I Chronicles 13



The opening verses of this chapter explain and amplify the compressed announcement

of  II Samuel 6:1, “Again, David gathered together all the chosen of Israel, thirty

thousand.” And the remaining verses (6-14) correspond to  II Samuel  6:2-11.


1 “And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds,

and with every leader.” There can be little doubt that the captains of thousands

 and hundreds... with every leader, here spoken of, represented what had

become by this time a confirmed institution, although in embryo, dating

from the time of Moses at least (Numbers 31:14; Deuteronomy 1:15; Judges 20:7;

II Chronicles 20:21).


2 “And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good

unto you, and that it be of the LORD our God, let us send abroad

unto our brethren every where, that are left in all the land of Israel,” –

Some think that this phrase points to the destruction that had been widespread

by the Philistines -“and with them also to the priests and Levites which

are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us:”


3 “And let us bring again the ark of our God to us:” - It had been removed

from Shiloh (Joshua 18:1) at the instance of “the elders of Israel” to their camp,

when they were hard pressed and smitten by the Philistines (I Samuel 4:1-4);

there it was taken by the Philistines (Ibid. vs.11, 22), and hurried from Ashdod

to Ekron and on to Bethshemesh (Ibid. ch.5. l, 8,10; 6:9-13) -“for we inquired

not at it in the days of Saul.”  The allusion may be considered delicately worded,

but an inexpressible pathos and unmeasured condemnation must be imagined

as clinging to this sentence, illustrated further by Ibid. ch.7:2; 28:6,15-16; here



Revival of Religion (vs. 1-3)


The resolve to fetch back the ark of God was a sign of reviving interest in

religion, of a more lively desire for the Divine favor, and of a deeper sense

of the importance of observing religious ordinances. As the symbol of the

Divine presence, as the depository of mementos and pledges of Jehovah’s

authority and mercy, the ark was held sacred by the Hebrew people. Its

proper position was in the most holy place of the tabernacle. It was justly

felt to be a national calamity when the ark was taken by the Philistines in

battle. That it was allowed to remain after its restoration at Kirjath-jearim

for seventy years was culpable negligence, which was significant of

religious indifference. The newly elected king was acting rightly as the

human head of the theocratic kingdom in advising that the almost forgotten

ark should be brought up with joyful solemnities to Jerusalem. His

resolution, supported by the sympathy and cooperation of the people, was

indicative of a revival of religion. The incident suggests several highly

important lessons.



It is always unjustifiable to attribute specified individual instances of calamity

to the intentional interposition of a retributive Providence. At the same


communities as well as individuals are subject to His sway. NATIONAL

VICES  and CRIMES have unquestionably a tendency to produce


 unpunished; a nation suffers when a nation errs.


  • REPENTANCE IS A NATIONAL DUTY. If a people in its corporate


REPENT?   David reminded the chiefs that, as a people, Israel had not i

nquired at the ark in the days of Saul. Thus he quickened the conscience

of the community.  Insensibility to sin is of all sins the worst. To

recognize and confess, to mourn and to forsake sin, is the indispensable

condition of acceptance and of REFORMATION.   “If we confess our

sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us

from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9)




VIEW TO UNITED REVIVAL. David consulted every leader and

referred the matter to all the congregation. In a theocracy, no doubt, action

was possible which would be impracticable in a nation where great diversity

of opinion and practice prevails. (But had the nation followed God’s

will laid out in the Bible, WE WOULD NOT BE SO DIVERSE! 

Remember that we have choices and the Greek word for “choice” is

heresy”.  The Greek word for heresy is ai[resiv - hah’ee-res-is; -

a choosing, choice – then that which is chosen, and hence an opinion,

especially a self-willed opinion, which is substituted for submission to the

power of truth and leads to division, the formation of sects and finally,

            APOSTASY FROM GOD!  Such a man is a living lie against the truth. 

(Think of the origins, influences and roles of  PRO-CHOICE and the



CHOICE – a la  HERESY – CY -2009)  But how obviously appropriate

is it that religious societies and their leaders — the devout, the wise, the

experienced — should take counsel with a view to religious revival and reform!



