New Living Translation
The five gold rats represented the five Philistine towns and their surrounding villages, which were controlled by the five rulers. The large rock at Beth-shemesh, where they set the Ark of the LORD, still stands in the field of Joshua as a witness to what happened there.
King James Bible
And the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fenced cities, and of country villages, even unto the great stone of Abel, whereon they set down the ark of the LORD: which stone remaineth unto this day in the field of Joshua, the Bethshemite.
Darby Bible Translation
and the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both fortified cities and villages of the peasantry; and they brought them as far as the great stone of Abel, whereon they set down the ark of Jehovah, which is to this day in the field of Joshua the Beth-shemeshite.
World English Bible
and the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fortified cities and of country villages, even to the great stone, whereon they set down the ark of Yahweh, [which stone remains] to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh.
Young's Literal Translation
and the golden mice -- the number of all the cities of the Philistines -- for the five princes, from the fenced city even unto the hamlet of the villages, even unto the great meadow on which they placed the ark of Jehovah -- are unto this day in the field of Joshua the Beth-Shemeshite.
1 Samuel 6:18 Parallel
CommentaryWesley's Notes on the Bible
6:18 Villages - This is added for explication of that foregoing phrase, all the cities; either to shew, that under the name of the five cities were comprehended all the villages and territories belonging to them, in whose name, and at whose charge these presents were made; or to express the difference between this and the former present, the emerods being only five, according to the five cities mentioned, ver.17, because it may seem, the cities only, or principally, were pestered with that disease; and the mice being many more according to the number of all the cities, as is here expressed: the word city being taken generally so, as to include not only fenced cities, but also the country villages, and the fields belonging to them. Abel - This is mentioned as the utmost border of the Philistines territory, to which the plague of mice extended. And this place is here called Abel, by anticipation from the great mourning mentioned in the following verse . It is desirable, to see the ark in its habitation, in all the circumstances of solemnity. But it is better to have it on a great stone, and in the fields of the wood, than to be without it. The intrinsic grandeur of divine ordinances ought not to be diminished in our eyes, by the meanness and poverty of the place, where they are administered.
These towns were all fortified with high walls and barred gates. We also took many unwalled villages at the same time.
1 Samuel 6:4
"What sort of guilt offering should we send?" they asked. And they were told, "Since the plague has struck both you and your five rulers, make five gold tumors and five gold rats, just like those that have ravaged your land.
1 Samuel 6:14
The cart came into the field of a man named Joshua and stopped beside a large rock. So the people broke up the wood of the cart for a fire and killed the cows and sacrificed them to the LORD as a burnt offering.
1 Samuel 6:15
Several men of the tribe of Levi lifted the Ark of the LORD and the chest containing the gold rats and gold tumors from the cart and placed them on the large rock. Many sacrifices and burnt offerings were offered to the LORD that day by the people of Beth-shemesh.
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