The Bible in Its Traditions

1 Samuel 5:1–12

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Now the Philistines had taken the ark of God, and they brought it from Eben-ezer unto Ashdod.

And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Abenezer to Azotus.

Then the Philistines took the ark of God, and they transported it from the Stone of Assistance into Ashdod.

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And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.

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And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of YHWH. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again.

And the people of Azotus rose early, and entered into the house of Dagon; and looked, and behold, Dagon had fallen on his face before the ark of the Lord: and they lifted up Dagon, and set him in his place. And the hand of the Lord was heavy upon the Azotians, and he plagued them, and he smote them in their secret parts, Azotus and her coasts.

And when the Ashdodites had risen up at first light on the next day, behold, Dagon was lying prone on the ground before the ark of the Lord. And they took Dagon, and they set him again in his place.

And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of YHWH; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands lay cut off upon the threshold; only the trunk of Dagon was left to him.

And it came to pass when they rose early in the morning, behold, Dagon had fallen on his face before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off each before the threshold, and both the wrists of his hands had fallen on the floor of the porch; only the stump of Dagon was left.

And again, on the next day, rising up in the morning, they found Dagon lying on his face upon the ground, before the ark of the Lord. But the head of Dagon, and both palms of his hands had been cut off upon the threshold.

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.

Therefore the priests of Dagon, and every one that enters into the house of Dagon, do not tread upon the threshold of the house of Dagon in Azotus until this day, for they step over.

Moreover, only the trunk of Dagon remained in its place. For this reason, the priests of Dagon, and all who enter his temple, do not tread upon the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod, even to this day.

But the hand of YHWH was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and He destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the borders thereof.

And the hand of the Lord was heavy upon Azotus, and he brought evil upon them, and it burst out upon them into the ships, and mice sprang up in the midst of their country, and there was a great and indiscriminate mortality in the city.

Now the hand of the Lord weighed heavily upon the Ashdodites, and he destroyed them. And he struck Ashdod and its borders at the inner part of the buttocks. And in the villages and fields, in the midst of that region, mice rose up and burst forth. And this caused a great tumult unto death in the city.

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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.'

Then the men of Ashdod, seeing this kind of plague, said: “The ark of the God of Israel shall not remain with us. For his hand is harsh, over us and over Dagon, our god.”

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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 they send and gather the lords of the Philistines to them, and say, What shall we do to the ark of the God of Israel? and the Gittites say, Let the ark of God come over to us; and the ark of the God of Israel came to Geth.

And sending, they gathered together all the princes of the Philistines to them, and they said, “What shall we do about the ark of the God of Israel?” And the Gathites responded, “Let the ark of the God of Israel be led around.” And they led the ark of the God of Israel around.

And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of YHWH was against the city with a very great discomfiture; and He smote the men of the city, both small and great, and emerods broke out upon them.

And it came to pass after it went about to Geth, that the hand of the Lord comes upon the city, a very great confusion; and he smote the men of the city small and great, and smote them in their secret parts: and the Gittites made to themselves images of emerods.

And as they were carrying it around, the hand of the Lord fell upon every single city with an exceedingly great slaughter. And he struck down the men of each and every city, from the small even to the great. And cysts were festering at their buttocks. And the Gathites took counsel, and they made for themselves seat covers from pelts.

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10  So 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.'

10  And they send away the ark of God to Ascalon; and it came to pass when the ark of God went into Ascalon, that the men of Ascalon cried out, saying, Why have ye brought back the ark of the God of Israel to us, to kill us and our people?

10  Therefore, they sent the ark of God into Ekron. And when the ark of God had arrived at Ekron, the Ekronites cried out, saying, “They have brought the ark of the God of Israel to us, so that it may kill us and our people!”

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11  They sent therefore and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and they said: 'Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go back to its own place, that it slay us not, and our people'; for there was a deadly discomfiture throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.

11  And they send and gather the lords of the Philistines, and they said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it lodge in its place; and let it not slay us and our people.

11  And so they sent and gathered together all the princes of the Philistines, and they said: “Release the ark of the God of Israel, and return it to its own place. And let it not kill us, with our people.”

12  And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods; and the cry of the city went up to heaven.

12  For there was a very great confusion in all the city, when the ark of the God of Israel entered there; and those, who lived and died not were smitten with emerods; and the cry of the city went up to heaven.

12  For the fear of death fell upon every single city, and the hand of God was very heavy. Also, the men who did not die were being afflicted in the inner part of the buttocks. And the wailing of each city was ascending to heaven.