PRACTICAL ACTION, The people were not brought together merely to

talk over” the existing state of things. They were summoned under the

king’s leadership to act, and they did act. (What are called “resolutions” at

religious meetings are often misnamed; it is sometimes the case that those

who pass them never dream of exerting themselves to carry them into


BE PURGED OF INIQUITY,  if the favor of God is to be recovered

 and the honor of God to be sought, IT MUST BE BY UNITED

 EFFORT AND ACTION! Each godly person must ask, “What

can I do towards such an end?” True acknowledgment of God is not

merely verbal, it is practical. When all the people, repenting of sin, turn

unto the Lord, He too will turn them again unto Himself, and AND



4 “And all the congregation said that they would  do so: for the thing was right

in the eyes of all the people.”



Politics and Morals (v. 4)


David no sooner set before the people their duty with regard to the ark

than they immediately resolved to act in accordance with his counsel. The

chronicler explains why they did so; he tells us, in language remarkably

dignified and simple: “For the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.”



THROUGH INATTENTION. The ark seems to have been overlooked

during the years it remained at Kirjath-jearim: “We inquired not at it in the

days of Saul.” It is singular that nations sometimes connive at great

national sins, that national conscience seems to slumber. How otherwise

can we account for the prevalence of war, of slavery, of cruelty to

prisoners, abortion, pornography, the drug culture and other evils, which

have disgraced civil and Christian communities?



NATION — WHAT IS RIGHT? It is too common to ask the people —

What is customary and in accordance with precedents? What is expedient?

What will contribute to national fame? But nations as well as individuals

are under the government of a righteous moral Ruler and King. And there

is one question which those who would elevate and guide a nation should

ever raise — What is right?




be flattered; they are prone to bow before the furious gust of passion; yet,

when the impulse of prejudice or anger is past, they are capable of proving

themselves amenable to higher motives. Great acts of justice and self-sacrifice

have, in such cases, been performed by a morally awakened

society. If “the thing be right in the eyes of all the people,” then there may

be witnessed magnificent displays of heroism and unselfishness. Then is the

adage true, Vox populi vox Dei.  (the voice of the people is the voice of God)



LEADS TO NATIONAL ACTION. All the congregation said that

 they would do so.” Feeling must lead to corresponding achievement, or it is

mere worthless sentimentality. A people’s protest is good, but a people’s

action is better still.


5 “So David gathered all Israel together,” - The parallel gives the number as thirty

thousand men (II Samuel 6:1-2) -“from Shihor of Egypt” -  According to Gesenius,

this Shihor is from root rj}v; meaning “to be turbid” or “black” (so Latin melo,

from the Greek; Virgil, ‘Georg.,’ 4:278, 291; Catullus, 67:33). There can

surely be little doubt that it is the river Nile which is here spoken of, after

comparison of the following passages: — Joshua 13:3; Isaiah 23:3; Jeremiah 2:18.

Though others, quoting Joshua 13:3 and 19:26, and interpreting Shihor generically

as applicable to any dark, turbid stream, make it the modern Wady el-Arish,

However, the parallel, I Kings 8:65, does not necessarily dissever the lj"n" from

rh"n; of Egypt (Genesis 15:18), but rather tends to identify them - “even

unto the entering of Hemath,”-  i.e. the way to Hamath (Hebrew, tm;j];

Numbers 34:7-8). Hamath was one of the great cities of the Orontes valley, in

Upper Syria, which formed the boundary in especial of the empire of Solomon.

This valley is watered by the Orontes, the river of Antioch, a river remarkable

for its abundant spring (situate immediately north of the source of the

Leontes), which won for it the name, among all the other springs of Syria,

of “The Spring,” and remarkable for “the length of its course, the volume

of its waters, and the rich vegetation of its banks.” It is the one of the four

rivers which take their rise beneath the heights of the Lebanon and Anti-

Lebanon which becomes really worthy of the name of river, the other

three, viz. the Jordan, the Leontes or modern Litany of Phoeicia, and the

Abana or modern Barada of Damascus, more resembling the nature of the

mountain stream. This river was to the ancient Romans “the representative

of Syria, as the Thames might be said to be of England, and in later times

the region formed the chief point of contact between this part of Asia and

the West” (Stanley’s ‘Sinai and Palestine,’ pp. 414, e,f, edit. 1866). The

kingdom of Hamath comprised the tract of this valley of the Orontes,

skirted by the hills separating the Leontes from the Orontes, and extending

to the Pass of Daphne below Antioch. Riblah (Numbers 34:11; II Kings

23:33) lies on the east bank of the Orontes, thirty-five miles north-east of

Baal-bek, or Baal-gad. The people of Hamath were of the race of Ham, of

the descendants of Canaan (Genesis 10:18), and are not to be reckoned

as of Phoenician origin - “to bring the ark of God from Kirjathjearim.”


