2Samuel 6

 

2Samuel 6:1–23

David Moves the Ark to Jerusalem


Outline of Chapter 6:

 

         vv.     1–8           David Moves the Ark of God, Part I

         vv.     9–11         The Ark is Temporarily Stored Again

         vv.    12–19         David Moves the Ark of God into Jerusalem, Part II

         vv.    20–23         David’s Wife, Michal, in Anger Confronts David after the Ark has been Moved


Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines:

 

         Introduction         A Modification of Matthew Henry’s Outline of 2Samuel 6

         Introduction         2Samuel 6 in Parallel with 1Chronicles 13, 15, 16

 

         v.       1              Introduction to 2Samuel 6:2

         v.       2              Scripture Related to Baale-Judah and Kiriath-Jearim

         v.       2              Where and What is Baale-Judah?

         v.       2              2Samuel 6:1–2: Two Translations

         v.       2              Summary of the Ark of God

         v.       2              Recent History of the Ark and the Tabernacle of God

         v.       2              Why Didn’t Samuel Restore Tabernacle Worship?

         v.       2              From God’s Point of View: Why the Ark and Tabernacle Fell into Disuse

         v.       2              Why Are there Cherubim Sitting Upon the Ark of God?

         v.       2              David Begins to Move the Ark: 2Sam. 6:1–2 and Its Parallel Passage in Chronicles

         v.       4              Alternative Readings of 2Sam. 6:3–4

         v.       5              Pictures of Sistrums

         v.       6              Nacon or Chidon?

         v.       6              Theories as to What Happened with the Oxen and the Ark

         v.       7              Keil and Delitzsch Explain what David Did that was Wrong

         v.       7              The Veneration of Religious Relics

         v.       7              Why Did God Allow the Ark to be Removed from the Holy of Holies?

         v.       8              Two Takes on 2Sam. 6:8

         v.       9              Failure of the Commentators

         v.      10              Various Interpretations of 2Sam. 6:10a

         v.      11              Problems Moving the Ark: 2Sam. 6:3–11 and Its Parallel Passage in Chronicles

         v.      13              Different Takes on Sacrificing Animals every Six Steps

         v.      16              Just What Did David Do to Upset Michal?

         v.      16              Second Transport of the Ark: 2Sam. 6:12–16 and 1Chron. 15

         v.      17              Why Didn’t David also Set up the Tabernacle of God in Jerusalem?

         v.      17              Why Will Solomon and not David Build the Temple of God?

         v.      19              A Summary of the Symbols in the Narrative

         v.      19              The Celebration: 2Sam. 6:17–20a and 1Chronicles 16:1–3, 43

         v.      22              Several Translations of what David said to Michal

         v.      22              Several Interpretations of what David said to Michal

         v.      23              Theories as to Why Michal Dies Childless

 

         Addendum          Some Interpretations are Completely Wrong

         Addendum          The 1Chronicle Chapters which Parallel 1Samuel 6

         Addendum          A Complete Translation of 2Samuel 6


Scriptural Excursions

1Chronicles 13

1Chronicles 15

1Chronicles 16


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

 

 

Ark of God

Ephod

 

 

The Movement of the Ark and Tabernacle of God


Psalms Alluded To

 

 

 

 

Psalms Appropriately Exegeted at the end of this Chapter

Psalm 122

Psalm 138

Psalm 145

Psalm 132


I ntroduction: 2Sam. 6 is the chapter where David brings the Ark of God to Jerusalem (which is, herein, called the City of David). At the first, there is a misstep, and Uzzah, one of the men who brought the Ark, tried to steady the Ark, and God kills him on the spot. David is upset, but also, he did not want to see anyone else die, so the Ark is kept for a few months in the home of Obed-edom. When David finds that Obed-edom is blessed for keeping the Ark, then David tries again to bring the Ark into Jerusalem, which is done with burnt offerings and dancing. In fact, David dances naked in public before the Ark, and his wife Michal, hates him for these actions, and, as a result, has no children by David.


David begins by gathering 30,000 of the chosen men of Israel (v. 1) and then going to, as the text says, Baale-judah, in order to bring the Ark of God out (v. 2). First, we see Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, lead the Ark out from the house of Abinadab (vv. 4–5), and then we go to the celebration that David and the men of Israel are enjoying (v. 6—which may be occurring near the Ark or back in Jerusalem). While the Ark is being moved, it appears that it might topple out of the cart, and Uzzah reaches out to steady it, and God kills him for his impertinence (vv. 6–7). David is both angry and afraid, and the Ark is taken to the house of Obed-edom instead of into Jerusalem (vv. 8–10). When David finds out the Obed-edom’s house is blessed for having the Ark, he makes another attempt to move it, this time with great care and many sacrifices (vv. 12–15). David is running about the Ark while this is going on, and it is unclear whether he is dancing or being careful that nothing is in the way of the wagon, and he apparently is wearing very little, which upsets his wife, Michal, greatly (vv. 14, 16). The Ark is taken to the tent which David had prepared for it (v. 17a) and David continues to offer burnt offerings and peace offerings, and blesses the people of Israel (vv. 17b–18). David distributes food to each person there (v. 19) and then returns home to find Michal waiting, who is filled with anger, and she unloads on him (vv. 20–22). Her anger is so great, and this fight so significant, that she has no children by David (v. 23).

 

Gordon writes a good introduction to this chapter, although a portion of this is speculation (but reasonable speculation): Now that the kingdom is united and the Philistines have been expelled from the land, the time has come for it to be conveyed to a more worthy resting-place in David’s capital city. It was, moreover, a politically astute move on David’s part, since the presence of the ark in Jerusalem would help to ensure thta tribal loyalties, despite their centrifugal tendencies, focused on the capital and the ruling house. Footnote


There are a number of things which we learn in this chapter. The most important is, man, in his fallen state, cannot have direct contact with God. When Uzzah, Abinadab’s son, reaches out to steady the Ark, he will have, in a sense, direct contact with God. The Ark, according to the Law, was not to be touched, and touching it results in the death of this young man, even though he was probably a moral, religious man.


The second thing which we learn in this chapter is about marriage and anger. Although the wisdom of the day is, if you have a strong emotion, you just let it out, otherwise it will just fester up inside of you and, I suppose, do all kinds of bad things to your psyche. Michel has some anger and she needed to let it stay inside. When she unloads on David over his behavior around the Ark, she, in effect, ends their marriage. They will remain married, but, apparently, it will be a loveless marriage. Application: it is not necessary for you to inform your opposite number of each and every emotion that you feel. In many cases, you ought to simply ignore and forget a lot of your emotional reactions.


I like including the outline as presented by another theologian, as long as it varies somewhat from mine. Although Matthew Henry’s outline, from a glance, looked like it would fill the bill, the way he separated topics and sub-topics made little sense, so I fixed and expanded his outline.

A Modification of Matthew Henry’s Outline of 2Samuel 6

I.       David makes an attempt to move the Ark, which failed and miscarried.

         1.      The design was well laid (2Sam. 6:1–2).

         2.      They were guilty of an error in carrying it in a cart (2Sam. 6:3–5).

II.      This attempt to move the Ark fails.

         1.      They were punished for that error by the sudden death of Uzzah (2Sam. 6:6–7).

         2.      This death was a great terror to David (2Sam. 6:8–9).

         3..     His death put a stop to his proceedings (2Sam. 6:10–11).

III.     The great joy and satisfaction with which it was at last done

         1.      There was great joy and happiness at moving the Ark successfully (2Sam. 6:12–15).

         2.      There was a good understanding between David and his people (2Sam. 6:17–19).

         3.      There was an uneasiness between David and his wife upon that occasion (2Sam. 6:16, 20–23).

Taken from Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible; from e-Sword, 2Sam. 6 introduction.


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In 2Sam. 5, we found parallel passages in 1Chronicles which were almost identical. 2Sam. 6 also has parallel passages in 1Chronicles, but they are, most of the time, much different than those found here.

Because 2Sam. 6 parallels, more or less, 1Chron. 13, 15–16, it might be better to see this broken down into specific verses and incidents. Since there are 29 verses in 2Sam. 6 and 86 in those 3 chapters of 1Chronicles, the account in Chronicles is going to contain additional information and incidents. Therefore, I will compare them below.

2Samuel 6 in Parallel with 1Chronicles 13, 15, 16

2Samuel

1Chronicles

Summary

 

13:1–4

David consults with his lead generals about bringing the Ark into Jerusalem.

6:1–4

13:5–7

Provisions are made and the transportation of the Ark begins.

6:5

13:8

David and all Israel are celebrating the moving of the Ark

6:6–8

13:9–11

The Ark appears to be off-balance, Uzza reaches out to steady it, and he is killed by God for his impertinence.

6:9–11

13:12–14

David is afraid because of Uzza’s death, and the Ark is stored for 3 months with the family of Obed-edom. Obed-edom and his family are greatly blessed because of this.

 

15:1

David builds houses for himself and pitches a tent for the Ark of God.

 

15:2–24

David determines that Levites should be the ones to transport the Ark of God, and the Levites are gathered and prepared for this venture.

6:12–15

15:25–28

David and the Levites bring the Ark up to Jerusalem with sacrifices and celebration.

6:16

15:29

Michel, David’s wife, observes this procession, and despises David in her heart because of his behavior.

6:17–18

16:1–2

The Ark arrives in Jerusalem, and is placed in the tent that David had prepared for it. There are great celebrations which follow.

 

16:4–7

The celebration of the Levites who are involved in this.

 

16:8–36

A psalm of thanksgiving offered when the Ark is placed in the Tent and during the celebrations which follow.

 

16:37–42

Those who are principally involved in this celebration are named.

6:19

16:3, 43

David distributes food to all who attend and they return home.

6:20–23

 

There is hell to pay when David returns to his home; Michel is waiting and is very critical of his behavior. As a result, they apparently never have sex again, as they have no children throughout their marriage. Note that this is the only portion of the narrative which is not covered in 1Chronicles.

You will notice that Chronicles tends to deal primarily with things which have spiritual impact; Samuel deals more with the events and adds the human interest aspect of Michel, her anger, and the results.

Unlike the previous chapter, where we found almost a word-for-word parallel account in 1Chronicles, here, it is just not quite the same. Even the parallel verses, from time to time, will be very different. I think that the best approach, from time to time, will be to compare a passage in 2Sam. 6 with its exactly parallel passage as we exegete this chapter.


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Keil and Delitzsch make some interesting comments about this chapter as a whole: After David had selected the citadel of Zion, or rather Jerusalem, as the capital of the kingdom, he directed his attention to the organization and improvement of the legally established worship of the congregation, which had fallen grievously into decay since the death of Eli, in consequence of the separation of the ark from the tabernacle. He therefore resolved first of all to fetch out the ark of the covenant, as the true centre of the Mosaic sanctuary, from its obscurity and bring it up to Zion; and having deposited it in a tent previously prepared to receive it, to make this a place of worship where the regular worship of God might be carried on in accordance with the instructions of the law. That he should make the capital of his kingdom the central point of the worship of the whole congregation of Israel, followed so naturally from the nature of the kingdom of God, and the relation in which David stood, as the earthly monarch of that kingdom, towards Jehovah the God-king, that there is no necessity whatever to seek for even a partial explanation in the fact that David felt it desirable to have the high priest with the Urim and Thummim always close at hand. Footnote


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David Moves the Ark of God, Part I

1Chronicles 13:1–11


And so adds again David all chosen in Israel—thirty-thousand.

2Samuel

6:1

Again, David [gathered] all the chosen [men] of Israel—30,000.

David again gathered the chosen men of Israel—30,000 men.


Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Ancient texts:                       Note: I compare the Hebrew text to English translations of the Latin, Syriac and Greek texts (using the Douay-Rheims translation; George Lamsa’s translation, and Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton’s translation, respectively). When there are serious disparities between my translation and Brenton’s, I look at the Greek text of the Septuagint (the LXX) to see if a substantive difference actually exists (and I reflect these changes in the English rendering of the Greek text). Now and again, I update these texts with non-substantive changes (e.g., you for thou, etc.).

 

Masoretic Text                       And so adds again David all chosen in Israel—thirty-thousand.

Septuagint                              And David again gathered all the young men of Israel, about seventy thousand.

 

Significant differences:           The Greek adds the verb to gather, which seems to be reasonable. There is also a difference in the number of those that David gathers. The Latin and Syriac are in agreement with the Hebrew, which is common.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       David brought together thirty thousand of Israel's best soldiers and...

The Message                         David mustered the pick of the troops of Israel--thirty divisions of them.

NLT                                        Then David mobilized thirty thousand special troops.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         David again assembled all the best soldiers in Israel, 30,000 men.

HCSB                                     David again assembled all the choice men in Israel, 30,000.

JPS (Tanakh)                         David again assembled all the picked men of Israel, thirty thousand strong.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

WEB                             David again gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.

Young's Updated LT              And David gathered again every chosen one in Israel, thirty thousand.

 

The gist of this verse?          David gathers together 30,000 men in Israel, who are called his chosen men in this verse.


2Samuel 6:1

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâçaph (ף ַס ָי) [pronounced yaw-SAHPH]

to add, to augment, to continue to do a thing

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3254 BDB #414

׳ôwd (דע) [pronounced ģohd]

still, yet, again, besides, in addition to, even yet

adverb

Strong’s #5750 BDB #728

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

bâchar (ר ַח ָ) [pronounced baw-KHAHR]

to choose; Gesenius also lists to prove, to try, to examine, to approve, to choose, to select; to love, to delight in [something], to desire

Qal passive participle

Strong's #977 BDB #103

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975

shelôshîym (םי.שֹלש) [pronounced shelow-SHEEM]

thirty

plural numeral

Strong’s #7970 BDB #1026

eleph (ף ל א) pronounced EH-lef]

thousand, family, (500?); military unit

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #505 (and #504) BDB #48

The Septuagint has 70,000; the Hebrew, Latin and Syriac all have 30,000. Footnote


Translation: Again, David [gathered] all the chosen [men] of Israel—30,000. David gathered men in the previous chapter to fight against the Philistines. This was the ancient equivalent to the draft today. David has a purpose, and that is to bring the Ark of God into Jerusalem, taking it out of disuse. The use of the word again simply indicates that David has gathered large groups of men previous to this (2Sam. 5:1–3, 17–25 1Chron. 12:23–40). It appears as though the gathering of these men was the advice of the leaders in Israel (the parallel passage, 1Chron. 13:1 reads: And David consulted the chiefs of the thousands and of the hundreds, to every leader).


Some people may say that this was David merely consolidating his power; Footnote and particularly from human viewpoint, it may seem that way. Human viewpoint might think, okay, let’s see how many we can get together for a religious thing; we’ve already gathered people for battle (2Sam. 5:17–25) and we’ve gathered a large group of Israelites to David’s coronation (2Sam. 5:1–3); so now let’s see if we can flush out the religious types to support him as well. However, I don’t think that David was thinking of any such thing; the greatest religious artifact in the history of Israel (actually, in the history of mankind) is the Ark of God. David is well-aware of this Ark, and correctly understands that bringing it to Jerusalem is a great event in the history of Israel. Therefore, he is going to call together all Israel to celebrate this historic event with him. Let me be more specific: David is actually calling together a relatively small group to celebrate this event, as I assume that hundreds of thousands might have attended had David so asked.


Let me give you an example: at this point in time, the US Navy has decided to move some of its ships from a very inhospitable, anti-military San Francisco, to San Diego. Therefore, we can expect, when the ships roll into San Diego, that there is going to be some sort of celebration; that is exactly what we have here, except that it is a more significant event.


The parallel passage in 1Chronicles is not much of a parallel; in 1Chron. 13:1–3, we have David consulting with the captains of thousands and of hundreds in order to bring the Ark to Jerusalem. I will wait until the completion of v. 2 before putting the passages side-by-side, but our verse 1 here is merely a summary of the preparations. However it is important to recognize that, David, prior to making this or that important decision, often consulted the Ephod of God; he would go to the High Priest and ask pointed questions about what he should do. Here, David speaks with the assembly of men which he had gathered, and they willingly agree to go with him to move the Ark (1Chron. 13:4). You cannot ignore God’s truth and you cannot substitute human wisdom or human consensus for God’s revealed Word, which is what David is doing.


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As is my approach, I examine and discuss each verse in as much detail as I believe the verse warrants, and then I refer to several very good commentators to see if I left anything out. After seeing what others have said, you need to know that in this verse alone, you are going to get more information and doctrine than most exegetes pack into an entire chapter. There is a great deal of significance to the Ark and Tabernacle not being used at this time; there is a great deal of significance to David bringing the Ark to Jerusalem; and to the fact that God has David’s son—not David—build a permanent home for the Ark. If you are the average reader, than I can guarantee you that you have no idea how meaningful these events are; they are not simply random, historical events, but carefully guided and integrated into the plan of God.

Introduction to 2Samuel 6:2

Before we get into this verse, you need to know that, what David does here and what Solomon his son does, is a matter of their freewill choices. God may have guided them, and God knew from eternity past what they were going to do, but the choice to do what they did is a matter of their free will. God’s plan is perfect, and, throughout the Bible, when you are properly guided through the Bible, we get glimpses of just how perfect His plan is. God’s plan includes the free will decisions of believers in fellowship, believers out of fellowship, and unbelievers. All of these are factors in His plan.

If you raise up a family, you make plans for that family as time goes on. You take into consideration the personality and character of each child, and you, as a responsible parent, try to determine the best course of action for that child. For instance, I attended public schools all of my life; one of my younger brothers attended a private school for a time. Based upon the personality and character of my brother and I, they determined that this would be the best course of action for each one of us. My parents did their best to keep our upbringing equal, but they also had to take into account that we were all very different people, and therefore required some differences in the way that they dealt with us, and the choices that they made for us. God does the same thing, except that He deals with billions of people, and the billions of decisions that each person makes, and God determines all that would occur in eternity past—with the billions of free will decisions as being a part of His plan.

Most of the time, when we read the Bible—particularly narrative portions of the Bible—we think, this happened, then this happened, and then something else happened; but, too often, we only recognize the most fundamental relationships of these various events. However, what occurs in history and, particularly, what we find in Scripture, is fraught with meaning. These are real historical events, which really happened, and really involved the free will of the people involved; but, these events have meaning; these events are not simply random. We do not live in a random universe. What I hope to do is, in the next verse alone, is to unearth the meaning and import of these historical events which we are studying.

We’ll spend a dozen pages on the next verse alone.


And so rises up and so goes David and all the people who [are] with him from Baale-Judah to bring up from there an Ark of the Elohim, which was named a name, a name of Yehowah of Armies dwelling the cherubim upon him.

2Samuel

6:2

David then arose and departed with all the people with him [and they went] from Baale-Judah [or, from the lords of Judah] to bring up from there the Ark of Elohim, which was called a name, the name of Yehowah of the Armies, the cherubim sitting upon it.

David and the people with him arose and departed from Baal-Judah to bring up the Ark of God, whose name and reputation are proclaimed by the Ark where the Lord of hosts dwells between the cherubim.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And David arose and went, with all the people that were with him of the men of Juda to fetch the ark of God, upon which the name of the Lord of Hosts is invoked, who sits over it upon the cherubims.

Masoretic Text                       And so rises up and so goes David and all the people who [are] with him from Baale-Judah to bring up from the an Ark of the Elohim, which was named a name, a name of Yehowah of Armies dwelling the cherubim upon him.

Septuagint                              And David arose, and went, he and all the people that were with him, and some of the rulers of Juda, on an expedition to a distant place, to bring back thence the ark of God, on which the name of the Lord of Host who dwells between the cherubs upon it is called.

 

Significant differences:           We begin with texts which are very similar until we come to Baal-Judah, which is often interpreted as being a city or place, but which some (Jerome and the seventy) tried to translate instead, indicating that lords of Judah accompanied David. This indicates that the text from which Jerome and the seventy worked was the same as the masoretic text, but simply interpreted differently than I have.

 

The remainder of the text also seems to be very similar, and, it is moderately clunky in the Hebrew (where name is repeated), but it seems that it is either the name of the Lord of the army or Jehovah of the army is the one who is dwelling between the cherubim.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...led them to Baalah in Judah, which was also called Kiriath-Jearim. They were going there to get the sacred chest and bring it back to Jerusalem. The throne of the LORD All-Powerful is above the winged creatures on top of this chest, and he is worshiped there.

NJB                                        Setting off with the whole force then with him, David went to Baalah of Judah, from there to bring up the ark of God, who bears the title ‘Yahweh Sabaoth, enthroned on the winged creatures’.

NLT                                        He led them to Baalah of Judah to bring home the Ark of God, which bears the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         He and all the people with him left Baalah in Judah to bring God's ark to Jerusalem. (The ark is called by the name of the LORD of Armies, who is enthroned over the angels.)

HCSB                                     He and all his troops set out to bring the ark of God from Baale-judah. The ark is called by the Name, the name of the LORD of Hosts who dwells between the cherubim.

JPS (Tanakh)                         Then David and all the troops that were with him set out from Baalim of Judah to bring up from there the Ark of God to which the Name was attached, the name Lord of Hosts Enthroned on the Cherubim.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

MKJV                                     And David arose and went with all the people with him from beyond Baale of Judah, to bring up the ark of God from there, which is called by the Name, the Name of Jehovah of Hosts who dwells above the cherubs.

NKJV                                     And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, whose name is called by the Name [LXX, Targums and Vulgate omit by the Name; many Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac there] Footnote , the Lord of Hosts, who dwells between the cherubim.

Young’s Updated LT             And David rises and goes, and all the people who are with him, from Baale-Judah, to bring up thence the ark of God, whose name has been called—the name of Jehovah of Hosts, inhabiting the cherubs—upon it.

 

The gist of this verse?          Although the sentence is a little clunky (to me at least), the idea is that David takes all the people with him up from Baal-Judah to bring the Ark of God to Jerusalem. The Ark of God is further identified as that where Jehovah of Hosts name is invoked, Jehovah Who lives between the cherubim upon the Ark.


2Samuel 6:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qûwm (םק) [pronounced koom]

to stand, to rise up, to get up; to establish, to establish a vow, to cause a vow to stand, to confirm or to fulfill a vow

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #6965 BDB #877

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

the whole, all of, the entirety of, all; can also be rendered any of

masculine singular construct followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

׳am (ם ַע) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

ăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

with, at, near, by, among, directly from

preposition (which is identical to the sign of the direct object); with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #854 BDB #85


Translation: David then arose and departed with all the people with him... David is in Jerusalem and he arises and departs, taking all the people with him. It seems obvious that not everyone from Jerusalem accompanies David, so we might understand this as all the people referring to those from the lords of Judah go with David. Although I don’t think that this is the full 30,000, I would guess that this would be a significant number of men.


