In 1 Chronicles Chapter 13, King David plans to bring back the Ark of the Covenant. To this end, he consults with all of his officers, who command hundreds of thousands of troops. Then he says to all of Israel that he will bring the Ark back if they wish and if the Lord agreed to it.
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The People Agree
David said he would send word to the remainder of their people to join them and they will bring back the Ark since they did not ask about it when Saul was the king. The assembly agrees to this because the people of Israel want it to be done.
David then calls together all the Israelites, from as far away as Egypt’s Shihor River, and charges them to bring the Ark of the Covenant from where it sits in Kiriath Jearim. David and all of the Israelites go to Kiriath Jearim to take back the Ark.
Moving the Ark
The Ark was actually in the house of a man called Abinadab and it was put on a cart to be moved. Two men called Uzzah and Ahio guided the cart. As the cart moved David and all of the Israelites celebrated wildly with musical instruments and much joyful singing.
Penalty for Touching the Ark
At one point, the cart had to pass over the threshing floor in Kidon. The oxen who were pulling the cart stumbled and Uzzah put up his hand on it to steady the Ark. But he did not have permission to put his hand on the Ark and the Lord killed him then and there. David, in turn, was angry because God had struck Uzzah, who only wanted to steady the Ark. So even today, Perez Uzzah is the name of the spot.
Temporary Home for the Ark
But David was also afraid of the Lord that day and he wondered how he could possibly take the Ark to his city. So he brought it instead to the house of a Gittite named Obed-Edom. The Ark of the Covenant stayed for three months in Obed-Edom’s house and God blessed his household and all his possessions.
1 Chronicles 13 (King James Version)
1 And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader.
2 And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good unto you, and that it be of the LORD our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren every where, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us:
3 And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we enquired not at it in the days of Saul.
4 And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.
5 So David gathered all Israel together, from Shihor of Egypt even unto the entering of Hemath, to bring the ark of God from Kirjathjearim.
6 And David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, that is, to Kirjathjearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up thence the ark of God the LORD, that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose name is called on it.
7 And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart.
8 And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.
9 And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled.
10 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.
11 And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzza: wherefore that place is called Perezuzza to this day.
12 And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?
13 So David brought not the ark home to himself to the city of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite.
14 And the ark of God remained with the family of Obededom in his house three months. And the LORD blessed the house of Obededom, and all that he had.