2 Samuel 6

Listen to 2 Samuel 6

The Ark Brought to Jerusalem

1 1David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.
2 And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from 2Baale-judah 3to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD of hosts 4who sits enthroned on the cherubim.
3 And they carried the ark of God 5on a new cart and brought it 6out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio,[a] the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart,[b]
4 with the ark of God, and Ahio went before the ark.

Uzzah and the Ark

5 And David and all the house of Israel were making merry before the LORD, with 7songs[c] and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals.
6 And when they came to the threshing floor of 8Nacon, Uzzah 9put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled.
7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and 10God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God.
8 And David was angry because the LORD had burst forth against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzzah,[d] to this day.
9 And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and he said, "How can the ark of the LORD come to me?"
10 So David was not willing to take the ark of the LORD into the city of David. But David took it aside 11to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.
11 And the ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, 12and the LORD blessed Obed-edom and all his household.
12 And it was told King David, "The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God."13So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom 14to the city of David with rejoicing.
13 And when 15those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six steps, 16he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal.
14 And David 17danced before the LORD with all his might. And David was 18wearing a linen ephod.
15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn.

David and Michal

16 As the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, and she despised him in her heart.
17 And they brought in the ark of the LORD and set it 19in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. 20And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
18 And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, 21he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts
19 and distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, a cake of bread, a portion of meat,[e] and a cake of raisins to each one. 22Then all the people departed, each to his house.
20 And David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, "How the king of Israel honored himself today, 23uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants' female servants, as one of the 24vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!"
21 And David said to Michal, "It was before the LORD, 25who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the LORD--and I will make merry before the LORD.
22 I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your[f] eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor."
23 And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.

2 Samuel 6 Commentary

Chapter 6

The ark removed from Kirjath-jearim. (1-5) Uzzah smitten for touching the ark, Obed-edom blessed. (6-11) David brings the ark to Zion. (12-19) Michal's ill conduct. (20-23)

Verses 1-5 God is present with the souls of his people, when they want the outward tokens of his presence; but now David is settled in the throne, the honour of the ark begins to revive. Let us learn hence, to think and to speak highly of God; and to think and speak honourably of holy ordinances, which are to us as the ark was unto Israel, the tokens of God's presence, ( Matthew 28:20 ) . Christ is our Ark; in and by him God manifests his favour, and accepts our prayers and praises. The ark especially typified Christ and his mediation, in which the name of Jehovah and all his glories are displayed. The priests should have carried the ark upon their shoulders. Philistines may carry the ark in a cart without suffering for it; but if Israelites do so, it is at their peril, because this was not what God appointed.

Verses 6-11 Uzzah was struck dead for touching the ark. God saw presumption and irreverence in Uzzah's heart. Familiarity, even with that which is most awful, is apt to breed contempt. If it were so great a crime for one to lay hold on the ark of the covenant who had no right to do so, what is it for those to lay claim to the privileges of the covenant that come not up to the terms of it? Obed-edom opened his doors without fear, knowing the ark was a savour of death unto death to those only who treated it wrong. The same hand that punished Uzzah's proud presumption, rewarded Obed-edom's humble boldness. Let none think the worse of the gospel for the judgments on those that reject it, but consider the blessings it brings to all who receive it. Let masters of families be encouraged to keep up religion in their families. It is good to live in a family that entertains the ark, for all about it will fare the better.

Verses 12-19 It became evident, that happy was the man who had the ark near him. Christ is indeed a Stone of stumbling, and a Rock of offence, to those that are disobedient; but to those that ( 1 Peter. 2:6-8 ) us be religious. Is the ark a blessing to others' houses? We may have it, and the blessing of it, without fetching it away from our neighbours. David, at first setting out, offered sacrifices to God. We are likely to speed in our enterprises, when we begin with God, and give diligence to seek peace with him. And we are so unworthy, and our services are so defiled, that all our joy in God must be connected with repentance and faith in the Redeemer's atoning blood. David attended with high expressions of joy. We ought to serve God with our whole body and soul, and with every endowment and power we possess. On this occasion David laid aside his royal robes, and put on a plain linen dress. David prayed with and for the people, and as a prophet, solemnly blessed them in the name of the Lord.

Verses 20-23 David returned to bless his household, to pray with them, and for them, and to offer up family thanksgiving for this national mercy. It is angels' work to worship God, surely that cannot lower the greatest of men. But even the palaces of princes are not free from family troubles. Exercises of religion appear mean in the eyes of those who have little or no religion themselves. If we can approve ourselves to God in what we do in religion, and do it as before the Lord, we need not heed reproach. Piety will have its praise: let us not be indifferent in it, nor afraid or ashamed to own it. David was contented to justify himself, and he did not further reprove or blame Michal's insolence; but God punished her. Those that honour God, he will honour; but those that despise him, and his servants and service, shall be lightly esteemed.

Cross References 25

  • 1. For ver. 1-11, see 1 Chronicles 13:6-14
  • 2. Joshua 15:9, 60
  • 3. 2 Chronicles 1:4
  • 4. Exodus 25:22; 1 Samuel 4:4; Psalms 80:1
  • 5. [1 Samuel 6:7]
  • 6. [1 Samuel 7:1]
  • 7. [1 Chronicles 13:8]; See Psalms 150:3-5
  • 8. [1 Chronicles 13:9]
  • 9. [Numbers 4:15; 1 Chronicles 15:2]
  • 10. [1 Samuel 6:19]
  • 11. [1 Chronicles 15:25]
  • 12. 1 Chronicles 26:5
  • 13. For ver. 12-19, see 1 Chronicles 15:25 - 16:3
  • 14. [1 Kings 8:1]
  • 15. [Numbers 4:15; Numbers 7:9; Joshua 3:3; 1 Chronicles 15:2, 15]
  • 16. [1 Kings 8:5]
  • 17. [Exodus 15:20; Psalms 30:11; Psalms 150:4]
  • 18. 1 Samuel 2:18
  • 19. [1 Chronicles 15:1; 2 Chronicles 1:4; Psalms 132:8]
  • 20. [1 Kgs. 8:5, 62, 63]
  • 21. [1 Kings 8:14, 55]
  • 22. 1 Chronicles 16:43
  • 23. ver. 14, 16; [1 Samuel 19:24]
  • 24. Judges 9:4
  • 25. 1 Samuel 13:14; 1 Samuel 15:28

Footnotes 6

  • [a]. Or and his brother; also verse 4
  • [b]. Compare Septuagint; Hebrew the new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill
  • [c]. Septuagint, 1 Chronicles 13:8; Hebrew fir trees
  • [d]. Perez-uzzah means the bursting forth upon Uzzah
  • [e]. Vulgate; the meaning of the Hebrew term is uncertain
  • [f]. Septuagint; Hebrew my

Chapter Summary


In this chapter we are told that David fetched the ark from Baale of Judah, with an intent to bring it to his own city, 2Sa 6:1-5; but Uzzah being smitten for his error concerning it, David was displeased, and left it at the house of Obededom, where it remained three months, and proved a blessing to his house, 2Sa 6:6-11; which David hearing of, went and brought it from thence with great expressions of joy before it as it came along, and offered offerings to the Lord at the setting it in its place, and gave gifts to the people, 2Sa 6:12-19; but Michal his wife was displeased with some of his gestures on that occasion, which made some difference between them, and which, on Michal's part, was resented by the Lord himself; for she became barren for it to the time of her death, 2Sa 6:20-23.

2 Samuel 6 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.