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 there the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwells between the cherubim.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) From Baale of Judah.—There is either a textual error here, so that instead of from should be read to, or else the historian is so occupied with his main subject that he omits the mention of the journey to Baale. In Joshua 15:9 and 1Chronicles 13:6, Baale is said to be another name for Kirjath-jearim. This was the place to which the ark was carried after its removal from Bethshemesh (1Samuel 7:2), and it had remained here ever since. It has been generally identified with Kuryet-el-enab, about eight miles a little north of west from Jerusalem. More recent opinion places it at ‘Erma, about eleven miles a little south of west from Jerusalem, and four miles east of Bethshemesh. In either case it was three or four hours’ march from the capital.

Whose name is called.—Neither the text nor the margin of the English represents the original quite accurately. Translate, which is called by the name, the name of Jehovah of hosts. The ark is thus described as being the visible symbol of God’s presence and of His covenant with His people.

2 Samuel 6:2. From Baale of Judah — The same with Kirjath-jearim, 1 Chronicles 13:6, called Baalah, Joshua 15:9, and Kirjath-baal, Joshua 15:60; Joshua 18:14. Some have apprehended a difficulty here, because it is said they went from Baale, whereas, 1 Chronicles 13:6, it is said they went to Baale. But there is no disagreement between these two places. They first went from Jerusalem and other places to Baale, where they assembled, and then from it to Gibeah. To bring up from thence the ark of God — Where it had been a long time in the house of Abinadab, whose son had been sanctified to attend it, 1 Samuel 7:1. Whose name is called by the name, &c. — This rendering is both obscure and inaccurate. The clause should either be translated, On which (ark) is called the name, even the name of the Lord of hosts; that is, which is named the ark of the Lord of hosts: or, At, by, or before which the name, even the name of the Lord of hosts is called upon; that is, by or before which they were to present their prayers to God for counsel and succour on all occasions. And this is mentioned here as the reason why David put himself and his people to so great trouble and charge; it was to fetch up the choicest treasure which they had; it was to convey to its appointed place the ark of the Lord of hosts; the symbol and token of his presence with them, and the medium and principal instrument of their whole worship and service. 6:1-5 God is present with the souls of his people, when they want the outward tokens of his presence; but now David is settled in the throne, the honour of the ark begins to revive. Let us learn hence, to think and to speak highly of God; and to think and speak honourably of holy ordinances, which are to us as the ark was unto Israel, the tokens of God's presence, Mt 28:20. Christ is our Ark; in and by him God manifests his favour, and accepts our prayers and praises. The ark especially typified Christ and his mediation, in which the name of Jehovah and all his glories are displayed. The priests should have carried the ark upon their shoulders. Philistines may carry the ark in a cart without suffering for it; but if Israelites do so, it is at their peril, because this was not what God appointed.From Baale of Judah - See the margin and 1 Samuel 6:21 note.

Whose name ... - The literal rendering is, "Upon which is called the Name, the Name of Yahweh of Hosts, who sits upon the cherubim," i. e. the ark which is called after the Lord of Hosts and bears His Name (see Deuteronomy 28:10; 1 Kings 8:43; Isaiah 4:1).

2. from Baale of Judah—A very large force of picked men were selected for this important work lest the undertaking might be opposed or obstructed by the Philistines. Besides, a great concourse of people accompanied them out of veneration for the sacred article. The journey to Baale, which is related (1Ch 13:6), is here presupposed, and the historian describes the course of the procession from that place to the capital. With all the people that were with him; with the whole body of the people; for these seem to be a differing party from the thirty thousand now mentioned. See 1 Chronicles 13:1,2.

From Baale of Judah.

Quest. How from it, when they went to it; as is evident, both from 1 Chronicles 13:6, and because the ark was there, and to be fetched thence?

