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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
2 Samuel 6

 

 

Verse 1

2 Samuel 6:1 Again, David gathered together all [the] chosen [men] of Israel, thirty thousand.

Ver. 1. Again, David gathered.] That is the second time [1 Chronicles 13:1; 1 Chronicles 13:5] after that their first consultation about the bringing of the ark to Jerusalem had been interrupted by the invasion of the Philistines. Reformation ever meeteth with opposition. David was no sooner settled in his kingdom, but he thinks of settling religion and God’s sincere service: which popular men should esteem as silver, noblemen as gold, princes prize as pearls, as Aeneas Sylvius was wont to say of learning.


Verse 2

2 Samuel 6:2 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.

Ver. 2. From Baale of Judah.] Called also Kirjathbaal, [Joshua 15:60] and Kirjathjearim. [1 Chronicles 13:6]

To bring up from thence the ark of God.] Which in Saul’s days had been slighted; and was now haply less regarded, because in a private house.

That dwelleth between the cherabims.] By the presence not only of his grace, but of his glory also upon earth.


Verse 3

2 Samuel 6:3 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.

Ver. 3. And they set the ark of God upon a new cart.] After the example of the Philistines, [1 Samuel 6:7] but not after God’s command. [Numbers 4:15; Numbers 7:9] It was no good that Israelites could learn of Philistines: and that which God will take from Philistines he will not brook from Israel. The staff rings that were upon the ark might have minded the Kohathites of their duty; but it may be that they thought it was a long way from Kirjathjearim to Jerusalem, and were willing to be eased of the burden.


Verse 4

2 Samuel 6:4 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.

Ver. 4. And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab.] Where it had been more than forty years. See 1 Samuel 7:1.

Which was at Gibeah.] Or, On the hill in Kirjathjearim.

And Ahio went before the ark,] sc., To drive the oxen, as Uzzah came behind it, ut observaret ne illa de plaustro decideret, (a) to take care that the ark fell not out.


Verse 5

2 Samuel 6:5 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.

Ver. 5. Played before the Lord.] According to the custom of that country, and the condition of those times.

Before the Lord,] i.e., Before the ark, which is called God’s face; [Psalms 105:4] yea, God himself. [Psalms 132:5]


Verse 6

2 Samuel 6:6 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].

Ver. 6. Uzzah put forth his hand.] He was a good man, it is thought, and did this of a good intention, but without warrant of the word. It must be men’s care "that their deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God." [John 3:21] Two things make a good Christian - good actions and good aims. A good aim maketh not a bad action good, as here: and yet a bad aim maketh a good action bad, as we see in Jehu.

For the oxen shook it.] Or, Stumbled, and had like to have tumbled the ark down, - compare 2 Kings 9:33, - the dumb beasts admonishing them of their error, as once the ass did Balaam.


Verse 7

2 Samuel 6:7 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.

Ver. 7. And the anger of the Lord was kindled.] For he will not take up with a careless and slubbered service: he "will be sanctified in all those that draw near unto him." [Leviticus 10:3]

And God smote him there for his error.] Smote the breath out of his body: the Rabbis say it was done by rending his arm from his shoulder: that it was by a rent or rupture, may be gathered from the name given thereupon to the place Perez Uzza, or the Breach of Uzza. Ipso in officio inofficiosus fuit qui iniussa praesumpsit, saith Salvian. (a) He was too officious, and therein inofficious; this was his error, his factum imprudens, as Tremellius rendereth it. See Numbers 4:15. Satan, who loveth to be God’s ape, told the heathens that Ilus Palladium ex incendio eripiens, dum arderet Templum Minervae, luminibus privatus est. (b) Ilus, whilst he snatched the image of their goddess Minerva out of her burning temple, lost his eyes.


Verse 8

2 Samuel 6:8 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.

Ver. 8. And David was displeased,] (a) He was in a pet, in a passion, in a fit of discontent, if he could have told at whom or at what: and how untowardly spake he, as if the fault were more in God than in himself! Dogs in a chase bark at their own masters sometimes. It troubled David that all the people’s joy should be so suddenly dashed and damped with this sad disaster; and he had somewhat to do to strike sail and stoop.


Verse 9

2 Samuel 6:9 And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me?

Ver. 9. And David was afraid of the Lord that day.] Poena ad paucos, rectus ad omnes. David, considering how ill the Philistines had sped first, for their miscarriage toward the ark, and then the Bethshemites, and now Uzzah, was himself at a great stand, and forbore to deal further in a matter so dangerous; but this was his infirmity; though some will have it to be his humility.

How shall the ark of the Lord come to me?] He looketh at himself through Uzzah, as good cause he had: but why should he fear to take home the ark to him? Do not God’s ordinances "do good to him that walketh uprightly?" [Micah 2:7]


Verse 10

2 Samuel 6:10 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.

Ver. 10. So David would not remove.] For he taketh it for granted that it was not God’s will he should.

Into the house of Obededom the Gittite,] i.e., Born in Gathrimmon, a city of priests, [Joshua 21:24-25] and himself a Levite, a good man, and glad of such a guest as the ark, which he entertained cheerfully, and resolved to handle holily. Sancte magis quam scite, as he once said to the Vestalis Virgo.


Verse 11

2 Samuel 6:11 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.

Ver. 11. And the ark of the Lord continued.] If that heathen could say of his poor cottage, Eνθα και οι θεοι, here are gods, household gods, whatever else is wanting; how much more might this good Levite now say so!

And the Lord blessed Obededom.] As he will do all those, both small and great, that favour his cause and further his kingdom: for he is a liberal paymaster, and his retributions are more than bountiful. If Abinadab was not so well blessed as Obededom, it was haply because he entertained not the ark with like reverence. As men measure to God in preparation, &c., so will God measure to them in blessing.