6 “And David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, that is, to Kirjathjearim,” - 

(see Joshua 15:9-11;  I Samuel 4:7; II Samuel 6:2; where the name is spelt with a

final yod instead of he). A third name of this same place, Kirjath-baal, is found

in Joshua 15:60; 18:14. Probably the present ‘Arma, a ruin (i.q. Kirjatharim,

Ezra 2:25) on the brink of the valley of Sorek, may be the place.  We read in

Joshua 9:17-27 how the men of Kirjath-jearim had been made by Joshua “hewers

of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the

Lord.” Hither to this Kirjath-jearim the ark had been conveyed from Bethshemesh

(I Samuel 7:1-2), and here it “abode” long time, “for it was twenty years.” Perhaps

the word “abode” in this passage may be equivalent to abode unmoved (I Samuel

14.18-19). For though the chronology from the death of Eli, through the remainder

of Samuel’s career and of Saul’s, seems almost hopelessly uncertain, yet it would

appear certain that the interval exceeded twenty years, to the time that David now

takes in hand to bring home, as it were, the ark -  “which belonged to Judah,

to bring up thence the ark of God the LORD,” - Though the Authorized

Version of this passage is better and cleverer than that of the parallel (II Samuel 6:2),

yet it is left somewhat obscure. The comma should follow the name God. Jehovah

sitting upon the cherubim then follows as a clause in apposition, while the

last three words (as the name is called, rather than whose name) state that

clause to contain “the Name of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 10:8; 31:9;

I Samuel 4:4; 5:3; 6:8) - “that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose

name is called on it.”


7 “And they carried the ark of God” - the Authorized Version of the parallel

they set” But the verb is the Hiph. of bk"r;, a word carrying more of majesty in

its use (Deuteronomy 33:26; Job 30:22; Psalm 18:11; 68:33; Isaiah 19:1) -  “in a

new cart” -  The stress laid on the newness of this cart, the term being twice repeated

in the parallel passage, may justly remind of Mark 11:2; Matthew 27:60 (see ‘Speaker’s

Commentary’ on II Samuel 6:3) - “out of the house of Abinadab:” -  There is no

mention of Abinadab that would indicate that he still lived, even when twenty years

before, the ark was placed in his house. Eleazar was his eldest son (I Samuel 7:1),

and was “sanctified to keep the ark of the Lord”  -“and Uzza and Ahio drave

the cart.” Uzza and Ahio were possibly sons of Eleazar, and not sons of Abinadab,

and Eleazar’s younger brothers. The Septuagint translates Ahio, and accordingly reads,

Uzza and his brethren drave the cart.”


8 “And David and all Israel played before God” -  The Hebrew word is

the Piel of qjc, the root of which, from the simplest meaning of “to laugh”

(and with the two appropriate prepositions used for laughing with an expression

of derision or contempt), through the two further meanings of “sporting” and

jesting,” passes to the signification of dancing” (I Samuel 18:7; Jeremiah 31:4).

Its deepest idea seems to be “to make merry,” and to savor of the very same

ambiguity attaching to that idiom with ourselves. The parallel of this passage exhibits

before the Lord” -  “with all their might,” - See the evident mistake of the

parallel (“on all manner of instruments made of firwood,” literally, with all firwoods)

through similarity of the Hebrew characters - “and with singing, and with harps,

and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.”

Of the five names of musical instruments, the same in number in both passages, the

first three are the same in the Hebrew, but these last two are different  words, -

cymbals and trumpets - twOrx]xOj}b"W μyiT"l]xim]biW here for μyilxl]xb]W

μy[ni[n"mbiW A variation of this particular kind again indicates with some

decisiveness the different character and the number of the sources from which

the writers of the Books of Samuel and those of Chronicles took.



The Joy of Religion (v. 8)


The natural and fitting expression of the kingly and national gladness in the

restoration of the sacred ark was, “Playing before God with all their might,

and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels,

and with cymbals, and with trumpets.” The three kinds of musical

instruments are here indicated — those producing sound by wind, by the

vibration of strings, and by the clanging together of metals. The mission

of music and song is to find expression for man’s gladness and joy. It is as

natural to sing as to laugh. (I spent the day in Nashville with my grandson

and he sang all the way down and all the way back.  He is 2 yrs old and 3 mos.