Answ. Some affirm that the Hebrew preposition mem sometimes signifies to, as Genesis 13:11. But there is no need of that; for 1 Chronicles 13:6 mentions their going to Baalah, and this place mentions their going from it; and the one of these doth manifestly suppose the other; for they went thither, that they might return thence. So the sense is plain,

They went from Baale of Judah, to bring (or rather to carry, for the word signifies either)

up from thence the ark; whereby it is supposed that they first went thither, which is related 1 Chronicles 13:6. Moreover, this place is commonly called Kirjath-jearim, 1 Samuel 7:1 1 Chronicles 12:5, and formerly Kirjath-baal, Joshua 15:60, and Baalah, Joshua 15:9, and here Baale of Judah; so called because it was in the tribe of Judah, as is evident from Joshua 15:1, &c.

To bring up from thence the ark of God unto Jerusalem, which, in many respects, was fitter for it than Baalah; because this was a more public place, where it would be more observed and regarded; and in the centre of the kingdom, to which they might more easily come from all parts; and the royal city, where it might be always at hand for David to inquire at, as occasion required; and the place which God had allotted for it.

Whose name is called by the name of the Lord of hosts: thus whose belongs not to the ark, but to God; for what follows is not the name of the ark, but of God. The place may well be, and is by some, rendered thus, Upon (or at, or beside, or before) which (ark) the name, even the name of

the Lord of hosts, that dwelleth between the cherubims, is called upon; i. e. by or before which they were to present their prayers to God for counsel and succour upon all occasions. And this is mentioned here as the reason why David put himself and his people to so great trouble and charge, because it was to fetch up the choicest treasure which they had, and so the benefit would abundantly recompense the inconvenience. And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him,.... The thirty thousand chosen men gathered together, and as many else as chose to go:

from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God; that is, they first went to this place, as in 1 Chronicles 13:6; in order to fetch the ark from thence, as here expressed, and then they came from thence with it; this place is the same that is called Baalah and Kirjathbaal, a city in the tribe of Judah; hence Judah is added to it, and the same with Kirjathjearim, Joshua 15:9; the place where it was brought to when fetched from Bethshemesh, 1 Samuel 7:1; and had been here now near fifty years; nor was it any where else during this time, only once at Gibeah of Saul with him, 1 Samuel 14:18;

whose name he called by the name of the Lord of hosts, that dwelleth between the cherubim; not the ark, but the Lord, whose is the ark; his name is called by the name of Jehovah, the infinite, incomprehensible, eternal, and immutable Being, the Lord of armies above and below; whose habitation was between the cherubim that overshadowed the mercy seat, which was above the ark; all this is said, not only to express the greatness and majesty of God, but for the honour of the ark, which belonged to him.

And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from {a} 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.

(a) This was a city in Judah called also Kirjathjearim, Jos 15:9.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. from Baale of Judah] Baale of Judah is generally supposed to be another name for Kirjath-jearim, which is called Baalah in Joshua 15:9; 1 Chronicles 13:6, and Kirjath-Baal in Joshua 15:60. Here the Ark had remained since its return from the country of the Philistines (1 Samuel 7:1-2). If the preposition “from” is correct, we must assume that the narrator passes over the journey to Kirjath-jearim, and speaks of the return only: but this seems improbable, and most commentators emend the text in accordance with 1 Chronicles 13:6, and read “to.

The ancient versions however do not take the words as a proper name, but render them “of the rulers” or “of the men, of Judah,” the word being the same as that translated “men” in ch. 2 Samuel 21:12. If this is right, the name of the place has dropped out from the text and must be restored, so that the verse would read, “And David and all the people that were with him of the rulers of Judah arose and went to Baalah to bring up, &c.” This appears to have been the reading found by the LXX., though partly misunderstood by them, and has strong claims to be considered as the true text.

