The Ark of the Covenant Is Captured and Returned

1 Samuel 6:1-7:2

After the Israelites were defeated in battle by the Philistines between Aphek and Ebenezer, the elders of Israel chose to bring the Ark of the Covenant from Shiloh to the battle to ensure victory. But the Philistines defeated them again and captured the Ark. They carried it to Ashdod and placed it in the temple of Dagon. But while the Ark was there, the Lord destroyed the idol of Dagon and afflicted the people with tumors, so they sent the Ark to Gath. Again the Lord afflicted the people of Gath with tumors, so they sent the Ark to Ekron, where the same thing happened again. After seven months with the Ark, the Philistines returned the Ark along with a guilt offering of five gold tumors and five gold rats in the hopes that the afflictions would cease. They placed the Ark on a new cart hitched to two milk cows, which pulled the cart to the town of Beth-shemesh. Then Israelites came and took the Ark to Kiriath-jearim, where the Ark stayed for twenty years.