2Samuel 6:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

Ba׳ălêy (י̤ל ֲע-ב) [pronounced bah-guh-LAY]

aristocracy, leaders, baal’s, lords, landowners, movers and shakers, supervisors, administrators, citizens, inhabitants

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1181 BDB #127

Yehûwdâh (הָדהי) [pronounced yehoo-DAW]

possibly means to praise, to be praised; and is transliterated Judah

masculine proper noun/location

Strong’s #3063 BDB #397

Together, these are often transliterated Baal-Judah. Strong’s #1184 BDB #127.

If this is not the name of a city, then we would render this verse, so far, David then arose and departed with all the people with him from the lords of Judah to bring up the Ark of Elohim...


Translation:...[and they went] from Baale-Judah [or, from the lords of Judah]... There are two primary ways to understand this phrase: David and all the people are going up from Baale-Judah, a place not named before, but which some identify with Kiriath Jearim (more on this below). The second interpretation is, all the people are taken out of the lords (or leaders) of Judah. Therefore, we are talking about all the 30,000 which David assembled and all those who are leaders out of Judah as well.

 

According to a footnote in the Tanakh: Baalim [Baale] is identical with Baalah, another name for Kiriath-jearim, where the Ark had been kept (compare 1Sam. 6:21 1Chron. 13:6 Joshua 15:9). Footnote


There are two big problems with interpreting this as above (which is how the majority interprets this verse): (1) from Baale-Judah is a weird way to express their destination. 99% of the time, when we have men rising up and departing and [going] from this or that city; we are speaking of their city of origin—but they did not originate in Baale-Judah, they are going to go to Baale-Judah (assuming this is the name of a city). Almost all translations render this verse in this way, and, if you check your translation, it does not read from, as the MT reads, but they use the preposition to instead. (2) We do not find Baale used in conjunction with a city anywhere; we do find Baalam used in that way, but not Baale. Baale is the masculine plural construct of baal, and it refers to lords, suggesting that we are speaking of the lords of Judah here.


It would be a good idea to determine the relationship between Baale-Judah and Kiriath-Jearim, so below are several texts which are related to those names.

Scripture Related to Baale-Judah and Kiriath-Jearim

Scripture

Text

Joshua 15:9

Then the boundary extends from the top of the mountain to the spring of the waters of Nephtoah, and from there to the cities of Mount Ephron. Then the boundary bends around to Baalah (that is, Kiriath-jearim).

Joshua 15:60

Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim), and Rabbah: two cities with their villages.

Joshua 18:14

Then the boundary goes in another direction, turning on the western side southward from the mountain that lies to the south, opposite Beth-horon, and it ends at Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim), a city belonging to the people of Judah. This forms the western side.

1Sam. 7:1–2

And the men of Kiriath-jearim came and took up the ark of the LORD and brought it to the house of Abinadab on the hill. And they consecrated his son Eleazar to have charge of the ark of the LORD. From the day that the ark was lodged at Kiriath-jearim, a long time passed, some twenty years, and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD.

2Sam. 6:2

And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim. Our passage is the only time where we find this name. This could be Lords of Judah or it could refer to a place called Baale of Judah.

1Chron. 13:5–6

So David assembled all Israel from the Nile of Egypt to Lebo-hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kiriath-jearim. And David and all Israel went up to Baalah, that is, to Kiriath-jearim that belongs to Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD who sits enthroned above the cherubim.

From the verses we find here, it is clear that Baalah, Kiriath-jearim, and Kiriath-baal are equivalent to one another. The name Baale-Judah is found only in our passage, and it would be an easy conclusion to say that it is simply another name for Kiriath-jearim, as Kiriath-jearim is on the border of Judah and Benjamin. However, that is not necessarily how we should view this.

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There are several theories as to where Baale-Judah is, and how it relates to Kiriath-jearim, where the Ark has been kept the past several decades. It might be better if I list the various approaches here.

Where and What is Baale-Judah?

Proponent (s)

Theory

Discussion

Clarke, the Tanakh, and many others

Baale-Judah is another name for Kirjah–baal (Joshua 15:60) or Kirjath–jearim (1Chron. 13:6); or Baalah (Joshua 15:9). Footnote This is the most common view here.

A simple reading of the Hebrew text sounds as though these men went from Baale-Judah in order to go to where the Ark is being kept. The preposition found prior to Baale-Judah here means out of, out from, from, away from.


It is important to note that the Dead Sea Scrolls read to Baalah—that is, Kir [yath-jearim] of Judah at this point. Footnote 1Chron. 13:6 reads, in part, ...to Baalah, to Kiriath-jearim, which belongs to Judah... On the other hand, Baale, in the MT, is a masculine plural construct. Although there is but a scrap of Chronicles from the Dead Sea Scrolls, there are a number of incidents where Samuel in the Dead Sea Scrolls is in agreement with Chronicles where it is not in complete agreement in the MT. Footnote

Kimchi

He is in agreement with the above, and indicates that there must be something missing in the text; he offers: “And David went, and all the people who were with him, out of Baale-Jehudah, to which they had gone up to fetch the ark of God” Footnote The idea is, David and these men first go up to Baale-Judah, put the Ark in a new cart, and then leave from Baale-Judah.

Kimchi is one of the few who recognizes that there is a problem with the preposition used in this verse. Other exegetes either do not realize that there is a problem, or they do, and choose to ignore it.


Obviously, we must read a little into the verse, but there is nothing wrong with doing that, as long as that does not lead us to some extreme position. We have run into a large number of passages where the passage itself does not give us the complete story (for instance, in this passage, do these 30,000 men go with David? Do they remain in Jerusalem, while some of them accompany David? This information is not given to us).

Luther, Chaldee, Vulgate and Septuagint

That what is being said is, David goes up from those leaders to Kiriath-Jearim. The translation which I have from the Latin is: And David arose and went, with all the people that were with him of the men of Juda to fetch the ark of God, upon which the name of the Lord of Hosts is invoked, who sits over it upon the cherubim. Luther renders this from the citizens of Judah.

The word is in the plural construct form (Baalim) which lends credence to this. Most of the other times we find Baal associated with another noun to form the name of a city, it is singular in number. I may have missed one, but I don’t find any cities listed with this form of Baal, although I do find a couple of names of people using this form of Baal (see Strong’s #1182, #1183, #1185).


Keil and Delitzsch argue against this theory, saying that it does not hold water because of the short phrase from there which is not found in the Latin, but it is found in the Hebrew and Syriac (the Greek leaves out the preposition).

A third view

These cities are nearby and these men went from Baale-Judah to Kiriath-Jearim. These would be twin cities, Kiriath-Jearim in Benjamin and Baale-Judah in Judah.

The problem is, we just have no other support for this, apart from our passage saying from Baale-Judah. Kiriath-Jearim is on the border of Judah and Benjamin, but primarily associated with Judah.

Although I originally went with the most common view here, I think that we are dealing with the lords of Judah, and that David chose certain men out of that group (however, my confidence level is about a 60% here).

This is a very tough call. Since the other ancient versions appear to differ so much, my guess is, they struggled with this as well. The LXX may have left out the preposition simply to make their translation smoother.

Note that this solves the problem of who goes with David; some of the leaders of Judah, which is going to be a subset of this 30,000, which is what we would reasonably deduce.

Now, bear in mind, despite that fact that I took way too long examining these few words, no matter which we way interpret it, our interpretation will not affect any doctrine that we hold to.

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Therefore, let us view the two different translations, depending upon the way we want to interpret this:

2Samuel 6:1–2: Two Translations

This phrase should read lords of Judah

Baale-Judah is a city equivalent to Kiriath-jearim

David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. David then arose and departed with all the people with him from the lords of Judah to bring up from there the Ark of Elohim, which was called a name, the name of Yehowah of the Armies, the cherubim sitting upon it.

David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. David then arose and departed with all the people with him [and they went] from Baale-Judah to bring up from there the Ark of Elohim, which was called a name, the name of Yehowah of the Armies, the cherubim sitting upon it.

What is italicized simply indicates how these interpretations vary.

Arguments For

We do not need to add any words in order to make this verse hold together.


We do not find Baale elsewhere in connection with a city. However, we do find it used regularly as a masculine plural construct.

The name here is very similar to names which are synonymous with Kiriath-jearim.


This gives the phrase from there a place to point back to.

Arguments Against

We have this tiny phrase from there which has no antecedent. However, not every author of Scripture has a master’s degree in English (well, in Greek or Hebrew). That is, we should not expect every sentence to be in perfect Hebrew from every author.

We need to add a few extra words in order to make this come out right.


Usually when a group of men rise up to go anywhere to do anything, when we have the phrase from this or that city; we are generally referring to a point of origin. Their destination is first the city where the Ark is being kept, and then they will leave from that city.


We do not find Baale used in conjunction with the names of other cities, but we do find it used to mean lords of.

I realize that I have spent far to long on this little point; I tend to be very analytical in that way. I think that I have beat this horse to death.

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Okay, let’s say that you are teaching this verse, either in church or to a Sunday school class. Now, I have beaten this verse to death, particularly this little portion of it, looking at it from several different angles; and, in the end, I state, it does not affect any real doctrine. My opinion is, a pastor, in most cases, should give what he feels is the correct understanding of this verse, given the alternate quickly, and indicate, as I have, that no doctrine rests upon the interpretation of this verse. I cover it in great detail, primarily so that a pastor who looks at this, does not need to.


2Samuel 6:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

to cause to go up, to lead up, to take up, to bring up

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong's #5927 BDB #748

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

shâm (ם ָש) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

ărôwn (ןר ֲא) [pronounced uh-ROHN]

ark, chest; Ark

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #727 BDB #75

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural construct

Strong's #430 BDB #43


Translation: ...to bring up from there the Ark of Elohim,... The purpose of leading this large congregation of people was to move the Ark of God from point A to point B (from Kiriath-jearim to Jerusalem). This is the Ark of God which has not really been mentioned since it was moved to Kiriath-Jearim originally when Samuel essentially guided Israel. David has a fortified city; it appears as though the Ark has been in disuse for perhaps 50 years or so, and David is going to bring it into Jerusalem.


As discussed earlier, from there refers to Kiriath-Jearim, which is not named here, although there may be a synonym for Kiriath-Jearim here (Baale-Judah).

 

Matthew Henry: The obscurity of the ark, during the reign of Saul, had been as great a grievance to Israel as the insults of the Philistines. David, having humbled the Philistines and mortified them in gratitude for that favour, and in pursuance of his designs for the public welfare, is here bringing up the ark to his own city, that it might be near him, and be an ornament and strength to his new foundation. Footnote


It might be a good idea to stop for a moment and get a few points from the Doctrine of the Ark of God (which doctrine was covered back in 1Sam. 4:11).

Summary of the Ark of God

1.      The Ark of God was one of the furniture of the Tent of Meeting which represented the God-man, Christ Jesus.

2.      It was built out of Acacia wood (which represented His humanity) and overlaid with gold (which represented His Deity).

3.      Inside the Ark were three items: (1) the tablets of the Law, representing God’s perfect standards and our inability to reach these standards; (2) a golden pot of manna, representing God’s perfect provision for us (manna was a perfect food); and (3) Aaron’s rod which budded, which represents the resurrection from the dead (the rod was a dead staff on which buds came forth).

4.      On the Ark was a mercy seat and on both sides of the mercy seat was two angels, or cherubim. The mercy seat represents our point of contact (which is upon the Ark itself, above the three items mentioned); and the cherubim represent the angelic conflict, of which we are a part.

5.      The Ark was kept in the Holy of Holies, which was a room inside the Tent of Meeting. Only the High Priest went into this room once a year on the Day of Atonement to sprinkle blood upon the mercy seat, which represents the blood of our Savior for our sins.

The actual Doctrine of the Ark of God is 16 pages long, and therefore is much more detailed. The Ark is no longer in existence; however, several have attempted mockups of the Ark.

ark6.jpg

 

The picture comes from http://www.ebibleteacher.com/3DTaber/ark6.jpg; which was apparently created for the Passion Play, found at http://www.greatpassionplay.com/

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It might be instructive to know a little history behind the Ark.

For those of us who know a little Old Testament history, this all seems somewhat surprising, not to know where the Tabernacle of God is, and to have the Ark of God kept elsewhere, unused. We associate these things with the nation Israel, we know that God mandated their construction and use, much of the ceremonial law of the Pentateuch revolved around these things, so it seems confusing that they would not be a part of Israel’s daily life. Therefore, let me remind you what has happened over the past century or so.

Recent History of the Ark and the Tabernacle of God

Under Eli, the rotund High Priest, the Ark was in the Tabernacle of God, and these things were in use during his life. In fact, he raised up young Samuel in close association with the Tabernacle of God. However, Eli’s sons took over the Tabernacle worship and perverted it into BBQ-time for them. That this was tolerated by Eli and by the Israelites indicated that Israel was going into a spiritual down-cycle. This was confirmed later when the soldiers of Israel came to Eli and took the Ark of God with them into battle against the Philistines for good luck. The Philistines defeated the Israelites and took the Ark with them. However, wherever the Ark went in Philistia, there were plagues and many deaths, so that the Philistines finally brought the Ark back to Israel, unwilling to endure Its presence.

When the Ark was brought back into Israel, the people, many of whom had not actually seen it before, knew what it was, but treated it with disrespect, and many Israelites died. Therefore, the Ark was moved to Kiriath-Jearim, to the house of Abinadab, where it remained until the time of this chapter (these events are laid out in 1Sam. 3–7). As a result, much of Samuel’s adult ministry, and all of Saul’s kingship take place while the Ark is at the house of Abinadab, not being used.

Although Saul seemed to start out okay, he went awry as king. The Ark never appears to be an issue to him, and he goes so far as to assume Samuel’s position and he offers up sacrifices to God, something which is completely outside of his responsibilities. Therefore, we cannot look to him to rectify the situation with the Ark. Furthermore, Saul gets so crazy that he goes to where the Tabernacle is, to Nob, the city of priests (apparently at some point in time, the Tabernacle was moved here), and he kills all of the priests except for one, Abiathar, who escapes to David. What happened to the Tabernacle at this point is purely speculation, but, for years previous to Saul’s attack, it had been without the Ark of God, making it empty of Its soul, so to speak. Tabernacle worship probably declined severely under Saul, and probably stopped altogether after Saul killed the priests.

Edersheim makes the assertion Footnote that there are two Tabernacles, and bases this upon the parallel priesthood, Zadok and Abiathar (who escaped Saul’s attack on Nob and fled to David). However, for a year and a half, David was in Philistine-held territory, all the priests related to Abiathar were dead and Abiathar was missing (he did not leave a note on the Tabernacle door, fled to David). So, when this heinous act was discovered by Israel, and probably by religious types, the line of Zadok kicked in, and they assumed responsibility at this point. This could account for the parallel priesthood under David. Edersheim’s conjecture requires that two tabernacles be built and functioning at the same time; mine requires that, following the massacre at Nob, for the line of Zadok to assume priestly responsibilities. Footnote Both of these are conjecture, although I think that mine requires less imagination. Edersheim’s conjecture is, after the two priesthoods are established, that a second Tabernacle had to be erected. If this were the case then, logically, Abiathar’s priesthood would preside over a Tabernacle in Jerusalem, as he has been staying with David, yet we are not aware of the Tabernacle ever being in Jerusalem until Solomon builds the Temple, and brings the Tabernacle to Jerusalem.

Let me backtrack momentarily on Edersheim’s assertion that there are two Tabernacles; if, by the second tabernacle, Edersheim is referring to this tent which David’s sets up for the Ark, then yes, there were two Tabernacles. However, it is difficult to determine just to what extent the second tent was used. In 1Chron. 16, we see that there is a great religious celebration; and many sacrifices offered; however, it does not appear that David made any attempt to duplicate the Tabernacle in Jerusalem or to have parallel Tabernacle worship in Jerusalem. He will have a focus on building the Temple in Jerusalem (which his son Solomon will build), which may explain why David does not require the Tabernacle be set up in Jerusalem (furthermore, there is no indication that God wanted David to move the Tabernacle to Jerusalem).

It is fairly easy to understand why Tabernacle worship did not thrive under Saul, but it is more difficult to explain why Samuel did not restore this function of the Tabernacle.

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Recall that Samuel, the High Priest and Prophet of God, was raised in the Tabernacle, yet he did nothing with regards to the Ark or Tabernacle. This is more difficult to explain, so let me do it in points:

Why Didn’t Samuel Restore Tabernacle Worship?

1.      First of all, Samuel did have his head screwed on right, in contrast to Saul, and his actions appear to have divine approval throughout the book of 1Samuel.

2.      Samuel would have been very young when the Ark was taken, and decision regarding the Ark were probably not a part of his responsibility at that time.

3.      However, it is important to bear in mind that Samuel was raised by Eli in and around the Tabernacle of God, which was clearly functioning at this time (1Sam. 1–3).

4.      When the Ark was taken, Eli and his sons died that very same day, leaving Samuel as the authority, although, again, he was probably very young at this point in time.

5.      Let me offer some conjecture here: the Philistines soundly defeated the Israelites when they took the Ark, and it is likely that there were Philistine garrisons established in Israel and that the Philistines, for a time, collected tribute from the Israelites. This may have shut down Tabernacle worship; after all, if people bring offerings to the Tabernacle, the Philistines would think that these offerings should come to them, and they had the means to enforce this opinion.

6.      For whatever, reasons—the Ark was in storage, the Philistines exercised some control over Israel, the Priest Eli and his sons were killed on the same day, or because the Ark had been taken originally—the Tabernacle was moved and/or fell into disuse.

7.      Either because of Samuel’s young age or because God did not command him to do so, he did not restore Tabernacle worship. For the same reasons, Samuel did not move the Ark of God anywhere, or make an attempt to reunite the Ark with the Tabernacle.

8.      God apparently kept Samuel busy with other things. He had to anoint Saul, he had to guide Saul, he had to advise Saul; and Samuel functioned as a judge and as a prophet, and as a priest, but outside of the Tabernacle.

9.      Here is the most important point: the Tabernacle with the Ark within the Holy of Holies, represents Jesus Christ. When Samuel came on the scene, he was also a picture of Jesus Christ—in fact, the most complete picture of Jesus Christ to that date, as Samuel was a priest, prophet and judge. Therefore, the shadow image we are to see is, the ceremonial worship of God in the Tabernacle gave way to the person of Samuel, just as Temple worship will give way to Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The parallels between Samuel and Jesus Christ were uncanny.

10.    Therefore, we may reasonably assume that, God did not move Samuel to restore the Ark to the Tabernacle nor did God move Samuel to restore Tabernacle worship to Israel because this was all a picture of the shadow of the ceremonial law giving away to the person of Jesus Christ.

In short, the key is, God uses the temporary disuse of the Tabernacle and Ark, and the preeminence of Samuel, to illustrate the fading away of the shadows (the ceremonial Law) when Jesus Christ comes to this earth.

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This is such an important point, I don’t want you to miss it:

From God’s Point of View: Why the Ark and Tabernacle Fell into Disuse

The Old Testament Shadows

The New Testament Reality

The Tabernacle falls into disuse while the Ark is in storage.

When Jesus Christ comes to this earth and dies for our sins, there is no need for the ceremonial Law to point into the future at Him. There will be no reason for animal sacrifices to be offered in the Temple.

The Tabernacle is an empty tent without the Ark within the Holy of Holies.

The Temple worship had become empty, legalistic religion, maintained by corrupt leaders (the pharisees and sadducees).

Samuel, the prophet, priest and judge, gains preeminence, as the Tabernacle worship fades away. Samuel is a shadow of Jesus Christ to come, and the most exact shadow of our Lord up until that time. .

Jesus Christ, the reality of what the Ark of God and Temple worship represents, has come to this earth, which means that there is no more reason for the shadows of His coming.

David, who must war against all of Israel’s enemies in order to establish peace.

Jesus Christ returning for the 2nd advent, where He will destroy all of Israel’s armies at Armageddon.

Solomon, who rules during a period of extended peace, and builds a permanent home for the Ark—the Temple of Solomon.

Jesus Christ ruling permanently over the earth after the Tribulation. He will be king over all the earth throughout the Millennium

Heb. 10:1–23: For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sin? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, "Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, 'Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.'" When he said above, "You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings" (these are offered according to the law), then he added, "Behold, I have come to do your will." He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds," then he adds, "I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more." Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

Let’s go with this illustration: your husband, the love of your life, is in Iraq, in a war zone, and all you have is a picture of him which you keep at your bedside and look at from time to time. When he returns from Iraq, you do not spent your time with the picture anymore. Why spend time with the shadow, if the reality is there?

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My point is, none of this is random—not even historical events; there are no accidents in the plan of God. God intended for Tabernacle worship to fade away with the advent of Samuel. Now that Samuel has been dead for awhile, the illustration of the ceremonial Law giving way to the reality of Samuel no longer makes sense. The historical parallel has come and gone. Therefore, Tabernacle worship must be restored, and the first step in this is the retrieval of the Ark. I want you to get the picture here: David, a picture of Jesus Christ; and, in many ways, a picture of our Lord at His 2nd Advent, brings the Ark of God, also a picture of Jesus Christ, to Jerusalem, which is where Jesus Christ will come to (His feet will come down on the Mount of Olives).


Preview of coming attractions: Can you figure out why God will allow Solomon to build a semi-permanent Temple but not David? Again, this is all a shadow of things to come. Samuel represents Jesus Christ in His 1st advent; David represents Jesus Christ in His 2nd advent, when He returns to this earth and destroys the armies who have attacked Israel. Solomon represents Jesus Christ in His Millennial rule. So, from the Law of Moses through the reign of Solomon, we see the future of God’s people laid out in shadow form.


