The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible1 Samuel 5:1
And the Philistines took the ark of God…
into their hands, Israel being beaten, and caused to flee, and the
priests that had the care of the ark slain; and when possessed of it,
they did not destroy it, nor take out of it what was in it, only took
and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod.
Ebenezer was the place
where the camp of Israel was pitched, (1 Samuel 4:1) and near to which the
battle was fought. Ashdod was one of the five principalities of the
Philistines, the same with Azotus, (Acts 8:40) . The distance between these
two places, according to Bunting F17 was one hundred and sixty miles;
though one would think the distance from each other was not so great:
why it was carried to Ashdod is not plain; perhaps it might be the
nearest place of note in their country; and certain it is that it was
one of their most famous cities, if not the most famous;
(See Gill on 20:1), and had a famous idol temple in it.
F17 Travels of the Patriarchs… p. 122.