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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary

Shmuel I - I Samuel - Chapter 6

Shmuel I - I Samuel - Chapter 6

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Chapter 6

1And the Ark of the Lord was in the field of the Philistines seven months.   אוַיְהִי אֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה בִּשְׂדֵה פְלִשְׁתִּים שִׁבְעָה חֳדָשִׁים:
2And the Philistines called the priests and the diviners, saying, "What shall we do to the Ark of the Lord? Let us know in what (manner) we shall send it to its place."   בוַיִּקְרְאוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים לַכֹּהֲנִים וְלַקֹּסְמִים לֵאמֹר מַה נַּעֲשֶֹה לַאֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה הוֹדִעֻנוּ בַּמֶּה נְשַׁלְּחֶנּוּ לִמְקוֹמוֹ:
in what: In what manner shall we send it away, so that He will not be angry, and so that His wrath will be removed from us.  
3And they said, "If you send the Ark of the God of Israel, do not send it away empty, but you shall send back with it a guilt-offering. Then you will be cured, and it will be known to you, why His hand would not turn away from you.   גוַיֹּאמְרוּ אִם מְשַׁלְּחִים אֶת אֲרוֹן אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אַל תְּשַׁלְּחוּ אֹתוֹ רֵיקָם כִּי הָשֵׁב תָּשִׁיבוּ לוֹ אָשָׁם אָז תֵּרָפְאוּ וְנוֹדַע לָכֶם לָמָּה לֹא תָסוּר יָדוֹ מִכֶּם:
a guilt offering: An indication that you confess that you have betrayed Him.  
Then you will be cured, and it will be known to you: that He did this, for why wouldn’t His hand turn away from you then?  
4And they said, "What is the guilt-offering which we shall send back to Him?" And they said, "The number of the lords of the Philistines: five hemorrhoids of gold and five mice of gold, for there is one plague for all of them and for your lords.   דוַיֹּאמְרוּ מָה הָאָשָׁם אֲשֶׁר נָשִׁיב לוֹ וַיֹּאמְרוּ מִסְפַּר סַרְנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים חֲמִשָּׁה טְחֹרֵי (כתיב עְפֹלֵי) זָהָב וַחֲמִשָּׁה עַכְבְּרֵי זָהָב כִּי מַגֵּפָה אַחַת לְכֻלָּם וּלְסַרְנֵיכֶם:
lords of the Philistines: They were five, as it is stated (Jos. 13:3): “The Gazite and the Ashdodite, the Ashkelonite, the Gittite, and the Ekronite.”  
5And you shall make the images of your hemorrhoids and the images of your mice who destroy the land, and you shall give honor to the God of Israel. Perhaps He will lighten His hand from upon you, and from upon your god, and from upon your land.   הוַעֲשִׂיתֶם צַלְמֵי טְחֹרֵיכֶם (כתיב עְפֹלֵיכֶם) וְצַלְמֵי עַכְבְּרֵיכֶם הַמַּשְׁחִיתִם אֶת הָאָרֶץ וּנְתַתֶּם לֵאלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כָּבוֹד אוּלַי יָקֵל אֶת יָדוֹ מֵעֲלֵיכֶם וּמֵעַל אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וּמֵעַל אַרְצְכֶם:
6And why should you make your heart heavy as the Egyptians and Pharaoh made their hearts heavy? Will it not be, just as He mocked them, and they sent them away, and they departed?   ווְלָמָּה תְכַבְּדוּ אֶת לְבַבְכֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר כִּבְּדוּ מִצְרַיִם וּפַרְעֹה אֶת לִבָּם הֲלוֹא כַּאֲשֶׁר הִתְעַלֵּל בָּהֶם וַיְשַׁלְּחוּם וַיֵּלֵכוּ:
7And now take (wood) and make one new cart, and (take) two milch cows, upon which no yoke has (ever) come, and you shall hitch the cows to the cart, and return their young home from behind them.   זוְעַתָּה קְחוּ וַעֲשֹוּ עֲגָלָה חֲדָשָׁה אֶחָת וּשְׁתֵּי פָרוֹת עָלוֹת אֲשֶׁר לֹא עָלָה עֲלֵיהֶם עֹל וַאֲסַרְתֶּם אֶת הַפָּרוֹת בָּעֲגָלָה וַהֲשֵׁיבֹתֶם בְּנֵיהֶם מֵאַחֲרֵיהֶם הַבָּיְתָה:
עלות: milch cows.  
upon which no yoke has (ever) come: This is for the test. Since these cows are not capable of pulling a load, and furthermore, they will low after their young, if the Ark will have the power to enable them to pull it by themselves, we shall know that He wrought this upon us.  
