or Emerods, bleeding piles known to the ancient Romans as
mariscae, but more probably malignant boils of an infectious and
fatal character. With this loathsome and infectious disease the
men of Ashdod were smitten by the hand of the Lord. This
calamity they attributed to the presence of the ark in their
midst, and therefore they removed it to Gath (1 Sam. 5:6-8). But
the same consequences followed from its presence in Gath, and
therefore they had it removed to Ekron, 11 miles distant. The
Ekronites were afflicted with the same dreadful malady, but more
severely; and a panic seizing the people, they demanded that the
ark should be sent back to the land of Israel (9-12; 6:1-9).