- CY – 2012)  Man has wonderfully developed the faculties of music and song,

and now it is one of our chief modes of expressing human emotions, and of

relieving them by expression. It is as truly one of the great forces for

exciting and stirring emotion, as is well shown when it is necessary to raise

the martial spirit of a nation.  The very wonderful fact that God has

hidden powers of music in things without life; and that when they are used,

in right distinctions or properties of sound, they discourse what we know

what meets, interprets, and works our feeling, as living and spiritual

creatures is A TREMENDOUS DISCOVERY!   When God told man to

discover the secrets of the earth – “subdue it” – Genesis 1:28 – it did not

take man very long to discover music – “Jubal:  he was the father of all

such as handle the harp and organ” - Ibid. ch. 4:21 – Unfortunately in

the Pre-Flood world, The idea of shutting God out is behind the devising

of the harp and organ.  Metal tools and implements of all kinds were available

to produce creature comforts as well as musical instruments to stimulate the

emotional and aesthetic sensessadly, in the 21st century, musical

instruments are often prostituted to sensual stimulation as well - although these

 can be used for good purposes - they can just as easily be used as a means of

REBELLION AGAINST GOD - witness MTV and other examples - the

latter seems to have been their effect and perhaps their purpose, among the

descendants of Cain.


How carefully this (musical) part of the worship was ordered in the temple service

of Israel is known to every reader of the ancient Scriptures; how exactly also the

chorus of singers and of players on instruments were arranged, one to answer to

another in the deep wail of grief or penitence, the soft response of love, the lively

sweep of festive gladness, or all to flow together in choral multitudes of praise, that

might even shake the rock of Zion itself.  And if any one wishes to know what

power there may be in music, as an instrument of reliction, let him ask

what effect the songs of this one singer (David) have had, melted into

men’s hearts, age after age, by music, and made in that manner to be their

consecrated and customary expressions of worship.  (Then there is the

subliminal effect.  In the late 1960’s, Bro. Marion Duncan, our pastor,

from the pulpit which I have been blessed to use the last 41 years, said

that in music, there is a beat which can psychologically break down the

individual and implant ideas against their will.   While not comprehending this

idea fully, I totally agree since, in those days, I caught myself humming the tune

of a beer commercial which sponsored radio sports news, which I listened to

every morning on the way to school.   I have never tasted any form of alcohol, as

a beverage in my life.  When I was twelve years old, I made a vow, and I

could take you to within 100 yards of where the vow occurred [providing

that the Somerset-Pulaski County, Kentucky, airport has not bulldozed

the field into oblivion].   Since it was on a slowly sloping hillside, it probably

is still in existence, but why I would unconsciously hum that jingle is beyond

me!  - CY – 2012)



reasonableness of the songs and joy of Israel when redeemed from

Egyptian bondage and delivered from their raging foes. Much more is joy

and song right and natural as our response for redemption from penalty,

and deliverance from evil. It can only be a distorted religion that fits with

melancholy. “The joy of the Lord is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10); and

with “joy we draw water from the wells of salvation.” (Isaiah 121:3)

In the New Testament we are encouraged to speak  to one another in

psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody

in our hearts to the Lord”  (Ephesians 5:19).  If any are merry, we

 should sing psalms” (James 5:13).  Modern religious life makes music

and song essential features, and these do much towards preserving a healthy

tone in our PIETY!   This may be applied to PRIVATE DEVOTION

 which is greatly aided by hymn and song. Music is a very attractive feature

of public worship.



JOY. What could David have done else, or so well, in uttering his over-

Charged feelings? Music at once soothes and gives adequate expression. A

man can put his very heart into a song, and ease and quiet his intense

emotions by so doing. Estimate the influence of song: it


o       uplifts;

o       brightens;

o       aids feeling;

o       comforts.


(In modern times who has ever watched a Bill and Gloria Gaither special and not

been greatly blessed? – CY – 2012)    True hearts may even find “songs in the

night  and even in prison!



Holy Mirth (v. 8)


To some minds the two ideas, holiness and mirth, do not seem to

harmonize. Whether because goodness is sometimes associated with

austerity, and religious observances with dullness, or because mirth is

sometimes associated with sensual indulgence and profanity; the fact is that

to many minds there appears a mutual repugnance between the two.



