1 Now the Philistines had taken the ark of G-d, and they brought it from Eben-ezer unto Ashdod.
2 And the Philistines took the ark of G-d, and brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.
3 And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of HaShem. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again.
4 And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of HaShem; 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.
5 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.
6 But the hand of HaShem was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and He destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the borders thereof.
7 And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said: 'The ark of the G-d of Israel shall not abide with us; for His hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god.'
8 They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines unto them, and said: 'What shall we do with the ark of the G-d of Israel?' And they answered: 'Let the ark of the G-d of Israel be carried about unto Gath.' And they carried the ark of the G-d of Israel about thither.
9 And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of HaShem 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.
10 So they sent the ark of G-d to Ekron. And it came to pass, as the ark of G-d came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying: 'They have brought about the ark of the G-d of Israel to us, to slay us and our people.'
11 They sent therefore and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and they said: 'Send away the ark of the G-d 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 G-d was very heavy there.
12 And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods; and the cry of the city went up to heaven.
Sources: Portions copyright © 1997 by Benyamin Pilant, All Rights Reserved