Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader.3. The Ark Removed from Kirjath-jearim
1. The consultation about the ark (1Chronicles 13:1-5)
2. The attempt and the failure (1Chronicles 13:6-14)
The first thing after the coronation which concerned David was the ark. This reveals the fact that the king had the things of the Lord upon his heart. He at once consulted with the captains about bringing the ark from Kirjath-jearim. The ark is mentioned forty-six times in the two books of Chronicles. (The titles are the following: ark, 15 times; the ark of God, 12 times; the ark of the Covenant of the LORD, 11 times; the ark of the LORD, 4 times; the ark of the Covenant of God, of Thy Strength, of our God and Thy holy ark, each once.)
In Chronicles David’s gracious words are recorded, which he addressed to the assembly of Israel, “if it seem good unto you and that it be of the LORD our God ... let us bring again the ark of our God to us; for we inquired not at it in the days of Saul.” The whole scene manifests a true religious enthusiasm and deep concern to follow the ways of Jehovah. David and all Israel went up to Kirjath-jearim and carried the ark upon a new cart. David and all Israel played before God with all their might, even with songs and with harps and with psalteries, with cymbals and trumpets. But in all this great and human rejoicing, David did not conform to Jehovah’s ways. According to God’s laws covering the handling of the ark, only the Levites were to touch it. They were to carry it on their shoulders and not to place it in a cart (Numbers 4:5; Numbers 4:15). All this had been violated. The divine displeasure was fully manifested when Uzza put forth his hands to hold the ark, because the oxen had stumbled. Uzza was stricken with sudden death. He forgot that the ark was the emblem of Jehovah’s presence in the midst of His people. See annotations on 2 Samuel 6.