Dave Burnette's Commentary

1 Samuel Chapter 5

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Samuel, Nathan, & Gad 
Date Penned: (931-975 BC)
Overview: Samuel, Israel's Last Judge (c 1-31)
Theme: Eli and Samuel (c 1-7)
Message: God Punishes the Philistines (v 1-12)

1 Samuel 5 Commentary

(5:1) The Philistines god Dagon - Dagon was the chief god of the Philistines, and they believed he helped them in battle and sent rain to assure bountiful harvests. Why did the Philistines place the ark in Dagon's temple? The Philistines believed that the ark represented the power and presence of the God of Israel. They thought that by taking the ark into Dagon's temple, they were taking control of Israel's God and proving that Dagon was superior. The Philistines should have immediately started to doubt their assumptions, since the great idol of Dagon fell down in front of the ark several days in a row. It wasn't until the people living nearby began to get sick and die that the Philistines realized for certain that the ark represented a source of power greater than they had ever seen--a power that even their god Dagon could not control.

(5:6-7) A Failure to Repent - Although the Philistines had just witnessed a great victory by Israel's God over their god Dagon, they didn't act upon that insight until they were afflicted with emerods (tumors-possibly in connection with bubonic plague). Similarly, today many people don't respond to biblical truth until they experience pain. Are you willing to listen to God for truth's sake, or do you turn to him only when you are hurting?

(5:7) No One Defeats the Lord - The Philistines thought they had defeated God because they had beaten Israel and captured the ark. They soon learned that no one defeats God. Their sweet victory turned sour as God began to destroy them with a plague.

(5:8) The Ark Brings Judgment Wherever it Goes - The Philistines were governed by five "lords," or rulers. Each ruler had authority over a different city -Gath, Ekron, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Gaza. The ark was taken to three of these capital cities, and each time it brought great trouble and chaos to the citizens.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Lord of All


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Today we continue in the book of 1st Samuel with Chapter 5, in our text,  we see the attempt of the Philistines to gain power by capturing the Ark of the Covenant. They believed in many gods and thought they could add the Ark to their god's much to their dismay. In making applications, we see the same happening today. In a time when it is politically correct to be a "Christian," we see some go to Church and make a profession and attempt to "add God" to their many gods of the world like money, power, fame, etc. They don't understand that the God of the Bible is Lord of all and to receive Him means giving Him your whole heart and life. We do this through confession and repentance of our sins by placing our trust in the finished work of Calvary. When we receive Salvation, He is Lord of All. How about you? Is Jesus your Lord and Savior, or just an empty profession? Let us examine ourselves, learning from our text today; when we give our heart to the Lord at Salvation, then is He Lord of All.


1 Samuel 5

1 Samuel 5

 1And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod.

 2When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.

 3And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again.

 4And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was 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.

 5Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon's house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day.

 6But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof.

 7And 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.

 8They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines unto them, and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And they answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about unto Gath. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about thither.

 9And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts.

 10Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And it came to pass, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to slay us and our people.

 11So 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.

 12And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven.