Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 6:3

They placed the ark of God on a new cart that they might bring it from the house of Abinadab which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were leading the new cart.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Abinadab;   Ahio;   Bullock;   Cart;   David;   Gibeah;   Kirjath-Jearim;   Miracles;   Uzzah;   Scofield Reference Index - Service;   Thompson Chain Reference - Abinadab;   Carts;   Gibeah;   Uzzah;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Ark of the Covenant;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ahio;   Ark of the Covenant;   Uzzah;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ark;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Jerusalem;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ahio;   Ark;   Cart;   Ephratah;   Kirjath-Jearim;   Obed-Edom;   Uzzah;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ahijah;   Ahio;   Kirjath Jearim;   Levites;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Abinadab;   Ahiah;   Ahio;   Ark of the Covenant;   Kiriath-Jearim;   Purity-Purification;   Samuel, Books of;   Transportation and Travel;   Uzzah;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Abinadab;   Ahio;   Chronicles, I;   Jerusalem;   Priests and Levites;   Uzza;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ahio ;   Cart;   Gibeah ;   Uzza, Uzzah ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Nachon;   Uzzah;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Ahio;   Ark;   David;   Gibeah;   Jerusalem;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ahi'o;   Ark of the Covenant;   Gib'e-Ah;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Ox;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Abinadab;   Ahimelech;   Ahio;   Cart;   Kiriath-Jearim;   Text of the Old Testament;   Uzza;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Ahio;   Ark of the covenant;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Abinadab;   Ark of the Covenant;   Chariot;   Uzza, Uzzah;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

A new cart - Every thing used in the worship of God was hallowed or set apart for that purpose: a new cart was used through respect, as that had never been applied to any profane or common purpose. But this was not sufficient, for the ark should have been carried on the shoulders of the priests; and the neglect of this ceremony was the cause of the death of Uzzah.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-6.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The house of Abinadab in Gibeah - . Rather, on the hill (as in margin and 1 Samuel 7:1). It does not at all follow that Abinadab was still alive, nor can we conclude from Uzzah and Ahio being called sons of Abinadab, that they were literally his children. They may well have been sons of Eleazar and grandsons of Abinadab, or yet more remote descendants; since there is no distinct evidence that Abinadab was alive even when the ark was brought to Kirjath-jearim. The house may have retained the name of “the house of Abinadab” long after his death.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-6.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

2 Samuel 6:3

And they set the Ark of God upon a now cart.

Novelties in religion and their end

The ark is taken from its resting place amid the reverent joy of the assembly, and placed upon a vehicle specially manufactured for the transit, while “Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart.”

I. The fact that the ark was placed upon a new cart shows how, in the desire to serve God, even a good man may err. It is a fact substantiated by experience, and supported by the voice of history, that man at his best is but an erring creature. His folly is often exhibited in his best moments. At his highest point of wisdom--loftiest step of knowledge.

his feebleness of judgment and folly are displayed. The claim to infallibility is but the ambition of the child--the blundering of the blind. Would it not be a wonderful improvement on the old style of things to have a new cart? Will it not harmonise with the new order established? Pay no attention to that worn-out, obsolete plan of carrying the ark; abandon the old poles and have a “new cart.” It will save the shoulders of the Levites; it will be a new feature in its way; it will be admired for its construction, and commended for the use to which it will be devoted. And so we reason in our work for God. Antiquity gains no reverence from us. The old poles with which our fathers did their work are considered out of date and useless, and we drag out our “new cart” on every occasion when our labour is required. Starting some fresh thing, inventing some novelty, forgetting all the while that God’s way is best.

II. See the extent to which novelty is tolerated in religion, The old charge against the Athenians is still true of many in modern times. Novelty secures admiration wherever it is found. Have a new cart, and the world will stop and stare. Affect originality, even if it be a spurious thing, and you may speak to listening ears. Stop not to ask questions about propriety; pay no respect to the past; be extravagant and sensational, and you will gather a crowd. We have grown liberal all at once. God’s commandments are without authority in this age; you may be religious in whatever way is most appropriate. By all means have a cart. If you find yourself in doubt as to the Saviour’s Divinity, you can have an Unitarian cart; if you think the mode of Nonconformist worship too dull, and that more aesthetic beauty is desirable in the service then have a Ritualistic cart; if you have any scruples about the immortality of your soul, then have the Annihilationist cart; if you admire religion being “done by attorney,” then have a Roman Catholic cart; if you think the Church should be a club, where everything may be believed and everything denied, then have a Broad Church cart. Get rid of the old poles; “new carts” are the fashion of this novelty-loving age. Let all the old-fashioned things rot. Reform your plans, improve your methods, tax your inventive genius, produce a “new cart.” Oh! how fond we are of novelties! The last new thing is the best. The last new creed; the latest criticism on “ supernatural religion;” the last utterance of the scientist; the last sceptical theory from, the professor; these are the things that win admiration. But give me religion without these inventions. Let it be pure and simple, without any man-made additions--the old ark borne by the consecrated poles. Take away those mocking substitutes. “For other foundation can no man lay, than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

