King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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2 Samuel 6

The ark removed from Kirjath-jearim. (1-5) Uzzah smitten for touching the ark, Obed-edom blessed. (6-11) David brings the ark to Zion. (12-19) Michal’s ill conduct. (20-23)

2 Samuel 6 Audio:

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The ark removed from Kirjath-jearim

1 Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.

2 And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims.

3 And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart.

4 And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark.

5 And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.

Uzzah smitten for touching the ark, Obed-edom blessed

6 And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.

7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.

8 And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day.

9 And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me?

10 So David would not remove the ark of the LORD unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite.

11 And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obededom, and all his household.

David brings the ark to Zion

12 And it was told king David, saying, The LORD hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom into the city of David with gladness.

13 And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings.

14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.

15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.

16 And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.

17 And they brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.

18 And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts.

19 And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. So all the people departed every one to his house.

Michal’s ill conduct

20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!

21 And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD.

22 And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.

23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Again, after he had been anointed. David consulted his officers, &c. (1 Par. xiii. 1.) and called a numerous assembly of the priests and people to meet him at Cariathiarim. — Thousand, in arms, to protect the rest, (C.) who might probably amount to 300,000. H. — This number Capel and Grotius would substitute for the one here mentioned. Some copies of the Sept. read 70,000. In the former assembly, there were 340, or 359, (C.) or 60 thousand. C. v. 1. H.

Ver. 2. Juda. But why are not the other tribes mentioned? and whither did they go? We should probably translate, “from the city of Baalim, in Juda;” which is another name of Cariathiarim, as the Par. insinuate, v. 6. See Jos. xv. 9, 60. — Invoked; or which is called “the ark of the Lord.”

Ver. 3. Cart, out of respect, as the Philistines had done, 1 K. vi. 7. But God had ordered the Levites to carry it themselves, and the neglect here proved so dreadful; for which reason, David required the priests to attend when he removed the ark from the house of Obededom, 1 Par. xv. 12. — Gabaa means “the hill of Cariathiarim,” where the ark had been in the house of Abinadab, from the time of its being restored back by the Philistines. Ch. — Hunnius would multiply the places where the ark was fixed, to show, against Catholics, that the Church is not confined to one place; (Amama) as if Catholic did not maintain the universality of the Church! H.

Ver. 5. Wood. Heb. specifies “fir wood,” of which the instruments were, perhaps, usually made.

Ver. 6. Nachon. 1 Par. Chidon. Heb. may be rendered, “prepared;” (Chal.) as they were almost arrived at the end (C.) of the procession. — His hand, is wanting in Heb. Kennicott. — Kicked. Prot. “shook it.” H.

Ver. 7. Rashness. Heb. shal, means also “error, ignorance,” &c. Syr. and Arab. better, “because he put forth his hand.” Kennicott. — Oza had touched the ark uncovered, (Serarius) shewing too little confidence in God, as if he could not have hindered it from falling; (Rabbins) or perhaps he was the advisor of the ark’s being placed upon a cart, instead of the Levites’ shoulders. T. — It is not certain that he was a Levite; and the privilege belonged to the sons of Caath, who could claim this honour only after the ark had bee folded up with three covers. Moreover, the priests seem to have been always selected to carry the ark, after they came into the promised land, v. 3. 1 K. iv. 4. &c. It is hoped that the fault of Oza would be expiated by his sudden death, (C.) as his intention was laudable. T. — But God would teach his ministers with what caution they were to treat sacred things, (C.) and how exactly all his injunctions were to be observed. H.

Ver. 10. Gethite, a native of Geth-remmon, a Levitical city; (Jos. xxi. 24,) or he might have been born at Geth; (C.) or his father might have resided there a long time, (Serar. T.) unless he was there with David. Salien. — He was a Levite, 1 Par. xv. 18. and xvi. 5. and xxvi. 4. C.

Ver. 12. Choirs. Or companies of musicians. Ch. — This sentence is not found in Heb. nor in S. Jerom’s version. C. — The Vat. and Alex. Sept. have, “David brought the ark of the Lord from the house of Obeddara, into the city of David, with joy; (13) and there were seven choirs with him, taking up the ark, and the sacrifice, a calf and lamb; (14) and David played on tuneful organs before the Lord; and David had on a beautiful stole.” H.

Ver. 13. Paces. So altars of turf (Grot.) were erected at this distance from each other, on each side of the road. The pagans have sometimes treated their emperors and deities with the like respect. Sueton. in Otho and Calig. — Paris thus addresses Helena in Ovid’s Heroic Epistles.

Ibis Dardanias ingens Regina per urbes,

Teque novam vulgus credet adesse Deam,

Quaque feres gressus, adolebunt cynnama flammæ,

Cœsaque sanguineam victima planget humum.

Ver. 14. Ephod which ordinarily was the habit of priests. But no law restrained others from using it, (C.) particularly on sacred occasions; as we often see laics in a surplice, when they have to sing Church music, &c. M. — David had also on a cloak of byssus; (Paral.) and still Michol speaks as if he had been uncovered; because in this solemn ceremony, he was inspired to divest himself of his royal robes, and to act with a degree of enthusiasm; (H.) which would not have been otherwise becoming in a king. David is considered by some of the fathers as a figure of the priests of the new law; as he ate the loaves of proposition, was dressed like priests, &c. Sacerdos scitus erat David. 1 Iræn. iv. S. Amb. v. in Luc. vi. C.

Ver. 16. Leaping. Sept. “beating” musical instruments…she counted him as nothing, &c. H. — She rather partook of her father’s disposition and pride. M.

Ver. 18. Blessed. Wishing all sorts of happiness. Only priests and kings perform this function publicly, 3 K. viii. 55. Afterwards David went to his palace, to impart the same blessing to his family, and particularly to the women, who had not been present. This is a vestige of the sacerdotal power, which masters of families formerly enjoyed.

Ver. 19. Cake, made very thin, with a mixture of oil. — Beef, sufficient for a meal. — Oil. This was much esteemed in those days. Many would translate the Heb. “a bottle of wine.”

Ver. 20. Fellows. Sept. “dancers.” Michol exaggerates, as David had been guilty of no indiscretion, v. 14. C. — S. Gregory (Mor. xxvii. 27,) styles her “insane.” Yet Abulensis does not sufficiently approve of David’s conduct. M.

Ver. 22. Eyes. Humility in a king is truly noble. — Glorious. He accepts the compliment of Michol, though she had spoken ironically. H.

Ver. 23. Death. Thus was she punished. The five sons who are attributed to her (C. xxi. 8.) were only adopted; or perhaps we ought to read Merob, in stead of Michol; (C.) as the latter had been connected with Phaltiel, and not with Adriel, who was the former’s husband. H.