How long was the ark of the Lord in the country of the Philistines?
What measures did they take to get rid of it, and what was the result of their counsels? V, 1—3.
What were the special offerings which they proposed should accompany the ark ? N. B. No mention is previously made of mice among the plagues of the Philistines, but it is supposed that the anger of Heaven accompanying the captured ark, caused them to spring up in countless multitudes, spoiling the corn, and wasting and marring the land.
What precedent did they plead to enforce their counsels? v. 6.
How should divine judgments upon others be improved?
By what means did they propose to have the the ark transported?
In what presumptuous manner did they propose to themselves to decide whether their sufferings had come by chance, or from the hand of God?
Did God graciously suffer himself to be tempted and prescribed to, and what was the result of the experiment? v. 10—12.
What was there miraculous in this incident?
To whom did the city of Bethshemesh belong? Josh. 21.14—16.
How were the inhabitants employed when the ark came among them, where did it come to a stand, and what was done on the spot? v.14, 15.
What judgment befel the men of Bethshemesh, and for what cause? N. B. The number here specified has appeared to many incredibly large, but it is not necessary to suppose the event to have happened at one time, or on one spot. Multitudes looking into the ark and passing on for the present with impunity, would embolden other multitudes to follow their example. It is probable that they took occasion from the present mean and depressed condition of the ark to go to a length of presumption which they would not have thought of in ordinary circumstances. But their temerity cost them dear. In like manner, there are those under the Gospel who take advantage of Christ's voluntary humiliation for our sakes—his condescending to be found in fashion as a man—to make free with his exalted person, to disparage his divinity, and spoil him of the greatest portion of his glory—a conduct like that of the men of Bethshemesh, fraught with the utmost danger, besides being the height of ingratitude.
How were the people impressed with this fearful stroke, and what did they do to have the ark removed? N. B. Kirjath-jearim was situated between Bethshemesh and Shiloh, and they probably thought this removal would be furthering it so much on the way to its final destination.
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