1The Philistines carried God’s Holy Box, from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2The Philistines carried God’s Holy Box into the temple of Dagon and put it next to the statue of Dagon. 3The next morning, the people of Ashdod got up and found Dagon lying face down on the ground. Dagon had fallen down before the Lord’s Box. The people of Ashdod put the statue of Dagon back in its place. 4But the next morning when the people of Ashdod got up, they found Dagon on the ground again! Dagon had fallen down before the Lord’s Holy Box. This time, Dagon’s head and hands were broken off and lying on the threshold. Only Dagon’s body was still in one piece. 5That is why, even today, Dagon’s priests or any other people who enter Dagon’s Temple at Ashdod refuse to step on the threshold. 6The Lord made life hard for the people of Ashdod and their neighbors. The Lord gave them many troubles. He caused them to get tumors. The Lord also sent mice to them. The mice ran all over their ships and then onto their land. The people in the city were very afraid. 7The people of Ashdod saw what was happening. They said, “The Holy Box of the God of Israel can’t stay here! God is punishing us and Dagon our god.” 8The people of Ashdod called the five Philistine rulers together. The people of Ashdod asked the rulers, “What must we do with the Holy Box of the God of Israel?” The rulers answered, “Move the Holy Box of the God of Israel ˻to Gath˼.” So the Philistines moved God’s Holy Box. 9But after the Philistines had moved God’s Holy Box to Gath, the Lord punished that city. The people became very scared. God caused many troubles for all the people—young and old. God caused the people in Gath to have tumors. 10So the Philistines sent God’s Holy Box to Ekron. But when God’s Holy Box came into Ekron, the people of Ekron complained. They said, “Why are you bringing the Box of the God of Israel to our city Ekron? Do you want to kill us and our people?” 11The people of Ekron called all the Philistine rulers together. The people of Ekron said to the rulers, “Send the Box of the God of Israel back to its place before it kills us and our people!” The people of Ekron were very scared! God made life very hard for them in that place. 12˻Many people died.˼ And the people who did not die, had tumors. The people of Ekron cried loudly to heaven.
1 Samuel 5