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The authorities in Philistia now called a council, and sought the advice of their diviners. It is intensely interesting to observe how unanimously they recognized the action of Jehovah. Whatever the long years had done for Israel itself, it is perfectly certain that the fear and the dread of Jehovah had been implanted in the hearts of the surrounding peoples.
The counselors advised sending the Ark back, accompanied by offerings intended to indicate their recognition that the plagues of mice and tumors constituted a visitation of God.
The method of sending the Ark back was in the nature of an experiment, and the facts which followed show how conclusively their own test must have proved to them that God had been at work. As the kine drawing the new cart took their way directly to Beth-shemesh, it was clearly evident that God was overruling. That they should go quietly, lowing as they went, was in itself a remarkable fact, for they had not been trained to draw loads. That they should travel away from their calves was even more remarkable, and that they should thus take their way directly to the first city of Israel was conclusive. Joshua of Beth-shemesh received the Ark in a way worthy of an Israelite. He clave the cart for wood, and slew the kine for sacrifice, and worshiped.
Moreover, so jealous was he for the honor of the sacred symbol that he smote seventy men who, with curious eyes, had dared to attempt to examine it.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 6". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent