2 Samuel 6

CHAPTER VI

David goes with thirty thousand men to being the ark from

Kiriath-jearim to Jerusalem, 1-5.

The ox stumbling, Uzzah, who drove the cart on which the ark

was placed, put forth his hand to save it from falling: the

Lord was displeased, and smote him so that he died, 6, 7.

David, being alarmed, carries the ark to the house of

Obed-edom, 8-10.

Here it remained three months; and God prospered Obed-edom, in

whose house it was deposited, 11.

David, hearing of this, brings the ark, with sacrifices and

solemn rejoicings, to Jerusalem, 12-15.

Michal, seeing David dance before the ark, despises him, 16.

He offers burnt-offerings and peace offerings, and deals among

all the people, men and women, a cake of bread, a good piece

of flesh, and a flagon of wine each, 17-19.

Michal coming to meet him, and seeing him dance extravagantly

before the ark, reproaches him for his conduct: he vindicates

himself, reproves her, and she dies childless, 20-23.

NOTES ON CHAP. VI

Verse 1. Thirty thousand.] This is supposed to have been a new

levy; and thus he augmented his army by 30,000 fresh troops. The

Septuagint has 70,000.

Verse 2. From Baale of Judah] This is supposed to be the same

city which, in Jos 15:60, is called

Kirjah-baal or Kirjath-jearim; (see 1Ch 13:6;) or

Baalah, Jos 15:9.

Whose name is called by the name of the Lord] That is, The ark

is called the ark of the Lord of hosts. But this is not a literal

version; the word shem, NAME, occurs twice together; probably

one of them should be read sham, THERE. There the name of the

Lord of hosts was invoked, &c.

Verse 3. A new cart] Every thing used in the worship of God was

hallowed or set apart for that purpose: a new cart was used

through respect, as that had never been applied to any profane or

common purpose. But this was not sufficient, for the ark should

have been carried on the shoulders of the priests; and the neglect

of this ceremony was the cause of the death of Uzzah.

Verse 5. On all manner of instruments made of fir wood] This

place should be corrected from the parallel place, 1Ch 13:8: "All

Israel played before God, with all their might, and with singing,

and with harps, and with psalteries," &c. Instead of

bechol atsey, "with all woods" or "trees;" the parallel place is

bechol oz. "with all their strength:" this makes a good

sense, the first makes none. The Septuagint, in this place, has

the verse reading; ενισχυι, with might.

Verse 6. Uzzah put forth his hand] In Nu 4:15-20, the Levites

are forbidden to touch the ark on pain of death, this penalty was

inflicted upon Uzzah, and he was the first that suffered for a

breach Of this law.

Verse 7. Smote him there for his error] 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.

Verse 10. But David carried it aside] The house of Obed-edom

appears to have been very near the city, which they were about to

enter, but were prevented by this accident, and lodged the ark

with the nearest friend.

Verse 11. 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.

Verse 12. So David-brought up the ark] 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 MS., nor in the Chaldee, the

Syriac, nor the Arabic, nor in the parallel place, 1Ch 15:25.

Verse 14. And David danced before the Lord] Dancing is a

religious ceremony among the Hindoos, and they consider it an act

of devotion to their idols. It is evident that David considered it

in the same light. What connection dancing can have with devotion

I cannot tell. This I know, that unpremeditated and involuntary

skipping may be the effect of sudden mental elation.

Verse 16. She despised him in her heart.] She did not blame him

outwardly; she thought he had disgraced himself, but she kept her

mind to herself.

Verse 18. He blessed the people in the name of the Lord] David

acted here as priest, for it was the general prerogative of the

priests to bless the people, but it appears, by both David and

Solomon, that it was the prerogative of the kings also.

Verse 19. A cake of bread] Such as those which are baked without

leaven, and are made very thin.

A good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine.] The words of flesh

and of wine we add; they are not in the Hebrew. The Chaldee

translates one part and one portion; but all the other versions

understand the Hebrew as we do.

Verse 20. To bless his household.] This was according to the

custom of the patriarchs, who were priests in their own families.

It is worthy of remark, that David is called patriarch by Stephen,

Ac 2:29, though living upwards of

four hundred years after the termination of the patriarchal age.

How glorious was the king of Israel] This is a strong irony.

From what Michal says, it is probable that David used some violent

gesticulations, by means of which some parts of his body became

uncovered. But it is very probable that we cannot guess all that

was implied in this reproach.

Verse 21. It was before the Lord, which chose me] David felt the

reproach, and was strongly irritated, and seems to have spoken to

Michal with sufficient asperity.

Verse 22. I will yet be more vile] The plain meaning of these

words appears to be this: "I am not ashamed of humbling myself

before that God who rejected thy father because of his obstinacy

and pride, and chose me in his stead to rule his people; and even

those maid-servants, when they come to know the motive of my

conduct, shall acknowledge its propriety, and treat me with

additional respect; and as for thee, thou shalt find that thy

conduct is as little pleasing to God as it is to me." Then it is

said, Michal had no child till the day of her death: probably

David never more took her to his bed; or God, in his providence,

might have subjected her to barrenness which in Palestine was

considered both a misfortune and a reproach. Michal formed her

judgment without reason, and meddled with that which she did not

understand. We should be careful how we attribute actions, the

reasons of which we cannot comprehend, to motives which may appear

to us unjustifiable or absurd. Rash judgments are doubly

pernicious; they hurt those who form them, and those of whom they

are formed.

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