2 Samuel 6

David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem

1David again assembled
The translation understands the verb to be a defective spelling of וַיְּאֱסֹף (vayyeesof) due to quiescence of the letter א (alef). The root therefore is אסף (’sf, “to gather”). The Masoretes, however, pointed the verb as וַיֹּסֶף (vayyosef), understanding it to be a form of יָסַף (yasaf, “to add”). This does not fit the context, which calls for a verb of gathering.
all the best
Or “chosen.”
men in Israel, thirty thousand in number.
2David and all the men who were with him traveled
Heb “arose and went.”
Heb “from,” but the following context indicates they traveled to this location.
This is another name for Kiriath-jearim (see 1 Chr 13:6).
in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the name
The MT has here a double reference to the name (שֵׁם שֵׁם, shem shem). Many medieval Hebrew mss in the first occurrence point the word differently and read the adverb שָׁם (sham, “there”). This is also the understanding of the Syriac Peshitta (Syr., taman). While this yields an acceptable understanding to the text, it is more likely that the MT dittographic here. The present translation therefore reads שֵׁם only once.
of the Lord of hosts, who sits enthroned between the cherubim that are on it.
3They loaded the ark of God on a new cart and carried it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart. 4They brought
Heb “lifted.”
it with the ark of God up from the house of Abinadab on the hill. Ahio was walking in front of the ark,
5while David and all Israel
Heb “all the house of Israel.”
were energetically celebrating before the Lord, singing
Heb “were celebrating before the Lord with all woods of fir” (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB). If the text is retained, the last expression must be elliptical, referring to musical instruments made from fir wood. But it is preferable to emend the text in light of 1 Chr 13:8, which reads “were celebrating before the Lord with all strength and with songs.”
and playing various stringed instruments,
Heb “with zithers [?] and with harps.”
tambourines, rattles,
That is, “sistrums” (so NAB, NIV); ASV, NASB, NRSV, CEV, NLT “castanets.”
and cymbals.

6 When they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon,
1 Chr 13:9 has “Kidon.”
Uzzah reached out and grabbed hold of
Or “steadied.”
the ark of God,
Heb “and Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and grabbed it.”
because the oxen stumbled.
7The Lord was so furious with Uzzah,
Heb “and the anger of the Lord burned against Uzzah.”
Heb “God.”
killed him on the spot
Heb “there.” Since this same term occurs later in the verse it is translated “on the spot” here for stylistic reasons.
for his negligence.
The phrase “his negligence” is absent from the LXX.
He died right there beside the ark of God.

8 David was angry because the Lord attacked
Heb “because the Lord broke out [with] a breaking out [i.e., an outburst] against Uzzah.”
Uzzah; so he called that place Perez Uzzah,
The name Perez Uzzah means in Hebrew “the outburst [against] Uzzah.”
which remains its name to this very day.
9David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How will the ark of the Lord ever come to me?” 10So David was no longer willing to bring the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. David left it in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 11The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months. The Lord blessed Obed-Edom and all his family.
Heb “house,” both here and in v. 12.
12David was told,
Heb “and it was told to David, saying.”
“The Lord has blessed the family of Obed-Edom and everything he owns because of the ark of God.” So David went and joyfully brought the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David.
13Those who carried the ark of the Lord took six steps and then David
Heb “he”; the referent (David) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
sacrificed an ox and a fatling calf.
14Now David, wearing a linen ephod, was dancing with all his strength before the Lord.
Heb “and David was dancing with all his strength before the Lord, and David was girded with a linen ephod.”
15David and all Israel
Heb “all the house of Israel.” A few medieval Hebrew mss and the Syriac Peshitta lack the words “the house.”
were bringing up the ark of the Lord, shouting and blowing trumpets.
Heb “the shophar” (the ram’s horn trumpet).

16 As the ark of the Lord entered the City of David, Saul’s daughter Michal looked out the window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him.
The Hebrew text adds “in her heart.” Cf. CEV “she was disgusted (+ with him TEV)”; NLT “was filled with contempt for him”; NCV “she hated him.”
17They brought the ark of the Lord and put it in its place
The Syriac Peshitta lacks “in its place.”
in the middle of the tent that David had pitched for it. Then David offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before the Lord.
18When David finished offering the burnt sacrifices and peace offerings, he pronounced a blessing over the people in the name of the Lord of hosts. 19He then handed out to each member of the entire assembly of Israel,
Heb “to all the people, to all the throng of Israel.”
both men and women, a portion of bread, a date cake,
The Hebrew word used here אֶשְׁפָּר (’espar) is found in the OT only here and in the parallel passage found in 1 Chr 16:3. Its exact meaning is uncertain, although the context indicates that it was a food of some sort (cf. KJV “a good piece of flesh”; NRSV “a portion of meat”). The translation adopted here (“date cake”) follows the lead of the Greek translations of the LXX, Aquila, and Symmachus (cf. NASB, NIV, NLT).
and a raisin cake. Then all the people went home.
Heb “and all the people went, each to his house.”
20When David went home to pronounce a blessing on his own house,
Heb “and David returned to bless his house.”
Michal, Saul’s daughter, came out to meet him.
Heb “David.” The name has been replaced by the pronoun (“him”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
She said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished
Heb “honored.”
himself this day! He has exposed himself today before his servants’ slave girls the way a vulgar fool
Heb “one of the foolish ones.”
might do!”

21 David replied to Michal, “It was before the Lord! I was celebrating before the Lord, who chose me over your father and his entire family
Heb “all his house”; CEV “anyone else in your family.”
and appointed me as leader over the Lord’s people Israel.
22I am willing to shame and humiliate myself even more than this!
Heb “and I will shame myself still more than this and I will be lowly in my eyes.”
But with the slave girls whom you mentioned let me be distinguished!”
23Now Michal, Saul’s daughter, had no children to the day of her death.

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