2 Samuel 6:11 #VOTD [Commentary + Memorization Tutorial Video]

Verse of the Day 2.27.18: 2 Samuel 6:11

  1. Text
  2. C4C Translation
  3. Commentary
  4. Memorization

Today, C4C is studying 2 Samuel 6:1-15, which tells of how, following the coronation of David, the holy ark of the covenant was brought into Jerusalem — the newly conquered city of David. The new king learned a valuable lesson concerning the holiness of the ark, and the holiness of the God whose power and presence it symbolized.

Text

11 וַיֵּשֶׁב֩ אֲר֨וֹן יְהוָ֜ה בֵּ֣ית עֹבֵ֥ד אֱדֹ֛ם הַגִּתִּ֖י שְׁלֹשָׁ֣ה חֳדָשִׁ֑ים וַיְבָ֧רֶךְ יְהוָ֛ה אֶת־עֹבֵ֥ד אֱדֹ֖ם וְאֶת־כָּל־בֵּיתֹֽו׃1

The ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the LORD blessed him and his entire household.2





C4C Translation

The ark of the LORD dwelled in the house of Obed Edom the Gittite for three months. And the LORD blessed Obed Edom and all of his household.

Commentary

The Ark of the Covenant

The ark — not to be confused with Noah’s Ark (Gen 6:11f.) was an approximately 45″ x 27″ x 27″ acacia wood box overlaid with gold that contained a pot of manna (Ex 16:33), the rod of Aaron (Num 17:10), and the tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments (Ex 25:10-22, 31:1-5, 37:1-9).3 The lid of the ark was called the “mercy seat” upon which, once a year (Yom Kippur), the high priest would sprinkle sacrificial blood to atone for the Israelites’ sins (Lev 16:2-16). This seat, which featured two cherubim facing each other, was also seen as the throne of the invisible LORD, a symbol of His presence among His people.4

Because the ark symbolized the LORD’s very Presence, it was the most holy object placed in the tabernacle (Exodus 25-31) — the temporary, portable, prototype of the Temple eventually constructed by Solomon (1 Kings 6).5 Due to its holiness, it was placed in the Most Holy Place, in which only the high priest could enter after making an atonement sacrifice for himself (Lev 16:2-16).

During transport, the ark was not to be touched. Moreover, only Levites (priests) were permitted to carry it via attached poles.6

In addition to going before the Israelites during their wilderness wanderings (Num 10:33),7 the ark also played a prominent role during the crossing of the Jordan River and the battle of Jericho (Joshua 3-6). Later, it was moved to Gilgal, Shechem (Josh 8:30-35; Dt. 11:26-32; 27:1-27),  Bethel (Judg 20:26), and Shiloh (1 Sam 1:9; 3:3).8

In order to be victorious, the wicked sons of Eli the high priest irreverently tried to bring the ark into battle against the Philistines. Having none of this, the LORD allowed the Israelites to be defeated and the ark to be captured (1 Sam 4:1-11). Consequently, death swept through Eli’s household (1 Sam 4:12-22).9 Yet, the ark also wreaked havoc among the pagan Philistines, even causing a breakout of bubonic plague (1 Sam 5:1-6:12). The Philistines wisely returned the ark to the Israelites in Beth Shemesh (1 Sam 6:13-15). Furthermore, upon its return, the LORD struck down seventy of His people for irreverently looking into the ark (1 Sam 6:19-20).10 The ark was not to be trifled with; it was holy.

In the time of Samuel who succeeded Eli, the ark was moved  from Beth Shemesh to Kiriath Jearirm (also called Baalah (Josh 15:9; 1 Sam 6:21-7:2)). For twenty years it remained there until the newly crowned King David (2 Sam 5:1-5) decided to bring the ark into the newly conquered city of Jerusalem (2 Sam 5:6-12) — where he wanted to establish the political and religious capital of his kingdom.11

Not So Triumphal Entry

To commemorate the arrival of the ark in the new City of David, the king had a massive, extravagant parade full of music and mighty celebrations (2 Sam 6:1-5). The ark, however was not carried by Levites via its poles. Rather, it was guided on a new cart (2 Sam 6:3). When one of the oxen pulling the cart stumbled, one man, Uzzah, reached out and steadied the ark with his hand. As a result, he was immediately struck down (2 Sam 6:6-7), putting quite a damper on the celebration.

