6:12 Then the cows went directly on the road to Beth Shemesh. They went along, mooing as they went; they turned neither to the right nor to the left. The leaders of the Philistines were walking along behind them all the way to the border of Beth Shemesh.
6:13 Now the residents of Beth Shemesh were harvesting wheat in the valley. When they looked up and saw the ark, they were pleased at the sight. 6:14 The cart was coming to the field of Joshua, who was from Beth Shemesh. It paused there near a big stone. Then they cut up the wood of the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering to the Lord. 6:15 The Levites took down the ark of the Lord and the chest that was with it, which contained the gold objects. They placed them near the big stone. At that time the people of Beth Shemesh offered burnt offerings and made sacrifices to the Lord. 6:16 The five leaders of the Philistines watched what was happening and then returned to Ekron on the same day.
6:17 These are the gold sores that the Philistines brought as a guilt offering to the Lord – one for each of the following cities: Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron. 6:18 The gold mice corresponded in number to all the Philistine cities of the five leaders, from the fortified cities to hamlet villages, to greater Abel, 1 where they positioned the ark of the Lord until this very day in the field of Joshua who was from Beth Shemesh.
6:19 But the Lord 2 struck down some of the people of Beth Shemesh because they had looked into the ark of the Lord; he struck down 50,070 3 of the men. The people grieved because the Lord had struck the people with a hard blow. 6:20 The residents of Beth Shemesh asked, “Who is able to stand before the Lord, this holy God? To whom will the ark 4 go up from here?”
6:21 So they sent messengers to the residents of Kiriath Jearim, saying, “The Philistines have returned the ark of the Lord. Come down here and take it back home with you.”
1 tc A few Hebrew
2 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the
3 tc The number 50,070 is surprisingly large, although it finds almost unanimous textual support in the MT and in the ancient versions. Only a few medieval Hebrew
4 tn Heb “he” or “it”; the referent here (the ark) has been specified in the translation for clarity (cf. also NIV, CEV, NLT). Others, however, take the referent to be the