicinity thereof.

And when the anshei Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The Aron Elohei Yisroel shall not abide with us; for His Yad is hard upon us, and upon Dagon eloheinu.

They sent therefore and gathered all rulers of the Pelishtim (Philistines) unto them, and said, What shall we do with the Aron Elohei Yisroel? And they answered, Let the Aron Elohei Yisroel be brought about unto Gat. And they brought the Aron Elohei Yisroel about to there.

And it was so, that, after they had brought it about, the Yad Hashem was against the Ir with a mehumah gedolah me’od (a very great tumult, commotion); and He struck the anshei HaIr, both katon and gadol, so that techorim (tumors) broke out on them.

10 Therefore they sent the Aron HaElohim to Ekron. And it came to pass, as the Aron HaElohim came to Ekron, that the Ekronim cried out, saying, They have brought about the Aron Elohei Yisroel to us, to slay us and our people.

11 So they sent and gathered together all the rulers of the Pelishtim (Philistines), and said, Send away the Aron Elohei Yisroel, and let it return to its own makom, [see 2Chr 6:41], that it slay us not, and our people; for there was a mehumah (tumult, public panic) of mavet (death) throughout kol HaIr; the Yad HaElohim was very heavy there.

12 And the anashim that died not were struck with the techorim (tumors); and the outcry of the Ir went up to Shomayim.

The Ark in Ashdod and Ekron

After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer(A) to Ashdod.(B) Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon.(C) When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen(D) on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! His head and hands had been broken(E) off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor any others who enter Dagon’s temple at Ashdod step on the threshold.(F)

The Lord’s hand(G) was heavy on the people of Ashdod and its vicinity; he brought devastation(H) on them and afflicted them with tumors.[a](I) When the people of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, “The ark of the god of Israel must not stay here with us, because his hand is heavy on us and on Dagon our god.” So they called together all the rulers(J) of the Philistines and asked them, “What shall we do with the ark of the god of Israel?”

They answered, “Have the ark of the god of Israel moved to Gath.(K)” So they moved the ark of the God of Israel.

But after they had moved it, the Lord’s hand was against that city, throwing it into a great panic.(L) He afflicted the people of the city, both young and old, with an outbreak of tumors.[b] 10 So they sent the ark of God to Ekron.(M)

As the ark of God was entering Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out, “They have brought the ark of the god of Israel around to us to kill us and our people.” 11 So they called together all the rulers(N) of the Philistines and said, “Send the ark of the god of Israel away; let it go back to its own place, or it[c] will kill us and our people.” For death had filled the city with panic; God’s hand was very heavy on it. 12 Those who did not die(O) were afflicted with tumors, and the outcry of the city went up to heaven.


  1. 1 Samuel 5:6 Hebrew; Septuagint and Vulgate tumors. And rats appeared in their land, and there was death and destruction throughout the city
  2. 1 Samuel 5:9 Or with tumors in the groin (see Septuagint)
  3. 1 Samuel 5:11 Or he

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