2Samuel 6:2d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

qârâ (א ָר ָק) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to be named; to be called, to be proclaimed; to be called together [assembled, [summoned]; to be read aloud, to be recited

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal perfect

Strong's #7121 BDB #894

shêm (ם ֵש) [pronounced shame]

name, reputation, character

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #8034 BDB #1027

shêm (ם ֵש) [pronounced shame]

name, reputation, character

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #8034 BDB #1027

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

tsebâôwth (תאָבצ) [pronounced tzeb-vaw-OHTH]

armies, hosts; wars

masculine plural noun, simply the plural of Strong’s #6635, but often used in titles

Strong’s #6635 BDB #838


Translation: ...which was called a name, the name of Yehowah of the Armies,... I think the final words of this verse more or less pontificate on the Ark itself, identifying it, as it had not been spoken of for some time (1Sam. 14:18 notwithstanding Footnote ). As I have previously indicated, in the history of the Ark, it has been in storage for perhaps 50 or so years, during Saul’s reign and Samuel’s ministry. What this does is clearly identify the Ark of God with Jehovah God. That is, David and the author of this portion of Samuel clearly understand that, of all the articles of furniture of the Tabernacle, this Ark of God most closely gives us a picture of Jehovah God. Do not misunderstand that this refers to some form of idolatry, because the Ark was not to be worshiped; nor was the Ark to be seen as an idol of God. It represents God; it tells us about God; but the Ark is not God nor is it to be worshiped as some form of God here on earth. In fact, recall that, when the Tabernacle is up and running, the Ark is inside the Tabernacle, inside the Holy of Holies, and no one, save the High Priest on the Day of Atonement, ever even sees the Ark. The text here identifies the Ark with God, but not in such a way as to encourage idolatry in any form.


2Samuel 6:2e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

yâshab (בַשָי) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

inhabiting, staying, remaining, dwelling, sitting

Qal active participle

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

kerûwbîym (בר) [pronounced keroob-VEEM]

transliterated cherubim; it means angels

masculine plural noun the with definite article

Strong’s #3742 (and #3743) BDB #500

׳al (לַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752


Translation: ...the cherubim sitting upon it. Given their closeness, we would think we are speaking of the two cherubim who are sitting on the Ark, each opposite the other. However, another interpretation is that, it is Jehovah of the Armies who dwells upon the Ark, between these cherubim (however, we do not have the prepositions required here which would mean between).


For the most part, God did not instruct Israel to construct anything which might be construed as idolatrous. There were no statues or idols constructed which attempted some sort of representation of the God of Heaven or anything else in heaven. However, here, and only here, we have carved Cherubim affixed to the Ark of God. A reasonable question to ask is,...

Why Are there Cherubim Sitting Upon the Ark of God?

Exegete

Explanation

Barnes

The cherubim, described by Ezekiel (Ezek. 1:10), have been regarded as representing the whole creation engaged in the worship and service of God (compare Rev. 4:9–11 5:13); and it would be in harmony with this view to suppose that the more strictly human shape of the cherubim of the mercy seat represented the highest form of created intelligence engaged in the devout contemplation of the divine law of love and justice (compare 1Peter 1:12). Footnote

Henry

These cherubim were designed to represent the holy angels, who always attended the shechinah, or divine Majesty, particularly at the giving of the law; not by any effigies of an angel, but some emblem of the angelical nature, probably some one of those four faces spoken of (Ezek. 1:10). Whatever the faces were, they looked one towards another, and both downward towards the ark, while their wings were stretched out so as to touch one another. The apostle calls them cherubim of glory shadowing the mercy–seat, Heb. 9:5. It denotes their attendance upon the Redeemer, to whom they were ministering spirits, their readiness to do his will, their special presence in the assemblies of saints (Psalm 68:17 1Cor. 11:10), and their desire to look into the mysteries of the gospel which they diligently contemplate (1Peter 1:12). Footnote

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown

The prevailing opinion now is, that those splendid figures were symbolical not of angelic but of earthly and human beings—the members of the Church of God interested in the dispensation of grace, the redeemed in every age--and that these hieroglyphic forms symbolized the qualities of the true people of God—courage, patience, intelligence, and activity. Footnote I assume this is the prevailing opinion around their household?

Kukis

One of the most important aspects of the plan of God is that what occurs on earth is observed by angels—both elect and fallen angels. They see all that occurs, and they develop a complete appreciation and understanding for God’s wisdom, love, righteousness and perfection by observing us and our relationship to God day by day. One angel represents the elect angels and the other the fallen angels.

R. B. Thieme Jr.

These two angels represent righteousness and justice. It may be just as reasonable to propose that these two angels represent justice and love, which meet at the cross.

Another theory

Israel and the Church, which are made one in Christ. Footnote

Another theory

They represent both human and angelic creation. This does not ring true, as they appear to be identical figures.

Unnamed

Gill indicates that some of the ancients believed these to stand for the Old and New Testaments. Footnote

Unnamed

The two witnesses who dress in sackcloth during the Tribulation. Footnote

After doing a relatively thorough search of the internet, I have not come across any other theories on this.

That these Cherubim are found upon the Ark is alluded to many times in Scripture (Ex. 25:18–22 1Sam. 4:4 1Kings 8:6–7 Psalm 80:1). Peter tells us that they observe us: It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look (1Peter 1:12).

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As we go through this chapter, I will stop now and again and place 2Sam. 6 next to its parallel passage from Chronicles.

David Begins to Move the Ark: 2Sam. 6:1–2 and Its Parallel Passage in Chronicles

2Samuel 6:1–2

1Chronicles 13:1–6

David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim.

David consulted with the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, with every leader. And David said to all the assembly of Israel, "If it seems good to you and from the LORD our God, let us send abroad to our brothers who remain in all the lands of Israel, as well as to the priests and Levites in the cities that have pasture lands, that they may be gathered to us. Then let us bring again the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it in the days of Saul." All the assembly agreed to do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people. So David assembled all Israel from the Nile of Egypt to Lebo-hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kiriath-jearim. And David and all Israel went up to Baalah, that is, to Kiriath-jearim that belongs to Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD who sits enthroned above the cherubim.

You will note that only portions of the final sentences (2Sam. 6:2 and 1Chron. 13:6) are a match.

Keil and Delitzsch: This account in the Chronicles is not an expansion of the brief notice given here; but the account before us is a condensation of the fuller description given in the sources that were employed by both authors. Footnote

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And so cause to ride upon an Ark of the Elohim unto a cart new; and so they bring him from a house of Abinadab which [is] in the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, are leading the cart new.

2Samuel

6:3

They caused the Ark of Elohim to ride upon the new cart. They brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were leading the new cart.

They placed the Ark of Elohim in a new cart and they had brought it up from Abinadab’s home, which was on the hill. Abinadab’s two sons, Uzzah and Ahio, led the new cart.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic text                        And so cause to ride upon an Ark of the Elohim unto a cart new; and so they bring him from a house of Abinadab which [is] in the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, are leading the cart new.

Septuagint                              And they put the ark of the Lord on a new wagon, and took it out of the house of Aminadab on the hill, and Oza and his brethren the sons of Aminadab drove the wagon. [the Alexandrian LXX apparently adds the phrase with the ark Ark the end of this sentence]

 

Significant differences:           The LXX has the Ark of the Lord; the MT, Vulgate and Peshitta all have the Ark of God [Elohim]. Another very minor difference is, we have Uzzah and Ahio in the Hebrew, Latin and Syriac; but Oza and his brothers in the Greek.

 

I should point out that Brenton’s translation does not always reflect what we find in the Greek, but occasionally takes some liberties with the Greek text (unfortunately). Sometimes I catch these liberties (as in this verse) and sometimes I don’t.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       They put the sacred chest on a new ox cart and started bringing it down the hill from Abinadab's house. Abinadab's sons Uzzah and Ahio were guiding the ox cart,...

Good News Bible                   They took it from Abinadab's home on the hill and placed it on a new cart. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the cart,...

NLT                                        They placed he Ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the hillside home of Abinadab. Uzzah and Ahio, Abinodab’s sons, were guiding the cart...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         David and his men put God's ark on a new cart and brought it from Abinadab's home on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, Abinadab's sons, were guiding the new cart.

HCSB                                     They set the ark of God on a new cart and transported it from Abinadab's house, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the cart...

JPS (Tanakh)                         They loaded the Ark of God onto a new cart and conveyed it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Abinadab’s sons, Uzza and Ahio, guided the new cart.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       And they carried the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart,...

LTHB                                     And they caused the ark of God to ride on a new cart, and took it from the house of Abinadab, which is in the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio the sons of Abinadab were leading the new cart.

Young's Updated LT              And they cause the ark of God to ride on a new cart, and lift it up from the house of Abinadab, which is in the height, and Uzzah and Ahio sons of Abinadab are leading the new cart.

 

The gist of this verse?          The author sets up the scene, where the sons of Abinadab, Uzzah and Ahio, both lead the cart out of the house of Abinadab.


2Samuel 6:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

râkab (בַכָר) [pronounced raw-KAHBV]

to cause to ride, to cause to [mount and] ride, to cause to draw, pull along]; to cause to ride upon; to place in a chariot [cart]; to fasten to [an animal]

3rd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #7392 BDB #938

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ărôwn (ןר ֲא) [pronounced uh-ROHN]

ark, chest; Ark

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #727 BDB #75

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #430 BDB #43

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

׳ăgâlâh (הָלָגֲע) [pronounced ģuh-gaw-LAW]

[an ox-] cart, wagon; a chariot, a war vehicle

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #5699 BDB #722

châdâsh (שָדָח) [pronounced khaw-DAWSH]

new, new thing; fresh

feminine singular adjective

Strong’s #2319 BDB #294


Translation: They caused the Ark of Elohim to ride upon the new cart. You may recall when the Philistines had taken the Ark of God in battle, they returned it to Israel on a new cart. There were specific laws in effect concerning the Ark of God. The most important one was that man could not come into direct contact with the Ark. In fact, the idea was, God is holy and man is not, and there cannot be any direct contact between man and God.


2Samuel 6:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâsâ (אָָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect; with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

bayith (ת̣י ַ) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular construct

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

Ăbîynâdâb (בָדָני.בֲא) [pronounced ub-vee-naw-DAWB]

my father is noble and is transliterated Abinadab

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #41 BDB #4

ăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

gibe׳âh (הָע׃ב ̣) [pronounced gibve-ĢAW]

hill; this same word is transliterated Gibeah

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #1389 BDB #148


Translation: They brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. The Ark had remained at the house of Abinadab since the Philistines had returned it to Israel. Some curiosity seekers had treated the Ark without the respect that it deserved, and they died from that. Therefore, instead of trying to set up the Ark again within the Tent of God, the Ark had been taken over to the home of Abinadab. You may recall the both Israelites and Philistines both died from coming into contact with the Ark.


Many authors and exegetes have assumed that Abinadab is a Levite, and therefore, his sons are all Levites. Whereas, I do not find direct evidence of this, it seems reasonable and logical that Levites, who were to be in charge of the Tabernacle and articles of furniture, would also be chosen to temporarily watch over the Ark of God. It would also seem reasonable and logical that these Levites would know what is allowed and what is not allowed with reference to the Ark.


2Samuel 6:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳Ûzzâ (אָע) [pronounced ģooz-ZAW]

strength; transliterated Uzza

masculine proper singular noun

Strong’s #5798 BDB #539

Also written ׳Ûzzâh (הָע) [pronounced ģooz-ZAW].

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

acheyôw (י ח-א) [pronounced ahkhe-YOH]

brotherly, fraternal; transliterated Ahio

masculine proper singular noun

Strong’s #283 BDB #26

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Ăbîynâdâb (בָדָני.בֲא) [pronounced ub-vee-naw-DAWB]

my father is noble and is transliterated Abinadab

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #41 BDB #4

nâhag (גַהָנ) [pronounced naw-HAHG]

to bring, to lead, to urge on a course, to drive [animals] along, to drive away, to lead away [as a captive]

masculine plural, Qal active participle

Strong’s #5090 BDB #624

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

׳ăgâlâh (הָלָגֲע) [pronounced ģuh-gaw-LAW]

[an ox-] cart, wagon; a chariot, a war vehicle

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5699 BDB #722

châdâsh (שָדָח) [pronounced khaw-DAWSH]

new, new thing; fresh

feminine singular adjective

Strong’s #2319 BDB #294


Translation: Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were leading the new cart. Abinadab had two sons (more properly, descendants), Ahio and Uzzah, who guided the cart. If you will look back in 1Sam. 7:1, you will note that Eleazar, a son of Abinadab, was entrusted with the Ark of God. However, bear in mind, that was about 50–70 years ago. Footnote Although we do not know what happened to Eleazar, my guess is, he is either very old or dead at this time. In some cultures, children do not leave the home at age 18 or 21, as we generally have here in the States. Some remain at home until married; some remain there even after marriage. When we speak of a son, this does not mean that we are dealing with a boy or a teen; Abinadab’s son, Eleazar, may have been 50 years old at the time of taking custodianship of the Ark (his father being, perhaps, 70). So, 50 years later, both Abinadab and Eleazar are probably both dead, but Eleazar’s sons (called Abinadab’s sons here) are probably Uzzah and Ahio. Footnote

 

Barnes concurs, writing: It does not at all follow that Abinadab was still alive, nor can we conclude from Uzzah and Ahio being called sons of Abinadab, that they were literally his children. They may well have been sons of Eleazar and grandsons of Abinadab, or yet more remote descendants; since there is no distinct evidence that Abinadab was alive even when the ark was brought to Kirjath-jearim. The house may have retained the name of “the house of Abinadab” long after his death. Footnote


I spend a little time with this for two reasons: (1) Some fool might think that there is some sort of a contradiction here, that the Ark is first taken care of by Eleazar, but, in a later passage, by someone else; and (2) It is reasonable that Eleazar may have had a better understanding of the Ark and its holiness; he may have known not to have any direct contact with the Ark under any circumstances.


We also have a problem here. The Philistines sent the Ark back to the Israelites in a new cart, and David is essentially following suit here. The Philistines were not punished for this, as they simply wanted to be rid of the Ark, and there is no reason that they should know how it is to be transferred. You may recall that they kept their distance, nonetheless. They watched the Ark being moved from afar. Now, Scripture tells us that the Ark is supposed to be moved on the shoulders of Levites (Num. 4:15 7:9), and there is nothing in the Mosaic Law which indicates that alternate methods of transportation are acceptable.


There is a great deal of information to be found in the Law of God—in the Mosaic Law. David obviously studied the Law, but, just as obviously, he did not study this portion of the Law. This will be David’s first attempt to move the Ark; the second time, he will go with Levites and it will be clear that men are bearing the Ark, rather than a cart (2Sam. 6:13).


Along the sides of the Ark are rings, through which a pole could be placed, and this pole could ride upon the shoulders of (probably) 4 Kohathite Levites. These Levites never came into contact with the Ark itself, but held it aloft with these poles. My guess would be that the rings would be near or at the bottom of the Ark, to lessen the likelihood of human contact with the Ark.

 

So, why does God the Holy Spirit record this in the historical record? Scofield explains: The story of David's new cart and its results is a striking illustration of the spiritual truth that blessing does not follow even the best intentions in the service of God except as that service is rendered in God's way. It is a constant point of failure. God had given explicit directions how the ark should be borne (Num. 4:1–15) but David adopted a Philistine expedient. Footnote


Application: You don’t get to simply pick and choose from life to do whatever you want to do. As a believer in Jesus Christ, God has made it clear as to how you need to approach your post-salvation life: you believe in Jesus Christ, and then your spiritual life consists of naming your sins to God and learning the Word of God. You may observe someone whose life is a mess, and they become a scientologist, say; and their life improves. This does not mean that you can follow the scientologist program as a part of your Christian life. You may observe someone else whose life improves after attending self-improvement lectures, spiritual yoga sessions (where more than the exercise is dispersed), or going to some cult, like the Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses. No doubt, you know someone whose life has improved by going off on some weird (or even, not so weird) path; however, this does not mean that you get to traipse down that path with them or after them. On the other hand, this does not mean that you can’t change your diet or join an exercise group of some sort; but when it comes to the guidance of your soul, it is by the filling of the Holy Spirit and Bible doctrine in the soul. The mechanics of the spiritual life are relatively simple, and they are the only approach that we are allowed to the spiritual life; just as, the only way for David to move the Ark of God is the way prescribed in the Law.


David will later realize this, the second time that he moves the Ark, and he will say, “No one is to carry the Ark of God but the Levites; for Jehovah has chosen them to carry the Ark of God and to minister to Him forever.” (1Chron. 15:2).


Application: You may screw up a lot; God is going to give you more second chances than I would. David messed up here. He should have examined the Word of God until he found the proper way to move the Ark. Instead, he got so caught up in the moment, that he simply did what he Philistines did. As we will find out, that is not good enough. But, as we find out, God gives him another chance as well.


Application: In some Christian circles, there is pressure for you do get involved in some sort of Christian service; do stuff around the church, give your testimony, hosts Bible sharing sessions, etc. If you are a baby Christian, then you cannot put the cart before the horse. Christian service is a natural outgrowth of spiritual growth; and make no mistake about it—Christian growth must occur before Christian service.


Application: Although it is impossible to put a time line to this, there are some bare minimums in order to begin any sort of spiritual service. You must know how to rebound (name your sins to God) and you must rebound regularly. You must have some source of Bible doctrine, and you must take in Bible doctrine regularly (daily is the proper approach, even if it is only 30-60 minutes a day). In most cases, you should know the gospel like it is the back of your hand. You should understand the need for the intake of Bible doctrine (as Thieme calls it, epistemological rehabilitation). After that point, it might take 6 months and it might take 10 years or more to determine what your reasonable spiritual service is; and, until then, you just keep taking in doctrine.


Application: You might be 6 months old as a Christian, and realize that your spiritual gift is teaching the Word of God. This does not mean that you go out and teach the Word of God. David realized that the Ark of God needed to be moved. That does not mean that he should just go out and move it, as he is doing here. Most spiritual gifts require some kind of training. At the church I attend, we have an outstanding female vocalist; however, she wasn’t saved one day, and then the next day, singing before the congregation. There was a time of training involved, as well as time for spiritual growth. The greatest pianist in the world does not go out on stage to play a few months after he realizes he likes to play piano. There will be thousands upon thousands of hours of practice before they come forward and perform in public. A little gal around the corner from where I live plays the violin; when I had her as a high school student, she practiced 4–5 hours a day, according to her parents; along with all of her other duties as a high school student. I have no idea where she is today, whether she performs, or even if she still plays; however, she began at a young age with great dedication to her training. We need to do the same thing. And, there are reasonable steps. A prospective pastor doesn’t go from 2 years of being taught the Bible in church to becoming a pastor teacher; any believer who does that insults the Word of God and insults Jesus Christ. A pastor is going to require years of intense training; and, 99% of the time, training as provided by an excellent seminary.


Application: In short, there is a right way and a wrong way to proceed in our lives as believers in Jesus Christ; we don’t simply get to meander off in any direction doing whatever strikes our fancy. We cannot even go in the right direction using the wrong means, which is what David is at fault for in this context. Scofield calls this, the Philistine way of doing things. Footnote


And so they lift him from a house of Abinadab, which [is] in a hill, with an Ark of the Elohim, and Ahio is going to faces of the Ark.

2Samuel

6:4

They took [lit., lifted] it from the house of Abinadab, which [is] on the hill, with the Ark of Elohim, while Ahio walked in front of the Ark.

They took the cart with the Ark of God from the hillside house of Abinadab and Ahio walked out in front of the Ark.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And when they had taken it out of the house of Abinadab, who was in Gabaa, Ahio having care of the ark of God went before the ark.

Masoretic Text                       And so they lift him from a house of Abinadab, which [is] in a hill, with an Ark of the Elohim, and Ahio is going to faces of the Ark.

Peshitta                                  And they brought the Ark of God out of the house of Abinadab, which was in Gibeah, and Ahia went before the Ark.

Septuagint                              And his brethren went before the ark.

 

Significant differences:           Much of this verse matches v. 3 exactly, suggesting that portions of v. 3 may have been inadvertently copied into the text a second time. Note that the LXX text is much briefer, and note that the text of the Vulgate is a bit more expansive.

 

In any case, the Latin, Syriac and Hebrew all match up (the word for hill is Gibea); the LXX text is much shorter.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...with Ahio walking in front of it.

Good News Bible                   ...with Ahio walking in front.

NLT                                        ...with the Ark of God on it, with Ahio walking in front.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         They brought it from Abinadab's home, with Ahio walking ahead of the ark.

HCSB                                     ...and brought it with the ark of God from Abinadab's house on the hill. Ahio walked in front of the ark.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

LTHB                                     And they took it from the house of Abinadab, which is in the hill, with the ark of God. And Ahio was going before the ark.

MKJV                                     And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab at Gibeah, going with the ark of God. And Ahio went before the ark.

Young's Updated LT              And they lift it up from the house of Abinadab, which is in the height, with the ark of God, and Ahio is going before the ark.

 

The gist of this verse?          Ahio walks before the cart which is carrying the Ark (portions of this verse are in doubt).


2Samuel 6:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâsâ (אָָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect; with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

bayith (ת̣י ַ) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular construct

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

Ăbîynâdâb (בָדָני.בֲא) [pronounced ub-vee-naw-DAWB]

my father is noble and is transliterated Abinadab

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #41 BDB #4

ăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

gibe׳âh (הָע׃ב ̣) [pronounced gibve-ĢAW]

hill; this same word is transliterated Gibeah

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #1389 BDB #148


Translation: They took [lit., lifted] it from the house of Abinadab, which [is] on the hill,... What they appear to be lifting, based up the second part of this sentence, is the cart, and in the cart is the Ark of God. However, you will note that this portion of v. 4 matches exactly a portion of v. 3, which suggests that a tired scribe, at some point in time, looked up to v. 3, while copying v. 4, and included these words (there are other possible explanations). Note the comparative brevity of the LXX. In other words, we may have one or two phrases in this verse which do not belong here. Now, despite the textual problems, there is no loss or change of meaning.


2Samuel 6:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳îm (ם  ̣ע) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near; like; from

preposition of nearness and vicinity

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

ărôwn (ןר ֲא) [pronounced uh-ROHN]

ark, chest; Ark

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #727 BDB #75

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #430 BDB #43


Translation: ...with the Ark of Elohim,... What the brothers appear to be lifting is the cart, and with that cart (apparently, on the cart), is the Ark of God. Recall that no man is to come into direct contact with the Ark of God; the idea is, God is holy, God is righteous; we are not. There can be no contact between a holy God and sinful man. Man cannot in any way have direct contact with God. Now, you may think, well, I don’t like that very much; after all, God made me! However, let me give you an analogous example: we receive our very life from the sun, in many ways. Without it, all life on earth would cease. However, any direct contact with us and the sun would result in us instantly being vaporized. Even though we depend upon the sun for our life and our very existence, we are unable to come into direct contact with the sun, as there are attributes of the sun which we are unable to be in contact with (i.e., heat which is beyond human comprehension).


