2 Samuel 6

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

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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, Mt 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 believe, he is a Corner-stone, elect, precious, 1Pe 2:6–8. Let 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.

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