2 Samuel 6
New English Translation
David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem
6 David again assembled[a] all the best[b] men in Israel, 30,000 in number. 2 David and all the men who were with him traveled[c] to[d] Baalah[e] in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the name[f] of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, who sits enthroned between the cherubim that are on it. 3 They loaded the ark of God on a new cart and carried it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart. 4 They brought[g] it with the ark of God from the house of Abinadab on the hill. Ahio was walking in front of the ark, 5 while David and all Israel[h] were energetically celebrating before the Lord, singing[i] and playing various stringed instruments,[j] tambourines, rattles,[k] and cymbals.
6 When they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon,[l] Uzzah reached out and grabbed hold of[m] the ark of God,[n] because the oxen stumbled. 7 The Lord was so furious with Uzzah,[o] he[p] killed him on the spot[q] for his negligence.[r] He died right there beside the ark of God.
8 David was angry because the Lord attacked[s] Uzzah; so he called that place Perez Uzzah,[t] which remains its name to this very day. 9 David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How will the ark of the Lord ever come to me?” 10 So David was no longer willing to bring the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. David left it in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 11 The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months. The Lord blessed Obed-Edom and all his family.[u] 12 King David was told,[v] “The Lord has blessed the family of Obed-Edom and everything he owns because of the ark of God.” So David went and joyfully brought the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David. 13 Those who carried the ark of the Lord took six steps and then David[w] sacrificed an ox and a fatling calf. 14 Now David, wearing a linen ephod, was dancing with all his strength before the Lord.[x] 15 David and all Israel[y] were bringing up the ark of the Lord, shouting and blowing trumpets.[z]
16 As the ark of the Lord entered the City of David, Saul’s daughter Michal looked out the window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him.[aa] 17 They brought the ark of the Lord and put it in its place[ab] in the middle of the tent that David had pitched for it. Then David offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before the Lord. 18 When David finished offering the burnt sacrifices and peace offerings, he pronounced a blessing over the people in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 19 He then handed out to each member of the entire assembly of Israel,[ac] both men and women, a portion of bread, a date cake,[ad] and a raisin cake. Then all the people went home.[ae] 20 When David went home to pronounce a blessing on his own house,[af] Michal, Saul’s daughter, came out to meet him.[ag] She said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished[ah] himself this day! He has exposed himself today before his servants’ slave girls the way a vulgar fool[ai] might do!”
21 David replied to Michal, “It was before the Lord! I was celebrating before the Lord, who chose me over your father and his entire family[aj] and appointed me as leader over the Lord’s people Israel. 22 I am willing to shame and humiliate myself even more than this.[ak] But with the slave girls whom you mentioned, let me be distinguished.” 23 Now Michal, Saul’s daughter, had no children to the day of her death.
- 2 Samuel 6:1 tn The translation understands the verb to be a defective spelling of וַיֶּאֱסֹף (vayyeʾesof) due to quiescence of the letter א (alef). The root therefore is אָסַף (ʾasaf, “to gather”). The Masoretes, however, pointed the verb as וַיֹּסֶף (vayyosef), understanding it to be a form of יָסַף (yasaf, “to add”). This does not fit the context, which calls for a verb of gathering.
- 2 Samuel 6:1 tn Or “chosen.”
- 2 Samuel 6:2 tn Heb “arose and went.”
- 2 Samuel 6:2 tn Heb “from,” but the following context indicates they traveled to this location.
- 2 Samuel 6:2 tn This is another name for Kiriath Jearim (see 1 Chr 13:6).
- 2 Samuel 6:2 tc The MT has here a double reference to the name (שֵׁם שֵׁם, shem shem). Many medieval Hebrew mss in the first occurrence point the word differently and read the adverb שָׁם (sham, “there”). This is also the understanding of the Syriac Peshitta (Syr., taman). While this yields an acceptable understanding to the text, it is more likely that the MT reading results from dittography. If the word did occur twice, one might have expected the first occurrence to have the article. The present translation therefore reads שֵׁם only once.
- 2 Samuel 6:4 tn Heb “lifted.”
- 2 Samuel 6:5 tn Heb “all the house of Israel.”
- 2 Samuel 6:5 tc Heb “were celebrating before the Lord with all woods of fir” (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB). If the text is retained, the last expression must be elliptical, referring to musical instruments made from fir wood. But it is preferable to emend the text in light of 1 Chr 13:8, which reads “were celebrating before the Lord with all strength and with songs.”
- 2 Samuel 6:5 tn Heb “with zithers [?] and with harps.”
- 2 Samuel 6:5 tn That is, “sistrums” (so NAB, NIV); ASV, NASB, NRSV, CEV, NLT “castanets.”
- 2 Samuel 6:6 tn 1 Chr 13:9 has “Kidon.”
- 2 Samuel 6:6 tn Or “steadied.”
- 2 Samuel 6:6 tn Heb “and Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and grabbed it.”
- 2 Samuel 6:7 tn Heb “and the anger of the Lord burned against Uzzah.”
- 2 Samuel 6:7 tn Heb “God.”
- 2 Samuel 6:7 tc Heb “there.” Since this same term occurs later in the verse it is translated “on the spot” here for stylistic reasons.
- 2 Samuel 6:7 tc The phrase “his negligence” is absent from the LXX.
- 2 Samuel 6:8 tn Heb “because the Lord broke out [with] a breaking out [i.e., an outburst] against Uzzah.”
- 2 Samuel 6:8 sn The name Perez Uzzah means in Hebrew “the outburst [against] Uzzah.”
- 2 Samuel 6:11 tn Heb “house,” both here and in v. 12.
- 2 Samuel 6:12 tn Heb “and it was told to King David, saying.”
- 2 Samuel 6:13 tn Heb “he”; the referent (David) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- 2 Samuel 6:14 tn Heb “and David was dancing with all his strength before the Lord, and David was girded with a linen ephod.”
- 2 Samuel 6:15 tc Heb “all the house of Israel.” A few medieval Hebrew mss and the Syriac Peshitta lack the words “the house.”
- 2 Samuel 6:15 tn Heb “the shofar” (the ram’s horn trumpet).
- 2 Samuel 6:16 tn The Hebrew text adds “in her heart.” Cf. CEV “she was disgusted (+ with him TEV)”; NLT “was filled with contempt for him”; NCV “she hated him.”
- 2 Samuel 6:17 tc The Syriac Peshitta lacks “in its place.”
- 2 Samuel 6:19 tn Heb “to all the people, to all the throng of Israel.”
- 2 Samuel 6:19 tn The Hebrew word used here אֶשְׁפָּר (ʾespar) is found in the OT only here and in the parallel passage found in 1 Chr 16:3. Its exact meaning is uncertain, although the context indicates that it was a food of some sort (cf. KJV “a good piece of flesh”; NRSV “a portion of meat”). The translation adopted here (“date cake”) follows the lead of the Greek translations of the LXX, Aquila, and Symmachus (cf. NASB, NIV, NLT).
- 2 Samuel 6:19 tn Heb “and all the people went, each to his house.”
- 2 Samuel 6:20 tn Heb “and David returned to bless his house.”
- 2 Samuel 6:20 tn Heb “David.” The name has been replaced by the pronoun (“him”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- 2 Samuel 6:20 tn Heb “honored.”
- 2 Samuel 6:20 tn Heb “one of the foolish ones.”
- 2 Samuel 6:21 tn Heb “all his house”; CEV “anyone else in your family.”
- 2 Samuel 6:22 tn Heb “and I will shame myself still more than this and I will be lowly in my eyes.”