And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)David was afraid.—The immediate effect of the judgment was to produce in David, and doubtless in all the people, that awe of the majesty of God in which they had shown themselves deficient. If this was at first excessive, it was soon moderated.2 Samuel 6:9. David was afraid of the Lord that day — Apprehensive, it seems, that he himself was in danger. Hence he durst not bring the ark into his city; either thinking, in great humility, that he was unworthy to have it so near him; or that he did not sufficiently understand how to treat it. This, however, he understood better afterward, as we learn from 1 Chronicles 15:2-15.1 Samuel 15:11 note. On the name of the place, compare 2 Samuel 5:20. Afraid of the Lord; either that God was displeased with him for removing the ark, and bringing it to his city; or lest God should proceed further in the way of his judgments upon him and his people; or lest the ark being brought to his house, might be the occasion of inconveniencics and great calamities, for some neglects or errors which they might easily and frequently commit.
How shall the ark of the Lord come unto me? how may I presume, or how shall I dare do it, when God hath showed his displeasure for my attempting it? I will therefore wait further upon God for his direction in the case, and at present forbear. But why did not David consult God presently by the Urim, as he used to do? This therefore seems to have been his infirmity and neglect.
and said, how shall the ark of the Lord come to me? the meaning of which is not, how it should be brought to the place provided by him in Jerusalem, now Uzzah was dead, for there were Levites enough to carry it, as they afterwards did; but as signifying that it would be either boldness and presumption in him to do it, since God had shown such a mark of his displeasure at their proceeding, that he might be in doubt whether it was the will of God it should come to him; or as fearing it would be dangerous to him to have it with him, since he might be guilty of such an error, of the same, or like it, that had been committed.And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 9. - David was afraid. This was his next feeling. Neither he nor Uzzah had offended wilfully, and so severe a punishment for an "error" made him dread the presence of so dangerous a thing as the ark seemed to be. Instead, therefore, of taking it into "the city of David," he turns aside and leaves it in the house of the nearest Levite. In both his anger and his dread David manifests himself to us as one whose ideas about God were somewhat childish. He regards Jehovah as a powerful and capricious Being, who must be appeased. He had attained to juster views in Psalm 16. and other such trustful hymns.
The ark of the covenant had been standing in the house of Abinadab from the time when the Philistines had sent it back into the land of Israel, i.e., about seventy years (viz., twenty years to the victory at Ebenezer mentioned in 1 Samuel 7:1., forty years under Samuel and Saul, and about ten years under David: see the chronological table). The further statement, that "Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, drove the cart," may easily be reconciled with this. These two sons were either born about the time when the ark was first taken to Abinadab's house, or at a subsequent period; or else the term sons is used, as is frequently the case, in the sense of grandsons. The words from חדשׁה (the last word in 2 Samuel 6:3) to Gibeah in 2 Samuel 6:4 are wanting in the Septuagint, and can only have been introduced through the error of a copyist, whose eye wandered back to the first עגלה in 2 Samuel 6:3, so that he copied a whole line twice over; for they not only contain a pure tautology, a merely verbal and altogether superfluous and purposeless repetition, but they are altogether unsuitable to the connection in which they stand. Not only is there something very strange in the repetition of the חדשׁה without an article after העגלה; but the words which follow, ארון ה עם (with the ark of God), cannot be made to fit on to the repeated clause, for there is no sense whatever in such a sentence as this: "They brought it (the ark) out of the house of Abinadab, which is upon the hill, with the ark of God." The only way in which the words "with the ark" can be made to acquire any meaning at all, is by omitting the repetition referred to, and connecting them with the new cart in 2 Samuel 6:3 : "Uzzah and Ahio ... drove the cart with the ark of God, and Ahio went before the ark." נהג, to drive (a carriage), is construed here with an accusative, in 1 Chronicles 13:7 with בּ, as in Isaiah 11:6.
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