New European Version: Old Testament

Deeper commentary on this chapter

Audio talks on this chapter:


Video presentations on this chapter:


Other material relevant to this chapter:


Hear this chapter read:



About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

CHAPTER 6 Jul. 21 
Uzzah and the Ark of God
David again gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2David arose, and went with all the people who were with him, from Baale Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name, even the name of Yahweh of Armies who sits above the cherubim. 3They set the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in the hill: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart. 4They brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was in the hill, with the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark. 5David and all the house of Israel played before Yahweh with all kinds of instruments made of fir wood, and with harps, stringed instruments, tambourines, castanets and cymbals. 6When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached for the ark of God and took hold of it; for the cattle stumbled. 7The anger of Yahweh was kindled against Uzzah; and God struck him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. 8David was displeased, because Yahweh had broken forth on Uzzah; and he called that place Perez Uzzah, to this day. 9David was afraid of Yahweh that day; and he said, How can the ark of Yahweh come to me? 10So David would not move the ark of Yahweh to be with him in the city of David; but David carried it aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 11The ark of Yahweh remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite three months: and Yahweh blessed Obed-Edom, and all his house. 12It was told king David saying, Yahweh has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that pertains to him, because of the ark of God.
The Ark Brought to the City of David
David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom into the city of David with joy. 13It was so, that when those who bore the ark of Yahweh had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened calf. 14David danced before Yahweh with all his might; and David was clothed in a linen ephod. 15So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of Yahweh with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. 16It was so, as the ark of Yahweh came into the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out at the window and saw king David leaping and dancing before Yahweh; and she despised him in her heart. 17They brought in the ark of Yahweh, and set it in its place, in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before Yahweh. 18When David had made an end of offering the burnt offering and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of Yahweh of Armies. 19He distributed to all the people, even throughout the whole multitude of Israel, both to men and women, to each one a portion of bread, dates and raisins. So all the people departed each one to his house. 20Then David returned to bless his household.
Michal Goes to Meet David
Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious the king of Israel was today, who uncovered himself today in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovers himself! 21David said to Michal, It was in the eyes of Yahweh, who chose me before your father and before all his house, to appoint me prince over the people of Yahweh, over Israel. Therefore will I celebrate in the eyes of Yahweh. 22I will be yet more vile than this, and will be base in my own eyes. But of the handmaids of whom you have spoken, they shall honour me. 23Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.


6:2 The blood of atonement was always present on the top of the ark (the “mercy seat”), where the very presence of God was. This foretold the intense association of God Himself with the future sacrifice of His Son. In this sense, God was in Christ in His reconciliation of the world to Himself (2 Cor. 5:19). As the Angel cherubim overshadowed the top of the ark, so the Angels were intensely aware of Christ’s death; He could have called upon them to rescue Him out of it (Mt. 26:53), but He didn’t- in order to achieve maximum identity with us for whom He died.
6:5 The lesson is that all the fine worship in the world is meaningless unless it is underpinned by careful awareness of and obedience to God’s word. The great worship procession ended very abruptly- to drive home this point. See commentary on 1 Chron. 13 for more about David’s mistake and Uzzah’s sin.
6:9 Elizabeth’s words: “Who am I, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Lk. 1:43) are remarkably similar to the Septuagint of 2 Sam. 6:9, where David asks “How can the ark of Yahweh come to me?”. As a result of this question of David’s, the ark remained three months in the house of Obed-Edom (:11). And was this why Mary, seeing herself as the ark bearing the special Name and glory of Yahweh in Christ, remained for three months in the house of Elisabeth straight after hearing this same question asked (Lk. 1:56)? There are further links, between the gladness of Lk. 1:44 and the joy of :12; and the loud cry of Lk. 1:42 and that of :15. If one combines Lk. 1:31 and Jn. 1:14 we have the word of God becoming flesh and “tabernacling” among us in the womb and faith of Mary. The Angel’s description of Holy Spirit ‘overshadowing’ Mary (Lk. 1:35) could have sent her mind back to how the Spirit-Cherubim and the cloud of Spirit glory overshadowed the ark (Ex. 25:20; 1 Chron. 28:18). The Septuagint uses the word for “overshadow” about the cloud of glory overshadowing the ark in the wilderness (Ex. 40:35; Num. 9:18,22). If these connections are valid, then Mary would have felt that within her was He who would be the covenant of the Lord, the stones of the word of God made flesh in a little boy. This was perception indeed, all achieved within the spiritual mind of an illiterate teenage country girl from a dumb village in Palestine. Depending how deeply we meditate upon God’s word and perceive the relevance for us, such connections are easily possible in our minds too, and can guide us in our decisions and actions, just as they did in teaching Mary she should remain three months with Elizabeth.
6:17-19 One of the most obvious similarities between the peace offering and the breaking of bread is that they both feature bread and wine, associated with a slain animal in the midst (see too Num. 15:9,10). Both require the eating of the sacrifice by the offerer. The peace offering and Passover (also typical of the memorial meeting) featured the offerer eating the sacrifice “before Yahweh". This phrase "before Yahweh" is continually emphasized in the records of the peace offerings. Our sense of the presence of the Father and Son at our memorial meetings has much room for improvement. We really are "before Yahweh" as we sit there. God came unto men when they offered acceptable peace offerings (Ex. 20:24), as He is made known to us through the breaking of bread (Lk. 24:35).
6:21 Before your father- This is a good example of “before” meaning ‘before’ in importance rather than time. God chose Saul well before He chose David. But God chose David before or above Saul in terms of importance and honour. This explains how in Jn. 8:58 Jesus was “before” Abraham in the sense that he was “before” him in terms of importance- but not in time, because He didn’t literally pre-exist. 
6:20-22 In the eyes of the handmaids... in the eyes of Yahweh... in my own eyes- David is highly perceptive here. He’s saying that if this is how he feels in his own eyes, then this is how he is before the eyes of God, and therefore this is how he will be before the eyes of Israel and the general public. David is saying: ‘Who I am, my real self, is the one God sees, and I’m not going to hide it from the world; let them see me how I see myself and how God sees me’. In this incident, there was no gap between the ‘real self’ of David and the image he projected to the world. There was complete congruence between how he felt about himself, how God saw him, and how the watching world saw him. And this incident ought to be programmatic for our entire lives. This will ever keep us from worrying too much what others think of us, doing what is smart and acceptable and right in the eyes of men… rather we will think only of what is right in God’s eyes.