OF HOLY MIRTH. General rejoicing should not take place only when

temporal deliverances or material prosperity have been experienced. When

God shows His mercy towards a people, in conferring upon them spiritual

privileges, then should they show forth His praise, and make a joyful noise

unto the Lord.



and people rejoiced together, and if all orders and ranks are alike indebted

to God’s goodness, all should alike join in His service and praise.

Widespread is the beneficence of the heavenly Father; let all the

children give thanks, and be joyful before the Lord the King.




Such utterance of mirth is natural, is in accordance with the constitution

God our Maker has given us. It is scriptural, for both under the old

covenant and the new, vocal praise was practiced by the saints of God. It is

acceptable: “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to

God continually, that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His

name.  ……..with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews

13:15-16).  It is an anticipation of heaven, where the praises of the redeeming

God are universal and perpetual.


9 “And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon,” - For Chidon,

 the parallel place in II Samuel 6 :6 has Nachon; possibly these are two names

of the same place, or one form is a corruption of the other; but there is nothing to

determine for us which.  Owing to the meaning of Nachon being “prepared,”

 the version of Aquila is “to the prepared threshingfloor,” with which the Jonathan

Targum agrees, and (for this Chronicles passage) the Joseph Targum gives ˆQ"t"m]

rt"a}. The threshing-floor was a circular plot of hard ground, from fifty to

one hundred feet in diameter, on which the oxen trampled out the grain.

Threshingfloors evidently often became landmarks, and helped to designate

places (Genesis 50:10; II Samuel 24:16) -  Uzza put forth his hand to hold

the ark; for the oxen stumbled.”  In the parallel place the Authorized Version

renders “shook it.” The Hebrew verb is the same (fm"v;) in both places. Its

elementary meanings are “to strike” and “to throw down.” Perhaps the meaning

is near the Vulgate rendering, calcitrabant, and equivalent to the rendering,

became restive.


10 “And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and He

smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died

before God.”  There seems some little uncertainty as to why Uzza was to

blame in a desire that would appear both praiseworthy and instinctive, to

steady the ark or save it from actually falling. Uzza was probably not a

priest or Levite, and it is so distinctly said his sin consisted in putting his

hand to the ark, that perhaps the direction of Numbers 4:15 may be

sufficient account of the matter. Special injunction had been given

(Exodus 25:14-15) that the poles with which to bear it should not be

taken out of the rings, but be always stationary there. If we suppose that it

was not a question of the ark being absolutely overthrown, but simply of its

riding unsteadily, his presumptuousness would not have the further defense

of an instinctive impulse.



Warnings Against Irreverence (vs. 9-10)


The incident here recalled to mind is one full of difficulties. Uzza seems to

have been struck dead for what was, in intention, an act of consideration

and care for the safety of the ark. To human view his sin does not readily

appear, and some explanations are necessary in making it clear. Uzza’s

death was not, mainly, a judgment on Uzza, but a lesson, taught in a very

solemn manner, to David and the people. They had not been associated

with the ark for a long time, and so may have lost some of the due

solemnity of feeling concerning it. By the Mosaic rules, the ark was on no

account to be touched by human hands. It would not have needed any

steadying if, in obedience to the Law, it had been carried by poles on the

priests’ shoulders. (ch. 15:15, Exodus 25:14; Numbers 4:15; 7:9).  So God

permitted this one man’s death to teach the solemn lesson of reverence. The sin

was really David’s in neglecting the due order and regulations, but it pleased God

that he should receive his warning through the suffering of another. One tradition

says that Uzza was struck by a lightning flash; another represents his death as

occasioned by the withering of his hand and arm. “We cannot fully explain this

judgment from the side of Uzza. We must add that man, in life and in death, may be

used by God to teach His lessons and accomplish His work; and Uzza, in his

sudden death, was God’s appeal to a king (and to a nation) who had

forgotten His holy Law, and were ‘following the devices and desires of

their own hearts.’ That which was a judgment to Uzza was a merciful call

to repentance and right-heartedness given to king and people.





IRREVERENCE. Some pride themselves on freedom from forms. But

while it is quite conceivable that overdone forms may crush out spiritual

life and feeling, it is even more likely that a despising of religious forms

may lead to undue familiarity with God’s Name, and sanctuary, and

worship, and sacraments. If to some it may seem that undue attention to

ritual is replacing a true reverence by a mere formalism, to others it appears

that the age is singularly and perilously irreverent, and sorely needs again

the warning of Uzza’s death.



