1 CHRONICLES CHAPTER 13
The First Attempt to Bring the Ark to Jerusalem.
THE ARK BROUGHT FROM KIRJATH-JEARIM. — V. 1. And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader, this item supplementing the account in 2 Sam. 6, 1-11, where only the total number is given as having been thirty thousand. V. 2. And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, in its representatives, if it seem good unto you and that it be of the Lord, our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren everywhere, literally, “let us break through and send,” that is, let us use all diligence, putting aside every show of hesitation, joining with all the other true believers, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, living in obscurity in the various cities allotted to them, that they may gather themselves unto us. v. 3. and let us bring again the ark of our God to us, which, after having been returned by the Philistines to Bethshemesh, had been brought up as far as Kirjath-jearim, 1 Sam. 7, 1, for we enquired not at it in the days of Saul. The worship of Jehovah had, in general, been neglected during the reign of Saul, the ark having been away from the Sanctuary for so many years. The more serious believers had offered their sacrifices at Gibeon, but without considering that the ark was the chief part of the Tabernacle. David, clear-sighted as usual, realized that the presence of the ark in his capital, where he intended to locate the Sanctuary, would be of great help in maintaining the worship of Jehovah in the nation. V. 4. And all the congregation said that they would do so, they were inspired by the fervent piety of the king; for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people, it met with their full approval and promise of cooperation. V. 5. So David gathered all Israel together, from Shihor of Egypt, the small stream forming the boundary between Palestine and Egypt, even unto the entering of Hemath, in the extreme north, in the mountain ranges of Syria, to bring the ark of God from Kirjathjearim. V. 6. And David went up and all Israel, the great multitudes that had responded to his summons, to Baalah, that is, to Kirjath-jearim, which belonged to Judah, a town in its western part, to bring up thence the ark of God the Lord, that dwelleth between the cherubim, for it was above the mercy-seat that the glory of Jehovah appeared to Moses and to His servants, Ex. 25, 22, whose name is called on it; for religious worship includes the act of calling on His name. V. 7. And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab, which lay on a hill near the city; and Uzza and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the cart. V. 8. And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, with songs of rejoicing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, tambourines, and with cymbals, and with trumpets, those of the Sanctuary probably being in use. Such feasts of rejoicing in honor of the Lord are well-pleasing to Him; but all sinful elements must be carefully kept away.
THE DEATH OF UZZA. — V. 9. And when they came unto the threshing-floor of Chidon (or Nachon), in all likelihood the usual floor in the open, a shelter overhead being provided in some cases, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. Cp. 2 Sam. 6, 6-11. V. 10. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzza, and He smote him, because he put his hand to the ark, thus profaning an object which was entirely in the charge of the priests and to be handled by them only in the manner prescribed by the Lord; and there he died before God. The mistake really lay with the leaders of the people, who should have remembered God’s order concerning the bearing of the ark, Num. 7, 9; 10, 17. V. 11. And David was displeased because the Lord had made a breach upon Uzza; wherefore that place is called Perez-uzza (“breach of Uzza”) to this day. V. 12. And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me? V. 13. So David brought not the ark home to himself to the City of David, he did not complete the removal, but carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite, who was one of the Levitical porters, chap. 15, 18. 24. V. 14. And the ark of God remained with the family of Obed-edom, in his house, three months. And the Lord blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that he had. The sacred thing of the New Testament is God’s Word, in whatever form it may come to us. To the repentant, believing Christians this Word is a savor of life unto life, but to the unbelievers it is a savor of death unto death.