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And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan even to Beer-Sheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord. And the Lord appeared again in Shiloh : for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel. And the word of Samuel came to all Israel.
The Ark among the Philistines (1 Sam. iv. 2-vii. 2). Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside Eben-ezer: and the Philistines pitched in Aphek. And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men. And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said: "Wherefore hath the Lord smitten us to-day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the Lord out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies."
So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubim and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of God. And when the ark of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again. And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said: "What meaneth the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews?" And they understood that the ark of the Lord was come into the camp. And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, "God is come into the camp." And they said: "Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing heretofore. Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty Gods? these are the Gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness. Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight."
And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.
And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came
to Shiloh the same day with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head. And when he came, lo, Eli sat upon a seat by the gate watching the road: for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city, and told it, all the city cried out. And when Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said: "What meaneth the noise of this tumult?" And the man came in hastily, and said unto Eli: "I am he that came out of the army, and I fled to-day out of the army." And he said: "What is there done, my son?" And the messenger answered and said: "Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken." And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.
And his daughter in law, Phinehas' wife, was with child, near to be delivered: and when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and that her father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed; for her pains came upon her. And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said unto her: "Fear not; for thou hast borne a son." But she answered not, neither did she regard it. And they named the child I-chabod,' saying: "The glory is departed from Israel: " because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband.
And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Eben-ezer unto Ashdod, into the house of Dagon and set it by Dagon. And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the Lord. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him. Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon's house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day. But the hand of the Lord was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he 1 Ichabod. No glory.'
destroyed them, and smote them with emerods,1 even Ashdod and the coasts thereof. And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said: "The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god." They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines unto them, and said: "What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?" And they answered: "Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about unto Gath." And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about thither. And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the Lord was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts. Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And it came to pass, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying: "They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to slay us and our people." So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said: "Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to its own place, that it slay us not, and our people: for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there. And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven.
And the ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistines seven months. And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying: "What shall we do to the ark of the Lord? tell us wherewith we shall send it to its place." And they said: "If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but in any wise return him a trespass offering: then ye shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you." Then said they: "What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him?" They answered: "Five golden emerods, and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines: for one plague was on you all, and on your lords; 3 and ye shall give glory unto the
1 emerods. Hemorrhoids, here very likely the tumors of bubonic plague. 2 The Greek here adds: " and their land swarmed with mice." But the "five golden mice," mentioned later, may be merely symbols of pestilence. Mice were certainly so regarded by the Egyptians. The Greek in two of the passages just ahead omits mention of the gold hemorrhoids.
3 A clause here following: "Wherefore ye shall make images of your emerods, and images of your mice that mar the land" is thought to be a gloss. But
God of Israel: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land. Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? when he had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed? Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there hath come no yoke,1 and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves home from them: and take the ark of the Lord, and lay it upon the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which ye return him for a trespass offering, in a coffer by the side thereof; and send it away, that it may go. And see, if it goeth up by the way of his own coast to Beth-shemesh, then he hath done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that smote us; it was a chance that happened to us."
And the men did so; and took two milch kine, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home: and they laid the ark of the Lord upon the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their emerods. And the kine took the straight way by the way to Beth-shemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left: and the lords of the Philistines went after them unto the border of Beth-shemesh.
And they of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley and they lifted up their eyes and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it. And the cart came into the field of Joshua, a Beth-shemite, and stood there, where there was a great stone: and they clave the wood of the cart, and offered the kine a burnt offering unto the Lord. And when the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day. A witness is the great stone, whereon they set down the ark of the Lord: which stone remaineth unto this day in the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite.
But the sons of Jeconiah did not rejoice with the men of Beth-shemesh, when they looked upon the ark of the Lord, and he smote of them threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the Lord had smitten many of the people with
its writer evidently understood that there was a plague of mice. The passage suggests the symbolic magic by which superstitious people believe that if the image of a person or thing be subjected to hurt with fitting spells, its original will take harm.
1 The cart and kine would have been profaned by previous use.
a great slaughter. And the men of Beth-shemesh said: "Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God? and to whom shall he go up from us?" And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjath-jearim, saying: "The Philistines have brought again the ark of the Lord; come ye down, and fetch it up to you." And the men of Kirjath-jearim came, and fetched up the ark of the Lord, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the Lord. And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjathjearim,' that the time was long; for it was twenty years.
1 Shiloh had perhaps fallen into the hands of the Philistines. It does not appear again as a national meeting-place.