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1 Samuel 6:14

And the cart came into the field of Joshua, a Bethshemite, and stood there, where there was a great stone: and they split the wood of the cart, and offered the cows a burnt offering unto the LORD.
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Beth samite, not the renowned general. (Calmet) Stone, which served instead of an altar. (Menochius) Lord. Some pretend that the lords of the Philistines followed so far, and offered this holocaust, as the cart belonged to them: but the Beth samites might suppose that they had abandoned their property, as well as the golden figures; and, as the city belonged to the priests, it is most probable that they would perform this office. Males indeed were to be offered in the tabernacle. But this was an extraordinary case; so that, if there were no priests, the sacrifice might be lawful (Calmet) by dispensation, as we see Samuel and Elias did the like. (Haydock) The kine and cart being consecrated to God, it was thought that they could not be turned to a more suitable purpose. (Calmet) The ark was also present, on account of which, sacrifices were offered in the tabernacle. The arguments of Abulensis, (q. 19,) who accuses the Beth samites of sin on this account, are not therefore satisfact...

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
We know that when the ark of the Lord was returned from the land of the Philistines to the land of the Israelites, it was placed on a cart. They yoked cows that had recently borne young to the cart, and shut up their calves at home. “And the cows went straight on over the way that leads to Beth-shemesh, keeping to the one road, lowing as they went; they turned neither to the right nor to the left.” What do these cows represent but the faithful of the church? When they ponder the sacred precepts, it is as if they are carrying the ark of the Lord placed upon them. We should also notice that they are described as having recently borne young. Many who are inwardly set on the way toward God are externally bound by their unspiritual feelings, but they do not turn aside from the right road because they are carrying the ark of God in their hearts. The cows were going to Beth-shemesh, a name meaning “house of the sun.” The prophet says, “For you who fear the Lord, the sun of righteousness shall...

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
For it is not that holy people do not love their fleshly kin, to give them all things necessary, but they subdue this very fondness within themselves from love of spiritual things, in order so to temper it by the control of discretion, that they may be never led by it, even in a small measure and in the very least degree, to deviate from the straight path. And these are well conveyed to us by the representation of the cows, which going along towards the hilly lands under the ark of the Lord, proceed at one and the same time with fondness and with hardened feeling; as it is written, “And the men did so: and took two milk cows and tied them to the cart and shut up their calves at home; and they laid the ark of the Lord upon the cart.” And soon after: “And the cows took the straight way to the way of Beth-shemesh, and they went along by one way, lowing as they went, and did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.” For observe, when the calves were shut up at home, the cows, which...

Justin Martyr

AD 165
One of these, I think, I must now mention, because it will help to give you a better understanding of Jesus, whom we acknowledge as Christ the Son of God, who was crucified, arose from the dead, ascended into heaven and will come to judge every person who ever lived, even back to Adam himself. You certainly know that when the tabernacle of testimony was carried off by the enemies who inhabited the region of Ashdod, and a dreadfully incurable plague had broken out among them, they decided to place the tabernacle upon a cart to which they yoked cows that had recently borne calves, in order to determine whether they had been plagued by God’s power because of the tabernacle, and whether it was God’s will that it be returned to the place from which they had taken it. In the execution of this plan, the cows, without any human guidance, proceeded not to the place from where the tabernacle had been taken but to the farm of a man named Hoshea (the same name as his whose name was changed to Jesu...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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