Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark

While the old priest Eli was still the judge, though he was now very feeble, the Philistines came up against Israel from the plain beside the sea. A battle was fought, and many of the Israelites were slain. Then the chiefs of the people said:

"We have been beaten in the battle, because the Lord was not with us. let us take with us against our enemies the ark of the covenant from the Tabernacle, and then the Lord will be among us."

So they went to Shiloh, and they took out from the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle (see Story Twenty-seven in Part First) the ark of the covenant, and the two sons of Eli the priest went with the ark to care for it. When the ark was brought into the camp of the Israelites all the men of war gave a great shout, so that the earth rang with the sound.

And when the Philistines heard the shouting they wondered what caused it, and some one told them that it was because the God of the Israelites had come into their camp. The Philistines were afraid, and they said to each other:

"Woe unto us, for such a thing as this has never been seen! Who shall save us from this great God who sent plagues on the Egyptians? Let us be bold, and act like men, and fight, so that we may not be made servants to the Israelites, as they have been to us!"

The next day there was a great battle. The Philistines overcame the Israelites and slew thousands of them. They killed the two sons of Eli, and they took the ark of the Lord away with them into their own land.

On the day of the battle Eli, old and blind, was sitting beside the door of the Tabernacle, his heart trembling for the ark of the Lord. A man came from the army running, with his garments torn, and with earth on his head as a sign of sorrow. As the man came near the city and brought the news of the battle a great cry rose up from the people. When Eli heard the noise he said:

"What does this noise mean? What has happened?"

The man came before Eli, and said:

"I have just come from the army. There has been a great battle. Israel has fled before the Philistines, and very many of the people have been killed. Your two sons are dead, and the ark of God has been taken by the enemy."

When the old man heard this last word, that the ark of God was taken, he fell backward from his seat and dropped dead upon the ground. And all the land mourned and wept over the loss of the ark more than over the victory of the Philistines.

The Philistines took the ark of God down to Ashdod, one of their chief cities. They set it in the temple of Dagon, their fish-headed idol. The next morning, when they came into the temple, the image of Dagon was lying upon its face before the ark of the Lord. They stood the image up again; but on the next morning, not only was Dagon fallen down before the ark, but the hands and the head of Dagon had been cut off and were lying on the floor.

Besides all this, in the city of Ashdod, where the ark had been taken, all the people began to have boils and sores. They saw in this the hand of the God of Israel, and they sent the ark to Gath, another of their cities. There, too, the people broke out with boils and sores. They sent the ark to Ekron, but the people of that city said:

"We will not have the ark of God among us. Send it back to its own land, or we shall all die."

Then the rulers of the Philistines resolved to send back the ark of God into the land of Israel. They placed it upon a wagon, and before the wagon they yoked two cows. The cows had calves, but they tied the calves at home, in order to find whether the cows would go home to their calves or would take the ark away. But the cows took the road which led away from their own calves, straight up the hills toward the land of Israel, and they turned neither to the right hand nor the left.

The cows drew the ark up to the village of Beth-shemesh, where the people were reaping their wheat harvest on the hillsides. They saw the ark, and were glad. The cows stopped beside a great stone in the field. Then the men of Beth-shemesh cut up the wagon, and with it made a fire, and on the stone as an altar offered the two cows as an offering to the Lord.

But the men of Beth-shemesh opened the ark and looked into it. This was contrary to God's command, for none but the priests were allowed to touch the ark. God sent a plague upon the people of that place, and many of them died, because they did not deal reverently with the ark of God.

They were filled with fear and sent to the men of Kirjath-jearim, asking them to take the ark away. This did so, and for twenty years the ark stood in the house of a man named Abinadab in Kirjath-jearim.

They did not take the ark back to Shiloh, for after the death of Eli the place was deserted, the Tabernacle fell into ruins, and no man lived there again.