I Samuel Chapter 6

"Consultation of Philistines [2-8]."
"Removal of Ark from Beth-Shemesh [9-16]."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org

I Samuel 6:1 "And the ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistines seven months."

"Seven" is a spiritual number representing spiritual completeness. There are seven dispensation whereby mankind exists within the flesh age. The purpose of the ark, giving human beings personal the right of choice, lasts for the full seven dispensations of this earth age. At the end of the seventh dispensation you will have either made the right choice or you will not be among those that enter into the eternity.

Not only were the men stricken with emerods, (hemorrhoids),  but there was also a great numbers of mice in the land of the Philistines. The contamination by these pests had spread through every household, and the people of the Philistines wanted no more of God's punishments.

I Samuel 6:2 "And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, "What shall we do to the ark of the Lord? tell us wherewith we shall send it to his place."

The leaders of the Philistines wanted to know how are we going to get rid of this ark, and who is going to take it there? These priest that they sought counsel of were not the priests of God, but the priests of Dagon.

I Samuel 6:3 "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."

The priests kind of have a way of working the things to their favor. The instructions to the people were that they were not to send the ark away empty, but fill it with gold for a trespass offering. Put the gifts in it and around it and this will please God to where God will heal you. This promise was not by God, but by these priests of the world. That is the way that they think.

I Samuel 6:4 "Then said they, "What shall be the trespass offering which we shall retun to Him?" They answered, "Five golden emerods, and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines: for one plague was on you all, and on your lords."

By these priest's thinking, they all have the mice plague, and they all had the hemorrhoid plague, so their plot was to demand five golden mice and hemorrhoids for each of your town, and for each of the lords that rule over you. Notice that they specified gold. These Israelite priests are picking up where Eli's sons had left off.

I Samuel 6:5 "Wherefore ye shall make images of your emerods and images of your mice that mar the land; and ye shall give glory unto the God of Israel; peradventure He will lighten His hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land."

In case you had any doubt about the translation of the word emerods, here is states tumor. In Strong's numbered dictionary #2914, these emerods were called "techor, meaning to burn; a boil or ulcer, tumor from the anus or pudenda (piles)." These things are very unclean things and to place them anywhere near the highly valued ark of God, bring just the opposite affect from what these people are seeking to find. You simply do not please God in any manner by creating images of any kind and placing it near an altar of God.

I Samuel 6:6 "Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? when He had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed?"

These priests are reminding the Philistines of those things that happened when the Israelites were in Egypt and all the things that happened when God released the Israelites from under Egyptian rule. There is a great distortion by the priests however that doesn't bother them, for the people are going to make them very wealthy with the gold that will be brought to them.

I Samuel 6:7 "Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves home from them:"

These priests are instructing the Philistines to make a new cart and bring it to us by a young milk cow who has just had two small calves. We now see the deceitfulness of these priests, for where ever you put the cows new born calves that is naturally where the cow is going to go. These priest have taken the two calves and brought it to their home and tied them up, and these priests have told the people to take the cow pulling the cart with the ark and all the gold out into the wilderness and release it. Friend, any idiot knew that the cow is going to go to the place where her calves are, for that is the nature that God has built into the animal. So we see that these priests are using some of their imagination, just like some of the television preachers of today use to separate the gold and money from the people. The people do it willing and blindly because they expect to receive something for what they have given. They are buying the gift that they expect God to give them.

When you see this happening in a ministry, and gimmicks are used to con money out of people, these also are preachers of Dagon. Today they are called "hirelings", and they think that what they say is truth just because they have spoken it. Maybe in their mind they think that they can get away with their foolish games, however, there is a time coming when they will be accountable for all their evil acts. This reminds us of what Paul said in I Corinthians 10:11; that all these things of old are happening to be an example or "ensample" of other things in these times of the end. There is nothing new under the sun.

I Samuel 6:8 "And take the ark of the Lord, and lay it upon the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which ye return Him for a trespass offering, in a coffer by the side thereof; and send it away, that it may go."

I'm sure their mouths are already beginning to water, and their accountants are adding up the jewels of gold. If you know anything about the nature of livestalk and animals it isn't hard to see what these priests have in mind.

I Samuel 6:9 "And see, if it goeth up by the way of his own coast to Beth-shemesh, then He hath done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not His hand that smote us; it was a chance that happened to us." "

These preachers are telling the people that if the cow turns around and brings the cart with the ark and all the jewels back to us, then we will know that it was not of God but just a thing of chance. However if the animal brings the cart, ark and jewels on to the Beth-shemesh, back to the Israelites, then we will know that it was of God. You can see the priest bubbling over with joy, as the animal is turned lose.

I Samuel 6:10 "And the men did so; and took two milch kine, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home:"

So the men of the Philistines took two milk cows and did exactly as the priests said, and tied up their calves at the priest's house.

I Samuel 6:11 "And they laid the ark of the Lord upon the cart, and the coffer with the mice of God and the images of their emeroids."

Again, just placing these images anywhere near an altar of God would cause a strong negative reaction by God. Any priest of God would know that, for it would be an abomination to God.

I Samuel 6:12 "And the kine took the straight way to the way of Beth-shemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them unto the border of Beth-shemesh."

