2 Samuel 6
Peril in Moving the Ark
6 Again David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2 And David arose and went with all those who were with him to Baale-judah [Kiriath-jearim], to bring up from there [to Jerusalem] the ark of God which is called by the Name—the very Name of the Lord of hosts, who dwells enthroned above the cherubim. 3 They placed the ark of God on [a]a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were leading the new cart. 4 So they brought it with the ark of God from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Ahio was walking in front of the ark.(A) 5 Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating and dancing before the Lord with all kinds of instruments made of fir or cypress wood, with lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals.
6 When they came to Nacon’s threshing floor, Uzzah reached out [with his hand] to the ark of God and took hold of it, because the oxen [stumbled and] nearly overturned it. 7 And [b]the anger of the Lord burned against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God. 8 David became [c]angry and grieved and offended because of the Lord’s outburst against Uzzah, and that place has been called Perez-uzzah (outburst against Uzzah) to this day. 9 So David was afraid of the Lord that day; and he said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” 10 David was unwilling to move the ark of the Lord into the City of David with him; instead he took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. 11 So the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household (family).
The Ark Is Brought to Jerusalem
12 Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the house 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 into the City of David with rejoicing and gladness. 13 And when those who were carrying the ark of the Lord [by its poles] had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. 14 And David was dancing before the Lord with [d]great enthusiasm, and David was [e]wearing a linen ephod [a priest’s upper garment]. 15 So David and all the house of Israel were bringing the ark of the Lord up [to the City of David] with shouts [of joy] and with the sound of the trumpet.
16 Then, as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, [f]Michal, Saul’s daughter [David’s wife], looked down from the window above and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she felt contempt for him in her heart [because she thought him undignified].
17 They brought in the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent which David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. 18 When David had finished offering the burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts (armies), 19 and distributed to all the people, the entire multitude of Israel, both to men and women, to each a [ring-shaped] loaf of bread, a cake of dates, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people departed, each to his house.
20 Then David returned to bless his household. But [his wife] Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How glorious and distinguished was the king of Israel today, [g]who uncovered himself and stripped [off his kingly robes] in the eyes of his servants’ maids like one of the riffraff who shamelessly uncovers himself!” 21 So David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord [that I did this], who chose me above your father and all his house, to appoint me as ruler over Israel, the people of the Lord. Therefore I will celebrate [in pure enjoyment] before the Lord. 22 Yet I will demean myself even more than this, and will be humbled (abased) in my own sight [and yours, as I please], but by the maids whom you mentioned, by them I shall be held in honor.” 23 Michal the daughter of Saul had no [h]child to the day of her death.
- 2 Samuel 6:3 This was a violation of the requirement that the ark be transported on poles carried by the Levites (Ex 25:12-14; cf Num 7:9).
- 2 Samuel 6:7 Lit the nose of the Lord was hot.
- 2 Samuel 6:8 Lit hot.
- 2 Samuel 6:14 Lit all his might.
- 2 Samuel 6:14 Lit girded with.
- 2 Samuel 6:16 Michal failed to understand the significance of the event unfolding beneath her window.
- 2 Samuel 6:20 Instead of royal apparel, David dressed himself in a priest’s linen ephod.
- 2 Samuel 6:23 At this time being childless was a social stigma and often considered an act of divine judgment. Her failure to produce a child prevented Saul’s line from being continued through David.
2 Samuel 6
New International Version
6 David again brought together all the able young men of Israel—thirty thousand. 2 He and all his men went to Baalah[a](C) in Judah to bring up from there the ark(D) of God, which is called by the Name,[b](E) the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned(F) between the cherubim(G) on the ark. 3 They set the ark of God on a new cart(H) and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill.(I) Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart 4 with the ark of God on it,[c] and Ahio was walking in front of it. 5 David and all Israel were celebrating(J) with all their might before the Lord, with castanets,[d] harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals.(K)
6 When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of(L) the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. 7 The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act;(M) therefore God struck him down,(N) and he died there beside the ark of God.
9 David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How(Q) can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?” 10 He was not willing to take the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom(R) the Gittite. 11 The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household.(S)
12 Now King David(T) was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. 13 When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed(U) a bull and a fattened calf. 14 Wearing a linen ephod,(V) David was dancing(W) before the Lord with all his might, 15 while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts(X) and the sound of trumpets.(Y)
16 As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David,(Z) Michal(AA) daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.
17 They brought the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it,(AB) and David sacrificed burnt offerings(AC) and fellowship offerings before the Lord. 18 After he had finished sacrificing(AD) the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed(AE) the people in the name of the Lord Almighty. 19 Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins(AF) to each person in the whole crowd of Israelites, both men and women.(AG) And all the people went to their homes.
20 When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked(AH) in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”
21 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed(AI) me ruler(AJ) over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”
23 And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.
- 2 Samuel 6:2 That is, Kiriath Jearim (see 1 Chron. 13:6)
- 2 Samuel 6:2 Hebrew; Septuagint and Vulgate do not have the Name.
- 2 Samuel 6:4 Dead Sea Scrolls and some Septuagint manuscripts; Masoretic Text cart 4 and they brought it with the ark of God from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill
- 2 Samuel 6:5 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint (see also 1 Chron. 13:8) songs
- 2 Samuel 6:8 Perez Uzzah means outbreak against Uzzah.