8And you shall take the Ark of the Lord, and you shall place it on the cart, and the golden objects which you have sent back to Him as a guilt-offering, you shall place in the box at its side, and you shall send it away, and it will go.   חוּלְקַחְתֶּם אֶת אֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה וּנְתַתֶּם אֹתוֹ אֶל הָעֲגָלָה וְאֵת| כְּלֵי הַזָּהָב אֲשֶׁר הֲשֵׁבֹתֶם לוֹ אָשָׁם תָּשִֹימוּ בָאַרְגַּז מִצִּדּוֹ וְשִׁלַּחְתֶּם אֹתוֹ וְהָלָךְ:
in the box: escrin in French.  
9And you will see, if it goes up on the way to its own boundary, to Beth-shemesh, He wrought upon us this great evil, and if not, then we shall know that it was not His hand which touched us; it was an accident which befell us.   טוּרְאִיתֶם אִם דֶּרֶךְ גְּבוּלוֹ יַעֲלֶה בֵּית שֶׁמֶשׁ הוּא עָשָׂה לָנוּ אֶת הָרָעָה הַגְּדוֹלָה הַזֹּאת וְאִם לֹא וְיָדַעְנוּ כִּי לֹא יָדוֹ נָגְעָה בָּנוּ מִקְרֶה הוּא הָיָה לָנוּ:
10And the men did so, and they took two milch cows, and hitched them to the cart, and their young they shut up in the house.   יוַיַּעֲשֹוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים כֵּן וַיִּקְחוּ שְׁתֵּי פָרוֹת עָלוֹת וַיַּאַסְרוּם בָּעֲגָלָה וְאֶת בְּנֵיהֶם כָּלוּ בַבָּיִת:
they shut up in the house: (Heb. ‘kalu,’) an expression of imprisonment, ‘kele.’  
11And they placed the Ark of the Lord on the cart, and (also) the box, and the golden mice, and the images of their hemorrhoids.   יאוַיָּשִֹמוּ אֶת אֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה אֶל הָעֲגָלָה וְאֵת הָאַרְגַּז וְאֵת עַכְבְּרֵי הַזָּהָב וְאֵת צַלְמֵי טְחֹרֵיהֶם:
12And the cows went straight in the road on the way to Beth-shemesh, on one highway, lowing as they went, and they turned neither to the right nor to the left. And the lords of the Philistines were going along after them as far as the border of Beth-shemesh.   יבוַיִּשַּׁרְנָה הַפָּרוֹת בַּדֶּרֶךְ עַל דֶּרֶךְ בֵּית שֶׁמֶשׁ בִּמְסִלָּה אַחַת הָלְכוּ הָלֹךְ וְגָעוֹ וְלֹא סָרוּ יָמִין וּשְׁמֹאול וְסַרְנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים הֹלְכִים אַחֲרֵיהֶם עַד גְּבוּל בֵּית שָׁמֶשׁ:
went straight: (Heb. ‘vayisharnah,’ aggadically interpreted as ‘sang’ from the root ‘shir.’) This word is a grammatical hermaphrodite (possessing the preformative ‘yod’ of the masculine and the afformative ‘nun’ ‘heh’ of the feminine). This teaches us that even the young (hence masculine) recited a song, viz., “Sing aloud, sing aloud, O Ark of acacia wood! Exalt yourself with the greatness of your splendor, you who are girded with golden embroidery, you who are praised with the scroll of the palace (Moses’ scroll of the Pentateuch), and lauded with choice ornaments,” (Tractate Abodah Zarah 24b). According to its simple meaning, it is an expression meaning ‘straight,’ i.e., they followed a straight path.  
and lowing as they went: (Heb. ‘haloch v’gao.’) This is an expression of the cry of the cattle.  
Beth-shemesh: [The people of] Israel were there.  
13Now (the inhabitants of) Beth-shemesh were reaping the wheat harvest in the valley, and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the Ark, and they rejoiced to see (it).   יגוּבֵית שֶׁמֶשׁ קֹצְרִים קְצִיר חִטִּים בָּעֵמֶק וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת עֵינֵיהֶם וַיִּרְאוּ אֶת הָאָרוֹן וַיִּשְׂמְחוּ לִרְאוֹת:
and they rejoiced to see (it): They were gazing to see how it came alone, and out of their joy, they behaved with levity, for they did not gaze at it with awe and respect.  
