1 And the ark of the LORD was in the country of the Philistines seven months.
2 And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, What shall we do to the ark of the LORD? tell us how we shall send it to its place.
3 And they said, If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but by all means return him a trespass offering: then ye shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you.
4 Then said they, What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him? They answered, Five golden haemorrhoids, 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.
5 Therefore ye shall make images of your haemorrhoids, and images of your mice that mar the land; and ye 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.
6 Why then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? when he had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed?
7 Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milk cows, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the cows to the cart, and bring their calves home from them:
8 And take the ark of the LORD, and lay it upon the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which ye return to him for a trespass offering, in a box by its side; and send it away, that it may go.
9 And see, if it goeth up by the way of its own land to Bethshemesh, then he hath done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that smote us: it was a chance that happened to us.
10 And the men did so; and took two milk cows, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home:
11 And they laid the ark of the LORD upon the cart, and the box with the mice of gold and the images of their haemorrhoids.
12 And the cows took the straight way to the way of Bethshemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them to the border of Bethshemesh.
13 And they of Bethshemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley: and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it.
14 And the cart came into the field of Joshua, a Bethshemite, and stood there, where there was a great stone: and they cut up the wood of the cart, and offered the cows as a burnt offering to the LORD.
15 And the Levites took down the ark of the LORD, and the box that was with it, in which were the jewels of gold, and put them on the great stone: and the men of Bethshemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day to the LORD.
16 And when the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day.
17 And these are the golden haemorrhoids which the Philistines returned for a trespass offering to the LORD; for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Askelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one;
18 And 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 of Abel, on which they set down the ark of the LORD: which stone remaineth to this day in the field of Joshua, the Bethshemite.
19 And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and seventy men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.
20 And the men of Bethshemesh said, Who is able to stand before this holy LORD God? and to whom shall he go up from us?
21 And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjathjearim, saying, The Philistines have brought again the ark of the LORD; come ye down, and bring it up to you.