2Samuel 6:1 ¶ Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.
2Samuel 6:2 And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims.
At some point David gathered together 30,000 of the best among the troops of Israel to go with him to bring the ark of God, the ark of the covenant, to Jerusalem. The Chronicler informs us that he first sought the advice of his leaders and sent for the priests and Levites to come and help with the transport.
1 Chronicles 13:1–3 “And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader. And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good unto you, and that it be of the LORD our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren every where, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us: And let us bring again the ark of our God to us….”
We are told in Samuel that after the Philistines returned the ark to Israel, it had been placed in the care of Eleazar, the son of Abinadab.
1 Samuel 7:1 “And the men of Kirjathjearim came, and fetched up the ark of the LORD, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the LORD.”
2Samuel 6:3 And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart.
2Samuel 6:4 And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark.
2Samuel 6:5 And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.
When they got to Abinadab’s house in Gibeah, they brought it out of the house and put it on a new cart that was driven or guided by Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab. It seems that Ahio was leading the oxen on foot in front of the cart and Uzzah probably followed behind. David and all the people with him rejoiced and played before the LORD using all types of musical instruments made from wood—harps, psalteries/lyres, timbrels (a type of drum), cornets (some type of shaker similar to a maracas) and cymbals.
It seems that even the priests had forgotten that the ark was to be carried with the poles that fit through the rings on the side and not placed on a cart. The ark was holy before the LORD and was not to be handled or touched by sinful men.
Exodus 25:13–14 “And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them.”
Numbers 4:15 “And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die.”
I liked the following observation by Guzik: “The meaning of the names of these sons of Abinadab paint a meaningful picture. Uzzah means ‘strength’ and Ahio means ‘friendly.’ Much service for the Lord is like this - a new cart, a big production, with strength leading and friendly out front - yet all done without inquiring of God or looking to His will. Surely David prayed for God's blessing on this big production, but he didn't inquire of God regarding the production itself. This was a good thing done the wrong way.”
He also made another important application: “It is hard to receive it in our consumer-oriented culture, but worship isn't all about what pleases us. It's all about what pleases God.”
2Samuel 6:6 ¶ And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.
2Samuel 6:7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.
2Samuel 6:8 And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day.
When they got to Nachon’s threshingfloor, the oxen stumbled and unsettled the ark. Uzzah put out his hand to keep the ark from falling, and God struck him dead in anger for that error. You would think that a Levite would have known better.
This made David very unhappy. He named the place to identify it for posterity; he called it Perezuzzah, and it means “break of Uzza.”
I am reminded that the ark represented the presence of God among the people. God had already proven through many miracles that He was all powerful over creation and all other “gods.” Uzzah probably meant well, but his actions indicated that he had neglected his study of the law of Moses. Even though he was a Levite, he had not taken his responsibility to care for the ark serious enough to make sure that he was caring for it in accordance with God’s will. The LORD demands that we yield to Him as THE authority in our lives if we expect to enjoy His blessing, protection and provision.
Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
Luke 11:28 “But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.”
2Samuel 6:9 And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me?
2Samuel 6:10 So David would not remove the ark of the LORD unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite.
2Samuel 6:11 And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obededom, and all his household.
Not only was David unhappy, it made him very afraid of the LORD. He wondered how he was going to get the ark to Jerusalem. David decided not to proceed to Jerusalem and carried the ark into the house of Obededom the Gittite, another Levite. It stayed there for three months, and during that time the LORD blessed Obededom and his household.
Living in the presence of the LORD always results in blessing!
2Samuel 6:12 ¶ And it was told king David, saying, The LORD hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom into the city of David with gladness.
2Samuel 6:13 And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings.
2Samuel 6:14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.
2Samuel 6:15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
Word got to David that the LORD had blessed the house of Obededom because he had care of the ark of God. David’s response was to immediately go and bring the ark to the city of David, to Jerusalem.
This seems to indicate that the reason David left the ark with Obededom was because he was not sure whether he was right to move the ark in the first place. Isn’t it interesting that he didn’t consult the LORD either time? He concluded that if God was blessing Obededom, he would bless David and the nation as a whole by bringing it to Jerusalem.
This time, however, they did things the right way. I would assume that the priests had taken the time to go back to the books of Moses to assure that they followed the LORD’s instructions. The Chronicler tells us that David had learned the correct way to transport the ark.
1 Chronicles 15:2 “Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever.”
1 Chronicles 15:11–13 “And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab, And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it. For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.”
The entourage accompanying the ark rejoiced with music and dancing as they walked to Jerusalem. Every time those carrying the ark advanced six paces, David sacrificed oxen and cattle. David danced before the LORD with all his might wearing a linen ephod/girdle. He was not wearing his royal robes.
2Samuel 6:16 And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.
Michal, the daughter of Saul that was David’s wife, looked from a window and saw David leaping and dancing before the LORD. It didn’t make her smile; it filled her with contempt.
The question comes to mind—Why was she not part of the procession and celebration?
