Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And it came to pass, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to slay us and our people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Judges 3:3) were very unwilling to give up their triumph, and, with the common pagan superstition, imagined that some local bad luck was against them at Ashdod. The result was to bring the whole Philistine community under the same calamity.
and it came to pass, that as the ark of God came to Ekron; and had been there some little time:
that the Ekronites cried out; when they perceived the hand of God was upon them, as upon the other cities; these were the chief magistrates of the city, with the lord of them, as appears by what follows:
saying, they have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us; from one city to another, and at length to us:Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And it came to pass, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to slay us and our people.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. they sent the ark of God to Ekron] The most northerly of the five confederate cities, about 11 miles north of Gath. It was allotted to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:45-46), and was temporarily occupied (Jdg 1:18). Baal-zebub was the local deity (2 Kings 1:2). The site is marked by the modern village of Akir.
to us, to slay us and our people] Lit., as in the margin, “to me, to slay me and my people.” So too in 1 Samuel 5:11. The singular seems to indicate that the ‘lord’ acted as spokesman.Verses 10, 11. - The Ekronites cried out. Convinced by this second and more fatal plague that the ark was the cause of their punishment, the people of Ekron, when it was passed on to them from Gath, protested loudly against its presence. Compelled to receive it until the lords of the Philistines could be convened in council to decide upon its ultimate destination, the plague broke out so heavily among them that they were in utter dismay. For the rendering deadly destruction is untenable. Literally the words are, "a dismay of death;" but in Hebrew death added to a word of this sort simply means "very great." So "terrors of death" in Psalm 55:4 are very great terrors. In the next verse we learn that many did die, but the words used here describe the mental agony and despair of the people as they saw the ark, which had wrought elsewhere so great misery, brought unto them. 1 Samuel 5:5, that in consequence of this occurrence, the priests of Dagon, and all who entered the temple of Dagon at Ashdod, down to the time of the historian himself, would not step upon the threshold of Dagon, i.e., the threshold where Dagon's head and hands had lain, but stepped over the threshold (not "leaped over," as many commentators assume on the ground of Zephaniah 1:5, which has nothing to do with the matter), that they might not touch with their feet, and so defile, the place where the pieces of their god had lain.
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