2 Samuel 6

Peril in Moving the Ark

6 Again David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2 And David arose and went with all those who were with him to Baale-judah [Kiriath-jearim], to bring up from there [to Jerusalem] the ark of God which is called by the Name—the very Name of the Lord of hosts, who dwells enthroned above the cherubim. 3 They placed the ark of God on [a]a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were leading the new cart. 4 So they brought it with the ark of God from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Ahio was walking in front of the ark.(A) 5 Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating and dancing before the Lord with all kinds of instruments made of fir or cypress wood, with lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals.

6 When they came to Nacon’s threshing floor, Uzzah reached out [with his hand] to the ark of God and took hold of it, because the oxen [stumbled and] nearly overturned it. 7 And [b]the anger of the Lord burned against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God. 8 David became [c]angry and grieved and offended because of the Lord’s outburst against Uzzah, and that place has been called Perez-uzzah (outburst against Uzzah) to this day. 9 So David was afraid of the Lord that day; and he said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” 10 David was unwilling to move the ark of the Lord into the City of David with him; instead he took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. 11 So the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household (family).

The Ark Is Brought to Jerusalem

12 Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the City of David with rejoicing and gladness. 13 And when those who were carrying the ark of the Lord [by its poles] had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. 14 And David was dancing before the Lord with [d]great enthusiasm, and David was [e]wearing a linen ephod [a priest’s upper garment]. 15 So David and all the house of Israel were bringing the ark of the Lord up [to the City of David] with shouts [of joy] and with the sound of the trumpet.

16 Then, as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, [f]Michal, Saul’s daughter [David’s wife], looked down from the window above and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she felt contempt for him in her heart [because she thought him undignified].

17 They brought in the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent which David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. 18 When David had finished offering the burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts (armies), 19 and distributed to all the people, the entire multitude of Israel, both to men and women, to each a [ring-shaped] loaf of bread, a cake of dates, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people departed, each to his house.

20 Then David returned to bless his household. But [his wife] Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How glorious and distinguished was the king of Israel today, [g]who uncovered himself and stripped [off his kingly robes] in the eyes of his servants’ maids like one of the riffraff who shamelessly uncovers himself!” 21 So David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord [that I did this], who chose me above your father and all his house, to appoint me as ruler over Israel, the people of the Lord. Therefore I will celebrate [in pure enjoyment] before the Lord. 22 Yet I will demean myself even more than this, and will be humbled (abased) in my own sight [and yours, as I please], but by the maids whom you mentioned, by them I shall be held in honor.” 23 Michal the daughter of Saul had no [h]child to the day of her death.


  1. 2 Samuel 6:3 This was a violation of the requirement that the ark be transported on poles carried by the Levites (Ex 25:12-14; cf Num 7:9).
  2. 2 Samuel 6:7 Lit the nose of the Lord was hot.
  3. 2 Samuel 6:8 Lit hot.
  4. 2 Samuel 6:14 Lit all his might.
  5. 2 Samuel 6:14 Lit girded with.
  6. 2 Samuel 6:16 Michal failed to understand the significance of the event unfolding beneath her window.
  7. 2 Samuel 6:20 Instead of royal apparel, David dressed himself in a priest’s linen ephod.
  8. 2 Samuel 6:23 At this time being childless was a social stigma and often considered an act of divine judgment. Her failure to produce a child prevented Saul’s line from being continued through David.

Cross references

  1. 2 Samuel 6:4 : 1 Sam 7:2

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