The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The First Book of Kings
Meanwhile the Philistines had carried off the ark of God, taking it from the Rock of Deliverance to Azotus;
and when it reached Azotus it was carried into the temple of Dagon and set down there in front of Dagon’s statue.
Next morning, the men of Azotus woke to find Dagon lying face downwards in front of the ark; and although they put the statue back in its place,
the second day shewed a worse sight still; Dagon was face downwards in front of the ark, and there in the door-way lay his head and both hands, severed from the trunk,
that lay where it fell. That is why to this day the priests and the worshippers of Dagon never set foot on the threshold when they enter his temple in Azotus.
And now the Lord sent a heavy plague on the men of Azotus and its neighbourhood, to their undoing, a plague of swellings in the groin. All through their townships, all over the country-side, the infection spread; the mice, too, swarmed everywhere; in the city, the dead lay piled in heaps.
The men of Azotus, finding themselves so plague-ridden, would not keep the ark of Israel’s God among them any longer, to bring disaster upon themselves and their god Dagon;
so they summoned a gathering of all the Philistine chiefs, and put the question what should be done with the ark. It must be carried about, the men of Geth told them, from place to place; and carry it about they did,
but wherever it went, from city to city, the power of the Lord made itself felt in a grievous mortality; on high and low it fell everywhere, rotting away their inward parts, and the men of Geth could devise no better relief than to sit on seats of leather.
So now they sent the ark of God on to Accaron; but no sooner had it reached them than the men of Accaron began crying out, They have brought the ark of Israel’s God here, for our ruin, our common ruin!
And they summoned all the Philistine chiefs, who determined that the ark must be sent back whence it came, before it brought death on themselves and their people.
No city was free from the fear of death, and God’s heavy visitation; even those who survived had shameful sores to tend, and everywhere cries of anguish went up to heaven.✻
The Holy Bible