Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 6:1

Now David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - David;   Kirjath-Jearim;   Miracles;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Ark of the Covenant;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ark of the Covenant;   Uzzah;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Tabernacle;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Jerusalem;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ark;   Obed-Edom;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Census;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ark of the Covenant;   David;   Jaar;   Jerusalem;   Kiriath-Jearim;   Purity-Purification;   Samuel, Books of;   Uzzah;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Chronicles, I;   David;   Jerusalem;   Priests and Levites;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Nachon;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - David;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Nob;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Cart;   David;   Tabernacle;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Ark of the covenant;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Ark of the Covenant;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Thirty thousand - This is supposed to have been a new levy; and thus he augmented his army by 30,000 fresh troops. The Septuagint has 70,000.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-6.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Again - It should be, “and David again gathered,” etc., i. e. after the previous gathering, either for his election to the kingdom 2 Samuel 5:1-3 or for the Philistine war 2 Samuel 5:17-25, he assembled them again for the peaceful purpose of bringing up the ark to Mount Zion (see marginal reference). The whole narrative indicates the progressive consolidation of David‘s power, and the settlement of his monarchy on strong foundations.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-6.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

DAVID BROUGHT THE ARK OF GOD TO JERUSALEM

The religious situation in Israel at this time was deplorable. Due to the divided condition of the nation, there were actually two High Priests. Abiathar, David's friend, served in that capacity during the seven years of David at Hebron, and Zadok was the High Priest at Gibeon.[1] Saul's murder of the priests of Nob, the capture of the ark of God by the Philistines, and the indifference of Saul to the true religion of the Lord had left the whole nation in a state of disastrous ignorance of God's Word!

The unification of Israel required the concentration of religious authority in one place, the unification of the two rival priesthoods and the moving of the ark of God to the nation's capital. David was not only a great warrior but a great statesman also, and his activity recorded in this chapter was one of his most important actions in the unification of Israel.

Another matter of exceedingly great importance in this chapter is that of the priestly functions exercised by David. He wore an ephod as did Samuel. David offered sacrifices. David blessed the people. This combination of the functions of the priesthood with that of the kingship was especially appropriate in David as the Type of the Christ, as prophetically stressed in Psalms 110. No other king of Israel ever served God's people in this dual capacity of priest and king. Saul had committed sin in offering a sacrifice, and David himself was permitted to do so only in the extreme situation of Israel's religious condition at the time he came to the throne.

Willis pointed out that parallel accounts of what we have in this chapter are also found in 1Chronicles;

David brought the ark to the household of Obed-Edom ... 1 Chronicles 13:1-14

David brought the ark to Jerusalem ... 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:3.[2]

DAVID REMOVED THE ARK FROM KIRIATH-JEARIM

"David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim. And they carried the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart with the ark of God; and Ahio went before the ark. And David and all the house of Israel were making merry before the Lord with all their might, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals."

"Again" (2 Samuel 6:1) This word is presumably a reference to a previous gathering of David's men (2 Samuel 5:6). The parallel account explains that David had consulted all of the leaders of Israel before the journey to Baale-judah.

"David ... went ... with all the people ... from ... Baale-Judah" (2 Samuel 6:2). From 1 Chronicles 13:6 we learn that the word "from" in this verse should be "to". David and his men went to Baale-judah to get the ark where it had rested for twenty years or more following the removal of it to that place at the request of the men of Bethshemesh (1 Samuel 6:19-7:2). "Baale-judah in this verse is only another name for Kiriath-jearim."[3] It is actually the old pagan name of the place as indicated in Joshua 15:9,60.

"Called by the name of the Lord of hosts" (2 Samuel 6:2). This cannot be limited to God's being the "Lord of the armies of Israel," although it includes that. As Willis noted, "This means that God is Lord of the angelic armies of heaven, of the sun, moon and stars, of the armies of the nations of the world, and of the armies of Israel."[4]

"And they carried the ark of God upon a new cart" (2 Samuel 6:3). This was in direct violation of the rules laid down in the Pentateuch regarding the transporting of the ark of God. True, the Philistines had moved it in that manner, but they were ignorant of the Law. No such excuse was available for David. Oh yes, the scholars have often tried to diminish David's guilt in this action by declaring that, "David clearly knew of no such rules,[5] or that because, "The exact way of bearing the ark had long been dismissed from their memories, and their remembering how the Philistines had moved it in a cart would justify their also using a cart."[6] All such efforts to excuse David's sin in this are futile.

God had fully revealed that, when the ark was moved it should be carried by Levites on poles (Exodus 25:12-15; 37:1-5; Numbers 7:9); also that it should always be covered with a goatskin (Numbers 4), and that even the Levites were not to touch it lest they die (Numbers 4:15). Yes, the Philistines had moved it on a new cart pulled by milch cows; and, as Willis said, "The Israelites thought the Philistines had a better way of moving it than the Lord."