2Samuel 6:4c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

acheyôw (י ח-א) [pronounced ahkhe-YOH]

brotherly, fraternal; transliterated Ahio

masculine proper singular noun

Strong’s #283 BDB #26

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

Qal active participle

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

pânîym (םי̣נָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces, countenance; presence

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular)

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, they mean upon the face of, before, before the face of, in the presence of, in the sight of, in front of. When used with God, it can take on the more figurative meaning in the judgment of. This can also mean forwards; the front part [or, the edge of a sword]. Lepânîym (םי.נָפל) can take on a temporal sense as well: before, of old, formerly, in the past, in past times.

ărôwn (ןר ֲא) [pronounced uh-ROHN]

ark, chest; Ark

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #727 BDB #75


Translation: ...while Ahio walked in front of the Ark. The writer of this narrative is setting us up; giving us enough details so that we can see what is going on. What appears to be the case (and I am basing this on v. 4), is that the brothers are carrying a cart, and upon the cart is the Ark of God. Since this just does not really seem practical, it is possible that the lifting involved is lifting the Ark on the cart to set it so that mules can transport the Ark.


Now, if we leave the first portion of v. 4 out of our understanding, it more appears as though these brothers have carefully loaded the Ark upon a cart, and, at this point, are guiding the movement of the cart (the work being done by mules), with Ahio walking in front of the Ark.


The Tanakh offers a radical alternative to their own reading of vv. 3–4 taken from the LXX and 4QSama.

Alternative Readings of 2Sam. 6:3–4

Tanakh

Moderately Literal Reading without the Excess

Alternate Reading of LXX and 4QSama

They loaded the Ark of God onto a new cart and conveyed it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Abinadab’s sons, Uzzah and Ahio, guided the new cart. They conveyed it from Abinadab’s house on the hill, [Uzzah] walking alongside the Ark of God and Ahio walking in front of the Ark.

They caused the Ark of Elohim to ride upon the new cart. They brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, lead the new cart, with the Ark of Elohim, and Ahio is walking before the Ark.

They loaded the Ark of God onto a new cart and conveyed it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Abinadab’s sons, Uzzah and Ahio, guided the new cart alongside the Ark of God and Ahio walking in front of the Ark.

The excess portion of the Tanakh is in a darker blue. Although the biggest problem with the excess text is dealt with in the Tanakh, it requires a careful placing of commas in order to keep everything straight: So they took [lit., lifted] it from the house of Abinadab, which [is] on the hill, with the Ark of Elohim, and Ahio is walking before the Ark.

Textual criticism must deal with a couple of approaches here: first of all, it is rare for someone to add text without some sort of ulterior motive. The additional text in the MT here really adds nothing to the narrative.

Furthermore, it is not uncommon for a copyist to look up, copy a bit of text, then look back up, see the same word that he just copied (but a little lower down) and begin copying, leaving out what is in between. That is an option in this verse.

What appears to be the case is, the MT has additional text which is repeated; a tired scribe looks up at the original and recopies some words which he copied a few seconds ago (or, from the day before). Although this probably explains the alternative reading, keeping or dropping the text has no effect upon the overall narrative.

The proper reading of these past two verses should probably be: They caused the Ark of Elohim to ride upon the new cart. They brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, lead the new cart, with the Ark of Elohim, and Ahio is walking before the Ark.


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Now bear in mind, as we have already discussed, this is probably a family of Levites who are taking care of the Ark; and, we would expect that they would know the Scripture in this particular area at least. Some of the relevant passages are: Num. 4:15: And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, as the camp sets out, after that the sons of Kohath shall come to carry these, but they must not touch the holy things, lest they die. These are the things of the tent of meeting that the sons of Kohath are to carry. Num. 7:9: But to the sons of Kohath he gave none, because they were charged with the service of the holy things that had to be carried on the shoulder. Num. 18:3: They shall keep guard over you and over the whole tent, but shall not come near to the vessels of the sanctuary or to the altar lest they, and you, die. See also Ex. 25:12–15 Num. 4:5–6, 15. When it was decided that someone would take care of the Ark, it was not simply taken to the nearest farm, and dropped off with the note, your problem now. No doubt the Ark had been taken to a nearby residence, but not an arbitrary one; and, it is reasonable to suppose that this was the home of Levites. We do not know exactly how a person would come to have Scripture for themselves. The king was to transcribe a Bible for himself; the books of Moses had been written on some public stones; and, no doubt, scribes functioned to maintain the Scriptures at this time. However, not everyone would have access to these writings. However, given that this family prospered, having taken responsibility for the Ark, one would reasonably assume that they have at least portions of Scripture relevant to their responsibility here.


As mentioned, David should have a copy of God’s inspired Word as well. My point is, the Ark is not being moved as God requires it be moved. There are consequences for doing a right thing in a wrong way.


And David and all a house of Israel are playing [laughing, dancing?] to faces of Yehowah in all trees of cedar and in lyres and in harps and in and in timbrels and in castanets and in cymbals.

2Samuel

6:5

David and all the house of Israel were playing [musical instruments] before Yehowah, [those made of] cedar wood [lit., by all woods of cedar]; with lyres, harps, timbrels, castanets [or, sistrums] and cymbals.

David and all the house of Israel celebrated and played musical instruments before Jehovah; instruments made of cedar; along with lyres, harps, timbrels, castanets and cymbals.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          But David and all Israel played before the Lord on all manner of instruments made of wood, on harps and lutes and timbrels and cornets and cymbals.

Masoretic Text                       And David and all a house of Israel are playing [laughing, dancing?] to faces of Yehowah in all trees of cedar and in lyres and in harps and in and in timbrels and in castanets and in cymbals.

Septuagint                              And David and the children of Israel were playing before the Lord on well–tuned instruments mightily, and with songs, and with harps, and with lutes, and with drums, and with cymbals, and with pipes.

 

Significant differences:           The differences are minor; we have the house of Israel in the MT; the sons of Israel in the LXX; the first phrase after playing before the Lord is in question, and it might simply be a matter of translation rather than dealing with different words in the original manuscripts used by the Greeks. As usual, the Latin and Syriac are more in line with the Hebrew than with the Greek.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Some of the people of Israel were playing music on small harps and other stringed instruments, and on tambourines, castanets, and cymbals. David and the others were happy, and they danced for the LORD with all their might.

Good News Bible                   David and all the Israelites were dancing and singing with all their might to honor the LORD. They were playing harps, lyres, drums, rattles, and cymbals.

NLT                                        David and all the people eof Israel were celebrating before the Lord with all their might, singing songs [as in Greek version (see also 1Chron. 13:8); Hebrew reads cypress trees] and playing all kinds of musical instruments—lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         David and the entire nation of Israel were celebrating in the LORD'S presence with all kinds of instruments made from cypress wood and with lyres, harps, tambourines, sistrums, and cymbals.

HCSB                                     David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating before the LORD with all kinds of fir wood instruments, lyres, harps, tambourines, sistrums, and cymbals.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       And David and all the house of Israel were making merry before the LORD, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals.

WEB                                      David and all the house of Israel played before Yahweh with all manner of instruments made of fir wood, and with harps, and with stringed instruments, and with tambourines, and with castanets, and with cymbals.

Young's Updated LT              And David and all the house of Israel are playing before Jehovah, with all kinds of instruments of fir-wood, even with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cornets, and with cymbals.

 

The gist of this verse?          David and the people of Israel celebrate by making music as the Ark is moved toward Jerusalem. A listing of the instruments used here is given.


2Samuel 6:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

bayith (ת̣י ַ) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular construct

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975

sâchaq (קַחָ) [pronounced saw-KHAHK]

to joke, to jest, to laugh repeatedly, to play, to amuse, to dance

masculine plural, Piel participle

Strong’s #7832 BDB #965

Perhaps this means to celebrate with musical instruments?

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

pânîym (םי̣נָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces, countenance; presence

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular)

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, they mean upon the face of, before, before the face of, in the presence of, in the sight of, in front of. When used with God, it can take on the more figurative meaning in the judgment of. This can also mean forwards; the front part [or, the edge of a sword]. Lepânîym (םי.נָפל) can take on a temporal sense as well: before, of old, formerly, in the past, in past times.

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: David and all the house of Israel were playing [musical instruments] before Yehowah,... We are unsure of the meaning of the verb found here, but it seems to indicate that they are celebrating by playing musical instruments. Based upon the context of this verse alone, I would submit that this is a legitimate meaning for this verb.


2Samuel 6:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

with a plural noun, it is rendered all of, all; any of

masculine singular construct with a masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

Literally, in all. Although I don’t have this in the lexicons, it is rendered by the most literal translations as among all, through all, throughout all, with all.

׳êts (ץ ֵע) [pronounced ģayts]

trees felled for building (1Kings 5:20, 32), lumber (Gen. 6:14 2Kings 12:13), sticks or logs for fuel (Gen. 22:3 Lev. 1:7)

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #6086 BDB #781

berôwsh (שר) [pronounced berohsh]

cypress, fir; juniper; pine; a noble tree; stateliness, luxuriance; material for temple

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #1265 BDB #141

Possibly the idea behind luxuriance is, certain kinds of wood are used in a higher class of building; e.g., for us, a mahogany door would be seen as more luxurious than a pine door.


Translation:...[those made of] cedar wood [lit., by all woods of cedar];... This is literally in all woods of cedar. My logical guess would be, these are musical instruments fashioned out of cedar (or, possibly, any sort of wood), which is how many translators understand this. A list of these instruments will follow.


Although many translations treat this first portion of v. 5 as elliptical (i.e., we need to add a few words in order for the verse to make sense to us), Dr. Ginsburg’s Hebrew Bible reads with all might and with songs, and cites the Septuagint and 1Chron. 13:8 to back this up. Footnote This would indicate a possible scribal error here. We might modernize this somewhat to read: David and all the house of Israel were playing with great intensity before Jehovah, with songs, lyres, harps, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals. No matter how we understand this, it is apparent that David is celebrating with all Israel with musical instruments, with song and with great fervor.


2Samuel 6:5c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

kînnôwr (ר ̣) [pronounced kin-NOHR]

hand-harp, lyre

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3658 BDB #490


Translation: ...with lyres,... This appears to be a hand-held harp.


2Samuel 6:5d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

nêbel (ל∵ב̤נ) [pronounced NAYB-vel]

a portable harp, lute, guitar

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #5035 BDB #614


Translation: ...harps,... This is either a portable harp, a lute or a guitar.


2Samuel 6:5e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

tôph (ףֹ) [pronounced tohf]

timbrel, tambourine; it is sort of a drum or tambourine and it is generally held in the hands of dancing women

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #8596 BDB #1074


Translation: ...timbrels,... These are timbrels or tambourines carried by women and used in song.


2Samuel 6:5f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

mane׳ane׳îym (םי.ענ-ענ-מ) [pronounced mahne-ģahn-ĢEEM]

sistra, castanets, rattles; a percussive instrument which is shaken in order to make music

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #4517 BDB #631




sistrum4.jpgThis picture was taken from the following website: http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/sistrum.htm where there is a great deal of additional information about it. The sisarum appears to be a percussive instrument and that site covers this in great detail as an Egyptian musical instrument. James Freeman also covers this instrument in Manners and Customs of the Bible; reprinted in 1972 by Logos International; p. 143.


Translation: ...castanets [or, sistrums]... These are also percussive instruments which are carried and they are shaken in order to make music (like castanets). I’ve read in one place where they are wooden and in another where they are metal.



sistrumsmaller.jpgTaken from:http://alp.dillingen.de/faecher/kunstundtheater/galerie/Klangobjekte/Sistrum.jpg and these might be a more accurate picture of the sistrums used at this celebration.

2Samuel 6:5g

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

tzeletzelîym (םי.לצל∵) [pronounced tzele-tze-LEEM]

musical instrument (cymbals?); possibly fish spears (which make a clinking noise?)

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #6767 BDB #852

The singular version of this noun refers to the buzzing or whirring of locusts, and sometimes to the locusts themselves. In the Bible, the plural version, as we have here, refers either to musical instruments or to things which make a clinking or clanging noise.


Translation: ...and cymbals. Again, percussive instruments which are carried; when used (banged together or shaken or whirled in the air), they make a sound which might be like the whirring noise that the wings of locusts make.


Although we cannot say with any certainty what each of these instruments are, we can reasonably deduce that these are the kinds of music instruments which can be carried, like an ancient marching band might carry.


Application: Now, bear in mind, there is a lot of excitement and emotion occurring here; there is music and great enthusiasm; but, the moving of the Ark is being done improperly, and the end result is, none of this will matter. There are some churches where there is a great deal of emotion and excitement and even fervor; but without doctrine, without the correct procedures, emotion is meaningless. There is no spiritual import to having some sort of emotional reaction to what you perceive as a spiritual event. There is no spiritual impact even if your emotions are going every which way. There is no spiritual impact even if the whole church is filled with emotion. That is meaningless. What matters to God is that a right thing is being done in a right way; whether our emotions are peaking in some way or another has no impact; strong emotions do not make a right thing done in a wrong way better; strong emotions do not increase the spiritual impact even of a right thing being done in a right way. Emotions are designed to appreciate; emotions are designed to react; and emotions are for us to enjoy; but they have no spiritual impact and register a zero on the spiritual importance scale. Let me see if I can give you a better example: you might have gone on a bender the night before; you might have the world’s worst headache; and you may be in a generally crappy mood. However, if you are filled with God the Holy Spirit and you pray, then your prayer has spiritual impact. On the other hand, if you are in some holy roller church, and you are on some kind of an emotional high, and you have some false filling of the Holy Spirit and you are speaking in tongues, and you feel the best you have ever felt—this is absolutely meaningless in the spiritual realm. At best, God will ignore your imbecilic behavior; at worst, He will discipline you for it; but bubbling over with emotion when you are involved with false doctrine has a negative spiritual impact.


This is what is going on with David and these people. David is not properly transporting the Ark of God. Although the Bible has information about the transportation of the Ark, David apparently chose not to look it up. Now, sure, this is not something that he is going to know off the top of his head; and sure, it is going to take him some time to figure out how to move the Ark from point A to point B in a manner approved of by God; but only by taking this time, can David’s action have any sort of spiritual benefit or impact.


Application: I really don’t care you feel about your spiritual life and I don’t really care how excited and motivated you are; you need to be filled with God the Holy Spirit and you need to be moving in the direction God would have you move. You need to be doing right things in right ways. What is happening with your emotions is immaterial.


Application: There are days that you feel good and there are days that you feel bad. Some believers will struggle with a life-taking disease for the final weeks, months or years of their lives and they will feel pretty crappy throughout this struggle; does this mean that they can have no spiritual impact, because they feel crappy? Of course not! Feelings do not define your spiritual life. Your feelings will never define your spiritual life.


You know, as an aside, when I began looking at this verse and wondering, why is this verse here? Why does God the Holy Spirit tell us about what instruments were played? How does this impact my own spiritual life? And then it became clear: the music and these instruments indicate to us that there was probably great emotion occurring at this time; even those who did not grasp the import of the moving of the Ark may still have been moved by the music; but we know that there is an underlying problem—even though everyone feels good about themselves and about this spiritual event, David is going about this the wrong way; and, therefore, all of this emotion and excitement mean nothing.


You may wonder, apart from what we have read so far, and apart from the fact that, in the next two verses, Uzzah, a descendant of Abinadab, will die; is there any other reason why I know that all of this excitement and music is meaningless? Yes; despite having David planning out this event, and despite the fact that we have all of these musical instruments, there will be no psalm associated with the first movement of the Ark of God. Now, the second time that the Ark is moved, when David gets is right, Psalm 105, 106 and 96 will be associated with the second move. These psalms are associated with David’s second attempt to move the Ark because he does a right thing in a right way; and therefore, Scripture will be associated with the move. Here, this is a right thing being done in a wrong way, and therefore, no Scripture will be associated with the move; only death.


Application: Sincerity means nothing in the Christian life; no matter what great spiritual thing that you do, if you are not filled with God the Holy Spirit and if you are not doing it as God mandates that it be done, all the emotion and sincerity in the world will not vindicate your works. You are doing nothing but creating wood, hay and stubble, all of which will be burned at the Judgment Seat of Christ.


Now, I do not want you to get the impression that music is bad or meaningless or without worth; that was not my point. There are a huge number of passages which deal with musical instruments: 1Sam. 10:5 16:16 2Kings 3:15 1Chron. 13:8 15:10–24 Psalm 47:5 68:25–27 150:3–5 Daniel 3:5, 7, 10, 15 Amos 5:23 6:5. My point is, great emotion is not a factor in spiritual advance; under the right conditions, emotion allows a believer to enjoy his life.


And so come as far as a threshing floor of Nacon and so puts forth Uzzah unto the Ark of Elohim and so he takes a hold in it, for had released the oxen.

2Samuel

6:6

When [lit., and] they had come to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out [his hand] to the Ark of Elohim and took a hold of it, for the oxen [were about to] drop [it].

When they had come to Nacon’s threshing floor, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah put out his hand to steady the Ark of God.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so come as far as a threshing floor of Nacon and so puts forth Uzzah unto the Ark of Elohim and so he takes a hold in it, for had released the oxen.

Septuagint                              And they come as far as the threshing floor of Nachor: and Oza reached forth his hand to the ark of God to keep it steady, and took hold of it; for the calf shook it out of its place.

 

Significant differences:           The LXX has a few extra words, which may have been added simply to give the correct sense of the Hebrew (recall that the translation of Samuel is not as exact as the rendering of the Pentateuch). So we have the addition of the phrases his hand, to keep it steady, out of its place. Interestingly enough, as we go along in 2Samuel, it does seem to keep closer to the Hebrew text than 1Samuel.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       But when they came to Nacon's threshing-floor, the oxen stumbled, so Uzzah reached out and took hold of the sacred chest.

Good News Bible                   As they came to the threshing place of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out and took hold of the Covenant Box.

NJB                                        When they came to Nacon’s threshing-floor, Uzzah reached his hand out to the ark of God and steadied it, as the oxen were making it tilt.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         But when they came to Nacon's threshing floor, the oxen stumbled. So Uzzah reached out for the ark of God and grabbed it.

HCSB                                     When they came to Nacon's threshing floor, Uzzah reached out to the ark of God and took hold of it, because the oxen had stumbled.

JPS (Tanakh)                         But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out for the Ark of God and grasped it, for the oxen had stumbled.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled.

LTHB                                     And when they came to the threshing floor of Nachon, and Uzzah reached out to the ark of God, and took hold of it, for the oxen nearly upset it.

Young’s Updated LT             And they come unto the threshing-floor of Nachon, and Uzzah puts forth his hand unto the ark of God, and lays hold on it, for they released the oxen.

 

The gist of this verse?          As they came near to the threshing floor of Nacon, the Ark of God became unsteady because of the oxen, and Uzzah put out his hand in order to steady it.


2Samuel 6:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

׳ad (דַע) [pronounced ģahd]

as far as, even to, up to, until

preposition

Strong’s #5704 BDB #723

gôren (ן∵רֹ) [pronounced GOH-ren]

threshing floor

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1637 BDB #175

Nâkôwn (ןכָנ) [pronounced naw-KOHN]

prepared; established; struck down, killed; transliterated Nacon

masculine singular, proper noun

Strong’s #5225 BDB #467


Translation: When [lit., and] they had come to the threshing floor of Nacon,... This detail, like some of the others, simply is added in order to further the narrative. This guy Nacon is just mentioned here. Perhaps this was at the top of a mountain (where threshing floors were often found in order to catch the wind), and either the movement up to the top or going down caused a problem.


1Chron. 13:9 reads: And when they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzzah put out his hand to take hold of the ark, for the oxen stumbled. Our passage speaks of the threshing floor of Nacon. Which reading is correct and why are they different?

Nacon or Chidon?

Theory

Additional Commentary

This could be an error in the text or in transcribing the text.

We can always fall back on this if no other explanation seems reasonable; however, generally speaking, this should be the theory of last resort, and applicable when letters are very similar.

These are two names for the same person (much like William and Bill).

If this is the case, these are not very common proper nouns (we do not find several men with these names), which is what we would expect with a name and a nickname.

One name refers to the man, the other to the place.

This is a more possible and reasonable explanation than the previous two.

Keil and Delitzsch write: Goren nachon means “the threshing-floor of the striking (or killing)” (nachon from הָכָנ, which means “to strike, to kill;” not from ן, which means “to set up, to establish”). In the Chronicles we have goren chidon, i.e., “the threshing-floor of destruction or disaster” (see Job 21:20). Chidon is probably only an explanation of nachon, so that the name may have been given to the threshing-floor, not from its owner, but from the incident connected with the ark which took place there. Eventually, however, this name was supplanted by the name Perez-uzzah (2Sam. 6:8). Footnote

It is possible that either proper name is either a play on the name of the person who owned the threshing floor (or a play on the name of the area). Given that Chronicles gives us the divine perspective, we might assume that the second proper noun is a play on the person’s name.


It is possible that both of these are descriptors rather than a reference to a particular person; the threshing floor of being struck down in our passage; the threshing floor of destruction in Chronicles.

Keil and Delitzsch seem to provide the most likely explanation; in fact, both proper names could be plays upon the actual person’s name.

The only thing which suggests to us that this is a proper noun is, we do not find a phrase like Uzzah was struck down here, and therefore, this is called “the threshing floor of being struck down dead.”

We will look at both passages side-by-side a little later on, once we complete this particular incident.


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2Samuel 6:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâlach (ח ַל ָש) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for [forth, away], to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth, to stretch out

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

׳Ûzzâ (אָע) [pronounced ģooz-ZAW]

strength; transliterated Uzza

masculine proper singular noun

Strong’s #5798 BDB #739

Also written ׳Ûzzâh (הָע) [pronounced ģooz-ZAW].

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ărôwn (ןר ֲא) [pronounced uh-ROHN]

ark, chest; Ark

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #727 BDB #75

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #430 BDB #43


Translation: ...Uzzah put out [his hand] to the Ark of Elohim... Uzzah reaches out his hand to the Ark of God. He is not a curiosity seeker, as we saw back in 1Samuel, but he is sincere in what he is doing. The explanation of why he would touch the Ark follows.


