1 Samuel 5. The Ark in the Philistine Cities.
1 Samuel 5:1. Ashdod. 1 Samuel 5:8. Gath. 1 Samuel 5:10. Ekron: see Joshua 11:22; Joshua 13:3; p 28.
1 Samuel 5:2. Dagon: see Judges 16:23*.
1 Samuel 5:3. The Ark is thought of as possessing marvellous inherent powers; it brings disaster on those who treat it disrespectfully, Philistines, Bethshemites, Uzzah; and blessing on those whom it favours, Obed-edom (Joshua 3:4*).
1 Samuel 5:4. stump: this word, absent from the Heb., is found in the versions, and belonged to the original text.
1 Samuel 5:5. Erroneous theory; the rite is found elsewhere [Zephaniah 1:9. For the probable explanation see Exodus 12:22*.—A. S. P.]
1 Samuel 5:6. tumours: better "plague boils" (mg.). A natural theory would be that contagion was carried from one Philistine city to another, and then to Beth-shemesh.—[8. The advice seems strange, for if the Ark inflicted such mischief on Ashdod, similar calamities might be expected to fall on Gath; and the Ekronites in fact anticipate fatal consequences after its deadly work at Ashdod and Gath. The principle seems to be analogous to that on which Balak acts. When after sacrifice on one spot Balaam is forced to bless Israel, Balak changes the place, hoping that Yahweh who has frustrated his purpose in one locality will prove more amenable in another (*Numbers 23:13; Numbers 23:27). So the Philistines seem to argue; at first the thought does not occur to them to send back this most precious trophy, this powerful talisman. But obviously the deity resident in the Ark dislikes Ashdod, perhaps Gath will be more agreeable.—A. S. P.]
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Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 5". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany