The Ark Moved Around
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They departed from the mountain of the Lord [Mount Sinai] three days' journey; and the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them during the three days' journey to seek out a resting-place for them.
Joshua said to the priests, Take up the ark of the covenant and pass over before the people. And they took it up and went on before the people.
At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to bear the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister to Him and to bless in His name unto this day.
And Moses wrote this law and delivered it to the Levitical priests, who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel.
And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns; and on the seventh day you shall march around the enclosure seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.
When Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the Lord and blew the trumpets, and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them.
Joshua rose early in the morning and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. And the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the Lord passed on, blowing the trumpets continually; and the armed men went before them and the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, the priests blowing the trumpets as they went.
When the troops had come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Why has the Lord smitten us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that He may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies. So the people sent to Shiloh and brought from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, Who dwells above the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were with the ark of the covenant of God. And when the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth resounded.read more.
And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, What does this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean? When they understood that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp,
The Philistines brought the ark of God from Ebenezer to Ashdod. They took the ark of God into the house of Dagon and set it beside Dagon [their idol]. When they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon had fallen upon his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and set him in his place again.read more.
But when they arose early the next morning, behold, Dagon had again fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord, and [his] head and both the palms of his hands were lying cut off on the threshold; only the trunk of Dagon was left him. This is the reason neither the priests of Dagon nor any who come into Dagon's house tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day. But the hand of the Lord was heavy upon the people of Ashdod, and He caused [mice to spring up and there was] very deadly destruction and He smote the people with [very painful] tumors or boils, both Ashdod and its territory. When the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for His hand is heavy on us and on Dagon our god. So they sent and gathered all the lords of the Philistines to them and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? They answered, Let [it] be carried around to Gath. So they carried the ark of the God of Israel there. But after they had carried it to Gath, the hand of the Lord was against the city, causing an exceedingly great panic [at the deaths from the plague], for He afflicted the people of the city, both small and great, and tumors or boils broke out on them. So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And as [it] came, the people of Ekron cried out, They have brought the ark of the God of Israel to us to slay us and our people! So they sent and assembled all the lords of the Philistines and said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel; let it return to its own place, that it may not slay us and our people. For there was a deadly panic throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there. The men who had not died were stricken with very painful tumors or boils, and the cry of the city went up to heaven.
The ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistines seven months. And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, What shall we do to the ark of the Lord? Tell us with what we shall send it to its place. And they said, If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty, but at least return to Him a guilt offering. Then you will be healed, and it will be known to you why His hand is not removed [and healing granted you].read more.
Then they said, What shall be the guilt offering which we shall return to Him? They answered, Five golden tumors and five golden mice, according to the number of the Philistine lords, for one plague was on you all, even on your lords. Therefore you must make images of your tumors and of your mice that destroy the land, and give glory to the God of Israel. Perhaps He will lighten His hand from off you and your gods and your land. Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He had done wonders and made a mock of them, did they not let the people go, and they departed? Now then, make and prepare a new cart and two milch cows on which no yoke has ever come; and yoke the cows to the cart, but take their calves home, away from them. And take the ark of the Lord and place it upon the cart, and put in a box at its side the figures of gold which you are returning to Him as a guilt offering. Then send it away and let it be gone. And watch. If it goes up by the way of its own land to Beth-shemesh, then He has done us this great evil. But if not, then we shall know that it was not His hand that struck us; it happened to us by chance. And the men did so, and took two milch cows and yoked them to the cart and shut up their calves at home. And they put the ark of the Lord on the cart and along with it the box with the mice of gold and the images of their tumors. And the cows went straight toward Beth-shemesh along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right or the left. And the Philistine lords followed them as far as the border of Beth-shemesh. Now the men of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley, and they lifted up their eyes and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it. The cart came into the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh and stopped there. A great stone was there; and the men split up the wood of the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering to the Lord. The Levites took down the ark of the Lord and the box beside it in which were the figures of gold and put them upon the great stone. And the men of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and made sacrifices that day to the Lord. When the five lords of the Philistines saw it, they returned that day to Ekron. And these are the tumors of gold which the Philistines returned for a guilt offering to the Lord: one each for Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath and Ekron; Also the mice of gold was according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both fortified cities and country villages. The great stone, on which they set the ark of the Lord, remains as a witness to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh. And the Lord slew some of the men of Beth-shemesh because they had looked into the ark of the Lord; He slew seventy men of them, and the people mourned because the Lord had made a great slaughter among them. And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to stand before the Lord, this holy God? And to whom shall He go away from us? And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath-jearim, saying, The Philistines have returned the ark of the Lord. Come down and take it up to you.
And the Lord slew some of the men of Beth-shemesh because they had looked into the ark of the Lord; He slew seventy men of them, and the people mourned because the Lord had made a great slaughter among them.
Saul said to Ahijah, Bring here the ark of God -- "for at that time the ark of God was with the children of Israel.
So David was not willing to take the ark of the Lord to him into the City of David; but he took it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. And the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household.
So David did not bring the ark home to the City of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite [a Levitical porter born in Gath-rimmon]. And the ark of God remained with the family of Obed-edom in his house three months. And the Lord blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that he had.
Uriah said to David, The ark and Israel and Judah live in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? As you live and as my soul lives, I will not do this thing.
As David sat in his house, he said to Nathan the prophet, Behold, I dwell in a house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord remains under tent curtains.