The text which is missing—his hand—is supplied by the principle of ellipsis. Bullinger: The accusative is omitted in order to call our attention to the act rather than to the manner of it. Footnote


2Samuel 6:6c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âchaz (ז ַח ָא) [pronounced aw-KHAHZ]

to grasp, to take hold of, to seize; to take [by hunting, fishing]; to hold [something taken]; to take possession of

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #270 BDB #28

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s# none BDB #88


Translation: ...and took a hold of it,... Uzzah grabs the Ark or he takes a hold of it, or he places his hand on the Ark to keep it balanced. Again, there is no insincere behavior here; he is not the kind of person to just touch the Ark out of curiosity to see what will happen.


2Samuel 6:6d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, because; that; when

explanatory conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

shâmaţ (ט-מָש) [pronounced shâ-MAHT]

to release, to let [something] drop; to grant a release, a letting drop of exaction; to cast, to throw down; to fall, to let lie; to desist from anything

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #8058 BDB #1030

bâqâr (ר ָק ָ) [pronounced baw-KAWR]

ox, herd, cattle

masculine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #1241 BDB #133


Translation: ...for the oxen [were about to] drop [it]. This final phrase explains to us why Uzzah reached out to the Ark: the oxen had stumbled, or they were about to drop the Ark. Obviously, the oxen themselves are not holding the Ark, but they are moving the cart upon which the Ark sits, and it is probable that the movement down from the top of this hill caused a problem, and that the Ark looked as if it might fall.


Interestingly enough, there is a lot of discussion about what exactly is happening here.

Theories as to What Happened with the Oxen and the Ark

Theologian

Theory

Commentary

Barnes

The oxen had turned aside to eat grain which is at their feet on the threshing floor, causing the cart to become unbalanced. Footnote

This is possible, as we are told that this occurs at the threshing floor of Nacon.

Bochart, Noldius

The oxen are stuck in some clay, and in trying to remove their feet from the clay, the cart is beginning to topple somewhat. Footnote

This theory is based upon the verb which we find here which, admittedly, is difficult to translate with perfect confidence of accuracy.

Gill

When he observed that the oxen had upset the cart, Uzzah became impatient and grabbed the Ark with the intention of carrying it the rest of the way into Jerusalem. Footnote

This latter theory makes little sense, by the way; given the size and weight of the Ark, it is doubtful that any one man is going to even think about moving it himself. It may not be too heavy to pick up initially, but it should be too heavy to carry for any amount of distance; and its size would make it more difficult to manage as well.

Henry

The critics are not agreed about the signification of the original word: They stumbled (so our margin); they kicked (so some), perhaps against the goad with which Uzzah drove them; they stuck in the mire, by some. By some accident or other the ark was in danger of being overthrown. Uzzah thereupon laid hold of it, to save it from falling, we have reason to think with a very good intention, to preserve the reputation of the ark and to prevent a bad omen. Yet this was his crime. Footnote

Obviously, the meaning of the verb here is the problem in understanding exactly what is being said. However, the general idea which Henry puts forth seems the most reasonable; whatever was happening, it appeared as though the Ark might be thrown off of the cart.

Kimchi

He proposes that the Ark is so holy, that the oxen cannot keep on the straight and narrow. Footnote

The idea seems to be that the oxen somehow sense it is wrong for them to move the Ark themselves. Although moving the Ark by a new cart is the wrong approach, it seems unlikely to me that the oxen will get a sixth sense about what they are doing.

Keil and Delitzsch

The oxen merely slipped, and Uzzah stretched out his hand and grabbed the Ark, to keep it from falling over. Footnote

This is perhaps the simplest explanation, and, therefore, one of the most reasonable.

When in doubt, go with simple and clear.


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Uzzah’s reaction was probably instinctive; he knew that he could not allow the Ark to fall to the ground. Uzzah had also been long in attendance to the Ark; there was a great deal of familiarity with the Ark, so he would have been less apprehensive than most. On the other hand, this was not necessarily something which he did after a great deal of forethought. The Ark appeared to become unsettled, and he reached out to keep it from falling. Now, pay close attention to what happens; and bear in mind that Uzzah is not intentionally being irreverent or unnaturally curious or anything like that. What we have here is a quick, natural reaction, something that any one of us would have done.

 

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown: Fearing that the ark was in danger of being overturned, Uzzah, under the impulse of momentary feeling, laid hold of it to keep it steady. Whether it fell and crushed him, or some sudden disease attacked him, he fell dead upon the spot. This melancholy occurrence not only threw a cloud over the joyous scene, but entirely stopped the procession; for the ark was left where it then was, in the near neighborhood of the capital. It is of importance to observe the proportionate severity of the punishments attending the profanation of the ark. Footnote


We should bear in mind that, even though what Uzzah did was a natural response, and that there was likely no malice in what he did, he is still acting outside the will of God—even from the beginning in moving this Ark in this manner—and there are consequences for acting outside of God’s will. Furthermore, bear in mind, the greater the responsibility, the greater the reward and the greater the punishment.


Application: If you ever take a position of great authority or of great responsibility, you then cannot afford the screw it up; you cannot afford to take your position lightly. This is one reason that you have not been promoted where you are—you aren’t ready; you aren’t ready for the responsibility.


And so burned a nostril of Yehowah in Uzzah and so strikes him there the Elohim upon the error, and so he dies there by the Ark of Elohim.

2Samuel

6:7

The anger of Yehowah burned against Uzzah and Elohim struck him there on account of [his] error, and he died there by the Ark of Elohim.

The anger of Jehovah burned against Uzzah because of his error, and God struck him there, and he died beside the Ark of God.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so burned a nostril of Yehowah in Uzzah and so strikes him there the Elohim, and so he dies there by the Ark of Elohim.

Septuagint                              And the Lord was very angry with Oza; and God smote him there [Hebrew and Alexandrian LXX add: for his rashness]; and he died there by the ark of the Lord before God.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The LORD God was very angry at Uzzah for doing this, and he killed Uzzah right there beside the chest.

Good News Bible                   At once the LORD God became angry with Uzzah and killed him because of his irreverence. Uzzah died there beside the Covenant Box,...

NJB                                        This roused Yahweh’s anger against Uzzah, and for this crime God struck him down on the spot, and there he died beside the ark of God.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         The LORD became angry with Uzzah, so God killed him there for his lack of respect. He died beside the ark of God.

HCSB                                     Then the LORD's anger burned against Uzzah, and God struck him dead on the spot for his irreverence, and he died there next to the ark of God.

JPS (Tanakh)                         The Lord was incensed at Uzzah. And god struck him down on the spot for his indiscretion [1Chron. 13:10 instead reads because he had laid a hand on the Ark], and he died there beside the Ark of God.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God.

LTHB                                     Then the anger of Jehovah glowed against Uzzah. And God struck him there for the fault. And he died there by the ark of God.

NKJV                                     Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error [or, irreverence]; and he died there by the ark of God.

Young’s Updated LT             And the anger of Jehovah burns against Uzzah, and God strikes him there for the error, and he dies there by the ark of God.

 

The gist of this verse?          Because of Uzzah’s error here, God’s anger burned against him, and God struck Uzzah down, and he died next to the Ark of God.


2Samuel 6:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

chârâh (חָר ָה) [pronounced khaw-RAWH]

to burn, to kindle, to become angry, to evoke great emotion

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #2734 BDB #354

aph (ף ַא) [pronounced ahf]

nose, nostril, but is also translated face, brow, anger

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #639 BDB #60

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s# none BDB #88

׳Ûzzâ (אָע) [pronounced ģooz-ZAW]

strength; transliterated Uzza

masculine proper singular noun

Strong’s #5798 BDB #739

Written here ׳Ûzzâh (הָע) [pronounced ģooz-ZAW].


Translation: The anger of Yehowah burned against Uzzah... Anger is not an emotion which is properly applied to God. This verbiage is used in order to express God’s character and the fact that Uzzah, although not intending to do wrong, had direct contact with God, and man is not allowed to do that. God is perfect righteousness and justice and we are sinful and fallen. You can’t get next to the sun, and then say, “Hey, I didn’t mean to get this close.” You are immediately vaporized. This is the same natural result of Uzzah touching the Ark, which represents perfect God.


2Samuel 6:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâkâh (ה ָכ ָנ) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat, to conquer, to subjugate

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect; with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong #5221 BDB #645

Do you see the similarity between the verb used here and the name Nacon? The very fact that we find this verb used in context gives credence to the idea that Nacon is a play on the actual proper name of the person who owns this threshing floor.

shâm (ם ָש) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #430 BDB #43

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over; on the ground of, because of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, with, by, besides, in addition to, to, toward, together with, in the matter of, concerning, as regards to

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

shal (ל-ש) [pronounced shahl]

error, fault

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #7944 BDB #1016

Either the meaning of the word or the fact that we find it here is disputed. There is a verb with divergent meanings that shal is derived from, and one of those meanings is to wander, to sin from ignorance or inadvertently. Strong’s #7952 BDB #1017.


Translation: ...and Elohim struck him there on account of [his] error,... I do not know why the last word is in dispute, as it seems to fit fine and it is in accordance with the verb from which it is derived. In any case, God kills Uzzah for contact with the Ark. If this bothers you, you do not fully grasp God’s holiness; you do not realize just how perfect and righteous that He is. Or, perhaps you do not understand just how fallen we are? Perfect righteousness cannot have any contact with relative righteousness. Scripture tells us this in many ways; but God carefully told Moses that there could be no contact between man and the Ark of God (see Lev. 4:15–20).


Now, people who do not understand the Bible look upon an incident like this and are upset; here is an inadvertent error made by Uzzah and God kills Uzzah for this error. It just seems like it is too much; too strict; too mean. And again, I return to the illustration of the sun; you cannot have direct contact with the sun, no matter how nice a person you are, no matter how much you did not want to have direct contact with it. You get too close to the sun and you are instantly vaporized—end of story. The sun may provide us with our very daily sustenance, and without it, we would die instantly; however, we cannot have direct contact with the sun, no matter how nice or sincere we are. This would defy all natural law. Similarly, we cannot have direct contact with God; it is virtually the same thing; the results are immediate and irreversible. Now, don’t become upset, because this was instantaneous for Uzzah—there is no indication that he expected to die, worried about dying, or anything of the sort; he just simply died, probably in an instant, and probably without pain. For all intents and purposes, this might be one of the best ways to leave this earth is by a sudden death like this. And the end result is, no more sorrow, no more tears, the old things have passed away. We who remain may be a little upset over this; however, there is no reason to think that Uzzah dies, ends up in Abraham’s Bosom, and then says, “I was robbed! Let me out of here! Give me one more chance.” What Uzzah has done is immortalized in Scripture, and properly presented in this exegesis.


Uzzah, by the way, is not the only person who has died directly at God’s hand. Some other examples: Lev. 10:1–3 Joshua 7:24–25 24:19–20 1Sam. 6:19 1Chron. 13:10 15:2, 13 Acts 5:1–11 1Cor. 11:30–32. God has taken many believers out of this life.


2Samuel 6:7c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

mûwth (תמ) [pronounced mooth]

to die; to perish, to be destroyed

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

shâm (ם ָש) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

׳îm (ם  ̣ע) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near; like; from

preposition of nearness and vicinity; with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

ărôwn (ןר ֲא) [pronounced uh-ROHN]

ark, chest; Ark

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #727 BDB #75

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #430 BDB #43


Translation: ...and he died there by the Ark of Elohim. So that all around him, and so that we can understand thousands of years later, man cannot have direct contact with a holy God. Uzzah was a nice guy; Uzzah had been in a house where the Ark was kept and he enjoyed blessing by association. He had a good life, and he was likely a good person and a believer in Jesus Christ, as well as someone with some sort of spiritual maturity. However, he was still not to come into direct contact with God, on purpose or inadvertently.


Notice that God does not give any slack to Uzzah, even though he is a believer in Jesus Christ and even though he is probably a Levite. Above all, Uzzah should have known how the Ark is to be transported, and he should know that he is to have no contact with the Ark. Not only is this known through Scripture, but prior to the Ark being moved into the care of his family, hundreds and thousands of men died because of their relationship to this Ark. That fact alone should have caused him to be careful and fearful.


Do you understand why unbelievers do not spend eternity with God? An unbeliever cannot have any contact with God, no more than we can have direct contact with the sun. Anyone who wants any kind of a relationship with God must go through His Mediator, His Son.

 

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown: Uzzah, who was a Levite, and well instructed, suffered death for his breach of the law. The severity of Uzzah's fate may seem to us too great for the nature and degree of the offense. But it does not become us to sit in judgment on the dispensations of God; and, besides, it is apparent that the divine purpose was to inspire awe of His majesty, a submission to His law, and a profound veneration for the symbols and ordinances of His worship. Footnote

 

Clarke: Uzzah sinned through ignorance and precipitancy; he had not time to reflect, the oxen suddenly stumbled; and, fearing lest the ark should fall, he suddenly stretched out his hand to prevent it. Had he touched the ark with impunity, the populace might have lost their respect for it and its sacred service, the example of Uzzah must have filled them with fear and sacred reverence; and, as to Uzzah, no man can doubt of his eternal safety. He committed a sin unto death, but doubtless the mercy of God was extended to his soul. Footnote

 

Gill concludes: It is dangerous in matters of worship to act contrary to the command of God, even in things that may seem small and trivial; and though what may be done may be done with a good intention, as this was, yet that will not excuse the sin; nor are those who are the most forward and zealous in religious matters exempted from marks of God's displeasure when they go wrong. Footnote


The key here is not Uzzah’s sincerity, or what may seem to us to be a trivial or inadvertent sin (it is even called an error here); the key is, man cannot have direct contact with God, and the Ark represents God. God cannot allow any man to simply reach out and touch the Ark—even if it were David himself to touch it. This kind of contact is simply outside of the realm of what God allows.


Application: Sincerity in the worship of God is not enough. For each dispensation, God has a protocol system, which is defined as a rigid, long-established code prescribing complete deference to superior rank and strict adherence to due order of precedence and precisely correct procedure. Footnote No doubt that Uzzah is a devout, sincere man, and no doubt that David is as well; however, they are not following God’s procedure here, and Uzzah loses his life because of it.

 

Edersheim comments: One thing only David had omitted, but its consequences proved fatal. The act of David and of Israel was evidently intended as a return to the Lord, and as submission to His revealed ordinances. But if so, the obedience must be complete in every particular. Viewed symbolically and typically, all these ordinances formed one complete whole, of which not the smallest detail could be altered without disturbing the symmetry of all, and destroying their meaning. Viewed legally, and, so far as Israel was concerned, even morally, the neglect of any single ordinance involved a breach of all, and indeed, in principle, that of obedience and absolute submission to Jehovah, in consequence of which the people had already so terribly suffered. Once more we must here place ourselves on the stand-point of the stage of religious development then attained. For only thus can we understand either the grave fault committed by David, or the severity of the punishment by which it was followed. Footnote


Let me add here, this is a failure on the part of David as well as on the part of Uzzah. It is David’s idea to bring the Ark to Jerusalem, and therefore, he should have done some research concerning the Ark. Uzzah and his family watched over the Ark for about 70 years, and it stands to reason that, at some point in time, the Ark would need to be moved. Therefore, they should have done some reading themselves to determine the correct procedure to follow when moving the Ark became necessary. There are all kinds of people in attendance here; you would think that one of them (and I hold David primarily responsible here) would have checked the Word of God to determine what needed to be done.


Quite obviously, the Word of God was not as readily available during this period of time as it is now. David was supposed to have a copy of the Word, and I would assume that if any king had a copy, David did. Furthermore, David was the person who should have copied the Mosaic Law himself; this was not given to some scribe to do for the king. Secondly, there are Levites, there is a restored priestly system, and there is the Tabernacle (although it is unclear as to the degree of its functionality); and there should have been copies of the Word of God with them. Finally, the Mosaic Law had been inscribed on rocks so that anyone could read it (this was done during the time of Joshua); it is not clear how readable it was at this point in time, 300–400 years later. However, that location had to be relatively well-known. Furthermore, no matter what excuses you want to give them, what is your excuse?


Application: As Bob Thieme often said, you cannot do a wrong thing in a right way, a right thing in a wrong way, or a wrong thing in a wrong way. Uzzah was no doubt sincere and devout, and his action here, although heinous, was not the result of evil forethought, but simple spiritual carelessness. He had no evil motivation, and, from a human standpoint, Uzzah would have been perceived to be a good and spiritual man. However, this was the kind of mistake which allows for no second chance. There are an abundance of things which occur in this life which have dire consequences; and that we may fall into them with little realization beforetime. What Uzzah needed before all of this began was doctrine, and he needed to stand by the doctrine in his soul. When the transportation was brought to him, he should have said, “No, we cannot do it that way; here is what Scripture says.” Having a little doctrine in his soul and standing by that doctrine would have avoided this entire incident.


Application: Also note that, because David and the Levites chose, out of ignorance, to not properly transport the Ark, Uzzah dies. Notice that David’s choice not to properly research moving the Ark led, inadvertently, to the death of Uzzah. Your choice to move willy-nilly through this life without taking in doctrine has a negative impact on those around you. No one lives to himself and no one dies to himself (Rom. 14:7).


Application: One of the common arguments for personal sin from my generation was, if it doesn’t hurt anyone else, then we should do it if we want to, and there should be no laws against it. This might refer to pornography, drug usage, homosexual activity or even to heterosexual activity between unmarried adults. However, it is easy to show in any of these 4 examples the huge, detrimental affects that these actions have on other people, even some who have little or no connection to the participants.


Let’s take one more run at this verse, by seeing what Keil and Delitzsch think:

Keil and Delitzsch Explain what David Did that was Wrong

On further reflection, David could not fail to discover where the cause of Uzzah's offence, which he had atoned for with his life, really had lain, and that it had actually arisen from the fact that he (David) and those about him had decided to disregard the distinct instructions of the law with regard to the handling of the ark. According to Num 4 the ark was not only to be moved by none but Levites, but it was to be carried on the shoulders, not in a carriage; and in Num. 4:15, even the Levites were expressly forbidden to touch it on pain of death. But instead of taking these instructions as their rule, they had followed the example of the Philistines when they sent back the ark (1Sam. 6:7.), and had placed it upon a new cart, and directed Uzzah to drive it, whilst, as his conduct on the occasion clearly shows, he had no idea of the unapproachable holiness of the ark of God, and had to expiate his offence with his life, as a warning to all the Israelites. Footnote

Application: Note most importantly that David cannot simply copy what the Philistines did in order to bring the Ark into Jerusalem. Similarly, we should not depend upon the instructions and guidance of traditions or upon the example of others; truth, for us, lies in God’s Word. Is everyone in your church jabbering in tongues at the end of the service? Is service in your church pretty much confined to doing things around the church? Does your church ask for money, either directly or subtly, on a regular basis (and I don’t mean by passing an offering plate).

Kaiser, Davids, Bruce and Brauch cover the reasons for Uzzah being killed in Hard Sayings of the Bible; Walter Kaiser Jr., Peter Davids, F.F. Bruce, Manfred Brauch; InterVarsity Press; ©1996; pp. 219–221. I’ve already covered all of the points that they made, although they spent a little longer on a similar incident where strange incense was offered to God by Aaron’s sons (Lev. 10:1–3).


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By the way, the idea that this is merely one reasonable theory as to why this movement of the Ark failed, is wrong. It is clear that, the Ark in this first half of the chapter is moved improperly, which is confirmed by David, when he says, “Because you [Levites] did not [carry the Ark] the first time, Jehovah Elohim made an outburst on us, for we did not seek Him, according to the ordinance.” (1Chron. 15:13). In the next couple verses, we see the Levites sanctifying themselves and then carrying the Ark as God had required (Ex. 25:12–15 Num. 4:15 7:9 Deut. 10:8).


There is a false interpretation that might be given to this passage from Catholic dogma; the idea that we ought to revere religious relics.

The Veneration of Religious Relics

1.      This passage is about disobedience to the Law, not respect for a religious relic.

2.      Uzzah showed no disrespect; his touching the Ark was not an intentional choice to disrespect the Ark; it was a natural, reflex action, which possibly just happened, without giving it any thought.

3.      It is most likely that Uzzah’s response occurred in a split second.

4.      In the Old Testament, the religious relics looked forward to Jesus Christ and His work on the cross; through the Tabernacle, the Tabernacle furniture and the sacrifices, God communicated to ancient man His intention to save man through a substitutionary death.

5.      In the New Testament, because we look back to the cross, there are no religious relics; there is no Tabernacle, there are no sets of furniture to indicate this or that; there is nothing which those in the Church Age are supposed to build, preserve or venerate.

6.      There is but one tradition which we are to maintain in the Church Age and that is the Communion, where we look back on what Jesus did for us on the cross. The eating of the bread represents partaking of His body, which was given for us; and the drinking of the unfermented wine represents His substitutionary death on our behalf. The plates on which the bread is served and the containers for the wine may or may not be fancy, and, at some point, they will be discarded.

7.      What is clear in Scripture is, we are not to make any graven images nor are we to bow down to them.

8.      Even in the Jewish Age, although the furniture of the Tabernacle was respected, and God’s laws regarding them were to be obeyed, no one was to worship any of these things.

9.      The Ark of God was the most important, in my opinion, of all the Tabernacle furniture, and, for the most part, no one but the High Priest ever saw it. It was kept inside the Holy of Holies inside the tent, and only the High Priest went into that chamber once a year, on the Day of Atonement, to sprinkle the Mercy Seat with blood. It would be impossible for Jewish Age believers to worship the Ark, as they could not ever see it. Only for this relatively short period of time, was man able to see the Ark.

This set of points was inspired by When Cultists Ask; Norman Geisler and Ron Rhodes, ©1997, Baker Books, Grand Rapids; p. 51.

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For the most part, the Ark of God was to be kept within the Holy of Holies; however, for a time, God allowed the Ark out to where some actually saw it; why would God allow that?

Why Did God Allow the Ark to be Removed from the Holy of Holies?

1.      First of all, one must not disregard the human element involved here. It is man’s nature, it seems, to blame anything bad on God (why did God let this happen to me?) and, conversely, to take credit for whatever good happens in our life (I sure know how to pick stocks; I went in and told the boss I deserved a raise, and he caved and gave me the raise).

2.      The Ark was removed from the Holy of Holies by military men who hauled it off as a good luck symbol in their war against the Philistines. God does allow man his free will.

3.      However, the Ark going out into the world, so that men are able to see it and respond to it, is very much like the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

4.      Some treated the Ark like a good luck charm, not unlike those who hang tiny statuettes of Jesus or Mary from their car mirror.

5.      Some disrespected the Ark, and died from their contact with it or their connection to it (for instance, the Philistines in the cities where the Ark was taken). Those who reject Jesus Christ will face judgment in this life (this point is debatable) and the next (this point is not debatable).

