2 Samuel 6:1-19 – David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem


2 Samuel 6:1-19


David brings the ark of the covenant, the symbol of God’s presence among them, to Jerusalem. This has the effect of making Jerusalem the Holy City, Israel’s religious center, as well as David’s political capitol.


With the conquest of the Jebusites and the defeat of the Philistines, Jerusalem is now under David’s control. These military victories have paved the way for the establishment of Jerusalem as the Holy City. This is accomplished by bringing the ark of the covenant from its resting place in the house of Abinadab to Jerusalem.

A David moves the ark from Gibeah (vv. 1-4)
B Rejoicing (v. 5)
C Uzzah offends God (vv. 6-8)
D David brings ark to house of Obed-edom (vv. 9-11a)
E The Lord blesses Obed-edom (vv. 11b-12a)
A′ David moves the ark from the house of Obed-edom (vv. 12b-13)
B′ Rejoicing (vv. 14-15)
C′ David offends Michal (v. 16)
D′ David brings the ark to the tent (v. 17)
E′ Blessing (vv. 18-23)

Joy and sorrow are intermingled in the poignant episode in which Uzzah loses his life for simply preventing the ark from tipping (vv. 6-8). The point is the absolute holiness of the ark, which symbolizes the presence of the Lord. As the structural diagram above indicates, the ark is brought to Jerusalem only after David is assured of its safe transport as seen in the blessing it brings to the house of Obed-edom (vv. 9-12a). Once again, joy mixes with strong negative emotion as David’s extroverted dancing offends his wife (Saul’s daughter) Michal (vv. 14-16). All ends well, however, as David places the ark in the tent (v. 17) and asks God’s blessing (vv. 17-20). The narrator’s comment that Michal remained childless is a subtle indication of God’s rejection of her father, Saul (v. 23).