Did you catch what has happened here? These two cows are walking down the street, calling out for their calves, yet they are not doing what is natural for any animal, but going to where God would have them go, back to the Israelites. They were taking the prize possession that the priests thought they would have, along with the ark, and they are heading back to Beth-shemesh. You can see the lords and the priests walking behind these animals, trying their best to sway the cows to go to their calves. The people were standing by watching this all taking place, and the priests were watching as their supply of gold was heading off to the Israelite camp.

Notice that God did not kill the Philistines that loaded the ark because they were ignorant of what they were doing, and of God's law concerning the ark of the covenant. A sin committed in ignorance is no sin.

I Samuel 6:13 "And they of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley: and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it."

This verse gives us the time of year, for it was the time of wheat harvest. To that point, no one had touched the ark or gone near it. The Israelites looked up from their work, and there strolling down the street are these two cows pulling this cart piled with much gold, and with the ark of the covenant. The Philistines hauled it away and these two cows brought it back. No man was involved with the retrieving of the ark from the Philistines. The Philistines paid a dear price to get the ark off their hands.

I Samuel 6:14 "And the cart came into the field of Joshua, a Beth-shemite, and stood there, where there was a great stone: and they clave the wood of the cart, and offered the kine a burnt offering unto the Lord."

Because this ancient rock had not be altered by human hands, it became an altar to God for a sacrifice. Notice what they did in separating the clean from the unclean.

I Samuel 6:15 "And the Levites took down the ark of the Lord, and the coffer that was with it, wherein the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone: and the men of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day unto the Lord."

These were Israelites that were making the offering to God. Can you see what they did that was wrong? God's own people made an altar from that stone in the field and offered these things to God. They offered the unclean things right along with the clean.

I Samuel 6:16 "And when the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day."

When these lords that followed the cows back to Beth-shemesh and saw what was done with the gold and jewels, they left and went back home to Ekron immediately. They never got their gold back.

I Samuel 6:17 "And these are the golden emerods which the Philistines returned for a trespass offering unto the Lord; for Asdod one, for Gaza one, for Askelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one;"

I Samuel 6:18 "And the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fenced cities, and of country villages, even unto the great stone of Abel, whereon they set down the ark of the Lord; which stone remaineth unto this day in the field of Joshua, the Beth-shemite."

The "stone of Abel" should read the "stone of Aben". "Aben" means stone and the rock had nothing to do with the "Abel" of Genesis 4. "Joshua" in the Hebrew tongue means "Jesus", now think for a moment what these people had done. They made an altar to the Lord God, and put a sacrifice on that altar to God. Do you think that God will accept this offering to Him, in that the people are just showing God their joy over having the ark of the covenant back in their possession? Notice from verse fifteen that it was the Levites that took the ark off the cart along with the gold that was with the ark. The Levites prepared the sacrifice and made the offering, so does that make it right by God?

Even though the heathen Philistines gave the sacrifice gold for an their offering, the men of God should know better than those Philistine heathen what is acceptable and what is not acceptable to God.

I Samuel 6:19 "And He smote the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord, even He smote of the People fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and smitten many of the People with a great slaughter."

These so called men of God, the Levitical priests had put these filthy mice along with the images of their anal tumors on the same altar that is being offered as a sacrifice to Almighty God. It was as though they were spitting in the face of God, and doing the most deplorable thing that could be done on an altar of God. The mice is a filthy creature, even though they were made of gold, but the placing them as a symbol with offerings to God is bad enough, but they also handled the ark and allowed the people to see and handle the ark as if it were some common coffer being passed around for amusement.

There is a conflict amongst the scholars, and the problem is in the number of people that were slaying there at this time. The problem comes from the different numbering systems between the Hebrew and English translation. The way that the Hebrew reads is "seventy men two fifties and one thousand" or "70 + 100 + 1000 = 1,170 people". There is a big difference between this number and fifty thousand and seventy people. It just doesn't matter the numbers, but there was a great loss of life because the people did not respect God's ways, and have respect for the things of God. The point to this chapter is that we had better listen to God and pay attention to the things and ways that He holds dear. God loves you, but He expects you to know the difference between something that is of God, and something that is an abomination to Him.

I Samuel 6:20 "And the men of Beth-shemesh said, "Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God? and to whom shall he go up from us?"

I Samuel 6:21 "And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjath-jearim, saying, "The Philistines have brought again the ark of the Lord; come ye down, and fetch it up to you."

At this point the people want nothing to do with the ark, or any part of it. It belongs in the tabernacle, and they want the people that are responsibility for it to come and get it themselves. There was no reason that the people of Beth-shemesh should have suffered and lost one life over this matter, if they would of had just one student of the Word of God there, he would have know that what they were doing was wrong, and he could have warned them of the consequences. The mice and pork are the same affect before the Lord for they are both unclean animals. There purpose is to eat up the filth and keep the earth clean of dying things, and the poisons are retained within their bodies. When you eat such things you take in all the poisons that they have taken in, and it causes poor health to your body. The mice are not an animal of sacrifice, and it is just as bad as some of the traditions used today to take the place of God's Word such as the rapture doctrine, Easter (feast of Ishtar) and many other things within the church body that is held of as being of God.

Though you may think you are doing God a favor, and respecting him for doing the religious things that man has created, it is an insult to substitute God's things and ways for those created by man.

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