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The Recovery of the Ark from Obed-edom

II Samuel 6:12-23

Victor M. Eskew


1.     Outline the text


i.                    THE REPORT OF BLESSING (II Sam. 6:12a)

ii.                  THE RECOVERY OF THE ARK (II Sam. 6:12b-17)

iii.                THE RATIONS TO THE PEOPLE (II Sam. 6:18-19)

iv.                THE RIFT BETWEEN DAVID AND MICHAL (II Sam. 6:20-23)


2.    What did David hear about the house of Obed-edom? (II Sam. 6:12)


And it was told king David, saying The Lord hath blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that pertaineth to unto him, because of the ark of God.


A.    Obed-edom and all that pertained to him had been blessed because of the ark of God.


B.      Clarke:  “Whoever…consecrates his house to the service of God, will infallibly receive God’s blessing” (e-sword.com).


C.     It would be interesting to have been in the home of Obed-edom in order to see the manifestations of God’s blessing.


3.    What did David do when he received this news? (II Sam. 6:12)


…So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom in to the city of David with gladness.


A.    He went and brought the ark of God into the city of Jerusalem.


B.      David had not erred in desiring to bring the ark to Jerusalem.  All Israel could be blessed, and not just one home, if the ark was in its rightful place.  David, therefore, resolved again to bring the ark into Jerusalem.


4.    How was the ark transported this time? (II Sam. 6:13)


And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the Lord had gone six paces…


A.    It was being carried by men who were walking.


B.      The account in I Chronicles 15 is extremely enlightening.

1.        Verse 2:  “Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites:  for them hath the Lord chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him forever.”

2.       Verses 11-13:  “And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Semaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab.  And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites:  sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it.  For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.”

a.       David acknowledges that they did not do things according to the “due order.”

1)       Strong (4941):  a sentence, a formal decree…particularly divine law

2)      BDB:  ordinance

b.      Exodus 25:14; Num. 4:15. 7:9

And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them…And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it:  but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die.  These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation…But unto the son of Kohath he gave none:  because the service of the sanctuary belonging unto them was that they should bear upon their shoulders.


3.       Verses 14-15:  “So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel.  And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the Lord.”


C.     Important point:  God never did say:  “Thou shalt not carry the ark upon a cart.”  In other words, this was not specifically forbidden, but it was forbidden.  When God tells us “how” to do something, everything else is excluded.  NOTE:  God tells us how to worship Him in song in worship.  He says to sing.  He does not say:  “Thou shalt not use an instrument of music.”  He does not have to.  He has told us “how” it is to be done.  All else is forbidden.


5.    What did David do when the ark had gone six paces? (II Sam. 6:13)


…he sacrificed oxen and fatlings.


A.    He sacrificed oxen and fatlings.


B.      Some commentators believe that the sacrifices were done every six paces.  Others believe they were only done once after the first six paces were taken.


C.     I Chronicles 15:26 reveals the number of the sacrificial animals.


And it came to pass, when God helped the Levites that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, that they offered seven bullocks and seven rams.


6.    What did David do before the ark? (II Sam. 6:14).


And David danced before the Lord with all his might…


A.    David danced before the ark with all his might.


B.      Danced:

1.        Strong (3769):  to dance (that is, to whirl)

2.       BDB:  to whirl, dance


C.     David was leaping and whirling before the ark. 


D.    NOTE:  Dancing was done at celebrations as far back as when Israel crossed the Red Sea (Exo. 15:20).


And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and dances.


7.    “…and David was girded with a linen  ephod” (II Sam. 6:14).


A.    Normal priests wore a white robe and a linen ephod that caused them to be recognized as priests (I Sam. 22:18).


B.      David wore a similar ephod (See I Chron. 15:27a).


And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen…


C.     David was not trying to take upon him the office of a priest, “but in the sense that all Israel was to be a kingdom of priests (Exod. 19:6)” (The Books of I & II Samuel, Bob Waldron, p. 715).


8.    “So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet” (II Sam. 6:15).


A.    I Chronicles 15:28 gives additional insight into the celebration that occurred.


Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.


9.    What did Michal see David doing when she looked through a window? (II Sam. 6:16).


And as the ark of the Lord came into the city, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord…


A.    She saw David leaping and dancing before the Lord.


B.      Notice how Michal is described in this verse.  She is called “Saul’s daughter.”  She is not referred to as “the wife of David.”


