The Philistines have stolen the ark of the covenant from the Israelites!
1. And the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod.
2 When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon and set it by Dagon.
And it's causing a statue of their god, Dagon, to fall over!
3 And when those of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon had fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the Lord. And they took Dagon and set him in his place again.
4 And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon had fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him.
5 Therefore neither the priests of Dagon nor any who come into Dagon’s house tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day.
And then things get worse!
6 But the hand of the Lord was heavy upon those of Ashdod, and He destroyed them and smote them with hemorrhoids, even Ashdod and the borders thereof.
7 And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us, for his hand is sore upon us and upon Dagon our god.”
8 And they send and gather all the princes of the Philistines unto them, and say, `What do we do to the ark of the God of Israel?' and they say, `To Gath let the ark of the God of Israel be brought round;' and they bring round the ark of the God of Israel;
11 So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines and said, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to his own place, that it slay us not, and our people.” For there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.
12 And the men who died not were smitten with the hemorrhoids; and the cry of the city went up to heaven.
What ever can the Philistines do to stop this curse?
1. And the ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistines seven months.
2 And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, “What shall we do to the ark of the Lord? Tell us how we shall send it to his place.”
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.”
4 Then said they, “What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him?” They answered, “Five golden hemorrhoids 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.
Five golden mice and five golden hemorrhoids!
5 Therefore ye shall make images of your hemorrhoids and images of your mice that mar the land, and ye shall give glory unto the God of Israel. Perhaps he will lighten his hand from you and from your gods and from your land.
10 And the men did so; and took two milk cows and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home.
11 And they laid the ark of the Lord upon the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their hemorrhoids.
And it is sent back to the Isrealites. But along the way...
13 And they of Bethshemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley; and they lifted up their eyes and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it.
14 And the cart came into the field of Joshua, a Bethshemite, and stood there where there was a great stone. And they cleaved the wood of the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering unto the Lord.
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 Bethshemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day unto the Lord.
16 And when the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day.
17 And these are the golden hemorrhoids which the Philistines returned for a trespass offering unto the Lord: for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Ashkelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one;
18 and the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fortified 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 Bethshemite.
19 And He smiteth among the men of Beth-Shemesh, for they looked into the ark of Jehovah, yea, He smiteth among the people seventy men -- fifty chief men; and the people mourn, because Jehovah smote among the people -- a great smiting.
And the Beth-Shemeshites are like ... get this thing out of here!
19 And He smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord; even He smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men. And the people lamented because the Lord had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.
20 And the men of Bethshemesh said, “Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God? And to whom shall He go up from us?”
21 And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjathjearim, saying, “The Philistines have brought back the ark of the Lord. Come ye down and fetch it up to you.”
And it is done.
And we never learn what happen to the five golden mice and the five golden hemorrhoids.
Raiders Of The Lost Ark could have been a very different movie.
The text here is from the 21st Century King James's version of the Bible. Some other versions use euphemisms like "tumors" or "sores". Some use "arses" or "privy parts".