1 Samuel 6:3
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
They answered, "If you return the ark of the god of Israel, do not send it back to him without a gift; by all means send a guilt offering to him. Then you will be healed, and you will know why his hand has not been lifted from you."

New Living Translation
"Send the Ark of the God of Israel back with a gift," they were told. "Send a guilt offering so the plague will stop. Then, if you are healed, you will know it was his hand that caused the plague."

English Standard Version
They said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty, but by all means return him a guilt offering. Then you will be healed, and it will be known to you why his hand does not turn away from you.”

Berean Study Bible
They replied, “If you return the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it away empty, but by all means return it to Him with a guilt offering. Then you will be healed, and you will understand why His hand has not been lifted from you.”

New American Standard Bible
They said, "If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty; but you shall surely return to Him a guilt offering. Then you will be healed and it will be known to you why His hand is not removed from you."

King James Bible
And they said, If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but in any wise return him a trespass offering: then ye shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you.

Christian Standard Bible
They replied, "If you send the ark of Israel's God away, do not send it without an offering. Send back a guilt offering to him, and you will be healed. Then the reason his hand hasn't been removed from you will be revealed."

Contemporary English Version
"Don't send it back without a gift," the priests and fortunetellers answered. "Send along something to Israel's God to make up for taking the chest in the first place. Then you will be healed, and you will find out why the LORD was causing you so much trouble."

Good News Translation
They answered, "If you return the Covenant Box of the God of Israel, you must, of course, send with it a gift to him to pay for your sin. The Covenant Box must not go back without a gift. In this way you will be healed, and you will find out why he has kept on punishing you."

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They replied, "If you send the ark of Israel's God away, you must not send it without an offering. You must send back a restitution offering to Him, and you will be healed. Then the reason His hand hasn't been removed from you will be revealed."

International Standard Version
They said, "If you send the Ark of the God of Israel back, don't send it empty, but rather be sure to send back to him a guilt offering. Then you will be healed and will know why his oppression has not been removed from you."

NET Bible
They replied, "If you are going to send the ark of the God of Israel back, don't send it away empty. Be sure to return it with a guilt offering. Then you will be healed, and you will understand why his hand is not removed from you."

New Heart English Bible
They said, "If you are going to send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty; but by all means return him a trespass offering: then you shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The priests answered, "If you're returning the ark of the God of Israel, don't send it away empty, but by all means return it to its [proper] place with a guilt offering. Then you will be healed, and you will know why he would not turn his anger away from you."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And they said: 'If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but in any wise return Him a guilt-offering; then ye shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why His hand is not removed from you.'

New American Standard 1977
And they said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty; but you shall surely return to Him a guilt offering. Then you shall be healed and it shall be known to you why His hand is not removed from you.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And they said, If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty, but ye shall pay unto him the expiation of guilt; then ye shall be healed, and ye shall know why his hand was not removed from you.

King James 2000 Bible
And they said, If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but by all means return him a trespass offering: then you shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you.

American King James Version
And they said, If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but in any wise return him a trespass offering: then you shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you.

American Standard Version
And they said, If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but by all means return him a trespass-offering: then ye shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If you send back the ark of the God of Israel, send it not away empty, but render unto him what you owe for sin, and then you shall be healed: and you shall know why his hand departeth not from you.

Darby Bible Translation
And they said, If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; ye must at any rate return him a trespass-offering: then ye shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you.

English Revised Version
And they said, If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but in any wise return him a guilt offering: then ye shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you.

Webster's Bible Translation
And they said, If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but in any wise return him a trespass-offering: then ye will be healed, and it will be known to you why his hand is not removed from you.

World English Bible
They said, "If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, don't send it empty; but by all means return him a trespass offering: then you shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you."

Young's Literal Translation
And they say, 'If ye are sending away the ark of the God of Israel, ye do not send it away empty; for ye do certainly send back to Him a guilt-offering; then ye are healed, and it hath been known to you why His hand doth not turn aside from you.'
Study Bible
The Ark Returned to Israel
2the Philistines summoned the priests and diviners, saying, “What shall we do with the ark of the LORD? Tell us how to send it back to its place.” 3They replied, “If you return the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it away empty, but by all means return it to Him with a guilt offering. Then you will be healed, and you will understand why His hand has not been lifted from you.” 4“What guilt offering should we send back to Him?” asked the Philistines. “Five gold tumors and five gold rats,” they said, “according to the number of rulers of the Philistines, since the same plague has struck both you and your rulers.…
Cross References
Exodus 23:15
You are to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread as I commanded you: At the appointed time in the month of Abib you are to eat unleavened bread for seven days, because that was the month you came out of Egypt. No one may appear before Me empty-handed.

Leviticus 5:15
"If someone acts unfaithfully and sins unintentionally against any of the LORD's holy things, he must bring his guilt offering to the LORD: an unblemished ram from the flock, of proper value in silver shekels according to the sanctuary shekel; it is a guilt offering.

