2 Samuel 6:1-23
Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.…
1. David was now no sooner settled again in his kingdom (after this double defeat of the Philistines) but he resolves upon settling religion and the sincere service of God. "Seek first the Kingdom of God and all things else shall be added" (Matthew 6:33.)
2. As David called this great assembly together, not only to put an honour upon the action, but also in defence of the ark in case the enemy should make any attempts to interrupt them for their passage. So this design was to redeem the ark of God's Presence from that sordid neglect all Saul's time.
3. The journey from Kiriath-Jearim to Jerusalem might be looked upon as too long a journey for the Levites to carry the Ark of God upon their shoulders according to God's command (Numbers 4:14, 15, and 7, 9), therefore out of prudence (which often spoils true piety) they provide a new cart, and lay the Ark of God upon it. This mode of carriage they had learnt from the Philistines, a bad precedent, who had done so before this without damage or any token of Divine displeasure, they doing so at the direction of their diabolical diviners (1 Samuel 6:2, 7.) No good patterns for Israel's practice: They did not so well consider that God would wink at this disorder in the Philistines because they were ignorant of God's Laws. But he would not brook it in His own people to whom the oracles of God were committed (Romans 3:2.) And one would think the very staff-rings upon the Ark might have minded the Levites of their duty: But 'tis likely they loved their own ease too much at this time, so were too willing to spare their own shoulders (ver. 1, 2, 3, 4.)
4. The great icy that David and his thirty thousand nobles and all Israel celebrated the removal of the Ark from Kiriath-Jearim Withal is expressed (v. 5), Ahio going before to lead the oxen, and Uzzah following behind to secure the Ark from tumbling off the cart. 'Tis supposed then David uttered those words, "Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered," etc. (Psalm 68:1) at this time, which were the words constantly used when the Ark was removed (Numbers 10:35.) But alas, how soon was all this mirth marred and turned into mourning, all this singing into sighing, merely by the stumbling of the oxen (ver. 6, 7), Uzzah observing that the Ark was shaken thereby and in danger of falling, he thereupon puts forth his hand to stay it steady in the cart.
Parallel VersesKJV: Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.