6.      Some treated the Ark as merely an article of curiosity, and they died (when the Ark had been brought back to the Jews). Some people treat Jesus as an article of curiosity; or they admire Him for being a good man or a moral man or a great teacher—and these people will die the first and second death.

7.      In our own passage, the problem is obeying God exactly. Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ; plus nothing else. Your mediocre Christian life, your personal dedication, your prayer life, your baptism, etc. have absolutely nothing to do with your salvation. However, if you depend upon anything other than your faith in Jesus Christ, you are not saved. It is faith alone, in Christ alone. You must follow God’s protocol plan exactly; you cannot add to faith.

8.      So, for most of the history of the Ark, it was not seen; however, for a relatively short period of time (50–70 years),1 the Ark was seen and people interacted with the Ark, and some were blessed and many were cursed because of their relationship to the Ark.

9.      Therefore, the Ark being allow out of the Holy of Holies for a time is illustrative of Jesus Christ in His incarnation, when He traveled over a very limited portion of ground for a very limited period of time; and that a person’s reaction to Him could result in great blessing or great cursing and death.

1 The Amplified Bible suggests 100 years. The Amplified Bible, The Lockman Foundation; ©1965 by Zondervan Publishing House; p. 329.

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And so he [He?] is burning to David upon which broke through Yehowah a break in Uzzah. And so he calls to the place the that Perez-uzzah [a breaking forth of Uzzah] as far as the day the this.

2Samuel

6:8

David burned [in anger] [lit., he is burning with regard to David or it angered David] because Yehowah broke through a breach against Uzzah. Therefore, he called that place Perez-uzzah [a breaking through of Uzzah] to this day.

David burned in anger because Jehovah killed Uzzah in breaking through into this world. Therefore, David called that place Perez-uzzah [breaking through to Uzzah] and it is known by that name even to today.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic text                        And so he [He?] is burning to David upon which broke through Yehowah a break in Uzzah. And so he calls to the place the that Perez-uzzah [a breaking forth of Uzzah] as far as the day the this.

Septuagint                              And David was angered because the Lord made a breach upon Oza; and that place was called the breach of Oza until this day.

 

Significant differences:           No significant differences; although the Hebrew seems more difficult and cumbersome. However, bear in mind, the Greek is a translation, and generally in a translation, attempts will be made to smooth out the language.

 

In all the ancient versions, anger seems to be used in almost a passive way; it angered David; however, that is not the only way this verse can be understood; I will cover this in much greater detail once we complete this verse.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       David got angry at God for killing Uzzah. He named that place "Bursting Out Against Uzzah," and that's what it's still called.

Good News Bible                   ...and so that place has been called Perez Uzzah ever since. David was furious because the LORD had punished Uzzah in anger.

NAB                                       David was disturbed c the Lord had vented his anger on Uzzah (The place has been called Perez-uzzah down to the present day.)

NLT                                        David was angry because the Lord’s anger had blazed out against Uzzah. He named that place Perez-uzzah (which means “outbreak against Uzzah”). It is still called that today.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         David was angry because the LORD had struck Uzzah so violently. (That place is still called Perez Uzzah [The Striking of Uzzah] today.).

HCSB                                     David was angry because of the LORD's outburst against Uzzah, so he named that place an Outburst Against Uzzah, as it is today.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       And David was angry because the LORD had burst forth against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzzah, to this day.

LTHB                                     And it angered David because Jehovah broke out a break against Uzzah. And one calls that place The Breaking of Uzzah to this day.

Young's Updated LT              And it is displeasing to David, because that Jehovah has broken forth a breach upon Uzzah, and one calls that place Perez-Uzzah, to this day

.

 

The gist of this verse?          David is angry because Jehovah broken through against Uzzah and killed him. He therefore called that place Perez-uzzah, which means a breaking through of Uzzah.


2Samuel 6:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

chârâh (חָר ָה) [pronounced khaw-RAWH]

to burn, to kindle, to become angry, to evoke great emotion

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #2734 BDB #354

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

The meanings of the lâmed preposition broken down into groups: ➊ to, towards, unto; it is used both to turn one’s heart toward someone as well as to sin against someone; ➋ to, even to;  in this sense, it can be used with a number to indicate the upper limit which a multitude might approach (nearly). ➌ Lâmed can be equivalent to the Greek preposition eis (εἰς), meaning into, as in transforming into something else, changing into something else (Gen. 2:7). This use of lâmed after the verb hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW] (Strong’s #1961 BDB #224) is one thing becoming another (Gen. 2:7). ➍  Its fourth use is the mark of a dative, after verbs of giving, granting, delivering, pardoning, consulting, sending, etc. This type of dative is broken down into several categories, but one includes the translation by, which would be apropos here. ➎ With regards to, as to. Similar to the Greek preposition eis (εἰς) plus the dative. [Numbering from Gesenius]. ➏ On account of, because, propter, used of cause and reason (propter means because; Gesenius used it). ➐ Concerning, about, used of a person or thing made the object of discourse, after verbs of saying. ➑ On behalf of anyone, for anyone. ➒ As applied to a rule or standard, according to, according as, as though, as if. ➓ When associated with time, it refers to the point of time at which or in which anything is done; or it can refer to the space of time during which something is done (or occurs); at the time of.

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: David burned [in anger] [lit., he is burning with regard to David or He burns with anger towards David or it angered David]... This is somewhat of an odd construction in the Hebrew. One might even interpret this, if it stood alone with just the previous verse, as Jehovah was angry because of David or Jehovah was angry toward David. This is a difficult call, as David is not employing the correct method to move the Ark. His desire to move the Ark of God to Jerusalem so that it could become a part of Tabernacle worship again is noble, but problematic. We’ve already discussed that this particular way to move the Ark was not correct.


The sin which Uzzah committed was completely inadvertent. Any of us would have done the same thing. It appeared as though the Ark of God was about to topple and he reached out to steady it. The sin which set everything in motion was, not learning the correct procedure for moving the Ark. This is on the shoulders of both David and Uzzah and anyone else concerned with the preparations. God has a protocol plan which mean that correct procedures must be followed. David may be upset, but he was the one who screwed up.


Application: God’s protocol plan involves following specific procedures which God has laid out. The most fundamental is salvation by faith alone in Christ alone; and what follows is, the mechanic of rebound (naming your sins to God). What is necessary is your daily bread, which is partaking of the food served up by your pastor-teacher. There is not another approach to this.


I think the odd construction here, (It angered David) is possibly the result of a copyist having difficulty writing what was there; or, the author himself (possibly David) indicating David’s essential reaction, but also recognizing that God is completely just and righteous, so that anger towards God is always unwarranted, no matter how we feel. If David is angry, particularly at God, then he is out of fellowship. It is not difficult to imagine David being out of fellowship here, not is it unthinkable that David is angry (this indicates to me that there is some kind of a relationship between David and Uzzah, even if it is a casual friendship, struck because David is thankful that Uzzah kept the Ark and, apparently, watched over it, this many years.


It is also possible, I believe, that this indicates that God is angry with David, although it is not rendered that way by anyone else. In fact, that seems to be the easiest way to interpret this verse, even though no one that I am aware of interprets it in that way. Why is God angry with David? David is doing this the wrong way; God has given specific instructions of how to move the Ark and David is not following His instructions. God’s very justice requires Him to kill Uzzah. His holiness demands that. Therefore, God is angry with David. By the way, anger is a not an emotion which God actually has; it is an emotion which we have which is attributed to God in order to convey to us God’s justice.


2Samuel 6:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳al (לַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

ăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

This combination of ׳al and ăsher mean because, because that, in that.

pârats (ץַרָ) [pronounced paw-RATS]

to break, to break down, to destroy; to break asunder, to scatter, to disperse, to spread abroad; to break forth upon, to produce by breaking through; to act violently; to break through [negative volition, a bad attitude, a mindset, or whatever]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #6555 BDB #829

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

perets (ץ∵ר∵) [pronounced PEH-rets]

a bursting forth, a breach, a break, a rupture [in a wall], gap; an outburst

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #6556 BDB #829

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s# none BDB #88

׳Ûzzâ (אָע) [pronounced ģooz-ZAW]

strength; transliterated Uzza

masculine proper singular noun

Strong’s #5798 BDB #739

Written here ׳Ûzzâh (הָע) [pronounced ģooz-ZAW].


Translation: ...because Yehowah broke through a breach against Uzzah. This is also an unusual phrase, simply because we would expect a breaking through something like a wall or a barricade. Here, Jehovah bursts through a rupture [in a wall] or a break or a breach. I don’t know exactly what the breach or what the break is, or where it is, precisely. I surmise that God is breaking through into the life from the unseen reality into our physical world (something which God rarely does) and He reaches through this breach and touches Uzzah, taking him out of this world.


A point which I have made many times in the past is, the number of actual supernatural events in Scripture is very few. Those things which are classified as miracles are probably 10-40% supernatural, and the remainder have a natural explanation. This does not mean that God is impotent or that all that comes to pass is incredibly coincidental; but God has put together an incredible plan which includes the freewill choices of every person and the function of land mass and weather and the laws of physics, and the result is an event now and again which seems supernatural (e.g., the plagues of Moses). God set into motion all of these events in eternity past, so that they came to pass at the exact right instant. This is far more difficult to do, as opposed to simply stepping into history and saying, “I think I’ll do something here” and then doing it. The laws of physics are God’s laws; He can choose to overrule them at any time, and there are times when He has overruled these laws (e.g., the turning of water into wine or bringing Lazarus back from the dead). So I think when Uzzah reached out to steady the Ark, he created a breach between this physical world and that which is holy and cannot have direct contact with us. God reached through or broke through this gap and touched Uzzah, killing him instantly. Again, fallen man can have no direct contact with a perfect God. And again, these are the natural results of the fundamental differences between man and God; that is, there is no reason to be mad at God, to think that God is being really mean, or anything else. Uzzah’s death was probably instantaneous, and, for that reason, painless, and he went from a world of pain into Abraham’s bosom. So nothing horrendous happened here, except in the view of those who liked Uzzah and did not want to see him taken out of this world. He was a young man, and, quite obviously, his family and friends would be upset over this; and this verse tells us that David is upset, even angry, over what has transpired.


2Samuel 6:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qârâ (א ָר ָק) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to call, to proclaim, to read, to call to, to call out to, to assemble, to summon; to call, to name [when followed by a lâmed]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7121 BDB #894

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

mâqôwm (םקָמ) [pronounced maw-KOHM]

place, situated; for a soldier, it may mean where he is stationed; for people in general, it would be their place of abode (which could be their house or their town)

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4725 BDB #879

hûw (אה) [pronounced hoo]

that; this

masculine singular, demonstrative pronoun with the definite article

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

perets (ץ∵ר∵) [pronounced PEH-rets]

a bursting forth, a breach, a break, a rupture [in a wall], gap; an outburst

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #6556 BDB #829

We can, of course, understand this as a proper noun:

Perets (ץ∵ר∵) [pronounced PEH-rets]

a bursting forth, a breach, a break, a rupture [in a wall], gap; an outburst; transliterated Perez

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #6556 BDB #829

׳Ûzzâ (אָע) [pronounced ģooz-ZAW]

strength; transliterated Uzza

masculine proper singular noun

Strong’s #5798 BDB #739

Written here ׳Ûzzâh (הָע) [pronounced ģooz-ZAW].

׳ad (דַע) [pronounced ģahd]

as far as, even to, up to, until

preposition

Strong’s #5704 BDB #723

yôwm (םי) [pronounced yohm]

day; time; today (with a definite article)

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

zeh (ה ז) [pronounced zeh]

here, this, thus

demonstrative adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #2063, 2088, 2090 BDB #260


Translation: Therefore, he called that place Perez-uzzah [a breaking through of Uzzah] to this day. This final phrase is very straightforward—David calls the place where Uzzah is killed by God a breaking through to Uzzah; and ends elliptically with the phrase unto this day, which simply means that, when this incident was recorded in Scripture, this particular place was still known by that name. You may recall that in the previous chapter, David’s army defeated the Philistines because God broke through them, and therefore he called that battlefield Baal-perzim (the Lord breaks through).


If the final few words are a gloss (that is, added after the fact), I would have expected them to read and it is so designated even to this day. It strikes me that a later editor would add a full comment rather than to slip in a few words, which appear to be the original text. This makes me think that this historical narrative was written long after the fact—now, I don’t mean hundreds of years later, but, say, 20 or more years later. There is this incident, Uzzah dies as a result, and David gives a name to this place, by which name it is still known at the time of writing. Had this been written a week later, adding to this day would seem silly. Therefore, some time has to pass between the incident and the recording of this incident.


I discussed a different way of looking at this verse. Let me put both versions down side-by-side with a little commentary as well.

Two Takes on 2Sam. 6:8

As Commonly Interpreted

A Second Interpretation

It angered David that Yehowah broke through a breach against Uzzah. Therefore, he called that place Perez-uzzah [a breaking through of Uzzah] to this day.

He [God] burned [in anger] towards David in that Yehowah broke through a breach against Uzzah. Therefore, he called that place Perez-uzzah [a breaking through of Uzzah] to this day.

Commentary on the First Interpretation

Commentary on the Second Interpretation

This is the way that virtually all translations render this verse; I do not know of any which give the alternate translation.

No one renders the text this way, although this is a more natural rendering of the text.

The combination of prepositions following David being angered are appropriate to the text which follows.

The combination of prepositions after God burning in anger towards David is not totally appropriate; we generally would render them because.

In English, the understood subject of the second sentence is David.

In English, since God is the subject of the first sentence, we would naturally see Him as the subject for the second.

On the other hand, the subject of v. 7, the final sentence, is God.

In English, since God is the subject of the previous sentence, it is most logical for Him to be the subject of 2Sam. 6:8a.

David has no excuse to be angered here. He made the mistake of transporting the Ark incorrectly, and Uzzah made the mistake of touching the Ark. However, David can be angry, whether he should be or not.

God is perfectly righteous in being angry (realize that this is attributing a human emotion to God, an emotion which He does not possess, so that we can understand what is occurring).

The writer was attempting to phrase this in such a way that David was not angry with God. I don’t really see any reason for any writer to sugar-coat this.

The writer was simply attributing a human emotion to God, one which He does not possess. This is commonly done throughout Scripture.

David will be angry in this verse, and afraid in the next.

God is angry in this verse, and David is reasonably afraid in the next.

The second half of Jonah 4:1 (which is an identical reading to our passage) compared to Jonah 4:9, would favor the first interpretation.

Finally, we have the same verb used in vv. 7 and 8. It is used in a normal, active sense in v. 7, but interpreted in sort of a passive sense in v. 8. This is inconsistent, and a consistent use of the verbs favors the second interpretation.

Although translators who have come before me are virtually unanimous about the interpretation of this verse, I personally cannot decide between the two. If anything, I am leaning toward the second approach.

Now, I don’t know that I solved any problems here, or made it clear how we should understand this verse; however, what is clear is, you cannot always go along with the consensus of opinion. Just because the best interpreters are of the same opinion, this does not make that opinion correct.

Let me add that the parallel passage (1Chron. 13:11) does not help us; it is identical to this passage.


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Let’s say the first interpretation is accurate; then David has lost his temper and is mad at God for killing Uzzah. This does not mean that his anger is justified; it just means that he is angry. Nevertheless, he apparently recognizes that God breaks through into our reality and kills Uzzah.


Let’s now assume the second interpretation is correct: then God is angry with David. Now, anger is not an emotion which God possesses. Even though we find God being angry many times in Scripture, God is not angry with anyone. However, we understand anger, and this helps us to understand why God does what He does. What is occurring is, His perfect righteousness cannot be in contact with sin—not even with a fallen man who is devoted and a Levite—and such contact results in immediate death, just as would be the instant result of our direct contact with the sun. It is simply the consistency of God’s character, which has to be consistent, otherwise God is not God.


My point in these two interpretations is to show that the second interpretation is actually the most logical; however, neither interpretation causes any real difficulty with the passage itself.


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The Ark is Temporarily Stored Again

Chronicles 13:12–14


And so fears David Yehowah in the day the that and so he says, “How comes unto me an Ark of Yehowah?”

2Samuel

6:9

David fears Yehowah in that day, and he said, “How can the Ark of Yehowah come to me?”

Furthermore, David feared Jehovah from that day forward, and he remarked, “How is it possible to bring the Ark of Jehovah to me in Jerusalem?”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so fears David Yehowah in the day the that and so he says, “How comes unto me an Ark of Elohim?”

Septuagint                              And David feared the Lord in that day, saying, How shall the ark of the Lord come in to me?

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       David was afraid of the LORD and thought, "Should I really take the sacred chest to my city?"

Good News Bible                   Then David was afraid of the LORD and said, "How can I take the Covenant Box with me now?"

NLT                                        David was now afraid of the Lord and asked, “How can I ever bring the Ark of the Lord back into my care?”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         David was afraid of the LORD that day. "How can the ark of the LORD come to my city?" he asked.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and he said, "How can the ark of the LORD come to me?"

Young’s Updated LT             And David fears Jehovah on that day, and says, “How does the ark of Jehovah come in unto me?”

 

The gist of this verse?          David is afraid because of what God did, and ponders, how can the Ark of Jehovah be brought to me?


2Samuel 6:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yârê (א ֵר ָי) [pronounced yaw-RAY]

to fear, to be afraid; to fear-respect, to reverence, to have a reverential respect

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3372 BDB #431

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

yôwm (םי) [pronounced yohm]

day; time; today (with a definite article)

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

hûw (אה) [pronounced hoo]

that, this

masculine singular, demonstrative pronoun (with the definite article)

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

The bêyth preposition, yôwm and hûw (with definite articles) mean in that day, on that day, in [on] the same day.


Translation: David fears Yehowah in that day,... David had a fairly relaxed relationship with God, at that point. God had protected him and made him king, and suddenly, for what appears to be no reason to David, God kills a very strong believer for what is an inadvertent infraction. David still loves God and is still interested in knowing more about God; but there is a component added to their relationship, and that is one of fear. By the way, there is nothing wrong with fearing the Creator of the Universe (Num. 17:12–13 1Sam. 5:10–11 6:20 Psalm 119:120 Isa. 6:5 Luke 5:8).


2Samuel 6:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

êyk (י̤א) [pronounced ayche]

how

interrogative adverb

Strong’s #349 BDB #32

With regards to translating this alas, Edersheim writes: Our translation is an attempt at a literal rendering, which in poetry is specially desirable. The word renders in our Authorized Version “How,” has been translated, “Alas,” not only because this gives more fully the real meaning, but also because our word “how” might be taken interrogatively instead of exclamatorily. Footnote This is for 2Sam. 1:19.

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ărôwn (ןר ֲא) [pronounced uh-ROHN]

ark, chest; Ark

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #727 BDB #75

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: ...and he said, “How can the Ark of Yehowah come to me?” David was flummoxed. He knew what he was doing was a good thing; that the Ark of God should not remain in permanent storage; that the assembly of the Tabernacle with the Ark of God within it is God’s plan; and yet, the slightest mishap occurs and God kills this believer who made the more inadvertent error. David is quite concerned and confused, wondering aloud, “How is it possible for me to bring the Ark into Jerusalem?”


The fact that David muses in this way indicates to me that he was not aware of the restrictions put upon the moving of the Ark. It makes me think that he did not study the relevant passages in Leviticus. Otherwise, he would not ask this question; he would already know that you cannot do a right thing in a wrong way, and that was his mistake.


Application: You do not get bonus points in the Christian life for sincerity. Doing a wrong thing in a wrong way, doing a right thing in a wrong way, or doing a wrong thing in a right way, are all wrong, no matter how sincere you are. God does not accept sincerity as a cover for ignorance; God does not say, “Well, I know he was filled with the Spirit when he gave $400 to his church, but, doggone it, he did work hard for that money, and he doesn’t know how to be filled with the Holy Spirit, so I am going to give him credit for that!” It doesn’t happen that way. You have to do things God’s way in order for any of your actions to be meaningful.


Application: Remember Moses and how faithful Moses was? Personally, I cannot imagine being a tenth of the man that Moses was. But, Moses screwed up one time—he was suppose to speak to a rock (representing the Rock, Jesus Christ), and he instead hit the rock twice with his cane. That little error, which was fraught with meaning, kept Moses from entering into the Land of Promise, to where he had led Israel. Here, the Ark is supposed to be carried on the shoulders of the Levites, and they are supposed to hold it up via poles which go into the rings affixed to the Ark so that no one touches the Ark at any time; but, instead, it is hoisted onto a new cart. David has got the right motivation, but he is doing this the wrong way (he is doing a right thing in a wrong way). Now, how do you suppose David will eventually get the Ark into Jerusalem? On another new cart? Of course not! It will be carried by the Levites, as God requires (1Chron. 15:27). There is a right way and a wrong way to function in the Christian life; and if you do not get the basics down, you will do nothing but act like a moral unbeliever, at best—and all of this work will be done without any eternal consequence.


I must admit that I was quite disappointed by the commentary which I read on this passage. Some of the commentators at best gave a confused interpretation of what all of this meant:

Failure of the Commentators

Commentator

Quotation

My Comment

Gill

...and said, how shall the ark of the Lord come to me? the meaning of which is not, how it should be brought to the place provided by him in Jerusalem, now Uzzah was dead, for there were Levites enough to carry it, as they afterwards did; but as signifying that it would be either boldness and presumption in him to do it, since God had shown such a mark of his displeasure at their proceeding, that he might be in doubt whether it was the will of God it should come to him; or as fearing it would be dangerous to him to have it with him, since he might be guilty of such an error, of the same, or like it, that had been committed.

Say what?

Henry

He was afraid (2Sam. 6:9). It should seem he was afraid with amazement; for he said, How shall the ark of the Lord come to me? As if God sought advantages against all that were about him, and was so extremely tender of his ark that there was no dealing with it; and therefore better for him to keep it at a distance. Que procul a Jove, procul a fulmine – To retire from Jove is to retire from the thunder–bolt. He should rather have said, “Let the ark come to me, and I will take warning by this to treat it with more reverence.” Provoke me not (says God, Jer. 25:6) and I will do you no hurt. Or this may be looked upon as a good use which David made of this tremendous judgment. He did not say, “Surely Uzzah was a sinner above all men, because he suffered such things,” but is concerned for himself, as one conscious, not only of his own unworthiness of God's favour, but his obnoxiousness to God's displeasure. “God might justly strike me dead as he did Uzzah. My flesh trembles for fear of thee” (Psalm 119:120). This God intends in his judgments, that others may hear and fear. David therefore will not bring the ark into his own city (2Sam. 6:10) till he is better prepared for its reception.