14And the cart had come to the field of Joshua, the Beth-shemeshite, and stood there, and there was a huge stone. And they split the wood, and the cows, they offered up as a burnt offering to the Lord.   ידוְהָעֲגָלָה בָּאָה אֶל שְׂדֵה יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֵּית הַשִּׁמְשִׁי וַתַּעֲמֹד שָׁם וְשָׁם אֶבֶן גְּדוֹלָה וַיְבַקְּעוּ אֶת עֲצֵי הָעֲגָלָה וְאֶת הַפָּרוֹת הֶעֱלוּ עֹלָה לַיהֹוָה:
15And the Levites took down the Ark of the Lord, and the box which was with it, wherein were the golden objects, and they placed them on the huge stone, and the men of Beth-shemesh offered up burnt offerings and slaughtered sacrifices on that day, to the Lord.   טווְהַלְוִיִּם הוֹרִידוּ | אֶת אֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה וְאֶת הָאַרְגַּז אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ כְלֵי זָהָב וַיָּשִֹמוּ אֶל הָאֶבֶן הַגְּדוֹלָה וְאַנְשֵׁי בֵית שֶׁמֶשׁ הֶעֱלוּ עֹלוֹת וַיִּזְבְּחוּ זְבָחִים בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לַיהֹוָה:
16And the five lords of the Philistines had seen, and they returned to Ekron on that day.   טזוַחֲמִשָּׁה סַרְנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים רָאוּ וַיָּשֻׁבוּ עֶקְרוֹן בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא:
17And these were the golden hemorrhoids which the Philistines had sent back (as) a guilt-offering to the Lord: one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ashkelon, one for Gath, (and) one for Ekron.   יזוְאֵלֶּה טְחֹרֵי הַזָּהָב אֲשֶׁר הֵשִׁיבוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים אָשָׁם לַיהֹוָה לְאַשְׁדּוֹד אֶחָד לְעַזָּה אֶחָד לְאַשְׁקְלוֹן אֶחָד לְגַת אֶחָד לְעֶקְרוֹן אֶחָד:
18And the golden mice were according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines, which belonged to the five lords, from fortified city to open village and even to the great stone upon which they had placed the Ark of the Lord, (which is) until this day in the field of Joshua the Beth-shemeshite.   יחוְעַכְבְּרֵי הַזָּהָב מִסְפַּר כָּל עָרֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים לַחֲמֵשֶׁת הַסְּרָנִים מֵעִיר מִבְצָר וְעַד כֹּפֶר הַפְּרָזִי וְעַד | אָבֵל הַגְּדוֹלָה אֲשֶׁר הִנִּיחוּ עָלֶיהָ אֵת אֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה בִּשְׂדֵה יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֵּית הַשִּׁמְשִׁי:
open village: A village without a wall.  
and even to the great stone: (Heb. ‘abel,’ mourning.) This is the aforementioned great stone, for the ‘lamed’ comes in place of the ‘nun’ (in ‘eben’), similar to ‘nishkah’ instead of ‘lishkah’ (chamber), in the book of Nehemiah (13:7), since they experienced mourning at that spot, (v. infra 6:19), they called it Abel.  
19And He smote of the people of Beth-shemesh, for they had gazed upon the Ark of the Lord, and He smote of the people seventy men, fifty thousand men, and the people mourned, for the Lord had struck a great blow upon the people.   יטוַיַּךְ בְּאַנְשֵׁי בֵית שֶׁמֶשׁ כִּי רָאוּ בַּאֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה וַיַּךְ בָּעָם שִׁבְעִים אִישׁ חֲמִשִּׁים אֶלֶף אִישׁ וַיִּתְאַבְּלוּ הָעָם כִּי הִכָּה יְהֹוָה בָּעָם מַכָּה גְדוֹלָה:
seventy men, fifty thousand men: Jonathan renders: And He killed of the elders of the people seventy men, and of the community, fifty thousand men. Our Rabbis, however, said: Seventy men, each of whom was equal to fifty thousand, or fifty thousand men, each of whom was equal to the seventy of the Sanhedrin.  
20And the men of Beth-shemesh said, "Who will be able to stand before (the Ark of) the Lord, this holy God? and to whom will it go up from upon us?"   כוַיֹּאמְרוּ אַנְשֵׁי בֵית שֶׁמֶשׁ מִי יוּכַל לַעֲמֹד לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה הָאֱלֹהִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ הַזֶּה וְאֶל מִי יַעֲלֶה מֵעָלֵינוּ:
21And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath-jearim, saying, "The Philistines have returned the Ark of the Lord. Come down, and take it up to you."   כאוַיִּשְׁלְחוּ מַלְאָכִים אֶל יוֹשְׁבֵי קִרְיַת יְעָרִים לֵאמֹר הֵשִׁבוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים אֶת אֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה רְדוּ הַעֲלוּ אֹתוֹ אֲלֵיכֶם:
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