10.  What was Michal’s reaction to David’s behavior? (II Sam. 6:16)


…and she despised him in her heart.


A.    She despised him in her heart.


11.   Define:  despised (II Sam. 6:16)


A.    Strong (959):  to disesteem


B.      BDB:  to despise, hold in contempt, disdain, to be despicable, to be vile, worthless


C.     Question:  What was David doing that caused her to look upon him in this way?

Question:  Why wasn’t Michal a part of this wonderful celebration?


12.  Where did David set the ark? (II Sam. 6:17)


And they brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it…


A.    It was put in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it.


B.      This was a brand new tent erected by David.

1.        The previous tabernacle was left at Gibeon (II Chron. 1:3).


So Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness.


                        NOTE:  Some believe the tabernacle was moved from Nob to Gibeon after Saul had all of the

                        priests killed at Nob.  Abiathar escaped.  Gibeon was his home town.


2.       We know nothing of the construction of this tabernacle other than David authorized it.


13.  What type of offerings did David offer once the ark was set in place? (II Sam. 6:17)


…and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.


A.    Burnt offerings


B.      Peace offerings


C.     K&D says the purpose of these sacrifices were to dedicate the new tabernacle.  This could be the case now that the ark was finally in place.


14.  What did David do to the people after the offerings were made? (II Sam. 6:18)


And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts.


A.    He blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts.


B.      David was invoking the favor of God upon the people of Israel.


C.     This was truly a historic day.  The ark and the tabernacle were back together after being separated for many, many years.


15.  What three things did David give to both the men and women of Israel? (II Sam. 6:19)


And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as the men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine…


A.    A cake of bread


B.      A good piece of flesh


C.     A flagon of wine


D.    NOTE:  The words “flesh” and “wine” are in italics.  There is some discrepancy as to what was actually given to the multitudes.  All were gifts given by the king to satisfy the hunger of the people and to acknowledge the importance of this day.


16.  “So all the people departed every one to his house.” (II Sam. 6:19)


A.    All festivities, even the most significant, eventually come to an end and individuals must return home to resume their normal course of activity.


17.  What was David’s purpose in returning to his household? (II Sam. 6:20)


Then David returned to bless his household…


A.    He returned to bless them.


B.      In every household, there are some who must stay back during festive occasions in order to keep the affairs of the house going.  David was not unsympathetic to them.  Having blessed all of the people of Israel, he now returns to bless his household.





18.  What did Michal say David had done in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants? (II Sam. 6:20).


…And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel today, who uncovered himself today in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants…


A.    He said he had “uncovered himself” in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants.


B.      Uncovered:

1.        Strong (1540):  denude (especially in a disgraceful sense), …to reveal

2.       BDB:  to uncover, remove, to uncover oneself, to reveal oneself, nakedness, lay bare


C.     Several points:

1.        Michal is again described as “the daughter of Saul.”

2.       Her words spew from her mouth with sarcasm:  “How glorious was the king of Israel today…”

3.       She charges David with uncovering himself.

a.       First, David was wearing a linen ephod.  This was usually worn over the robe of the individual.

b.      Second, David was dancing.  Remember, the word dancing means “to whirl.”  In the process of his whirling, part of David’s feet and lower legs may have been exposed.

c.       Third, Michal mentions the handmaids.  Most of the time, when celebrations occurred, the ones who were dancing and celebrating were the women (Judg. 11:34; 21:19; I Sam. 18:6).  David may have been the only man who was involved in the dancing.  This would cause him to be mixing and mingling with the women who were dancing.  When Michal saw their joy and when she saw David’s feet and legs exposed, she was angry in her heart.

d.      Fourth, she accuses him of exposing himself.  It is interesting that nothing that David did that day brought any disfavor from God.


19.  To whom did she liken David? (II Sam. 6:20)


……as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!


A.    As one of the vain fellows.


B.      Vain fellows:

1.        Strong (7386):  empty, worthless

2.       BDB:  empty, vain, idle, worthless


C.     Michal was saying that “David had behaved as a worthless person, empty of moral values” (Waldron, p. 720).


D.    What was it that angered Michal?

1.        The events of the day in bringing the ark to Jerusalem?  In the days of her father, there was no concern for the tabernacle, the ark, and the service of God.  Could it be that, she, too, was spiritually degenerate?