The usual identification of Kirjath-jearim with Kuryet-el-enab (see note on 1 Samuel 6:21) has lately been called in question by Lieut. Conder, who proposes to place it at ’Erma, four miles E. of Ain Shems (Beth-shemesh), on the edge of the Wady-es-Surar or Valley of Sorek. The name ’Erma corresponds to the form Arim, which took the place of the original Jearim in later times (Ezra 2:25); the dense brushwood still clothing the hills agrees with the meaning of the name “city of forests;” and the position suits the data much better than the Kuryet-el-enab site. See Pal. Expl. Fund Quart. Paper for Oct. 1881, p. 261.

whose name, &c.] Better, which is called by the Name, the name of Jehovah of Hosts, who sitteth enthroned upon the cherubim. Cp. Deuteronomy 28:10; 1 Kings 8:43. “The Name” is first written absolutely, as at the end of Leviticus 24:16, and then more fully defined as “the name of Jehovah of Hosts.” In later Jewish writings “the Name” is commonly used to signify God, and especially as an equivalent for the sacred name Jehovah which might not be pronounced.

The Ark is specially said to be “called by the name of Jehovah of Hosts,” because it was the symbol of the covenant between Jehovah and Israel, and because it was the place where He chiefly chose to manifest Himself by visible tokens to His people. Cp. notes on 1 Samuel 4:4; 1 Samuel 4:21; and for the meaning of the title “Jehovah of Hosts” see Additional Note I. to 1 Sam. p. 235.Verse 2. - From Baale of Judah. We learn from Joshua 15:9, 60 that Baalah, or Kirjath-Baal, "the city of Baal," was the old Canaanite name of Kirjath-jearim, the "city of woods." It lay about eight miles westward from Jerusalem (see 1 Samuel 6:21; 1 Samuel 7:1, 2). The preposition "from" is very startling, as really David went to Baale. Yet all the versions have it, but they put on Baale an incorrect meaning. Baal means "lord," "master," and they render, "David went with all the people that were with him from [or, of] the citizens of Judah," understanding by "master" a householder, one who was master of a family. The real explanation probably is that the narrator wrote according to the sense, and not according to the grammar. The thought in his mind was the bringing up of the ark from its long resting place, and not the prior physical necessity of going down to the place where it was. With all the people. David had consulted with "the captains of thousands and hundreds, and every leader" (1 Chronicles 13:1), and it was with their good will that he drew the ark of God out of its long concealment. A select body of these nobles, or sheiks, would accompany the king, while the rest, with their attendants, would be posted along the eight miles of road. Whose name is called by the name. In the Hebrew, the word "name" is twice repeated, the words literally being, the ark of Elohim, whereon is called the Name, the Name of Jehovah of Sabaoth. Most of the versions omit the second Name, and the translators of the Authorized Version also felt it to be a difficulty, which they have tried to escape by inserting words between the two. Really it is a most interesting sign of the existence at this early date of a special reverence for the name "with four consonants" which we call "Jehovah." Subsequently it was never pronounced, but the word "Lord" was read instead, in the Revised Version, the importance of the passage is well brought out by the first Name being written with a capital, of the use of which the Revisers are very chary. With their usual inconsecutiveness, they retain Lord for Jehovah, though this is "the Name," and though they have restored the word Jehovah in several less important places. The Philistines left their idols behind them there. They had probably brought them to the war, as the Israelites once did their ark, as an auxiliary force. "And David took them away." The Chronicles have "their gods" instead of "their idols," and "they were burned with fire" instead of ישּׂאם, "he took them away,"

(Note: This is the marginal reading in the English version, though the text has "he burned them." - Tr.)

took them as booty. The reading in the Chronicles gives the true explanation of the fact, as David would certainly dispose of the idols in the manner prescribed in the law (Deuteronomy 7:5, Deuteronomy 7:25). The same reading was also most probably to be found in the sources employed by our author, who omitted it merely as being self-evident. In this way David fully avenged the disgrace brought upon Israel by the Philistines, when they carried away the ark in the time of Eli.

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