New Heart English Bible
1Now the Philistines had taken the ark of God, and they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2The Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. 3When the Ashdodites arose early on the next day, look, Dagon was fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD. They took Dagon, and set him in his place again. 4When they arose early on the next day morning, look, Dagon was fallen on 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 on the threshold. Only Dagon's torso was intact. 5Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any who come into Dagon's house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod, to this day.
6But the hand of the LORD was heavy on the Ashdodites, and he ravaged them and afflicted them with tumors, both Ashdod and it's territory. And he brought up against them mice, and they burst out in their ships, and mice sprang up in the midst of their land, and there was a great terror of death in the city. 7When the men of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, "The ark of the God of Israel shall not stay with us; for his hand is severe on us, and on Dagon our god." 8They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines to them, and said, "What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?" They answered, "Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried over to Gath." So they brought the ark of the God of Israel to Gath. 9And it happened after they had brought it around, the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great confusion: and he struck the men of the city, both small and great; and tumors broke out on them. 10So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. It happened, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, "Why have you brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to kill us and our people?" 11And they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and they said, "Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to its own place, so that it will not kill us and our people." For there was a very heavy terror of death throughout all the city when the ark of God arrived there. 12The men who did not die were struck with the tumors; and the cry of the city went up to heaven.