And the ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistinesseven months. And the Philistines called for the priests and thediviners, saying, What shall we do to the ark of the Lord? tellus wherewith we shall send it to his place. And they said, If yesend away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but inany wise return him a trespass offering: then ye shall be healed,and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed fromyou. Then said they, What shall be the trespass offering which weshall return to him? They answered, Five golden emerods, and fivegolden mice, according to the number of the lords of thePhilistines: for one plague was on you all, and on your lords.Wherefore ye shall make images of your emerods, and images ofyour mice that mar the land; and ye shall give glory unto the Godof Israel: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you,and from off your gods, and from off your land. Wherefore then doye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardenedtheir hearts? when he had wrought wonderfully among them, didthey not let the people go, and they departed? Now therefore makea new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there hath come noyoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves homefrom them: and take the ark of the Lord, and lay it upon thecart; and put the jewels of gold, which ye return him for atrespass offering, in a coffer by the side thereof; and send itaway, that it may go. And see, if it goeth up by the way of hisown coast to Beth-shemesh, then he hath done us this great evil:but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that smoteus; it was a chance that happened to us.
And the men did so; and took two milch kine, and tied them tothe cart, and shut up their calves at home: and they laid the arkof the Lord upon the cart, and the coffer with the mice of goldand the images of their emerods. And the kine took the straightway to the way of Beth-shemesh, and went along the highway,lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or tothe left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them, untothe border of Beth-shemesh. And they of Beth-shemesh were reapingtheir wheat harvest in the valley: and they lifted up their eyes,and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it. And the cart came intothe field of Joshua, a Beth-shemite, and stood there, where therewas a great stone: and they clave the wood of the cart, andoffered the kine a burnt offering unto the Lord.
And the Levites took down the ark of the Lord, and the cofferthat was with it, wherein the jewels of gold were, and put themon the great stone: and the men of Beth-shemesh offered burntofferings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day unto theLord.—1 Samuel vi, 1-5.