Did David know any better? Certainly! He himself admitted it. David called together the heads of the house of Levites and said, "You are the heads of the father's houses of the Levites; sanctify yourselves, you and your brethren, so that you may bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to the place that I have prepared for it. Because you did not carry it the first time, the Lord our God broke forth upon us, because we did not care for it in the way that is ordained (1 Chronicles 15:12-13). These words make it impossible to accept the critical dictum that, "It is now generally conceded that David shows his ignorance of the Levitical restrictions."[7]

Note that David here said that the Levites did not carry the ark the first time. Although Jamieson designated Uzzah as a Levite,[8] he could not have been a Levite because his father (or grandfather) Abinadab was "of the tribe of Judah."[9] Josephus also flatly declared that, "Uzzah was not a priest, and yet he touched the ark."[10] H. P. Smith analyzed the situation perfectly. He wrote that, "The whole transaction was contrary to the provisions of the Law which gives specific instructions for the transport of the ark."[11]

Note the words "whole transaction" in Smith's quotation. That new cart was not all that was wrong. We have already noted that there was no covering on the ark and that the Levites were not bearing it on their shoulders as commanded. In fact, as far as the record reveals, there were no Levites even present. And then there was that grand cacophony of lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets and cymbals. That was also contrary to God's will; and at a later time Amos the prophet indicated David's sin in thus introducing mechanical instruments into the worship of God. Also, the near-naked dancing engaged in by David and others was expressly forbidden, as we shall see.

Oh, but it was a "NEW cart" never contaminated by any other use. "It mended the matter very little that it was a new cart; old or new, it was not what God had appointed."[12]

"Uzzah and Ahio sons of Abinadab" (2 Samuel 6:3). "Due to the omission of Eleazar's name and the lapse of time, `sons' in this place may mean grandsons,"[13] a usage frequently found in the O.T.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-samuel-6.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. Which was done by the advice of his officers, 1 Chronicles 13:1; the word "again" refers either to the gathering of them when they made him king in Hebron, as the Jewish writers generally observe; but then they gathered themselves, and not David: or rather to his gathering them to fight the Philistines a little while ago; and as they were the choice and young men that were gathered for war, as being the fittest, so now to fetch up the ark with dancing and singing, and to protect it; the Septuagint version says they were about seventy thousand; but the Targum, Syriac, and Arabic versions, have thirty thousand, agreeably to the Hebrew text.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-6.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

2 Samuel 6:1-5. David fetches the Ark from Kirjath-jearim on a new cart.

Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel — (See 2 Samuel 5:1). The object of this second assembly was to commence a national movement for establishing the ark in Jerusalem, after it had continued nearly fifty years in the house of Abinadab (see on 1 Chronicles 13:1).

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-samuel-6.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

This is an interesting Chapter, and considered as typically, in some points, referring to Jesus, demands our attention the more. We are here informed of David's intention of bringing up the ark from where it had long been in obscurity, during the troubles of Saul's reign, to David's new city. In the accomplishment of this purpose, David meets with an humbling, and most distressing providence. - His behaviour upon it, - the attempt afterwards renewed, and succeeds, - the joy of David and the people on the occasion, - the behaviour of Michal, David's wife, - his displeasure. These are the principal things contained in this Chapter.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/2-samuel-6.html. 1828.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-6.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Before Christ 1044.

2 Samuel 6:1. Again David gathered together all the chosen men, &c.— Afterwards David levied yet thirty thousand men, the chosen strength of Israel; i.e. thirty thousand more than he had before his late victory over the Philistines. Houb.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-samuel-6.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

2 SAMUEL CHAPTER 6

David fetcheth the ark with much people and great joy out of the house of Abinadab, 2 Samuel 6:1-5. Uzzah laying hold of the ark is slain of God: David is grieved; carries the ark into the house of Obed-edom, whom God blesseth for its sake, 2 Samuel 6:6-11. David bringeth the ark into Zion with sacrifices; danceth before it; for which Michal despiseth him, 2 Samuel 6:12-16. They place it in a tabernacle: he offereth to God; blesseth the people; giveth them presets, 2 Samuel 6:17-19. Michal reproving David, he answereth her: she is childless to her death, 2 Samuel 6:20-23.

The stoutest and valiantest in his army and land, lest the Philistines should attempt to disturb them in this work.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-6.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1.All the chosen men of Israel — According to 1 Chronicles 13:1-5, David took counsel in this matter with all the chief men, and then “gathered all Israel together from Shihor of Egypt even unto the entering of Hemath.” The expression all Israel often stands for the representatives or chosen men from all the tribes, who in the present instance numbered thirty thousand.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-6.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Samuel 6:1. Again David gathered the chosen men of Israel — Having defeated the Philistines, and enjoyed some peace, he thought it a seasonable time to fetch up the ark, and settle it in an honourable place; and for that purpose summoned the principal persons in Israel to attend. For he was sensible that purity and sincerity in the worship of God was the best, and, indeed, only sure stay of his own power and of his people’s prosperity. And to settle the worship of God, in all its solemnity, was now his object.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-6.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

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

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-6.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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

Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of lsrael - (see 2 Samuel 5:1.) The object of this second assembly was to commence a national movement for establishing the ark in Jerusalem, after it had continued nearly fifty years in the house of Abinadab (see the notes at 1 Chronicles 13:1-5).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-6.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(1) Again, David gathered.—The word “again” should be transposed: “David gathered together again”—referring to the former military musters. In 1 Chronicles 13:1-4, mention is made of the consultations with the leaders of Israel which preceded this gathering, and the gathering itself is there (2 Samuel 6:5) said to be of “all Israel.” But “all Israel” was evidently represented by the thirty thousand (the LXX. reads seventy thousand) of its more prominent men.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-6.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.
5:1; 1 Kings 8:1; 1 Chronicles 13:1-4; Psalms 132:1-6
Reciprocal: 2 Kings 23:1 - the king;  1 Chronicles 13:5 - David;  Acts 7:45 - unto

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-6.html.