WAY. A lesson which every age and every individual needs to learn. David

made the very common mistake of trying to do God’s work in his own

way. He must be impressively shown that the fully obedient spirit waits on

God to know the how as well as the what. It not only says, “What wouldst

thou have me to do? “but also, “How wouldst thou have me do it?”

To win willingness to take God’s way is often, as with David, the issue of

humiliating failures; and it is precisely the lesson which life-failures are

designed to teach.



IMPRESSED. Our Lord taught us that we must not venture to convict

public sufferers of special sins bringing on them judgment (Luke 13:1-5).

God often teaches the mass of men by His dealings with a few. The

victims of so-called accident vicariously suffer for the good of others.

Illustrate by those who die of diseases caused by neglect of sanitary laws.

They awaken attention to existing evils, and are the means of saving men.

Uzza really saved the judgment that must have fallen on David and the





Severity of Judgment (v. 10)


To understand this narrative it is necessary to bear in mind the character of

the older dispensation. It was an economy in which persons, things, and

places were set apart as holy, doubtless in order to instill into the minds of

the people ideas of spiritual purity and consecration. The ark was a holy

thing, in a sense in which nothing material is holy under the Christian

dispensation. (“God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must

worship Him in spirit and truth”  (John 4:24).  But there are principles

which underlie these ceremonial appointments and provisions, which are

deserving of our serious and discriminating attention.


  • THE HISTORICAL INCIDENT. The chronicler here relates:


Ø      A serious offence. When Uzza put forth his hand and touched the ark,

though he did so only for the security of the sacred chest, he incurred the

Divine displeasure. His act was one of officiousness; it was not his

Business to interfere with the apparatus of Divine worship. He was

guilty of irreverence; for he showed that he did not stand in awe of the

symbol of the Divine presence. And we may discern even profanity in

his conduct; it was only for the chosen tribe to minister in connection

with the sanctuary and what it contained, and although the ark was in

transit to its resting place, its safe conduct should have been left to the



Ø      A severe punishment. “The Lord smote him… there he died before

God.” The penalty seems at first view disproportionate. Yet it was both

what might have been anticipated and what was necessary to produce a

wholesome impression. That it did produce awe and trembling there can

be no question. The severe judgment tempered the national rejoicing and

even altered the purpose of the king as to the residence of the ark of the



  • THE MORAL LESSON. As we read this narrative we are impressed

with the general lesson of:


Ø      Gods displeasure with disobedience. The Scriptures are full of

lessons illustrating this principle; they begin on its first page and continue

to its last. There is a more special lesson, viz.:


Ø      That unspiritual men should not meddle with spiritual things. In

Christian Churches it is of the highest importance that men actuated by

carnal and worldly motives should not be allowed to intrude and to

influence their affairs. Let those be clean who bear the vessels of the

Lord.  The profane cannot with impunity discharge sacred functions.

Let sinners spared by Divine mercy adore the forbearance and loving-

Kindness of the Lord, and “seek Him whilst he may be found, and

call upon Him whilst he is near.”  (Isaiah 55:6)


11 “And David was displeased,” - The Hebrew root. (hr;j;) betokens a mixture

of anger and grief. It is the word used of Jonah  in Jonah 4:1,9, and perhaps our

English word “vexed” or “hurt,” would convey its meaning - “because the

LORD had made a breach” -  literally, had broken forth a breaking forth

 on Uzza; i.e. had fiercely broken forth on Uzza. There are many exactly

analogous uses of both verb and noun in the Hebrew -“upon Uzza: wherefore

that place is called Perez-uzza to this day.”  This phrase, also found in

the parallel place, indicates the lapse of time from the historical point of

time to the point of record.


12 “And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring

the ark of God home to me?”  13 So David brought not the ark home to

himself to the city of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obededom

the Gittite.  14  And the ark of God remained with the family of Obededom

in his house three months. And the LORD blessed the house of Obededom,

and all that he had.” Obed-edom the Gittite. That Obed-edom is called “the

Gittite,” i.e. of Gath-rimmon, a Levite city of Dan (Joshua 21:24), might probably

indicate that there was another Obed-edom, from whom to distinguish him. Such a

one would appear readily to offer in the name of Obed-edom, son of Jeduthun, a

Merarite Levite” (ch. 15:18-24; 16:5,38; 26:4-15). But the difficulty occurs that

an expression in this last quotation seems to identify him with the Obed-edom of <

II Samuel 6:11; and the last sentence of our next verse. If they are one and the

same, it has been suggested that marriage might account for the Merarite living in a

Kohathite city (see ‘Speaker’s Commentary’ on II Samuel 6:10).