Most of this seems like gibberish, apart from the remark at the end that David has to be better prepared for the reception of the Ark. But, it is not that David is not prepared to receive the Ark; the problem is, he was moving it improperly. He was ignoring Scripture.

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown

His feelings on this alarming judgment were greatly excited on various accounts, dreading that the displeasure of God had been provoked by the removal of the ark, that the punishment would be extended to himself and people, and that they might fall into some error or neglect during the further conveyance of the ark. He resolved, therefore, to wait for more light and direction as to the path of duty. An earlier consultation by Urim would have led him right at the first, whereas in this perplexity and distress, he was reaping the fruits of inconsideration and neglect.

David did not need to consult Urim and Thummim; the Bible clearly explains how the Ark should be moved, which David clearly understood.

Keil and Delitzsch

On further reflection, David could not fail to discover where the cause of Uzzah's offence, which he had atoned for with his life, really had lain, and that it had actually arisen from the fact that he (David) and those about him had decided to disregard the distinct instructions of the law with regard to the handling of the ark. According to Num 4 the ark was not only to be moved by none but Levites, but it was to be carried on the shoulders, not in a carriage; and in Num. 4:15, even the Levites were expressly forbidden to touch it on pain of death. But instead of taking these instructions as their rule, they had followed the example of the Philistines when they sent back the ark (1Sam. 6:7), and had placed it upon a new cart, and directed Uzzah to drive it, whilst, as his conduct on the occasion clearly shows, he had no idea of the unapproachable holiness of the ark of God, and had to expiate his offence with his life, as a warning to all the Israelites.

At least Keil and Delitzsch get it right!

What is even more disappointing in the commentaries is, most of them previously allude to the passages which explain how the Ark is to be moved and that man was not to touch the Ark or he would die. Now, when we get to David’s comments, it should be clear, the problem is, David did not instruct that the Ark be moved in the correct manner, and it is apparent, by his statement, that he did not realize this. Although Keil and Delitzsch can be difficult to understand at times, they are relatively clear here.


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My intention in presenting God’s Word, verse by verse, word by word, is that you come away with an understanding of just exactly what the verse means, what exactly is occurring, and how this might apply to you. I feel as though I have accomplished what God would have me do if this is what you get from my commentary on any one verse.


And was not willing David to turn away unto him an Ark of Yehowah as far as a city of David. And so stretches out David a house of Obed-edom the Gittite.

2Samuel

6:10

David was unwilling to remove unto him [possibly, because of him] the Ark of Yehowah to the city of David. Therefore, David turned aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.

Since David was unwilling to transport the Ark of Jehovah to his own city, he instead had Ark taken to the home of Obed-edom the Gittite.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And he would not have the ark of the Lord brought in to himself into the city of David: but he caused it to be carried into the house of Obededom the Gethite.

Masoretic Text                       And was not willing David to turn away unto him an Ark of Yehowah as far as a city of David. And so stretches out David a house of Obed-edom the Gittite.

Septuagint                              And David would not bring in the ark of the covenant of the Lord to himself into the city of David: and David turned it aside into the house of Abeddara the Gethite.

 

Significant differences:           Although the ancient texts agree on the first verb, they have trouble with the second, and render it to bring in rather than to cause to depart, to remove. The Aramaic, not listed above, is in agreement with the Latin and Greek as well. Whether this is the Hebrew which they read and properly translated, or, if they were confused at this juncture, and the Latin and Syriac merely followed the lead of the Greek, I do not know. I have 3 Bibles which often point out differences which are found between the Hebrew and other texts; all 3 are silent about this verb.

 

The preposition before the City of David is as far as in the Hebrew. The idea is, the Ark was moved some distance, but it was not moved as far as the City of David. The Greek, Latin and Syriac have the preposition into instead (something which Rotherham points out).

 

The final problem is the last verb, which, in the Hebrew, means to stretch out; to spread out; to turn, incline, influence, bend down, hold out, extend, thrust aside, thrust away. This verb is fairly reasonable, as it can mean that the Ark was thrust aside to another place for it to be kept. The Greek and Syriac use the second Hebrew verb of this verse to turn aside [to] instead. The Latin has to cause to be carried instead.

 

Bear in mind, a translation (Latin, Greek, and Syriac) is going to be smoother and make better sense than the original text, if that text is difficult. Sometimes the text can be difficult because (1) a word has a meaning we are not aware of; (2) there is a copyist error which is carried on in the manuscripts; (3) the speaker or writer could be using poor Hebrew (inspiration does not guarantee that a writer of Scripture is going to be completely, grammatically correct). So, even if the original text viewed by the translators is difficult, they will often attempt to give a smoother, more understandable rendering. For this reason, I do everything that I can in order to make sense out of the Hebrew; and, in the alternative, I then look at other, ancient translations for insight.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       He decided not to take it there. Instead, he turned off the road and took it to the home of Obed Edom, who was from Gath.

Good News Bible                   So he decided not to take it with him to Jerusalem; instead, he turned off the road and took it to the house of Obed Edom, a native of the city of Gath.

NLT                                        So David decided not to move the Ark of the Lord into the City of David. He took it instead to the home of Obed-edom of Gath. The problem with this reading is, it sounds as if Obed-edom lives in Gath. If that were the case, the Ark would have to be hauled a lot further than to Jerusalem, which seems unlikely.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         So David wouldn't bring the ark of the LORD with him to the City of David. Instead, he rerouted it to the home of Obed Edom, who was from Gath.

HCSB                                     So he was not willing to move the ark of the LORD to the city of David; instead, he took it to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NKJV                                     So David would not move the ark of the Lord with him into he City of David; but David took it aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite.

WEB                                      So David would not remove the ark of Yahweh to him into the city of David; but David carried it aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite.

Young’s Updated LT             And David has not been willing to turn aside unto himself the ark of Jehovah, to the city of David, and David turns it aside to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite.

 

The gist of this verse?          Even though there is some difficulty with the text of this verse, the idea is, David will temporarily put the Ark at the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite instead of taking it the rest of the way into Jerusalem.


2Samuel 6:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

âbâh (הָבָא) [pronounced awb-VAWH]

to be willing, to consent

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #14 BDB #2

âbâh with the negative means to choose not to, not to be willing to, to be unwilling to, to refuse consent, to refuse, to refuse to do.

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

çûwr (רס) [pronounced soor]

to cause to depart, to remove, to cause to go away; to turn away from

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong's #5493 (and #5494) BDB #693

All of the Hiphil meanings for this verb are to cause to turn aside, cause to depart, remove, take away, put away, depose; to put aside, leave undone, retract, reject, abolish. Given the preposition which follows, none of these really seem to make sense.

The Latin, Greek and Syriac all have the verb to bring (in) instead.

el (לא) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to, in respect to; because of; according to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied); expanded meanings given; with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

There are two basic sets of meanings for el:

(1) el acts as a preposition which signifies, in general, to tend to anything, to verge to or towards any place, whether it is reached and even entered or not, whether it be by motion or turning and direction of the body or of the mind, turning to anything in thought. Footnote Under this general heading, we have nine uses: ➊ Of motion to a place, or to, towards. Under this heading, el is also used as a particle of giving or selling. ➋ El is used for the turning or the direction to anything, and can be used of the mind as well as the body. ➌ The motion or turning can be hostile, and mean against. ➍ El is used when one reaches a terminus or a mark; even to. Under this heading, we have two additional applications (a) the use of el in measure, e.g. even to the length of a cubit; (b) even out of, as being removed out of something like a thorn hedges which go around a field (Job 5:5). ➎ This preposition is used when the limit is entered into, and is rendered in. When it is used of a number or multitude into which one enters, it may be rendered among. ➏ El is used in adding or super-adding, and rendered besides, together with, besides these. ➐ El is used regarding anything, having respect or regard to anything, hence (a) as to, in respect to, because of; and (b) concerning (after verbs of speaking, narrating or telling). ➑ Metaphorically, el can be used as expressive of rule or standard and be rendered according to. Finally, ➒ when el is prefixed to prepositions which denote rest in a place, it give them the signification of motion or direction to or towards a place.

(2) The second set of meanings: el is used of remaining at, or in a place to which one tends. Under this category, we have three divisions: ➊ at, by or near; in, among; ➌ also, el is placed before particles, which imply a rest in a place, without change of sense. Footnote

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ărôwn (ןר ֲא) [pronounced uh-ROHN]

ark, chest; Ark

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #727 BDB #75

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over; on the ground of, because of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, with, by, besides, in addition to, to, toward, together with, in the matter of, concerning, as regards to

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

The Greek, Latin and Syriac have the preposition into instead.

׳îyr (רי ̣ע) [pronounced ģeer]

encampment, city, town

feminine singular construct

Strong's #5892 BDB #746

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: David was unwilling to remove unto him [possibly, because of him] the Ark of Yehowah to the city of David. Again, the language seems rather clunky here. It would make sense for this to read that David was unwilling to bring the Ark to Jerusalem, and there is a very common Hebrew word which could have been used (a couple in fact), yet we find and odd verb to be used here (to turn aside, to remove, to cause to depart) which is what David did, more or less, with the Ark, despite the verb and negative which preceded it and read and David was unwilling to... The Greek is in agreement here, and perhaps the idea is, David did not want to turn aside the Ark from going to Jerusalem, but he wanted to bring it to Jerusalem. However, despite what he did not want to do, he still had to take the Ark elsewhere. This is the only way that these words and this verse make sense to me.


I personally struggled to translate and understand this verse; this is what I came up with:

Various Interpretations of 2Sam. 6:10a

Interpretation

Commentary

1) David did not want to turn aside the Ark of God from going into the city of Jerusalem; however, he did anyway.

This is an interesting interpretation (I think unique to me) where intent is what is expressed here, rather than action. So, David really does not want to end this process of moving the Ark, but, because of the death of Uzzah, he may feel as if he has no other choice.

2) Maybe, for whatever reason, the verb should be to bring, so that David is not willing to bring the Ark of Jehovah to himself as far as Jerusalem.

The biggest problem with this interpretation is, this is not the verb which we find in the Hebrew. This is, however, the way that other ancient texts understood this verse.

Unto him could mean because of him; that is, because of the death of Uzzah.

This is a legitimate understanding of the preposition, and this understanding works with either interpretation above. 1) David does not want to turn aside the movement of the Ark because of Uzzah’s death, but he realizes that he does not have a choice; or 2) David is not willing to bring the Ark of Jehovah as far as Jerusalem because of Uzzah’s death. In both cases, we understand the prepositional phrase unto him to mean because of Uzzah’s death, which does involve a lot of interpretation.

Unto him could refer to the direction that the Ark was heading, and it was turned aside from going unto David.

This is even a simpler understanding of the phrase unto him and more reasonable—David is taking the Ark into Jerusalem on his own initiative.

Unto him could refer to the tent which David prepared for the Ark.

The biggest problem with this interpretation is, the tent is not mentioned anywhere near the context of this verse.

even though I do not feel as though I have adequately unraveled this verse so far, still, the general idea is the same: David wants to bring the Ark to Jerusalem, but it appears that he will be unable to do so, since it is unclear (to David) what God may do about the moving of the Ark.


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So David and these men are accompanying the Ark from Kiriath-Jearim to Jerusalem; the get up near the top of a hill and the Ark appears that it may lose its balance and topple out of the cart. Uzzah reaches out to steady the Ark and dies immediately. David is unwilling, at this point, to stop moving forward with the Ark; however, despite what he wants to do (or, more correctly, doesn’t want to do), he will have to do what is prudent, and try to determine what went wrong and how he can prevent more from dying in transporting the Ark of God. As we have previously discussed, we know what is wrong with this situation; however, David does not (although he will figure it out).


2Samuel 6:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâţâh (ה ָט ָנ) [pronounced naw-TAWH]

to extend, to stretch out, to spread out, to expand; to incline downwards; to turn, to turn away [aside, to one side]; to push away, to repel, to deflect; to decline; to seduce

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect; with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5186 BDB #639

The BDB Hiphil meanings for this verb are given as to stretch out; to spread out; to turn, incline, influence, bend down, hold out, extend, thrust aside, thrust away. The Greek and Syriac have, instead, to turn aside (which is the first verb in the Hebrew in this verse); and the Latin has to cause to be carried to.

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

bayith (ת̣י ַ) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular construct

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

׳Ôbêd (ד̤בֹע) [pronounced ģoh-BADE]

a slave, a servant

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #5744 BDB #714

Ědôwm (םד ֱא) [pronounced eh-DOHM]; also Ědôm (םֹד ֱא) [pronounced eh-DOHM

reddish; and is transliterated Edom, Edomites

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #123 BDB #10

Together, these two words make up Obed-edom, which means a slave to the Edomite; a servant to Edom, which is Strong’s #5654.

Gittîy (י  ̣  ̣) [pronounced git-TEE],which

inhabitant of Gath and possibly wine press; and transliterated Gittite

gentilic singular adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #1663 BDB #388


Translation: Therefore, David turned aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. My guess is, between this and the previous sentence, there was some discussion between David and those who were with him. David was unwilling in these discussions to turn aside and take the Ark elsewhere; and they (the Levites and the rest of the procession) were unwilling to press forward toward Jerusalem, given the sudden death of Uzzah. The only thing David could do is park the Ark at a home which is nearby with someone who was trustworthy (we may reasonably assume that), while they regrouped and thought this matter over.


I think that we can make the assumption that no one at this celebration of the movement of the Ark had the knowledge of how this Ark is supposed to be moved. That is, there is no indication that some learned Levite approaches David during this time and says, “Well, David, here’s where you are going wrong. This Ark should not be on a cart; we Levites need to carry it.” Although David will later figure this out, no one apparently figures out how to move forward at this point. The best that David can come up with is to temporarily park the Ark and to reconsider the matter.


Bear in mind, there are 30,000 people here. Either none of them know the Word of God or the few who do, do not have the nerve to step forward. Listen, the strongest opposition you will receive will be from other Christians who do not have a thimbleful of doctrine. Knowing the Word of God gives you strength, passion, and integrity. Someone like Nathan should have stepped up and told David, “You’re going wrong.” (we will meet Nathan in the next chapter). Either the believers there lacked the courage of their convictions of the clear Word of God or no one there knew the Word of God.


Application: A leader needs to know the Word of God. A leader needs to have a spiritual clue. David is the most powerful man in Israel, and yet, he does not know how the Ark is supposed to be moved. This is a serious failure on David’s part.


Application: I am writing this in 2008. President George W. Bush has just announced that 8000 more men will be removed from Iraq because the conditions on the ground warrant a draw down. I am one of the few people who has supported the president and his judgment. However, there are two key weaknesses in our liberation of Iraq, and both of these may be laid squarely on the shoulders of George Bush: (1) When we had the influence in Iraq as we once did, we should have insisted upon a Bill of Rights as a part of their constitution, and also insisted that freedom of religion be a part of this. Not only would this allow the various factions of Islam to worship as they will, but it would allow for Christians to evangelize the people there. (2) We should have sent in Christian missionaries to evangelize the people there. The emphasis is, a free Democratic society allows the freedom of thought and the freedom of religion. Whatever democracy is established there is going to be tenuous at best. We have several historical examples of nations in the Middle East going bad because of religious extremist which comes in and gains a foothold. Although this is not something we can stave off for all time, Christianity can increase the time the Iraq remains free. An historical example of this is Lebanon, once seen as a progressive nation in the Middle East, whose position as a liberal country (in the classic sense) has fallen, as believers are persecuted and move from there, and as Islam extremist gains stronger control of that nation. What is the key here? Bush’s lack of spiritual discernment when dealing with Iraq. Such an approach, taking into consideration spiritual truth, would increased the time period that Iraq would enjoy peace.


Application: Sometimes you are going to find yourself as a part of a bigger movement—a demonstration, or a part of a group feeding the hungry, or a part of a group which is doing this or that. It may be clear that, suddenly, your group takes a nose-dive or a wrong turn. Anyone at this ceremony could have walked up to David and said, “Here is what you are doing wrong.” No one did. I suspect that no one realized what was being done incorrectly. It is worthless to have a large group of people doing something, no matter how good they think it is, when, in fact, what they are doing is wrong or the method or intention is wrong. For any movement which involves more than 2 or 3 people (even a prayer meeting), someone there (and, preferably, all who are there) need to know and fully understand the spiritual issues involved. For instance, you can’t join up with some anti-war group and protest this or that war, and quote “Thou shalt not kill” as if you have a clue. There is no spiritual impact in a movement like that. If anything, these movements are anti-God and anti-Scriptural. However, you need to know enough doctrine in order to determine this. Let’s take a conservative issue: abortion. Whereas, you may want to march on an abortion clinic to voice your protest and to offer alternatives to those patients who come there, as soon as this protest turns violent, you’ve got a problem. You (as a private citizen) do not get to use violence within a national entity to gain your ends, even if you view these ends as noble and right (note, I said as a private citizen; the police are going to have to use force now and again to attain their short-term, lawful objectives).


At this point, we really don’t know anything about Obed-edom, but he is actually mentioned several times in Scripture. He was in the Merari branch of the Levites, the son of Jeduthun. He played the harp and was one of the Levites gathered to play music as the Ark was advanced to Jerusalem. We read about him in 1Chron. 15:18–24 16:5, 38. Barnes: He is called a Gittite perhaps from Gath–Rimmon, in Manasseh, which belonged to the Kohathites (Joshua 19:45 21:24–25). Marriage with a Kohathite, or some other cause, would account for his dwelling in a Kohathite city. Footnote It is possible that he or an ancestor of his originally lived in Gath (in the territory of the Philistines) and married into a Levite family at some point; or that he was a former resident of Gittaim (2Sam. 4:3). Footnote Obed-edom and his family are immortalized in Scripture in 1Chron. 26:4–8. We may not know a lot about him, and few Christians have heard of Obed-edom, but he is a great man in Scripture.


I like the idea that Obed-edom may have come from Gath of the Philistines. Throughout the Old Testament, even though the Jews were repeatedly told not to intermix with the heathen around them, so that their religious integrity would be compromised; we have many instances of non-Jews fully entering into Jewish society and into the worship of Jehovah God. That Obed-edom is specifically called a Gittite, suggests to me that he comes from outside of Israel.


When Uzzah was struck dead by God, David probably looked toward the nearest house or farm and asked, “To whom does this farm belong?” and one of the attending musicians, Obed–edom, said, “This is my farm.” And they decided to keep the Ark right there. I would not be surprised if they simply built a tent around the Ark right there. That is, this land may even belong to Obed-edom (recall that, although this takes place on the threshing floor of Nacon, that could be rendered the threshing floor of being struck down).


You should recognize that what is happening here is remarkable. Obed-edom no doubt knows that thousands of Philistines died because of the Ark. He has just witnessed the death of Uzzah, one of those previously in charge of the Ark, and it is apparent that David is very agitated and afraid at this time, unwilling to move the Ark into Jerusalem. Obed-edom no doubt has a healthy fear and respect of Jehovah God, and he clearly knows that a misstep with regards to the Ark can be fatal, as he has just witnessed that. However, he also has enough confidence to take on the responsibility of housing the Ark, which suggests to me that Obed-edom does know some Scripture, and is confident because of what is in his soul. As has been discussed, no one apparently knows the proper way to move the Ark, at this point, but Obed-edom knows enough to store it. Furthermore, bear in mind, when our Lord returns again, for some it will mean life everlasting and for others, death.


And so remains and Ark of Yehowah [at] a house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months. And so blesses Yehowah Obed-edom and all his house.

2Samuel

6:11

The Ark of Yehowah remained [at] the house of Obed-edom the Gittite [for] 3 months and Yehowah blessed Obed-edom and all his household.

The Ark of Jehovah remained at Obed-edom’s house for 3 months, and during that time, Jehovah blessed Obed-edom and his entire family.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so remains and Ark of Yehowah [at] a house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months. And so blesses Yehowah Obed-edom and all his house.

Septuagint                              And the ark of the Lord sat in the house of Abeddara the Gethite three months, and the Lord blessed all the house of Abeddara, and all his [possessions].

 

Significant differences:           The Greek adds an additional phrase (and all [that is] his) which is not found in the Hebrew, Latin or Syriac. It is reasonable to suppose that the Hebrew manuscript used by the Greek translators had this phrase in it; it is unreasonable to think that they simply added it out of the blue.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The chest stayed there for three months, and the LORD greatly blessed Obed Edom, his family, and everything he owned. Then someone told King David, "The LORD has done this because the sacred chest is in Obed Edom's house." Right away, David went to Obed Edom's house to get the chest and bring it to David's City. Everyone was celebrating. [vv. 11–12].

Good News Bible                   It stayed there three months, and the LORD blessed Obed Edom and his family.

NLT                                        The Ark of the Lord remained there with the family of Obed-edom for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         The ark of the LORD stayed at the home of Obed Edom from Gath for three months, and the LORD blessed Obed Edom and his whole family.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

WEB                                      The ark of Yahweh remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite three months: and Yahweh blessed Obed-Edom, and all his house.

Young’s Updated LT             And the ark of Jehovah inhabits the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite three months, and Jehovah blesses Obed-Edom and all his house.

 

The gist of this verse?          During the short time that the Ark was with Obed-edom (3 months), he was greatly blessed.


2Samuel 6:11a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâshab (בַשָי) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

to remain, to stay; to dwell, to live, to inhabit; to sit

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

ărôwn (ןר ֲא) [pronounced uh-ROHN]

ark, chest; Ark

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #727 BDB #75

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

bayith (ת̣י ַ) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular construct

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

׳Ôbêd (ד̤בֹע) [pronounced ģoh-BADE]

a slave, a servant

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #5744 BDB #714

Ědôwm (םד ֱא) [pronounced eh-DOHM]; also Ědôm (םֹד ֱא) [pronounced eh-DOHM

reddish; and is transliterated Edom, Edomites

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #123 BDB #10

Together, these two words make up Obed-edom, which means a slave to the Edomite; a servant to Edom, which is Strong’s #5654 BDB #714.

