1 Samuel 4–6

1 And the word of Samuel came to all Israel.

And Israel went out to battle against the Philistines and they made camp beside Ebenezer, and the Philistines encamped in Aphek. 2 The Philistines arrayed themselves in a battle line against Israel, and when the battle was over, Israel was beaten before the Philistines, who struck down on the field of battle about four thousand men. 3 When the people came into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord struck us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of Shiloh to us, that it might come among us and rescue us out of the hand of our enemies.”

4 So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring 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 there with the ark of the covenant of God.

5 When the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the ground was in an uproar. 6 When the Philistines heard the sound of the shout, they said, “What does this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” Then they understood that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp.

7 The Philistines were afraid, when they said, “God is come into the camp.” And they said, “Woe to us! For this has never happened to us before. 8 Woe to us! Who will deliver us out of the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods that struck the Egyptians with every plague in the wilderness. 9 Be strong and be men, O Philistines, lest you be servants to the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Now be men and fight.”

10 So the Philistines fought and Israel was beaten. And they fled every man into his tent. It was a very great defeat, for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 Now the ark of God was taken, and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

12 There ran a man of Benjamin from the battle line, and he came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes torn and with dust upon his head. 13 When he came, Eli was sitting on a seat by the wayside watching. For his heart feared for the ark of God. Now the man came to tell it in the city, and all the city cried out.

14 When Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, “What does the noise of this tumult mean?”

And the man hurriedly came and told Eli. 15 Now Eli was ninety-eight years old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see. 16 The man said to Eli, “I am he that came out of the army, and I fled today out of the battle line.”

And he said, “What is the word, my son?”

17 The messenger answered and said, “Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there also has been a great slaughter among the people. Your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead. And the ark of God is taken.”

18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate. And his neck broke and he died, for he was an old and heavy man. And he had judged Israel forty years.

19 His daughter-in-law, Phinehas’ wife, was pregnant, about to give birth. And when she heard the news that the ark of God was taken, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she kneeled down and gave birth, for her pains came upon her. 20 About the time of her death the women that stood by her said to her, “Do not fear, for you have borne a son.” But she did not answer or regard it.

21 She named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory is departed from Israel,” because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 She said, “The glory is departed from Israel, for the ark of God is taken.”

Chapter 5

1 Now the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2 When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon and set it by Dagon. 3 When the Ashdodites arose early in the morning, Dagon had fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord. And they took Dagon and set him in his place again. 4 When they arose early on the next morning, again Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord, and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold. Only the torso of Dagon was left to him. 5 Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any coming into Dagon’s house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.

6 But the hand of the Lord was heavy upon the Ashdodites. He desolated them and struck them with tumors, even Ashdod and its territories. 7 When the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel cannot remain with us. For His hand is heavy upon us and upon Dagon our god.” 8 So they sent and gathered all the lords of the Philistines unto them, and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?”

And they answered, “Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried around to Gath.” And they carried the ark of the God of Israel there.

9 It happened that after they had carried it about, the hand of the Lord was against the city with a very great destruction. And He struck the men of the city, both small and great. And tumors broke out on them. 10 Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron.

And it came about that as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, “They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to slay us and our people.” 11 So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to His own place that He might not kill me and my people,” for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city. The hand of God was very heavy there. 12 The men that did not die were plagued with the tumors. And the cry of the city went up to heaven.

Chapter 6

1 Now the ark of the Lord had been in the country of the Philistines seven months. 2 The Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? Tell us how we should send it to its place.”

3 They said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty. But return to Him a guilt offering. Then you will be healed, and it will be known to you why His hand is not removed from you.”

4 Then said they, “What will be the guilt offering which we will return to Him?”

They answered, “Five golden tumors 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 you will make images of your tumors and images of your mice that ravage the land. And you will give glory to the God of Israel. Perhaps He will lighten His hand from off you, even from off your gods and from off your land. 6 Why then do you harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He dealt severely with 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 has never been a yoke. Then tie the cows to the cart and bring their calves home, away from them. 8 Then take the ark of the Lord and set it on the cart. And put the images of gold, which you return to Him for a guilt offering, in a box by the side. And send it away, that it may go. 9 See, if it goes up by the way of His own territory to Beth Shemesh, then He has done us this great evil. But if not, then we will know that it is not His hand that struck us; it was by chance that it happened to us.”

10 The men did so. And they took two milk cows, tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home. 11 And they set the ark of the Lord on the cart, as well as the box with the mice of gold and the images of their tumors. 12 Then the cows took the straight way to the way of Beth Shemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went. They did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left with the lords of the Philistines walking after them to the border of Beth Shemesh.

13 Now Beth Shemesh was reaping their wheat harvest in the valley. And they lifted up their eyes and saw the ark, and they rejoiced to see it. 14 The cart came into the field of Joshua, the Beth Shemite, and stood there where there was a great stone. And they split the wood of the cart, and offered the cows as a burnt offering to the Lord. 15 The Levites took down the ark of the Lord and the box that was with it, where the articles of gold were, and put them on the great stone. And the men of Beth Shemesh offered burnt offerings and made sacrifices the same day to the Lord. 16 When the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day.

17 These are the golden tumors which the Philistines returned for a guilt offering to the Lord: for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Ashkelon 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. And the great stone, where they set the ark of the Lord, is a witness to this day in the field of Joshua, the Beth Shemite.

19 Then He struck the men of Beth Shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord. He struck fifty thousand and seventy men. And the people lamented, because the Lord had struck the people with a great slaughter. 20 The men of Beth Shemesh said, “Who is able to stand before the Lord, this holy God? And to whom will He go up from us?”

21 And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath Jearim, saying, “The Philistines have brought back the ark of the Lord. Come down, and take it up to you.”

Luke 9:1–17

1 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases. 2 And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey: no staff, no bag, no bread, no money. And do not take two tunics apiece. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. 5 Whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by Him. And he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead, 8 and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen. 9 But Herod said, “I have beheaded John. But who is this of whom I hear such things?” And he tried to see Him.

10 When the apostles returned, they told Jesus all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. 11 But when the crowds knew it, they followed Him. And He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing.

12 When the day began to end, the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the crowds away, so they can go into the towns and surrounding countryside and lodge and get food. For we are in a deserted place here.”

13 He said to them, “You give them something to eat.”

They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people.” 14 There were about five thousand men.

But He said to His disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of fifty.” 15 They did so, and made them all sit down. 16 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 They all ate and were filled, and twelve baskets of broken pieces that remained were collected.