III. see the ruinous consequences of novelties in religion. They set out with the cart but soon disasters befel it on the road; and Uzzah, lifting his hand to steady the falling ark, was stricken dead at its wheels. That put an end to the “new cart “ system with David. It taught him a lesson he never forgot. Never after that did he order another. He went back immediately to the forsaken poles. Let us keep to God’s way in religion, and while the spirit of the age is clamorous for something new, let us stand by the old, and revere the ark. (W. J. Hall.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Samuel 6:3". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/2-samuel-6.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And they set the ark of God upon a new cart,.... Which was a great mistake, since it ought not to have been put upon a cart, old or new; it was to be borne upon men's shoulders, and carried by Levites only, and those of the family of Kohath, to whom no wagons were given, when others had them, for the above reason, Numbers 7:9; it is strange that so many priests and Levites, and of the people of Israel gathered together on that account, and David also, so well versed in the law of God, should not refer to it; perhaps they were led by the example of the Philistines, who put it in a new cart, and set it forward towards Bethshemesh, and were not punished for it; but it should have been considered they were an ignorant Heathen people, and who had no proper persons among them to bear it, and so might be dispensed with. This mistake was afterwards seen by David, and rectified, 1 Chronicles 15:2; wherefore there is no reason to charge the text with an error or escape, and that the word "Kirjathjearim" is wanting, and to be supplied, as SpinosaF4Tractat. Theol. Politic. c. 9. p. 176. suggests:

and brought it out, or "after they had brought it out"F5וישאהו "quum extulissent", Piscator. :

of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah; or which was on the hill in Kirjathjearim, 1 Samuel 7:1,

and Uzzah and Ahio the sons of Abinadab drew the new cart; perhaps not only Abinadab himself was dead, but Eleazar also, his eldest son, who was sanctified to keep the ark, as in 1 Samuel 7:1; and these might be his younger sons who at this time had the care of it, and it may be especially Uzzah.

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-6.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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

(b) which was a high place in the city of Baale.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-6.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

they set the ark of God upon a new cart — or a covered wagon (see on 1 Samuel 6:7). This was a hasty and inconsiderate procedure, in violation of an express statute (see on Numbers 4:15 and see Numbers 7:9; Numbers 18:3).

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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 6:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-samuel-6.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

They set, … — Being taught, and encouraged to do so, by the example of the Philistines, who did so without any token of God's displeasure upon them for so doing. But they did not sufficiently consider, that God might wink at the Philistines, because they were ignorant of God's laws; and yet be angry with them for the same thing, because they knew, or might have known the law of God, which commanded the priests to bear it upon their shoulders. But their present transports of joy of the happy change of their affairs, and their greedy desire of having the ark of God removed, made them inconsiderate.

In Gibeah — Or, on the hill, as1Samuel7:1.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-6.html. 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

new cart

The story of David's new cart and its results is a striking illustration of the spiritual truth that blessing does not follow even the best intentions in the service of God except as that service is rendered in God's way. It is a constant point of failure. God had given explicit directions how the ark should be borne. Numbers 4:1-15 but David adopted a Philistine expedient.

1 Samuel 6:7; 1 Samuel 6:8. The church is full of Philistine ways of doing service to Christ. Cf.; 1 Corinthians 1:17-31; 2 Corinthians 10:4; 2 Corinthians 10:5. See, also, 1 Chronicles 15:2.

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on 2 Samuel 6:3". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/2-samuel-6.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-6.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

They set the ark upon a new cart; being taught and encouraged to do so by the example of the Philistines, who did so without any token of God’s displeasure upon them for so doing. But they did not sufficiently consider that God might wink at the Philistines, because they were ignorant of God’s laws; and yet be angry with them for the same thing, because they knew, or might and should have known, the law of God, which commanded the priests to bear it upon their shoulders, Numbers 4:14,15 7:9. But their present transports of joy at, the happy change of their affairs, and their greedy desire of having the ark removed, make them hasty and inconsiderate.

In Gibeah; or, on the hill, as 1 Samuel 7:1.

Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab; for Abinadab himself seems now to have been dead, or at least detained at home through infirmity or indispensable occasions.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:3". 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

3.A new cart — Like that which the Philistine diviners ordered for the removal of this same ark from their coasts. 1 Samuel 6:7. Strange carelessness on the part of the Israelites, amounting to sacrilege. The only lawful way to bear this holy shrine was by means of the staves extending through the rings on its sides. Exodus 25:14.

That was in Gibeah — Rather, that was in the hill, as the margin and 1 Samuel 7:1. Here the ark had stood in obscurity and neglect for more than sixty years.

