1. When the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.
2. Taking the ark of God, the Philistines put it in the temple of Dagon, setting it down beside Dagon.
3. When the people of Ashdod got up the following morning and went to the temple of Dagon, there lay Dagon face down on the ground before the ark of Yahweh. They picked Dagon up and put him back in his place.
4. But when they got up on the following morning, there lay Dagon face down on the ground before the ark of Yahweh, and Dagon's head and two hands lay severed on the threshold; only the trunk of Dagon was left in its place.
5. This is why the priests of Dagon and the people frequenting Dagon's temple never step on Dagon's threshold in Ashdod, even today.
6. Yahweh oppressed the people of Ashdod; he ravaged them and afflicted them with tumours -- Ashdod and its territory. When the people of Ashdod saw what was happening they said,
7. 'The ark of the God of Israel must not stay here with us, for he is oppressing us and our god Dagon.'
8. So they summoned all the Philistine chiefs to them, and said, 'What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?' They decided, 'The ark of the God of Israel shall be taken away to Gath.' So they took the ark of the God of Israel to Gath.
9. But after they had taken it there, Yahweh oppressed that town and a great panic broke out; afflicting the people of the town from highest to lowest, he brought them out in tumours too.
10. They then sent the ark of God to Ekron, but when it came to Ekron the Ekronites shouted, 'They have brought me the ark of the God of Israel to kill me and my people!'
11. They summoned all the Philistine chiefs and said, 'Send the ark of the God of Israel away; let it go back to where it belongs and not kill me and my people' -- for there was mortal panic throughout the town; God was oppressing them.
12. The people who did not die were afflicted with tumours, and the wailing from the town rose to the sky.