The Ark of Covenant and the reign of King David

This is a sequel part of several articles posted in this blog earlier that dealt with topics relating to The Ark of the Covenant and King David of Israel. Unlike earlier articles, this sequel part doesn’t treat the two topics separately because it deals with the historical time and place where these two meet.

As it has been discussed in some earlier postings in this blog, The Ark of the Covenant was originally made (Exodus 40:20) for containing the two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, which had been handed to Moses from the God himself. During the time of priest Eli, probably about a hundred years later, The Ark was temporary captured by Philistines, enemy of the Israelites, and was kept by them for about seven months (1 Samuel 6:1).

When Philistines decided to return the Ark to Israelites due to the spread of plagues, the Ark was moved to a town called Beth-shemesh. Although the Ark ‘was unloaded by Levites (1 Sam 6:15); and sacrifices were offered before it that day’ (Cole-Rous, 2011), ‘the Beth-shemeshites incurred upon themselves the curse of God, in which 50,070 men were slaughtered (1 Sam 6:19)’ (ibid) because they openend it and looked inside of the Ark. Therefore, the people there decided to send the Ark to ‘the people of Kirjath-jearim, who were slaves and serviced the House of God with water and wood, to come and fetch the Ark. (1Sa 6:21)’ (ibid).

The Old Testament continues that “the men of Kirjath-jearim came, and fetched up’ the Ark and ‘brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified… his son to keep the ark of the LORD (1Samuel 7:1)’ (ibid). Cole-Rous additionally quotes from the following verse, saying ‘The Ark remained in the house of Abinadab for 20 years (1Sa 7:2)’ (ibid). He gives further details about the place and person in question; whilst ‘The village of Kirjath-jearim was grouped with Gibeah, Gibeon, Ramah and Jerusalem (Joshua 18:25-28)’ (ibid) and the area belonged to the tribe of Benjamin, Abinadab was a son of King Saul, who was ruling Israel at that time.

Abinadab and his father Saul were both killed by the Philistines in the battle of Gilboa and this took place ‘Thirteen years after the Ark was placed in the house of Abinadab’ (ibid). It followed by seven years of the civil war, before David finally became to anointed king for all over Israel, by defeating Ish-bosheth, the sole surviving son of Saul. Then, he decided to move his capital from Hebron to Jerusalem and he managed to conquer the city by attacking the inhabitants there called Jebusites. At this point, the Ark was still located in the same place and even though Abinadab had been killed over seven years ago, the place was still called ‘the House of Abinadab’ (2Samuel 6:3).

Now, the city of Jerusalem is prepared to be brought in the Ark of Covenant. However, during the procession of the Ark, another mysterious tragedy takes place. When ‘Uzzah sees the cart lurch, and stretches out his hand to steady the Ark’, in order to keep it from falling, ‘Fire from heaven strikes him dead (2 Samuel 6:6-8)’ (ibid). This incident terrified David enough to be ‘afraid to have The Ark in the City of David, so he left it in the house of Obed-Edom, a Philistine from Gath (2 Samuel 6:9-11)’ (Blank). It took him three months to make up his mind to relocate the Ark to ‘a new tabernacle that David set up for it’ (ibid).

In addition, David’s reign in Jerusalem in later years could be briefly summarised by quoting from the same article by Blank, as following:

(1). ‘David’s… greatness was characterized by great territorial gains for Israel (2 Samuel 8:1-14). Within a relatively short period of time, he ruled from The Nile River in Egypt to the Euphrates River in the The Tigris-Euphrates Valley (2 Samuel 8:3-13)’ (ibid).

(2). On the other hand, ‘David’s success was focused too heavily on material gains, and it corrupted him. His committing of adultery with Bathsheba, and the murder of her husband Uriah in an attempt to cover it up was perhaps the darkest event of his life’ (ibid).

(3). Furthermore, ‘His many wives and children were constantly in fierce competition with each other within the family’ and one of such conflicts even ‘triggered a civil war’ (ibid).

He reigned as king of Israel for forty years and six months (2 Samuel 5:5) and when he died at the age of seventy, it is said that he ‘was buried in the city of David (1 Kings 2:10-11)’ (ibid).


  • Book

Ivy Books (1991), The Holy Bible, King James Version

Published by Ballantine Books, New York

  • Internet

Blank, Wayne (year unstated), King David, Daily Bible Study (electrically accessed 23/11/2011)

Cole-Rous, Jim (2011), The House of Abinadab and the Ark of God, Global Christian Center – Life Resources – Christian Living – Lesser Known Bible People (electrically accessed 28/11/2011)

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1 Response to The Ark of Covenant and the reign of King David

  1. Pingback: Solomon’s Temple and King Hiram of Tyre | my individual research

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