And the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fortified cities, and of country villages, even unto the great stone of Abel, on which they set down the ark of the LORD: which stone remains unto this day in the field of Joshua, the Bethshemite.
Read Chapter 6
George Leo Haydock
Abel. A stone or rock, on which the Jews say Abraham had offered sacrifice; (St. Jerome, Trad. T.) Hebrew, "or mourning "was so called afterwards, on account of so many being slain; (Menochius) so the place, to which the Egyptians accompanied the remains of Jacob, was styled "Abol "the mourning of Egypt, Genesis l. 11. (Haydock)
The Septuagint read Abon, "the stone. "All the towns belonging to the Philistines, as far as this place, sent each their golden images, or contributed towards those which were presented by the five lords.
Which, ark, according to the Vulgate, though some would explain it of the stone. The ark might remain here for some time, and would probably have continued longer, if the people had not been so much afflicted. In the mean time, this record may have been written, as it was afterwards inserted in this book. (Calmet)
Which, though of the feminine gender, is referred to stone, because Abol is of that description, (Menochius) and we find several such allusions to the Hebrew in our version. Protestants, "unto the great stone of Abel, whereon they set down the ark of the Lord, which stone remaineth unto this day "(Haydock; Vatable)
Others think that the ark remained there till it was removed to Cariathiarim, chap. vii. 1. Malvenda says, the memory of the transaction was fresh till the author wrote; while others maintain, that the golden figures continued with the ark till that time. (Calmet)
The Roman Septuagint omits the words till this day; and reads, "where they placed upon it (the stone) the ark.upon the stone in the field "Then with the Alexandrian copy, and Procopius, it subjoins 19. "And the sons of Jechonias did not approve, among the men of Bethsames, that they saw the ark of the Lord, and he slew of them 70 men, and 50,000 of the people. "Theodoret suspects that they were more impious than the rest. But we might as well say that they showed more (Calmet) reverence, as we may explain slew of them, to denote the two curious citizens, (Haydock) if any dependence could be had on this addition. (Calmet)