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.
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(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.

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. 2 Samuel 6:2"David went with all the people that were with him to Baale-Jehuda, to fetch up the ark of God from thence." The words והוּדה מבּעליcause some difficulty on account of the מן, which is used instead of the accusative with ה loc., like בּעלתה in the Chronicles; yet the translators of the Septuagint, Chaldee, Vulgate, and other versions, all had the reading מן in their text, and בּעלי has therefore been taken as an appellative and rendered ἀπὸ τῶν ἀρχότων Ἰουδά ("from the rulers of Judah"), or as Luther renders it, "from the citizens of Judah." This is decidedly incorrect, as the word "thence" which follows is perfectly unintelligible on any other supposition than that Baale-Jehudah is the name of a place. Baale-Jehudah is another name of the city of Kirjath-jearim (Joshua 15:60; Joshua 18:14), which is called Baalah in Joshua 15:9 and 1 Chronicles 13:6, according to its Canaanitish name, instead of which the name Kirjath-jearim (city of the woods) was adopted by the Israelites, though without entirely supplanting the old name. The epithet "of Judah" is a contraction of the fuller expression "city of the children of Judah" in Joshua 18:14, and is added to distinguish this Baal city, which was situated upon the border of the tribe of Judah, from other cities that were also named after Baal, such as Baal or Baalath-beer in the tribe of Simeon (1 Chronicles 4:33; Joshua 19:8), Baalath in the tribe of Dan (Joshua 19:44), the present Kuryet el Enab (see at Joshua 9:17). The מן (from) is either a very ancient error of the pen that crept by accident into the text, or, if genuine and original, it is to be explained on the supposition that the historian dropped the construction with which he started, and instead of mentioning Baale-Jehudah as the place to which David went, gave it at once as the place from which he fetched the ark; so that the passage is to be understood in this way: "And David went, and all the people who were with him, out of Baale-Jehudah, to which they had gone up to fetch the ark of God" (Kimchi). In the sentence which follows, a difficulty is also occasioned by the repetition of the word שׁם in the clause עליו ... נקרא עשׁר, "upon which the name is called, the name of Jehovah of hosts, who is enthroned above the cherubim." The difficulty cannot be solved by altering the first שׁם into שׁם, as Clericus, Thenius, and Bertheau suggest: for if this alteration were adopted, we should have to render the passage "where the name of Jehovah of hosts is invoked, who is enthroned above the cherubim (which are) upon it (i.e., upon the ark);" and this would not only introduce an unscriptural thought into the passage, but it would be impossible to find any suitable meaning for the word עליו, except by making very arbitrary interpolations. Throughout the whole of the Old Testament we never meet with the idea that the name of Jehovah was invoked at the ark of the covenant, because no one was allowed to approach the ark for the purpose of invoking the name of the Lord there; and upon the great day of atonement the high priest was only allowed to enter the most holy place with the cloud of incense, to sprinkle the blood of the atoning sacrifice upon the ark. Moreover, the standing expression for "call upon the name of the Lord" is יי בשׁם קרא; whereas פּ על יי שׁם נקרא signifies "the name of Jehovah is called above a person or thing." Lastly, even if עליו belonged to הכּרבים ישׁב, it would not only be a superfluous addition, occurring nowhere else in connection with הך ישׁב, not even in 1 Chronicles 13:6 (vid., 1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Kings 19:15; Isaiah 37:16; Psalm 99:1), but such an addition if made at all would necessarily require עליו אשׁר ע (vid., Exodus 25:22). The only way in which we can obtain a biblical thought and grammatical sense is by connecting עליו with the אשׁר before נקרא: "above which (ark) the name of Jehovah-Zebaoth is named," i.e., above which Jehovah reveals His glory or His divine nature to His people, or manifests His gracious presence in Israel. "The name of God denotes all the operations of God through which He attests His personal presence in that relation into which He has entered to man, i.e., the whole of the divine self-manifestation, or of that side of the divine nature which is turned towards men" (Oehler, Herzog's Real-Encycl. x. p. 197). From this deeper meaning of "the name of God" we may probably explain the repetition of the word שׁם, which is first of all written absolutely (as at the close of Leviticus 24:16), and then more fully defined as "the name of the Lord of hosts."
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