Obededom’s blessing (v. 14)


The subject introduced here is “God in the home, God cherished in the

home, and God blessing the home.” God was pleased to teach Israel by

symbols, by incidents, by personal experiences, and by actions, as well as

by words. There is given a picture of Obed-edom’s home, and we see that

God’s cherished presence is assured blessing for the heart and the home.



REALIZED. Man can be, and know that he is, THE TEMPLE

OF THE LIVING GOD!  The possibility of this is the assurance

given us in THE INCARNATION OF CHRIST!   God can dwell

with men; for He has dwelt in the “Man Christ Jesus.”



fearing the Divine removal, prays, “Take not thy Holy Spirit from me”

(Psalm 51:11).  We cherish the Divine indwelling by:


Ø      daily openness;

Ø      dependence; and

Ø      prayer;


but especially by daily following, in simplicity and loyalty, the consequent

inward Divine leadings.




from the records of His earthly life we know what an INFINITE

HELP THAT PRESENCE CAN BE!   Our Lord promised, “I will

come to him, and sup with him” (Revelation 3:20), and He left this last

assurance, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the

world.”  (Matthew 28:20)



BENEDICTIONS. It does not ensure freedom from care, but it does our

sanctification through the care. We cannot be alone in any trouble. It

brings a gracious actual reward of


Ø      soul-prosperity;

Ø      family peace and success.



Let us plead for the recognition of God in the home, by maintaining

the habit of family prayer.



Household Blessing (v. 14)


“Prosperity,” says Lord Bacon, “is the blessing of the old covenant,

adversity of the new.” Certainly Old Testament Scripture abounds in

instances of temporal abundance, fertility, and happiness, represented as

proofs of the favor of the Most High. In the text Obed-edom is recorded

to have received the ark into his house, and with it to have received an

abundant blessing upon himself and upon all that pertained to him.


  • THE GROUND OF BLESSING. Apparently this was, in the case before

us, a regard for what was God’s. But this was doubtless an expression of

regard for God Himself. The Divine Searcher of hearts and Judge of all

sanctions this principle; and although we can give nothing, SAVE OUR

HEARTS to God (“My son, give me thy heart.”- Proverbs 23:26), we

can give to His people much that is acceptable to Him. Our Lord Jesus often

puts this motive before His disciples. What we do we are to do for His sake;

and what we do to His people we are deemed to do for Him. (Matthew 25:

40,45)  Still, as in the olden days, God honors those that honor Him.

(I Samuel 2:30)



blesses in themselves — in their own persons. He enriches them with

spiritual knowledge; He reveals to them His favor; He fits them for His

service. He bestows upon them relative blessings. As God blessed the

house of Obed-edom, so there is no more delightful way in which He

reveals his favor to His people than by visiting in mercy those most dear to

them — encompassing them with the protection of His providence, and

bringing them to a knowledge of his grace and love. He blesses them in

their possessions; sometimes, according to the Hebrew saying, “in their

basket and their store” (Deuteronomy 28:5), but always by granting them

grace to make a sanctified use of all they have. Let all unite in the prayer,

“God be merciful unto us, and bless us, and cause His face to shine

upon us!” (Psalm 67:1)


  • THE ARK IN THE HOUSE OF OBED-EDOM.  The ark was in the

house of Obed-edom three months, and “the Lord blessed the house

of Obed-edom, and all that he had.” Why was this?  Obed-edom was a

Levite. He had been prepared of God to minister before it. None but a

prepared heart can enjoy Christ. The ark was at home with

Obed-edom, and he with it. So it is always with Christ and His people. But

God not only blessed Obed-edom and his family; the significant words are

added, and all that he had. Everything went right with Obed-edom, in

his house, his family, his duties, his joys, and his sorrows, BECAUSE THE

 ARK WAS THERE!   What a lesson! Reader, why do things not go

right with you?  Because Christ has not his right place in your heart?

 in your affections? In your home? in your duties? and in all you have?

Let Christ be in all, and then it cannot but be with you as it was with

Obed-edom, “the Lord blessed his house, and all that he had.”



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