Daily Tanach, Sunday: Shmuel 1 Chapter 6: The return of the Ark to Israel

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

Chapter 6: The Ark of G-d is returned by the Philistines


1.     Discussing how to return it in a respectful manner:

  • Remaining in the field for 7 months: The Ark of G-d was in the field of the Philistines for 7 months.
  • Meeting with the Philistine leaders: The Philistines called upon their priests and sorcerers to discuss with them what should be done with the Ark of G-d, and how it should be sent back to its place of origin [in an honorable and respectful fashion in order to defuse the wrath against them[1]].
  • The advice of the Philistine leaders to send the Ark back with honor: They replied: If you plan on sending back the Ark of G-d, it should not be sent back empty and you should rather send it back in a way that’s recognizable that you admit to not having handled it in a respectful way and only then will you be healed. This will then reveal to you why the plague has not left you until now as you have yet to return the Ark.
  • The plan of how to send it back: The people asked the leaders what they should do for the ark in order to show their guilt. The [five main[2]] leaders of the Philistines replied: You shall take five gold sculptures of hemorrhoids and five gold sculptures of mice, as everyone received the same plague. You shall make these sculptures which have destroyed your land and give them to the G-d of Israel in a respectful manner, and then perhaps He will relax His hand from being upon you and your deity and land. Do not be of stubborn heart as was Pharaoh and his people in Egypt, as we saw that after G-d devastated them He ended up anyways sending the Jewish people out. In addition to the above, you shall now also take a new wagon and two fresh nursing cows who have never done work, and you shall tie the cows to the wagon. You shall then take their children calf and place them behind them, locked in a home. You shall then take the Ark of G-d and place it inside the wagon. The gold vessels which you are giving it as compensation for your sin shall be placed in a box next to it, and you shall then send off the wagon and see if it goes. You shall watch the wagon and see if it goes towards the path to Beit Shemesh and this is indeed a sign that it is G-d who has done to us this evil. If the wagon will not go in this direction, then you will know that it is not the hand of G-d that struck you, and it was rather a mere coincidence.

[1] Rashi 6:2

[2] See Rashi 6:4

About The Author

Leave A Comment?

You must be logged in to post a comment.