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1 The LORD said to Moses,
2 "Speak to the Israelites and get twelve staffs from them, one from the leader of each of their ancestral tribes. Write the name of each man on his staff.
3 On the staff of Levi write Aaron's name, for there must be one staff for the head of each ancestral tribe.
4 Place them in the tent of meeting in front of the ark of the covenant law, where I meet with you.
5 The staff belonging to the man I choose will sprout, and I will rid myself of this constant grumbling against you by the Israelites."
6 So Moses spoke to the Israelites, and their leaders gave him twelve staffs, one for the leader of each of their ancestral tribes, and Aaron's staff was among them.
7 Moses placed the staffs before the LORD in the tent of the covenant law.
8 The next day Moses entered the tent and saw that Aaron's staff, which represented the tribe of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds.
9 Then Moses brought out all the staffs from the LORD's presence to all the Israelites. They looked at them, and each of the leaders took his own staff.
10 The LORD said to Moses, "Put back Aaron's staff in front of the ark of the covenant law, to be kept as a sign to the rebellious. This will put an end to their grumbling against me, so that they will not die."
11 Moses did just as the LORD commanded him.
14 That day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they revered him all the days of his life, just as they had revered Moses.
15 Then the LORD said to Joshua,
16 "Command the priests carrying the ark of the Testimony to come up out of the Jordan."
17 So Joshua commanded the priests, "Come up out of the Jordan."
"Return, faithless people," declares the LORD, "for I am your husband. I will choose you —one from a town and two from a clan —and bring you to Zion.
Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.
In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land," declares the LORD, "people will no longer say, 'The ark of the covenant of the LORD.' It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made.
10 So they did this. They took two such cows and hitched them to the cart and penned up their calves.
11 They placed the ark of the LORD on the cart and along with it the chest containing the gold rats and the models of the tumors.
12 Then the cows went straight up toward Beth Shemesh, keeping on the road and lowing all the way; they did not turn to the right or to the left. The rulers of the Philistines followed them as far as the border of Beth Shemesh.
13 Now the people of Beth Shemesh were harvesting their wheat in the valley, and when they looked up and saw the ark, they rejoiced at the sight.
14 The cart came to the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh, and there it stopped beside a large rock. The people chopped up the wood of the cart and sacrificed the cows as a burnt offering to the LORD.
15 The Levites took down the ark of the LORD, together with the chest containing the gold objects, and placed them on the large rock. On that day the people of Beth Shemesh offered burnt offerings and made sacrifices to the LORD.
When Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law. In this way the LORD spoke to him.
Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood —two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. [^1]
He took the tablets of the covenant law and placed them in the ark, attached the poles to the ark and put the atonement cover over it.
Then he brought the ark into the tabernacle and hung the shielding curtain and shielded the ark of the covenant law, as the LORD commanded him.
When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city.
Then the LORD said to Moses:
"Set up the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, on the first day of the first month.
Place the ark of the covenant law in it and shield the ark with the curtain.
6 The LORD's hand was heavy on the people of Ashdod and its vicinity; he brought devastation on them and afflicted them with tumors. [^1]
7 When the people of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, "The ark of the god of Israel must not stay here with us, because his hand is heavy on us and on Dagon our god."
8 So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and asked them, "What shall we do with the ark of the god of Israel?" They answered, "Have the ark of the god of Israel moved to Gath." So they moved the ark of the God of Israel.
9 But after they had moved it, the LORD's hand was against that city, throwing it into a great panic. He afflicted the people of the city, both young and old, with an outbreak of tumors. [^2]
10 So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. As the ark of God was entering Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out, "They have brought the ark of the god of Israel around to us to kill us and our people."
11 So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and said, "Send the ark of the god of Israel away; let it go back to its own place, or it "will kill us and our people." For death had filled the city with panic; God's hand was very heavy on it.
10 "Have them make an ark "of acacia wood —two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. [^3]
11 Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it.
12 Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other.
13 Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.
14 Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it.
15 The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed.
16 Then put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law, which I will give you.
17 "Make an atonement cover of pure gold —two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide.
18 And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover.
19 Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends.
20 The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover.
21 Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you.
1 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.
2 Then the LORD said to Joshua, "See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.
3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days.
4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams' horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets.
5 When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in."
6 So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, "Take up the ark of the covenant of the LORD and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it."
7 And he ordered the army, "Advance! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the ark of the LORD."
There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.
33 So they set out from the mountain of the LORD and traveled for three days. The ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them during those three days to find them a place to rest.
34 The cloud of the LORD was over them by day when they set out from the camp.
35 Whenever the ark set out, Moses said, "Rise up, LORD! May your enemies be scattered; may your foes flee before you."
36 Whenever it came to rest, he said, "Return, LORD, to the countless thousands of Israel."
And the priests came up out of the river carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD. No sooner had they set their feet on the dry ground than the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and ran at flood stage as before.
1 Then King Solomon summoned into his presence at Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the Israelite families, to bring up the ark of the LORD's covenant from Zion, the City of David.
2 All the Israelites came together to King Solomon at the time of the festival in the month of Ethanim, the seventh month.
3 When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark,
4 and they brought up the ark of the LORD and the tent of meeting and all the sacred furnishings in it. The priests and Levites carried them up,
5 and King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel that had gathered about him were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted.
6 The priests then brought the ark of the LORD's covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim.
7 The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and overshadowed the ark and its carrying poles.
8 These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place in front of the inner sanctuary, but not from outside the Holy Place; and they are still there today.
9 There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.
10 When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD.
11 And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.
When the ark of the LORD had been in Philistine territory seven months,
the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners and said, "What shall we do with the ark of the LORD? Tell us how we should send it back to its place."
They answered, "If you return the ark of the god of Israel, do not send it back to him without a gift; by all means send a guilt offering to him. Then you will be healed, and you will know why his hand has not been lifted from you."
2 The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand of them on the battlefield.
3 When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, "Why did the LORD bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the LORD's covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies."
4 So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim. And Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
5 When the ark of the LORD's covenant came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout that the ground shook.
6 Hearing the uproar, the Philistines asked, "What's all this shouting in the Hebrew camp?" When they learned that the ark of the LORD had come into the camp,
7 the Philistines were afraid. "A god has "come into the camp," they said. "Oh no! Nothing like this has happened before.
8 We're doomed! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? They are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness.
9 Be strong, Philistines! Be men, or you will be subject to the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Be men, and fight!"
10 So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers.
11 The ark of God was captured, and Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.
Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm.
So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the LORD. They brought it to Abinadab's house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the LORD.
The ark remained at Kiriath Jearim a long time —twenty years in all. Then all the people of Israel turned back to the LORD.
12 Now King David was told, "The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God." So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing.
13 When those who were carrying the ark of the LORD had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf.
14 Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the LORD with all his might,
15 while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.
1 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary.
2 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place.
3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place,
4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron's staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant.
5 Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.