2.       The fact that David was intermingling himself with the handmaidens when he danced?

3.       Perhaps she was not impressed with David’s antics as he danced before the ark.  She may have seen David’s legs as he twirled before the multitudes, especially the handmaidens.  She may have thought that his dancing was immature and not representative of a king.

4.       The idea that David was intermingling himself with the common people of Israel?


20.  How did David justify his behavior that day? (II Sam. 6:21)


And David said unto Michal, It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father, and before his house, to appoint me ruler of the people of the Lord, over Israel:  therefore will I play before the Lord.


A.    He said:  “It was before the Lord.”  Too, he was the appointed ruler of the people and should be one of the key individuals who would take part in the celebration.


B.      David strikes back at Michal by reminding her that it was the Lord who chose him to replace her own father.


C.     David wanted Michal to know that just because he was the king, he was not so full of pride that he could not humble himself to rejoice before the Lord.  Waldron writes:  “David was willing to sacrifice his dignity to express his joy” (p. 721).


21.  “And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight” (II Sam. 6:22).


A.    Vile

1.        Strong (7073):  cursed, despised

2.       BDB:  to make despicable, to curse


B.      When Michal first spoke with David, she said:  “How glorious was the king of Israel today.”  The real intent of the words were:  “How vile was the king today.”  David takes the true meaning of her words, and now says:  “And I will yet be more vile than thus.”


C.     Base

1.        Strong (8217):  depressed

2.       BDB:  low (in condition or spirit)


D.    Michal’s words brought depression to David.  What he would now do would add to that depression.  He did not think that he would have to do to this.


22.  Who would honor David? (II Sam. 6:22)


…and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honor.


A.    News of events in the palace traveled quickly.  When the maidservants with whom David had danced heard about Michal’s comments and the response of David, they would hold him in honor.


23.  T- F   Michal never bore any children.  (II Sam. 6:23)


Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.


A.    True


B.      David never invited Michal to his bedchamber again.

1.        This was the act that would be “more vile.”

2.       This was the act that would cause him to be “base” in his own sight.

3.       This was the act that would bring him honor among the handmaidens.


C.     Not having children was a curse in those days.  Michal had to bear an awful burden for her insubordination, not just to her husband, but also to her king.


D.    LESSON:  Unfounded and harsh judgments on others should never be made.  They harm those upon whom they are made.  They can also come back to hurt those who make them.








David Requests to Build God A House

II Samuel 7:1-11a


Victor M. Eskew


1.     Outline:


i.                    II SAMUEL 7:1-3

ii.                  II SAMUEL 7:4-7

iii.                II SAMUEL 7:8-11a

iv.                II SAMUEL 7:11b-17


2.    Where is David when chapter 7 opens? (II Sam. 7:1)


3.    T- F   It was a time of peace in David’s kingdom (II Sam. 7:1)


4.    To whom did the king speak? (II Sam. 7:2)


5.    How did David contrast his house with the dwelling place of the ark of God? (II Sam. 7:2)


6.    What was Nathan’s advice to David initially? (II Sam. 7:3)


7.    What came to Nathan that night? (II Sam. 7:4)


8.    What question did God want Nathan to ask David? (II Sam. 7:5)


9.    T – F  From the time God brought Israel out of Egypt until this present time, God had not dwelled

in a house. (II Sam. 7:6)


10.  What two words did God use to describe where He has been dwelling? (II Sam. 7:6)


11.   What question had God never asked of any of the tribes of Israel? (II Sam. 7:7)


12.  From where had God taken David? (II Sam. 7:8)


13.  What did he make him? (II Sam. 7:8)


14.  What three things had God done for David? (II Sam. 7:9)








15.  T – F  David’s name was a great as other great men in the earth. (II Sam. 7:9)


16.  T – F  God was going to appoint a place for His people so they would move no more.  (II Sam. 7:10)


17.  “…neither shall the children of ____________________ afflict them any more, as beforetime” (II Sam. 7:10).


18.  T – F  During the time of the judges, God gave rest to His people (II Sam. 7:11).