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And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good unto you, and that it be of the LORD our Gop, 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.

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And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we enquired not at it in the days of Saul.

And all the congregation said, that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.

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So David gathered all Israel together, from Shih or of Egypt even unto the entering of Hemath, to bring the ark of GOD from Kirjath-jearim.

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And David went up, and all Israel to Baalah, that is to Kirjath-jearim, which belongeth to Judah, to bring up thence the ark of God the LORD; that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose name is called on it.

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And they carried the ark of GOD in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab. And Uzzah and Ahio drave

the cart.

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.

And when they came unto the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzzah put forth his hand to hold the ark: for the oxen stumbled.

And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and he smote him, because he put forth his hand to the ark and there he died before God.

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And David was displeased because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah, wherefore that place is called Perez-uzzah to this day.

And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of GoD home to me?

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So David brought not the ark home to himself to the city of David, but carried it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. Thi

And the ark of GOD remained with the family of Obed-edom in his house three months. And the LORD blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that he had.

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ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.

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It is likely that David recovered from the Philistines all that they had gained at the battle of Gilboa, and drove them out of the cities they had seized at the death of Saul*; and being now fixed at Jerusalem, he was; resolved to do every thing in his power to increase its -safety and magnificence.

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It is related in a former part of this history, with what solemnity the Ark had been deposited in the Tabernacle by Moses, and that the glorious cloud, which appeared as -a manifestation of the DIVINE PRESENCE, rested on the MERCY-SEAT above the cherubims. A veil was placed before the Ark, and Aaron and his sons ministered there, -and offered incense on the golden altar; and the people assembled in the court of the tabernacle to offer their burnt-offerings, to join in celebrating the praises of the LORD, and to make supplications to him, and -perform their vows; which was called appearing before the LORD. Wherever the Ark was deposited, to that place the tribes were ordered to repair three times a year to keep the passover, &c. therefore the public worship of GOD could not have been properly performed at Jerusalem, neither could that city have been the metro

VOL. III.

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* Chandler's Life of David.

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opolis of the Lord's peculiar kingdom, without the Ark, which made David very desirous to bring it thither.

Hitherto the Ark had had no settled habitation; for many years it had been carried about from place to place; and in the time of Eli, GOD, to punish the Israelites for their impiety, had permitted it to fall into the hands of the Philistines; and when the calamities the Philistines suffered for detaining it obliged them to send it back into the land of Israel, it was. t was left in th in the house of Abinadab, and here it had remained about forty-six years, till David's establishment on the throne; excepting on some particular occasions, when it was carried into the field of battle. do

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David's proposal to bring the ark to Jerusalem met with the joyful concurrence of his people, and was put immediately in execution. The * procession must have been uncommonly grand, as it. consisted of all the nosbility, the priests and Levites, and the officers of the army, with the ensigns and ornaments of their different orders, led on by their sovereign, and followed by an innumerable multitude of people belonging to the different tribes of Israel. During the procession, David and all those who were skilful in music, expressed their -joy by playing on various instruments; but their transports were soon interrupted by a dreadful visitation on Uzzaḥ, one of the sons of Abinadab, who drove the cart. It is said," THAT GOD smote him for his error! It was a great crime in Uzzah to be ignorant of anything re*specting the ARK; for the law of Moses expressly taught that no one but the priests should touch it; and therefore -he should have fully instructed himself concerning the requisite ceremonies, before he presumed to attend it; -especially on so solemn an occasion, when the king and

* Delany's Life of David.

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people were assembled to do it honour: and as the LORD was about to restore his holy worship, it was necessary that the congregation should be taught to reverence His Divine ordinances. The religion of the Jews, as has been repeatedly observed, consisted partly of a variety of ceremonials, which were types and symbols of divine things, and the pledges of their COVENANT concerning the land of Canaan; if they omitted them they forfeited their privileges; and as the DIVINE BEING had sanctified the ARK in so visible a manner by a token of his immediate PRESENCE, it was certainly sacred, and ought to have been attended with the utmost reverence: nothing less than a judgment from heaven upon a profanation of it, could recover the people to a proper sense of the respect due to that sacred repository of the written law and commandments of GOD, the Tables of Testimony.

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It is said David was displeased; but from the piety of his disposition, we may suppose, that he was only disappointed and grieved, that his holy purposes were interrupted, and fear took possession of his mind, lest he should, through ignorance, commit offence likewise.

It may seem strange, that David should not be fully acquainted with the law of Moses; but we must consider the times he lived in; the. Ark had been greatly neglected for many years; religion was but little attended to in the days of Saul, for the bad example of the sovereign and his court is too apt to influence a nation: all the priests who had ever seen the Ark were dead excepting one young who had never seen it rethere any Levites alive, who had been present at that solemnity. David and his people had been constantly engaged in war; and though his unind was naturally inclined to piety, he had not had much opportunity of attending public worship, according to the original establishment.

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The signal vengeance of Gon on Uzzah struck David 07) dzia bus b919gogo ba m 12 dived with

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with the utmost consternation; and he would not venture to advance any farther with the ark at that time: Obed-edom, at whose house he left it, was a Levite, and a pious good man: he rejoiced to receive it, knowing it would prove a blessing to him and his family, as he well understood the nature of Uzzah's offence.

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Though Christians cannot be guilty of the very crime for which Uzzah received such an exemplary punishment every one who wilfully neglects to make use of the means with which it pleased GOD to bless them, for learning their duty, is certainly liable to the Divine displeasure. Let us therefore study, with unremitting diligence, the HOLY SCRIPTURES, lest, for want of knowing them, we fall into sin, and be, like Uzzah, cut off for our

ERROR.

WALL

SECTION VIII.

DAVID ORDERETH THE PRIESTS AND LEVITES TO CARRY THE ARK TO JERUSALEM HE ATTENDETH IT WITH GREAT JOY.

From 1 Chron. Chap. xv, xvi. 2 Sam. Chap. v.

And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of GoD, and pitched for it a tent.

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 for ever. And David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the LORD unto his place which he had prepared for it.

And David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites: in all eight hundred and sixty-two.

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