2Samuel 6:17 And they brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
So they brought the ark to the city of David and placed it in the tabernacle that had been set up specifically to house it. There is no indication that this is the wilderness tabernacle; it appears to entirely different. It’s interesting to note that David was not intent on bringing the rest of the holy vessels from the tabernacle to Jerusalem with the ark. Does that mean that he just abandoned the rites of sacrifices and offerings that took place at the wilderness tabernacle? No. Consider the following verses.
1 Chronicles 16:4–6 “And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel: Asaph the chief, and next to him Zechariah, Jeiel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Mattithiah, and Eliab, and Benaiah, and Obededom: and Jeiel with psalteries and with harps; but Asaph made a sound with cymbals; Benaiah also and Jahaziel the priests with trumpets continually before the ark of the covenant of God.”
1 Chronicles 16:37–40 “So he left there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD Asaph and his brethren, to minister before the ark continually, as every day’s work required: And Obededom with their brethren, threescore and eight; Obededom also the son of Jeduthun and Hosah to be porters: And Zadok the priest, and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the LORD in the high place that was at Gibeon, To offer burnt offerings unto the LORD upon the altar of the burnt offering continually morning and evening, and to do according to all that is written in the law of the LORD, which he commanded Israel….”
It seems that at David’s tabernacle the focus was clearly on worshipping God and seeing that He was worshipped continually. The focus at the tabernacle of Moses centered on the needs of the people to recognize their sin before the LORD and the need for maintaining a right relationship with Him through obedience to His law.
The tabernacle of David is mentioned three other times in scripture.
Isaiah 16:5 “And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.”
Amos 9:11-12 “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.”
Acts 15:13–17 “And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.”
The context of the above scriptures all reference the time when the LORD Jesus is on the throne of David as King of kings over the whole earth during the millennium. The verse in Isaiah seems to equate the tabernacle as the place that will house the throne of the LORD Jesus, the place of His presence to which the people can come and honor Him with praise and worship—just as it was during the days of David—and seek righteous judgment.
The verses in Amos affirm that the tabernacle of David will be rebuilt when all men, including the Gentiles, will be able to seek after the LORD.
In the verses in Acts, James, the brother of Jesus and recognized head of the Jerusalem church, quotes the verses from Amos to affirm that Gentiles were to be included in the body of believers.
The tabernacle of David remained in place until Solomon built the temple, when the ark was once again set apart from the people as it was in the wilderness tabernacle.
David was actually a type of the LORD Jesus.
Š Both were born in Bethlehem.
Š Both were born to poorer, hard-working families.
Š David was a shepherd.
Jesus declared Himself to be the good Shepherd.
Š David destroyed Goliath, the enemy of his people, alone.
Jesus conquered and will ultimately destroy Satan, our enemy, alone.
Š Some of David’s first followers were men who were sinners and outcasts.
Many of the first followers of Jesus were sinners and outcasts.
Š David had to wait for the LORD’s perfect timing to take his throne even though he had already been anointed as Israel’s future king.
Jesus is having to wait for the Father’s perfect timing to take His throne and establish His kingdom even though He has already been given the position.
Š David began his reign as king at 30 years old.
Jesus began his ministry at age 30.
Š David was a victorious king with a prosperous kingdom.
The kingdom of the LORD Jesus is and will be both victorious and prosperous.
Š Both David and Jesus had hearts “after God’s own heart.”
Maybe that is why the LORD allowed David to house the ark, the place of His presence, in a separate tabernacle during his reign as king—to preserve the type. Such physical access to the presence of King Jesus on earth will not be allowed again until He establishes His kingdom and once again rebuilds the tabernacle of David and establishes His throne there. At least, that’s my humble opinion.
2Samuel 6:18 And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts.
2Samuel 6:19 And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. So all the people departed every one to his house.
David then offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD—I am sure through the priests according to God’s command. He then served every person in attendance a cake of bread, a piece of meat and a flagon of wine. Then everyone returned home.
2Samuel 6:20 ¶ Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!
2Samuel 6:21 And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD.
2Samuel 6:22 And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.
2Samuel 6:23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.
When David went to bless those of his own home, he was met by Michal. She is identified as Saul’s daughter, which I think is appropriate since she certainly wasn’t acting like a loving wife. She rebuked David for uncovering himself in public in front of the women like a vulgar man.
David basically told her that all he was thinking about was honoring the LORD who had chosen him to be king over Israel after rejecting her father. He wasn’t worried about impressing anyone except the LORD. In fact, he would suffer any humiliation of himself that would honor the LORD. He also said that he was sure that the women that had seen him honored him for his obvious love for the LORD.
We are told that Michal never had a child. Was it because the LORD had shut her womb or did David just avoid any intimacy with her after this incident?
Another question comes to mind—What is the heart behind most worship in churches today? Is it directed toward the LORD or meant to entertain the masses? Does your heart make a connection to the LORD through the Spirit or are you just going through the motions?