Gittîy (י  ̣  ̣) [pronounced git-TEE],which

inhabitant of Gath and possibly wine press; and transliterated Gittite

gentilic singular adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #1663 BDB #388

shâlôsh (שֹלָש) [pronounced shaw-LOHSH]

a three, a trio, a triad, a threesome

numeral; masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7969 BDB #1025

chôdesh (ש∵דֹח) [pronounced KHOH-desh]

new moon, month

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #2320 BDB #294


Translation: The Ark of Yehowah remained [at] the house of Obed-edom the Gittite [for] 3 months... Moving the Ark was not a lost cause to David; however, he had to think through his actions, and possibly read the Scriptures again, or see if he can speak with the God of Israel, and try to determine how to move the Ark without causing a problem. Obviously, David is stymied here; he may not even know that the answer is in God’s Word. In any case, when we read what follows, it will be apparent that David had essentially left the Ark there, possibly without any intention of moving it again.


2Samuel 6:11b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bârake (ַרָ) [pronounced baw-RAHKe]

to invoke God, to praise, to celebrate, to adore, to bless [God]; to bless [men], to invoke blessings; to bless [as God, man and other created things], therefore to cause to prosper, to make happy; to salute anyone [with a blessing]; to curse

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #1288 BDB #138

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

׳Ôbêd (ד̤בֹע) [pronounced ģoh-BADE]

a slave, a servant

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #5744 BDB #714

Ědôwm (םד ֱא) [pronounced eh-DOHM]; also Ědôm (םֹד ֱא) [pronounced eh-DOHM

reddish; and is transliterated Edom, Edomites

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #123 BDB #10

Together, these two words make up Obed-edom, which means a slave to the Edomite; a servant to Edom, which is Strong’s #5654 BDB #714.

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

bayith (ת̣י ַ) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #1004 BDB #108


Translation: ...and Yehowah blessed Obed-edom and all his household. Because Obed-edom was willing to house the Ark of God, God greatly blesses him (as God had blessed the home of Abinadab for many years previous). The Ark was not bad luck, there was not some sort of a curse on it, or anything like that. God just has a particular way things need to be done. The Ark, the Tabernacle, and all the furniture of the Tabernacle are all fraught with meaning. They cannot be dealt with in any manner which suits this or that generation of Jews. God uses these things in order to evangelize His people (and those who are drawn to the Jews); so the Levites and priests cannot go freeform now and again and do what they think seems like the best approach. Therefore, the Ark of God is, as we see here, a great source of blessing; but that direct contact with the Ark can be deadly. God can give us great blessings, as I and many other believers can attest to; but direct contact with God is impossible for those who do not go through Jesus Christ, His Son.

 

Clarke: The Lord blessed Obed-edom - And why? Because he had the Ark of the Lord in his house. Whoever entertains God’s messengers, or consecrates his house to the service of God, will infallibly receive God’s blessing. Footnote Josephus, by the way, tells us the Obed-edom went from being poor to noticeably prosperous in 3 months. Footnote I suppose that his being poor is tradition, which Josephus passes along; however, becoming noticeably more prosperous is indicated in our passage.


Bear in mind, this blessing had to happen quickly; the Ark was kept with Obed-edom for only 3 months, and in that short time, David had received reports as to the improvement of Obed-edom’s life. Although we don’t know any details, what happened to Obed-edom must have been very apparent and easy to observe, and it had to happen almost overnight.


Obed-edom’s blessing did not end after these 3 months. In 1Chron. 26:4–5, we see that he had 8 sons, which, in the ancient world, was seen as a great blessing (it still is a great blessing; we just do not necessarily view many children as such). One may want to contrast this with Michal, who will despise David’s act of bringing the Ark into Jerusalem, and end up childless (2Sam. 6:16, 20–23).


Application: Although not every believer in Jesus Christ will enjoy prosperity and blessing, many do. You have to realize that some believers will simply fall out of fellowship at day one of salvation, and be under discipline until their lives ends. Others, if given to much prosperity, might stray. Others, simply by eliminating some of their evil habits and by developing a few good habits, may prosper simply because they don’t spend all of their time trying to please themselves. Finally, there are a significant number of believers who enjoy prosperity simply because they believe in Jesus Christ and they are growing believers. We have evidence of that in the United States, the most prosperous nation on earth. Whereas, a couple of other nations have a higher per capita income per year than the United States, the typical salary and lifestyle of the average person in the US if much higher than in any other country. This is not because those in the US work harder, nor is it because we have greater natural resources, nor is it because we are smarter than any other nation. It can be clearly shown that the US is no better off than any other country in regards to these things; however, God blesses the United States of America, and, similarly, God blesses the nation Israel, simply because these are His people. Israel is the only ground in the Middle East without oil, and their average citizen lives better, for the most part, than the average citizen in any other Middle Eastern country. Take Iraq, for instance, one of the most oil-rich nations in the world. Over the past 30 years, if I had to choose between living in Iraq or living in Israel, I would choose Israel without a second thought. God blesses His own, even though many of these Jews are unbelievers.


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As we go through this chapter, I will stop now and again and place 2Sam. 6 next to its parallel passage from Chronicles. As before, the darker blue indicates marked differences in the text.

Problems Moving the Ark: 2Sam. 6:3–11 and Its Parallel Passage in Chronicles

2Samuel 6:3–11

1Chronicles 13:7–14

And they carried the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart, with the ark of God, and Ahio went before the ark. And David and all the house of Israel were making merry before the LORD, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God.

And they carried the ark of God on a new cart, from the house of Abinadab, and Uzzah and Ahio were driving the cart. And David and all Israel were rejoicing before God with all their might, with song and lyres and harps and tambourines and cymbals and trumpets. And when they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzzah put out his hand to take hold of the ark, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and He struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark, and he died there before God.

And David was angry because the LORD had burst forth against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzzah, to this day. And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and he said, "How can the ark of the LORD come to me?" So David was not willing to take the ark of the LORD into the city of David. But David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. And the ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the LORD blessed Obed-edom and all his household.

And David was angry because the LORD had broken out against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzza to this day. And David was afraid of God that day, and he said, "How can I bring the ark of God home to me?" So David did not take the ark home into the city of David, but took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. And the ark of God remained with the household of Obed-edom in his house three months. And the LORD blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that he had.

You will note that most of the text is the same. Although both of these are taken from the ESV, it is obvious that they are not completely consistent in their translation, running sentences together in Samuel, and breaking them up in Chronicles. The primary difference which stands out is, the writer of Samuel used Jehovah whereas the writer of Chronicles more often used Elohim to refer to God (I did not indicate every instance of this with darker blue).

Keil and Delitzsch: This account in the Chronicles is not an expansion of the brief notice given here; but the account before us is a condensation of the fuller description given in the sources that were employed by both authors. Footnote


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David Moves the Ark of God into Jerusalem, Part II

1Chronicles 15–16


It should be obvious that, if there are 12 verses remaining in 2Sam. 6 and 72 verses in 1Chron. 15–16, that the passage in Chronicles goes into much more detail and contains incidents and information which will not be found in the narrative which follows. In both narratives, it will be clear that David has figured out what he did wrong, and he corrects the problem in moving the Ark the second time.


And so he makes known to King David to say, “Has blessed Yehowah a house of Obed-edom and all which [is] to him because of an Ark of the Elohim.” And so goes David and so he brings up an Ark of the Elohim from a house of Obed-edom [to] a city of David in joy.

2Samuel

6:12

It was made known to King David, saying, “Yehowah has blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that [is] his because of the Ark of Elohim.” So David went and he brought up the Ark of Elohim from the house of Obed-edom [to] the City of David with great joy.

Later, King David was informed that Jehovah had blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that he had because of the Ark of God. Therefore, David went to his home and brought the Ark of God to the City of David with great joy.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And it was told king David, that the Lord had blessed Obededom, and all that he had, because of the ark of God. So David went, and brought away the ark of God out of the house of Obededom into the city of David with joy. And there were with David seven choirs, and calves for victims.

Masoretic Text                       And so he makes known to King David to say, “Has blessed Yehowah a house of Obed-edom and all which [is] to him because of an Ark of the Elohim.” And so goes David and so he brings up an Ark of the Elohim from a house of Obed-edom [to] a city of David in joy.

Septuagint                              And it was reported to king David, saying, “The Lord has blessed the house of Abeddara, and all that he has, because of the ark of the Lord.” And David went, and brought up the Ark of the Lord from the house of Abeddara to the city of David with gladness.

 

Significant differences:           We find the Ark of God in the Hebrew and Latin; the Ark of the Lord in the Syriac and Greek. This is the only significant difference amongst these ancient texts. I mentioned in a previous verse that the Greek adds an additional phrase to what God blesses; we find that additional phrase in both the Greek and Hebrew in this verse.

 

Interestingly enough, there is an entire extra sentence in the Latin, which is not found in the Greek, Hebrew or Syriac. My only guess here is someone at some point in time, looked at the parallel passage in Chronicles and summarized it with this sentence. This was the manuscript from which Jerome worked. Although Jerome could have added this himself, he just does not seem to be the kind of person to do that. That is, the English translation which was made from his Latin is consistently close to a literal rendering of the Masoretic text.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The chest stayed there for three months, and the LORD greatly blessed Obed Edom, his family, and everything he owned. Then someone told King David, "The LORD has done this because the sacred chest is in Obed Edom's house." Right away, David went to Obed Edom's house to get the chest and bring it to David's City. Everyone was celebrating. [vv. 11–12].

Good News Bible                   King David heard that because of the Covenant Box the LORD had blessed Obed Edom's family and all that he had; so he got the Covenant Box from Obed's house to take it to Jerusalem with a great celebration.

NLT                                        Then King David was told, “The Lord has blessed Obed-edom’s home and everything he has because of the Ark of God.” So David went there and brought the Ark to the City of David with a great celebration.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

HCSB                                     It was reported to King David: "The LORD has blessed Obed-edom's family and all that belongs to him because of the ark of God." So David went and had the ark of God brought up from Obed-edom's house to the city of David with rejoicing.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       And it was told King David, "The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God." So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing.

Young’s Updated LT             And it is declared to king David, saying, “Jehovah has blessed the house of Obed-Edom, and all that he has, because of the ark of God;” and David goes and brings up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the city of David with joy.

 

The gist of this verse?          David is told that Jehovah has blessed the house of Obed-Edom because he has kept the Ark of God with him. David then brings the Ark of God up from Obed-edom into Jerusalem (details to follow in subsequent verses).


2Samuel 6:12a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâgad (ד ַג ָנ) [pronounced naw-GAHD]

to be made conspicuous, to be made known, to be expounded, to be explained, to be declared, to be informed

3rd person masculine singular, Hophal imperfect

Strong's #5046 BDB #616

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

meleke ( ל מ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

bârake (ַרָ) [pronounced baw-RAHKe]

to invoke God, to praise, to celebrate, to adore, to bless [God]; to bless [men], to invoke blessings; to bless [as God, man and other created things], therefore to cause to prosper, to make happy; to salute anyone [with a blessing]; to curse

3rd person masculine singular, Piel perfect

Strong’s #1288 BDB #138

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

bayith (ת̣י ַ) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular construct

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

׳Ôbêd (ד̤בֹע) [pronounced ģoh-BADE]

a slave, a servant

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #5744 BDB #714

Ědôwm (םד ֱא) [pronounced eh-DOHM]; also Ědôm (םֹד ֱא) [pronounced eh-DOHM

reddish; and is transliterated Edom, Edomites

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #123 BDB #10

Together, these two words make up Obed-edom, which means a slave to the Edomite; a servant to Edom, which is Strong’s #5654 BDB #714.

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

the whole, all, the entirety, every

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

ăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

Together, kôl ăsher mean all whom, all that [which]; whomever, all whose, all where, wherever.

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: It was made known to King David, saying, “Yehowah has blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that [is] his... David was intensely interested in the Ark of God. Although he left it at the home of Obed-edom, it is very likely that he called for regular reports on the Ark. At some point, it was clear to those who obtained the information that God was blessing Obed-edom and all that he had, and this was reported to David. As I have said before, it is probably noticeably clear that Obed-edom is being blessed by God.

 

Gill noted the thoughts about how much God had blessed Obed-edom: [This blessing from God occurred] so suddenly, in so short a time, and so largely, that it could not escape the notice and observation of men that knew him; and this increase was not in any natural way by which it could be accounted for; so that it could be ascribed to no other cause but the blessing of God, and that on account of the ark of God that was with him; nothing else could be thought of. Footnote


2Samuel 6:12b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

baģăbûwr (רבֲע -ב) [pronounced bah-ģub-VOOR]

because of, for, that, for the sake of, on account of, in order that; while

preposition/conjunction; substantive always found combined with the bêyth preposition

Strong’s #5668 BDB #721

Actually a combination of the bêyth preposition (in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before) and ׳âbûwr (רבָע) [pronounced ģawv-BOOR] which means a passing over, a transition; the cause of a crossing over; the price [of transferring ownership of something]; purpose, objective. Properly, it is the passive participle of Strong’s #5674 BDB #720. Strong’s #5668 BDB #721.

ărôwn (ןר ֲא) [pronounced uh-ROHN]

ark, chest; Ark

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #727 BDB #75

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #430 BDB #43


Translation: ...because of the Ark of Elohim.” It was rightly concluded that Obed-edom and his family were being blessed because of the Ark of God. Therefore, it is clear now to David that there is no obscure curse associated with the Ark. No doubt David did some reading of Scripture as well during this time. Obed-edom was blessed because of the Ark, so I would guess that those of his household did some reading as well. We only have snippets of information here and there as to the availability of Scripture. The king was to keep a copy of the Word of God which he was to write out in his own hand. A few centuries earlier, the Law of Moses was written on some rocks so that there would be a public record of God’s Word. Someone had to be transcribing God’s Word, which would be probably left up to scribes and, I would suppose, Levites, although that is never listed among their duties in the Old Testament. And, there are clues to indicate that some bits and pieces of the Bible had to have been disseminated because, for instance, in one place in the Law, people are mandated to write down verses (even on their doorposts) and keep them in various places and to meditate on them. We traditionally believe that they had an oral tradition, where this was handed down; however, I believe that there was greater availability than we realize, but, most certainly, less availability than we have today.


I personally find it amazing just how much is available to us today. On my computer alone, in e-sword alone, I have 6 different Greek New Testaments, as well as perhaps a dozen or two excellent English translations. Although there are not many churches where Scripture is taught definitively, there is great availability on the Internet of the teachings of excellent teachers. We simply have no excuse when it comes to understanding the Word of God.


2Samuel 6:12c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

to cause to go up, to lead up, to take up, to bring up

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5927 BDB #748

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ărôwn (ןר ֲא) [pronounced uh-ROHN]

ark, chest; Ark

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #727 BDB #75

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #430 BDB #43

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

bayith (ת̣י ַ) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular construct

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

׳Ôbêd (ד̤בֹע) [pronounced ģoh-BADE]

a slave, a servant

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #5744 BDB #714

Ědôwm (םד ֱא) [pronounced eh-DOHM]; also Ědôm (םֹד ֱא) [pronounced eh-DOHM

reddish; and is transliterated Edom, Edomites

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #123 BDB #10

Together, these two words make up Obed-edom, which means a slave to the Edomite; a servant to Edom, which is Strong’s #5654 BDB #714.

׳îyr (רי ̣ע) [pronounced ģeer]

encampment, city, town

feminine singular construct

Strong's #5892 BDB #746

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

simechâh (הָח מ ̣) [pronounced sime-KHAW],

joy, gladness, mirth, great joy, rejoicing

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #8057 BDB #970

Clarke: The Vulgate adds to this verse: And David had seven choirs, and a calf for a sacrifice. The Septuagint make a greater addition: “And he had seven choirs carrying the ark, a sacrifice, a calf, and lambs. And David played on harmonious organs before the Lord; and David was clothed with a costly tunic; and David and all the house of Israel, brought the ark of the Lord with rejoicing, and the sound of a trumpet.” Nothing of this is found in any [Hebrew] manuscript., nor in the Chaldee, the Syriac, nor the Arabic, nor in the parallel place, 1Chron. 15:25. Footnote My version of the LXX does not have this lengthy addition, so perhaps it is found in the Alexandrian LXX?

We are left to speculate. I first thought that the addition found in the Latin was a summary of what is found in Chronicles, but I don’t know that we actually have seven choirs named there. Furthermore, there appear to have been numerous sacrifices, and not just that of a calf (perhaps the meaning is cattle?). The additional portion of the LXX (again, the Alexandrian LXX?) is equally a mystery. The similarity of these two suggest that the longer version could have been a part of the original text, and that it degenerated to a point where it was only partially readable and, eventually, no longer readable. My other suggestion is, this is an oral tradition which was passed down.

In any case, the addition or loss of the additional sentence (the long or short version) does not appear to affect our understanding or edification.

It is important to note that, anytime we have a difficult problem like this with regards to the original manuscripts—even when that problem cannot be satisfactorily solved—doctrine is not compromised. We are not dealing with a situation where this or that cult tried to slip in a few extra words in order to further their cultic doctrines. In fact, the only place that I can think of in the entire Bible where a cult tried to insert their goofy notions is at the end of the book of Mark. The other textual problems that we deal with are, for the most part, quite trivial, like this.

You may wonder, okay, if it is so trivial, why bring it up in the first place? Serious exegetes try to examine the Bible as carefully as possible, which includes alternate readings and their impact. The fact that there are many alternate readings in the Greek manuscript, and that these have little or no doctrinal import is a remarkable fact. You see, if anything, we would expect for men to have continually made attempts to change Scripture; however, it is apparent that there was such an abiding respect for the Word of God, that we never find wholesale changes to this or that portion of Scripture in order to modify some doctrine or theological point. Contrast this, on the other hand, with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, whose Bible translation is designed, albeit subtly, to fit their own peculiar beliefs.


Translation: So David went and he brought up the Ark of Elohim from the house of Obed-edom [to] the City of David with great joy. This short phrase sums up the next 5 verses. We are told that David will bring the Ark of God into Jerusalem; and the follow verses will give us more information. A bit of the celebration is noted in the verses which follow; that parallel passage in Chronicles will go into much greater detail.


It is interesting that there will be no great emphasis made on how David did it wrong before and he brings the Ark up correctly this time. We simply have the narrative here and we must first look for the verses which indicate to us that David does it correctly this time; and then it is up to the pastor-teacher to emphasize this fact.


3 months previous, David was afraid of God, and, it appears, upset (recall that particular verse was difficult to exegete), and that, apparently, he did not realize then the problem of moving the Ark. It is as if the Ark was bad luck or something. However, to clearly observe God’s blessing of Obed-edom made David clearly realize that the problem was not the Ark itself, but with his approach to the Ark. Whether David’s reading of Scripture was before, coterminous or after this realization, we don’t know. However, David did understand what should be done and how it should be done by the time that he returned to the Ark to attempt moving it a second time. This is even clearer in 1Chron. 15:1–3: David built houses for himself in the city of David. And he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it. Then David said that no one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, for the LORD had chosen them to carry the ark of the LORD and to minister to him forever. And David assembled all Israel at Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the LORD to its place, which he had prepared for it.

 

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown are in full agreement: The lapse of three months not only restored the agitated mind of the monarch to a tranquil and settled tone, but led him to a discovery of his former error. Having learned that the ark was kept in its temporary resting–place not only without inconvenience or danger, but with great advantage, he resolved forthwith to remove it to the capital, with the observance of all due form and solemnity (1Chron. 15:1–13). It was transported now on the shoulders of the priests, who had been carefully prepared for the work, and the procession was distinguished by extraordinary solemnities and demonstrations of joy. Footnote

 

Keil and Delitzsch fully understood the issues at hand: On this occasion, however, David adhered strictly to the instructions of the law, as the more elaborate account given in the Chronicles clearly shows. He not only gathered together all Israel at Jerusalem to join in this solemn act, but summoned the priests and Levites, and commanded them to sanctify themselves, and carry the ark “according to the right,” i.e., as the Lord had commanded in the law of Moses, and to offer sacrifices during the procession, and sin songs, i.e., psalms, with musical accompaniment. In the very condensed account before us, all that is mentioned is the carrying of the ark, the sacrificing during the march, and the festivities of the king and people. But even from these few facts we see that David had discovered his former mistake, and had given up the idea of removing the ark upon a carriage as a transgression of the law. Footnote


By the way, what better way to show that the Ark is representative of Jesus Christ than this? Peter writes: For it stands in Scripture: "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame." So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone," and "A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense." They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do (1Peter 2:6–8; Isa. 8:14 28:16). Jesus Christ is our Savior or He is a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.


And so he is when had marched those bearing an Ark of Yehowah six steps and so he slaughters an ox and a fattened calf.

2Samuel

6:13

When those bearing the Ark of Yehowah had marched six paces, David [lit., he] slaughtered an ox and a fattened calf.

Every six steps that the Ark was moved, David stopped the procession and offered up and ox and a fattened calf.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And when they that carried the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed and ox and a ram.

Masoretic Text                       And so he is when had marched those bearing an Ark of Yehowah six steps and so he slaughters an ox and a fattened calf.

Septuagint                              And there were with him bearing the ark seven bands [or, dancers?], and for a sacrifice a calf and lambs.

 

Significant differences:           The phrase with him in the LXX might be the result of dealing with a damaged manuscript (when in the Hebrew may have been mistaken for with him). In the Hebrew, they travel 6 paces; and in the Greek, there are 7 bands, those carrying musical instruments, or dancers. Again, this is so different that I suspect that the Greeks had a damaged manuscript. The Latin is more in line with the Hebrew.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Good News Bible                   After the men carrying the Covenant Box had gone six steps, David had them stop while he offered the LORD a sacrifice of a bull and a fattened calf.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

HCSB                                      When those carrying the ark of the LORD advanced six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened calf.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       And when those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal.

Young’s Updated LT             And it comes to pass, when those bearing the ark of Jehovah have stepped six steps, that he sacrifices an ox and a fatling.

 

The gist of this verse?          If David could be accused of anything on this second attempt to move the Ark, it is overkill. Every 6 paces that the Levies made, an ox and fatted calf were sacrificed.


2Samuel 6:13a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, because; that; when

explanatory conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

tsâ׳ad (ד-עָצ) [pronounced tzaw-ĢAHD]

to step, to march; to mount up

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #6805 BDB #857

nâsâ (אָָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

those lifting up, bearers, those carrying; the ones exalting; those taking away

masculine plural, Qal active participle

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

ărôwn (ןר ֲא) [pronounced uh-ROHN]

ark, chest; Ark

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #727 BDB #75

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

shishshâh (הָ̣ש) [pronounced shish-SHAW]

six

feminine form of numeral

Strong’s #8337 BDB #995

tsa׳ad (ד-ע-צ) [pronounced TZAH-ģahd]

a step, pace; figuratively: steps of life

masculine plural noun