And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjathjearim,
&c.] Which was a city further on in the tribe of Judah, and lay among some woods, from whence it had its name, and was formerly called Kirjathbaal, from Baal's being worshipped there; of which see ( Joshua 15:9 ) , they might choose to send hither to fetch the ark from them, because it was at a greater distance from the Philistines, their city Bethshemesh being on the borders of them; and because it might be a place of greater eminence and strength, and besides lay in the way to Shiloh, whereby they might suppose it was intended to be had; unless Shiloh was before this time destroyed:
saying, the Philistines have brought again the ark of the Lord;
which they doubted not would be good news to them:
come ye down, and fetch it up to you;
but say not one word of the reason of this request, lest it should discourage them; but rather represent it as a favour to them, and an honour done them, as indeed it was. Kirjathjearim seems to have stood on an eminence in comparison of Bethshemesh, and therefore it is said to come down from the one, and go up to the other. That Bethshemesh was in a valley, see ( 1 Samuel 6:13 ) and this on a hill, ( 1 Samuel 7:1 ) .