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2 Samuel 6:1-11

Context
David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem

6:1 David again assembled 1  all the best 2  men in Israel, thirty thousand in number. 6:2 David and all the men who were with him traveled 3  to 4  Baalah 5  in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the name 6  of the Lord of hosts, who sits enthroned between the cherubim that are on it. 6:3 They loaded the ark of God on a new cart and carried it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart. 6:4 They brought 7  it with the ark of God up from the house of Abinadab on the hill. Ahio was walking in front of the ark, 6:5 while David and all Israel 8  were energetically celebrating before the Lord, singing 9  and playing various stringed instruments, 10  tambourines, rattles, 11  and cymbals.

6:6 When they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, 12  Uzzah reached out and grabbed hold of 13  the ark of God, 14  because the oxen stumbled. 6:7 The Lord was so furious with Uzzah, 15  he 16  killed him on the spot 17  for his negligence. 18  He died right there beside the ark of God.

6:8 David was angry because the Lord attacked 19  Uzzah; so he called that place Perez Uzzah, 20  which remains its name to this very day. 6:9 David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How will the ark of the Lord ever come to me?” 6:10 So David was no longer willing to bring the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. David left it in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 6:11 The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months. The Lord blessed Obed-Edom and all his family. 21 

1 tn The translation understands the verb to be a defective spelling of וַיְּאֱסֹף (vayyÿesof) due to quiescence of the letter א (alef). The root therefore is אסף (’sf, “to gather”). The Masoretes, however, pointed the verb as וַיֹּסֶף (vayyosef), understanding it to be a form of יָסַף (yasaf, “to add”). This does not fit the context, which calls for a verb of gathering.

2 tn Or “chosen.”

3 tn Heb “arose and went.”

4 tn Heb “from,” but the following context indicates they traveled to this location.

5 tn This is another name for Kiriath-jearim (see 1 Chr 13:6).

6 tc The MT has here a double reference to the name (שֵׁם שֵׁם, shem shem). Many medieval Hebrew mss in the first occurrence point the word differently and read the adverb שָׁם (sham, “there”). This is also the understanding of the Syriac Peshitta (Syr., taman). While this yields an acceptable understanding to the text, it is more likely that the MT dittographic here. The present translation therefore reads שֵׁם only once.

7 tn Heb “lifted.”

8 tn Heb “all the house of Israel.”

9 tc Heb “were celebrating before the Lord with all woods of fir” (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB). If the text is retained, the last expression must be elliptical, referring to musical instruments made from fir wood. But it is preferable to emend the text in light of 1 Chr 13:8, which reads “were celebrating before the Lord with all strength and with songs.”

10 tn Heb “with zithers [?] and with harps.”

11 tn That is, “sistrums” (so NAB, NIV); ASV, NASB, NRSV, CEV, NLT “castanets.”

12 tn 1 Chr 13:9 has “Kidon.”

13 tn Or “steadied.”

14 tn Heb “and Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and grabbed it.”

15 tn Heb “and the anger of the Lord burned against Uzzah.”

16 tn Heb “God.”

17 tc Heb “there.” Since this same term occurs later in the verse it is translated “on the spot” here for stylistic reasons.

18 tc The phrase “his negligence” is absent from the LXX.

19 tn Heb “because the Lord broke out [with] a breaking out [i.e., an outburst] against Uzzah.”

20 sn The name Perez Uzzah means in Hebrew “the outburst [against] Uzzah.”

21 tn Heb “house,” both here and in v. 12.



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