1 Chronicles 13


Gill, in his commentary, gives us a useful summary of this chapter.

‘The contents of this chapter are the same with 2 Samuel 6:1, only David’s consultation with the principal men of Israel concerning the affair herein transacted is premised in the first four verses of this.’

Bringing Back The Ark

‘David conferred with each of his officers, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. He then said to the whole assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you and if it is the will of the LORD our God, let us send word far and wide to the rest of our people throughout the territories of Israel, and also to the priests and Levites who are with them in their towns and pasturelands, to come and join us. Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we did not inquire of it during the reign of Saul.” The whole assembly agreed to do this, because it seemed right to all the people.’ 1 Chronicles 13:1-4

This chapter begins by telling us that David conferred with each of his officers, concerning the ark, sadly, he should have conferred with the Lord first.

He wants the ark of God, that is, the ark the covenant moved to Jerusalem. It appears that David knew the ark represented the very presence of God. In other words, He wants God’s presence with him in Jerusalem.

The whole assembly agreed because it seemed right to them. they probably thought that having God in their presence at Jerusalem was a great idea, however, as we’re about to read, the way they move the ark was going to have series consequences.

Gill, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The symbol of the divine Presence, than which nothing was more desirable to David, and he chose to begin his reign overall Israel with it, for we inquired not at it in the days of Saul, he being indifferent to religion, and careless about it, and the enjoyment of the presence of God, and having direction from him, and the people also content with worship at the tabernacle at Gibeah, though the token of the divine Presence was absent.’

‘So David assembled all Israel, from the Shihor River in Egypt to Lebo Hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim. David and all Israel went to Baalah of Judah (Kiriath Jearim) to bring up from there the ark of God the LORD, who is enthroned between the cherubim—the ark that is called by the Name. They moved the ark of God from Abinadab’s house on a new cart, with Uzzah and Ahio guiding it. David and all the Israelites were celebrating with all their might before God, with songs and with harps, lyres, timbrels, cymbals and trumpets. When they came to the threshing floor of Kidon, Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the ark, because the oxen stumbled. The LORD’s anger burned against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he had put his hand on the ark. So he died there before God. Then David was angry because the LORD’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah. David was afraid of God that day and asked, “How can I ever bring the ark of God to me?” He did not take the ark to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. The ark of God remained with the family of Obed-Edom in his house for three months, and the LORD blessed his household and everything he had.’ 1 Chronicles 13:5-14

David moved the ark from the house of Abinadab in Kirjath Jearim to Jerusalem, 2 Samuel 6:1-7:29. David and all of Israel celebrated with all their might, they sang and played different instruments before the Lord because God’s presence and His glory was now among them.

They were excited about moving the ark to Jerusalem, but it appears they ignored the law of God concerning how the ark was to be moved. Sadly, Uzza paid the price with his life when he reached out to steady the ark, Numbers 4:15.

God had no problem with Israel moving the ark, it was designed to be moved, Exodus 25:12-15, but He did have a problem with the ark being shipped around on an ox. The ark was only to be carried on poles by Levites of the family of Kohath, Numbers 4:15.

David, in his anger appears to be confused, he simply doesn’t understand why his intentions to take the ark to Jerusalem would cause so much problems.

Notice David was afraid of God, and the strictness of the judgment that was poured out immediately, reminded David and all Israel that great respect must be given to the law of God.

David’s intentions were good, he wants all of Israel to experience the presence and glory of God, but because Uzza died at the hand of God, he must have felt that he simply couldn’t do what God wanted him to do. Hence, the question, ‘how can I ever bring the ark of God to me?’ David will get the answer to this question in the next chapter, he will discover the answer in God’s Word, Isaiah 8:20.

David ends up taking the ark to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite, who was a Levite, 1 Chronicles 15:17-18 / 1 Chronicles 26:4. This family was a part of the tribe of Levi that God commanded to transport and take care of the ark, Numbers 4:15.

For the three months the ark stayed in Oded-Edom’s house, he, his family and all that he had was blessed by God.

Go To 1 Chronicles 14


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