Leviticus 5:16
Regarding any holy thing he has harmed, he must make restitution by adding a fifth of its value to it and giving it to the priest, who will make atonement on his behalf with the ram as a guilt offering, and he will be forgiven.

Deuteronomy 16:16
Three times a year all your men are to appear before the LORD your God in the place He will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles No one should appear before the LORD empty-handed.

1 Samuel 6:8
Take the ark of the LORD, set it on the cart, and in a chest beside it put the gold objects you are sending Him as a guilt offering. Then send the ark on its way,

1 Samuel 6:9
but keep watching it. If it goes up the road to its homeland, toward Beth-shemesh, it is the LORD who has brought on us this great disaster. But if it does not, then we will know that it was not His hand that punished us and that it happened by chance."

Treasury of Scripture

And they said, If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but in any wise return him a trespass offering: then you shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you.

empty

Exodus 23:15 You shall keep the feast of unleavened bread: (you shall eat unleavened …

Exodus 34:20 But the firstling of an donkey you shall redeem with a lamb: and …

Deuteronomy 16:16 Three times in a year shall all your males appear before the LORD …

a trespass

Leviticus 5:6,15-19 And he shall bring his trespass offering to the LORD for his sin …

Leviticus 6:6 And he shall bring his trespass offering to the LORD, a ram without …

Leviticus 7:1-7 Likewise this is the law of the trespass offering: it is most holy…

know

1 Samuel 6:9 And see, if it goes up by the way of his own coast to Bethshemesh, …

1 Samuel 5:7,9,11 And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark …

Job 10:2 I will say to God, Do not condemn me; show me why you contend with me.

Job 34:31,32 Surely it is meet to be said to God, I have borne chastisement, I …







(3) Send it not empty.--The advice was to propitiate with gifts the powerful Hebrew Deity, whom they imagined was offended and angry at the insult offered Him--the being placed in an inferior position in the Dagon temple.

The priests and diviners evidently thought that the Hebrew Deity, in some way resident in the "golden chest," was a childish, capricious deity, like one of their own loved gods--Dagon, or Beelzebub, lord of flies. Their people had insulted Him; He had shown Himself powerful enough, however, to injure His captors, so the insults must cease, and He must be appeased with rich offerings.

Verses 3, 4. - A trespass offering. The offering that was to be made when the offence had been unintentional (Leviticus 5:15). Why his hand is not removed from you. A euphemism for "why your punishment continues to be so severe, without sign of abatement." If healing follows the gift, you will know that the malady was Jehovah's doing. The trespass offering was to consist of five golden emerods, and five golden mice, it being an old heathen custom, still constantly practised abroad, of presenting to the deity tokens representing the deliverance wrought for such as had implored his aid. Thus Horace ('Carm.,' 1:5) speaks of the custom of hanging up in the temple of Neptune the clothes in which a man had escaped from shipwreck. Slaves when manumitted offered their chains to the Lares; and the idea is so natural that we cannot wonder at its prevalence. One plague was on you all. Rather, "is on you all." It did not cease until the ark had been restored. The Hebrew has on them all; but as all the versions and several MSS. read you all, the substitution of them is probably the mistake of some transcriber. And they said, if ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty,.... As they perceived they had either resolved upon, or at least were inclined to do; and which they also thought advisable and therefore would have them by no means send it away as it was, but with some presents along with it; for the meaning of this word "empty" is not that they should take care that all that were in it when taken should go with it, and nothing be taken out of it, or it be stripped of its contents; but that some gifts and offerings should be sent along with it: perhaps they might have some notion of, or respect unto a law in Israel, Exodus 23:15 or might say this from a common principle received among Heathens, that deities were to be appeased by gifts (e):

but in any wise return him a trespass offering; here again they seem to have some notion of the sorts and kinds of sacrifice among the Israelites; and advise to a trespass offering, to make satisfaction and atonement for the offence they had committed in taking away the ark; and that they should make restoration not only by returning the ark, but by sending an expiatory offering along with it:

then ye shall be healed; of the disease with which they were smitten; for it seems it still continued on them, at least on many:

and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you; which was because the ark was detained by them; but when that should be sent home, and they be healed upon it, then it would be a plain case that the reason why the disease was inflicted and continued was because of that.

(e) "Munera crede mihi", &c. Ovid. de arte amandi, l. 3.6:1-9 Seven months the Philistines were punished with the presence of the ark; so long it was a plague to them, because they would not send it home sooner. Sinners lengthen out their own miseries by refusing to part with their sins. The Israelites made no effort to recover the ark. Alas! where shall we find concern for religion prevail above all other matters? In times of public calamity we fear for ourselves, for our families, and for our country; but who cares for the ark of God? We are favoured with the gospel, but it is treated with neglect or contempt. We need not wonder if it should be taken from us; to many persons this, though the heavies of calamities, would occasion no grief. There are multitudes whom any profession would please as well as that of Christianity. But there are those who value the house, the word, and the ministry of God above their richest possessions, who dread the loss of these blessings more than death. How willing bad men are to shift off their convictions, and when they are in trouble, to believe it is a chance that happens; and that the rod has no voice which they should hear or heed!



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