Verse 12

2 Samuel 6:12 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.

Ver. 12. And it was told king David, saying.] So that now he feared no danger, as Josephus noteth, but resolved upon a better carriage of the matter. It is well observed by a grave divine, (a) that while the ark brought the plague, everyone was glad to be rid of it: but when it brought a blessing to Obededom, they looked upon it as worthy of entertainment. Many will own a blessing ark, a prospering truth: but he is an Obededom indeed that will own a persecuted, tossed, banished ark.


Verse 13

2 Samuel 6:13 And it was [so], that when they that bare the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings.

Ver. 13. Had gone six paces.] Gravi et decenti incessu, in a grave and decent equipage, and had felt by comfortable experience that God helped them to bear the ark, [1 Chronicles 15:16] - supporting it haply together with them by a divine power invisibly, so that it seemed light unto them. David thereupon took order to have sacrifices offered in the place, for the better carrying on of the good work in hand.


Verse 14

2 Samuel 6:14 And David danced before the LORD with all [his] might; and David [was] girded with a linen ephod.

Ver. 14. And David danced before the Lord with all his might.] Lustily indeed, yet not lightly and vainly, as Caligula and Nero sometimes did on an open theatre; nor yet superstitiously, as the Salii, those Roman priests, did in honour of their god Mars, and as the Romanists do at this day in Spain and elsewhere before their breaden god, when he is carried in procession: but by a grave motion of his body, in a holy and sober manner and measure, as was usual with the ancients in some cases, to express thereby their spiritual jollity and ravishments of rejoicing.

And David was girded with a linen ephod.] Laying aside his royal habit; he put on a linen garment, not unlike that of the priests, to show his devotion. We read of Charles V, that at his solemn inaguration at Bononia he did put on a linen vesture, to please the Papal society, as if he were consecrated one of their priests. This was much in an emperor, but the less to be wondered at, since afterwards he sent his schoolmaster, Adrian, to Rome, to negotiate for him for the Popedom: thinking thereby to sway much, if he could get both the swords. David had no such aim when upon his silken robe he put this linen ephod, [1 Chronicles 15:27] which, being girt to him, kept his other garments close from flying abroad when he danced. (a)


Verse 15

2 Samuel 6:15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.

Ver. 15. With shouting.] And singing of psalms, [1 Chronicles 16:8] which although they did with all their might, yet no man was wearied out, as Josephus (a) here noteth; much less exanimated and killed outright with vehemency of singing, as Paulus Diaconus (b) saith that eighty men were at Rome, by singing Gregory the Great’s litanies, in the time when a great plague raged there.


Verse 16

2 Samuel 6:16 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.

Ver. 16. Michal Saul’s daughter.] Being too much her father’s daughter, and still η παλαι γυνη, as the Greeks said of Helena after the destruction of Troy.

Looked through a window.] With carnal eyes, which discerned not the things of the Spirit of God; for they were foolishness unto her. [1 Corinthians 2:14]

And she despised him in her heart.] Herein she was no daughter of Sarah. [Genesis 18:12 1 Peter 3:6]


Verse 17

2 Samuel 6:17 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.

Ver. 17. And peace offerings.] With abundance of sweet odours, saith Josephus, so that all the air thereabouts was perfumed ita ut etiam longe remotis sentiretur: yea, the neighbour villages sucking in the air of that holy city, breathed righteousness, as Plutarch saith of Rome in Numa’s days.


Verse 18

2 Samuel 6:18 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.

Ver. 18. He blessed the people.] And feasted them besides, which was more than he did when he was confirmed by them in his kingdom, [2 Samuel 5:1-3] to show his greater joy.


Verse 19

2 Samuel 6:19 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.

Ver. 19. And a flagon of wine.] For which Josephus hath a wafer cake, and the Vulgate similam frixam oleo, as if David had made the people a dry feast - such as the Papists make the people at the eucharist; but the word here used signifieth vas vinarium, a flagon.


Verse 20

2 Samuel 6:20 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!

Ver. 20. To bless his household.] To show himself as good a householder as he was a king. See his care there. [Psalms 101:1-8] And this he calleth "a perfect way," as opposed to hypocrisy. [Psalms 101:2] Michal was not blessed, but cursed through her own default.

Came out to meet David.] She could not keep in her chamber window; but must needs come out to tell him her mind.

How glorious was the king of Israel today!] Words as full of pride and scorn as was possible. Barren Michal hath still too many sons, that make religion not more a form than a scorn: and no marvel that such are plagued with continual fruitlessness, as she.

Who uncovered himself.] And did not her father Saul do as much when he prophesied at Naioth? [1 Samuel 19:24] Why then is that a fault in Titius that was none in Cajus?

In the eyes of the handmaids.] Thus she proudly exaggerateth.

As one of the vain fellows.] Scurriliter et histrionice, leaping and dancing. Nemo sobrius saltat, (a) saith Cicero, who also accuseth a certain Roman lady, because she could sing and dance daintily. But how David danced, 2 Samuel 6:14.


Verse 21

2 Samuel 6:21 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.

Ver. 21. Which chose me before thy father.] It is hard for the best men to recriminate without some tincture of tartness, and to keep quick the fire of zeal without all smoke of sin.

Therefore will I play.] Ludam ut illudar, as Bernard hath it.


Verse 22

2 Samuel 6:22 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.

Ver. 22. And I will yet be more vile.] This was bravely resolved. So when the proud prefect told Basil that he was mad, he answered, I wish to be mad in this manner always. (a)


Verse 23

2 Samuel 6:23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.

Ver. 23. Therefore Michal.] God hath still a barren womb for mocking Michal.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-6.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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