Sons of Abinadab — Born, doubtless, many years after the ark had been given in charge of their father.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:3". "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 6:3. And they set the ark of God upon a new cart — Which ought to have been carried upon the shoulders of the Kohathites, Numbers 7:9; for which reason, no wagons, were allowed to them, as there were to the rest of the Levites, to carry several parts of the tabernacle. “It is matter of astonishment to me,” says Delaney, “how David and all the priests and people could fall into so great an error, and deviate so strangely from the plain precepts of the law of God in this point, which expressly prohibited any but the priest to touch the ark, upon pain of death, Numbers 4:5; Numbers 4:15; and any but the Levites to carry it. The best apology that can be made for them is, that David now succeeded to the throne after a long irreligious reign, in which the ark, and every thing relating to it, were utterly neglected; especially after the massacre of all those priests whose peculiar business it was to attend the tabernacle, (all but one young man,) and who were, in all probability, the only priests of that realm that had ever seen it, or knew any thing of its rituals; and there was not then, probably, any one priest or Levite alive who had ever seen it removed. In short, the public worship of God had long been discouraged and neglected in Israel; and with that the study of the Scriptures, except so much as was absolutely necessary for the administration of the civil affairs of the state. Would to God Israel were the only nation upon which this sad truth could at any time be pronounced! Add to all this, that David and his people had now been for many years immersed in wars; and the voice of religion, as well as reason, is often drowned in the din of arms. It is true, the Philistines had, about ninety years before, removed the ark with impunity, 1 Samuel 6:17, in the same manner as the Israelites did now; but they forgot, that what was pardonable in the Philistines might be highly criminal in the Israelites;” because the Philistines were ignorant of God’s laws; but the Israelites knew, or might have known, that the Lord commanded that the Levites should bear the ark upon their shoulders. But their present transports of joy, on account of the happy change of their affairs, and their greedy desire of having the ark of God removed, made them inconsiderate. In Gibeah — Or on the hill, as 1 Samuel 7:1.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:3". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-6.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Cart, out of respect, as the Philistines had done, 1 Kings 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 Paralipomenon 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. (Challoner) --- 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! (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-6.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

a new cart. This was contrary to the Divinely prescribed law (Numbers 4:15; Numbers 7:9; Numbers 10:21. Deuteronomy 10:8. Joshua 3:14. Joshua 15:24. 1 Chronicles 13:7; 1 Chronicles 15:2, &c.) When the Philistines did it in ignorance (1 Samuel 6:7) no judgment fell on them, because the Law of Moses was not delivered to them. But David should have known: hence judgment came. The solemn lesson is that anything introduced into the worship of God contrary to His requirements is deserving of His judgments. This includes all that is contrary to John 4:24, and all that is of the flesh, which "profiteth nothing" (John 6:63). All this is like David"s "new cart" and is sin in God"s sight. See note on 1 Samuel 6:7, and compare 1 Samuel 15:22.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-6.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

They set the ark of God upon a new cart - or covered wagon (see the notes at 1 Samuel 6:7).This was a hasty and inconsiderate procedure, in violation of an express statute (see the notes at Numbers 4:14-15; Numbers 7:9; Numbers 18:3); and although the Philistines, who had conveyed it from their territory to the borders of lsrael in a cart, had been allowed, as ignorant pagans, to do so with impunity, the case was very different with those who had been instructed in the divine law. But the whole population were moved to such transports of joy by the prosperous course of national events, that in the delirium of that festive season they did not pause to consider minutely the measures they adopted for attaining their object. They were extremely anxious to have the ark established in Jerusalem, where they could have access to it on all occasions when there was need to pray for counsel and succour; and for the attainment of so precious a treasure, so important a benefit to the national interest, all classes were eager to undertake any trouble, or to submit to any inconvenience. But, unhappily, they 'did evil, that this good might come.'

Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart - their services being enlisted probably on account of the inability of their father to accompany the cavalcade, from age or death.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:3". "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

(3) Upon a new cart.—The new cart, one which had been used for no other purpose, was doubtless intended as a mark of respect (comp. 1 Samuel 6:7); yet it was a violation of the law (Numbers 7:9), requiring that the ark should be borne by the Levites. It is not necessary to suppose that David intended to violate the law; but the ark having been left neglected for more than two generations, the exact requirements in regard to it may easily have passed out of mind.

Abinadab that was in Gibeah.—Rather, in the hill, as the same word is translated in 1 Samuel 7:1. Abinadab himself may have been long since dead, and Uzzah and Ahio may have been either his sons, now advanced in life, or his grandsons.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-6.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
set, etc
Heb. made the ark of God to ride.
Numbers 4:5-12; 7:9; 1 Samuel 6:7
Gibeah
or, the hill.
Reciprocal: Exodus 37:5 - GeneralJoshua 3:3 - the priests;  Judges 20:28 - Shall I yet;  1 Samuel 6:11 - they laid;  1 Samuel 7:1 - Abinadab;  1 Chronicles 13:7 - in a new cart;  1 Chronicles 15:13 - ye did it

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-6.html.