1 Samuel 6:11
And they laid the ark of the LORD on the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their tumors.
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6:10-18 These two kine knew their owner, their great Owner, whom Hophin and Phinehas knew not. God's providence takes notice even of brute creatures, and serves its own purposes by them. When the reapers saw the ark, they rejoiced; their joy for that was greater than the joy of harvest. The return of the ark, and the revival of holy ordinances, after days of restraint and trouble, are matters of great joy.Bethshemesh was the first Israelite town they would come to, being on the border of Judah. (See the marginal reference.) 9-12. Beth-shemesh—that is, "house of the sun," now Ain Shems [Robinson], a city of priests in Judah, in the southeast border of Dan, lying in a beautiful and extensive valley. Josephus says they were set a-going near a place where the road divided into two—the one leading back to Ekron, where were their calves, and the other to Beth-shemesh. Their frequent lowings attested their ardent longing for their young, and at the same time the supernatural influence that controlled their movements in a contrary direction. No text from Poole on this verse. And they laid the ark of the Lord upon the cart,.... Perhaps the same men that made the cart; however they were the Philistines, yet were not punished for touching it, as Uzzah was, though an Israelite, 2 Samuel 6:6.

and the coffer with the mice of gold, and the images of their emerods; which coffer was placed in a purse or bag hung at the side of the ark, with the golden mice and emerods in it.

And they laid the ark of the LORD upon the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their emerods.
The trespass-offering was to correspond to the number of the princes of the Philistines. מספּר is an accusative employed to determine either measure or number (see Ewald, 204, a.), lit., "the number of their princes:" the compensations were to be the same in number as the princes. "Five golden boils, and five golden mice," i.e., according to 1 Samuel 6:5, images resembling their boils, and the field-mice which overran the land; the same gifts, therefore, for them all, "for one plague is to all and to your princes," i.e., the same plague has fallen upon all the people and their princes. The change of person in the two words, לכלּם, "all of them," i.e., the whole nation of the Philistines, and לסרניכם, "your princes," appears very strange to us with our modes of thought and speech, but it is by no means unusual in Hebrew. The selection of this peculiar kind of expiatory present was quite in accordance with a custom, which was not only widely spread among the heathen but was even adopted in the Christian church, viz., that after recovery from an illness, or rescue from any danger or calamity, a representation of the member healed or the danger passed through was placed as an offering in the temple of the deity, to whom the person had prayed for deliverance;

(Note: Thus, after a shipwreck, any who escaped presented a tablet to Isis, or Neptune, with the representation of a shipwreck upon it; gladiators offered their weapons, and emancipated slaves their fetters. In some of the nations of antiquity even representations of the private parts, in which a cure had been obtained from the deity, were hung up in the temples in honour of the gods (see Schol. ad Aristoph. Acharn. 243, and other proofs in Winer's Real-wrterbuch, ii. p. 255). Theodoret says, concerning the Christians of the fourth century (Therapeutik. Disp. viii.): Ὅτι δὲ τυγχάνουσιν ὧνπερ αἰτοῦσιν οἱ πιστῶς ἐπαγγέλλοντες ἀναφανδὸν μαρτυρεὶ τὰ τούτων ἀναθήματα, τὴν ἰατρείαν δηλοῦντα, οἱ μὲν γὰρ ὀφθαλμῶν, οἱ δὲ ποδῶν ἄλλοι δὲ χειρῶν προσφέρουσιν ἐκτυπώματα καὶ οἱ μὲν ἐκ χρυσοῦ, οἱ δὲ ἐξ ὕλης ἀργύρου πεποιημένα. Δέχεται γὰρ ὁ τούτων Δεσπότης καὶ τὰ σμικρά τε καὶ εὔωνα, τῇ τοῦ προσφέροντος δυνάμει τὸ δῶρον μετρῶν. Δηλοῖ δὲ ταῦτα προκείμενα τῶν παθημάτων τὴν λύσιν, ἧς ἀνετέθη μνημεῖα παρὰ τῶν ἀρτίων γεγενημένων. And at Rome they still hang up a picture of the danger, from which deliverance had been obtained after a vow, in the church of the saint invoked in the danger.)

and it also perfectly agrees with a custom which has prevailed in India, according to Tavernier (Ros. A. u. N. Morgenland iii. p. 77), from time immemorial down to the present day, viz., that when a pilgrim takes a journey to a pagoda to be cured of a disease, he offers to the idol a present either in gold, silver, or copper, according to his ability, of the shape of the diseased or injured member, and then sings a hymn. Such a present passed as a practical acknowledgement that the god had inflicted the suffering or evil. If offered after recovery or deliverance, it was a public expression of thanksgiving. In the case before us, however, in which it was offered before deliverance, the presentation of the images of the things with which they had been chastised was probably a kind of fine or compensation for the fault that had been committed against the Deity, to mitigate His wrath and obtain a deliverance from the evils with which they had been smitten. This is contained in the words, "Give glory unto the God of Israel! peradventure He will lighten His (punishing) hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land." The expression is a pregnant one for "make His heavy hand light and withdraw it," i.e., take away the punishment. In the allusion to the representations of the field-mice, the words "that devastate the land" are added, because in the description given of the plagues in 1 Samuel 5:1-12 the devastation of the land by mice is not expressly mentioned. The introduction of this clause after עכבּריכם, when contrasted with the omission of any such explanation after עפליכם, is a proof that the plague of mice had not been described before, and therefore that the references made to these in the Septuagint at 1 Samuel 5:3, 1 Samuel 5:6, and 1 Samuel 6:1, are nothing more than explanatory glosses. It is a well-known fact that field-mice, with their enormous rate of increase and their great voracity, do extraordinary damage to the fields. In southern lands they sometimes destroy entire harvests in a very short space of time (Aristot. Animal. vi. 37; Plin. h. n. x. c. 65; Strabo, iii. p. 165; Aelian, etc., in Bochart, Hieroz. ii. p. 429, ed. Ros.).

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