Seeing this, David was angry (2 Sam 6:8) and fearful (2 Sam 6:9). Having been reminded of the holiness of the ark — and of the God whose power and presence it symbolized, David decided not to bring the ark into Jerusalem. Instead, he brought it to the house of Obed-Edom — a Levite (1 Ch 15:16-18).12

Blessings Not Curses

After seeing that, for three months, the LORD had blessed Obed-Edom and his household (2 Sam 6:12; cf. 1 Ch 26:5), David decided that it was safe to bring the ark into his city — properly. Instead of the curses brought down upon the uncircumcised Philistines and irreverent Israelites, David now knew that the ark would bring blessings to the City of David — as long as he took the proper precautions (2 Sam 6:13-19).13

Privilege Not Presumption

David learned, as many had before, that the holiness of the ark was not to be trifled with. Nor could the LORD, whose special presence was enthroned on the mercy seat, be manipulated.”David learned that he was not free to do as he liked with the ark; still less could he manipulate the God represented by the ark.”14

For “God’s holiness was not to be compromised even with good motives.”15 Though David enjoyed a privileged relationship with the LORD, he was not to be too cavalier or presumptuous by failing to adhere to the regulations laid down to respect the LORD’s holiness.16

As followers of Christ, we too, enjoy a privileged relationship with our Heavenly Father. We do not need to adhere to the sacrificial regulations of the Old Covenant. For the curtain that separated the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle and eventually the Temple was torn from top to bottom when Christ died (Mt 27:51; Heb 10:20, also, in the end times, the LORD’s people will see the ark (Rev 11:19)). And, we need not offer yearly sacrifices due to the once-and-for-all atoning sacrifice of Christ (Heb 9:11-14, 26, Hebrews 10).17 However, though we are sons and daughters in God’s family (Jn 1:12-13; cf. Dt 14:1; See Ro 8:14; 8:16, 21; Eph 5:1; 1 Jn 3:1, 2),18 we ought not get too familiar (i.e. informal or casual).

We still need to respect and revere the LORD. As one scholar notes, “though Jesus taught us to call God our Father, he also taught us to pray ‘hallowed be thy name’, implying the need to pay careful attention lest privilege becomes presumption.”19

Memorization

Memorize 2 Samuel 6:11 after watching a brief video tutorial demonstrating the How to Memorize Any Bible Verse in Less Than Five Minutes method below:

Sources

  1. Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: With Werkgroep Informatica, Vrije Universiteit Morphology; Bible. O.T. Hebrew. Werkgroep Informatica, Vrije Universiteit. (Logos Bible Software, 2006), 2 Sa 6:11.
  2. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 2 Sa 6:11.
  3. Marten H. Woudstra, “Ark of the Covenant,” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 169.
  4. Marten H. Woudstra, “Ark of the Covenant,” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 169.
  5. Stephen F. Noll, “Tabernacle, Temple,” ed. Daniel J. Treier and Walter A. Elwell, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic: A Division of Baker Publishing Group, 2017), 856.
  6. M. Pierce Matheney Jr., “Ark of the Covenant,” ed. Chad Brand et al., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003), 113.
  7. Thomas W. Davis, “Ark,” Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1996), 37.
  8. M. Pierce Matheney Jr., “Ark of the Covenant,” ed. Chad Brand et al., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003), 113.
  9. Marten H. Woudstra, “Ark of the Covenant,” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 170.
  10. M. Pierce Matheney Jr., “Ark of the Covenant,” ed. Chad Brand et al., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003), 114.
  11. David F. Payne, “1 and 2 Samuel,” in New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, ed. D. A. Carson et al., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), 324.
  12. Robert D. Bergen, 1, 2 Samuel, vol. 7, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996), 330–331.
  13. Robert D. Bergen, 1, 2 Samuel, vol. 7, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996), 331.
  14. David F. Payne, “1 and 2 Samuel,” in New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, ed. D. A. Carson et al., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), 324.
  15. Mary J. Evans, The Message of Samuel: Personalities, Potential, Politics and Power, ed. Alec Motyer and Derek Tidball, The Bible Speaks Today (Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 2004), 193.
  16. Joyce G. Baldwin, 1 and 2 Samuel: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 8, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 223.
  17. “…the very purpose and significance of the ark was ultimately to be fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus Christ.” Marten H. Woudstra, “Ark of the Covenant,” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 171.
  18. NIV footnote
  19. Joyce G. Baldwin, 1 and 2 Samuel: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 8, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 223.
About @DannyScottonJr 168 Articles
Imperfect servant striving to be an unapologetically apologetic ambassador for Jesus the Christ. Princeton University Alum | Palmer Theological Seminary Student