The ark of Allah was in the country of the Philistines seven months. 2The Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, “What shall we do with the ark of Allah? Show us how we shall send it to its place.“
3They said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty; but by all means return him a trespass-offering: then you shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you.“
4Then they said, “What shall the trespass-offering be which we shall return to him?“
They said, “Five golden tumors, 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. 5Therefore you shall make images of your tumors, and images of your mice that mar the land; and you shall give glory to the God of Israel: perhaps he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land. 6Why then do you harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Firaun hardened their hearts? When he had worked wonderfully among them, didn’t they let the people go, and they departed? 7Now therefore take and prepare yourselves a new cart, and two milk cows, on which there has come no yoke; and tie the cows to the cart, and bring their calves home from them; 8and take the ark of Allah, and lay it on the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which you return him for a trespass-offering, in a coffer by the side of it; and send it away, that it may go. 9Behold; if it goes up by the way of its own border to Beth-shemesh, then he has done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that struck us; it happened to us by chance.“
10The men did so, and took two milk cows, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home; 11and they put the ark of Allah on the cart, and the coffer with the gold mice and the images of their tumors. 12The cows took the straight way by the way to Beth-shemesh; they went along the highway, lowing as they went, and did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them to the border of Beth-shemesh. 13People of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley; and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and were happy to see it. 14The cart came into the field of Yusha the Beth-shemite, and stood there, where there was a great stone: and they split the wood of the cart, and sacrificed the cows for a burnt offering to Allah. 15The Levites took down the ark of Allah, and the coffer that was with it, in which the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone: and the men of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrifices the same day to Allah. 16When the five lords of the Philistines saw it, they returned to Ekron the same day. 17These are the golden tumors which the Philistines returned for a trespass-offering to Allah: for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Ashkelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one; 18and the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fortified cities and of country villages, even to the great stone, whereon they set down the ark of Allah, which stone remains to this day in the field of Yusha the Beth-shemite. 19God struck some of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Allah, he struck of the people fifty thousand seventy men; and the people mourned, because Allah had struck the people with a great slaughter. 20The men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to stand before Allah, this holy God? To whom shall he go up from us? 21They sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath Jearim, saying, The Philistines have brought back the ark of Allah; come down, and take it.