Chapter 13

"The Tent. David's Bringing up the Ark for the Tent. [13:1 -16:43]"
"Ark Removed from Kirjath-Jearim. [1 - 14]"

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location
is provided by

Saul was dead by his own sword and beheaded on the battlefield, and his three sons were dead also. The body of Saul and the ark of the covenant lay in the temple to Dagon in the land of the Philistines. In the prior chapter we read where David called the men of all the tribes together to appoint their new king; and David would be appointed king over the whole house of Israel. In First Samuel 16:1-13 we are given God's appointing and anointing of David to be king, by the prophet Samuel.

I Samuel 16:1 "And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Beth-lehemite: for I have provided Me a king among his sons."

Samuel did as God instructed, and we read in Matthew 1:6, "And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;" the lineage of our Lord Jesus Christ, that Jesse and David would be in the blood line of Jesus. When God appoints and anoints a man over His people, it is for a purpose, and He did not hide the immoral act of David in the killing of Urias after his adulterous act with Urias' wife.

After Samuel had seen all the sons of Jesse by one that was not present, he asked Jesse if there was other sons. I Samuel 16:12 "And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was a ruddy, and withal of the beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, "Arise, anoint him: for this is he." It was no accident that David was selected to be king over Israel, for David played an important role in the entire plan of God.

I Samuel 16:13 "Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forth. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah."

David later took food to his brothers on the battle field, as the men of Israel fought the Philistines. David watched as Goliath the giant would prance before the army of the Lord, taunting them, and disgracing the name of the Lord. The army of Israel shook in fear, and the Spirit of the Lord rose within David, and this lad took the challenge that Goliath offered. After David selected his five stones he started up the hill to meet Goliath, and David all the people knew whose name it was that he was fighting for.

I Samuel 17:46 "This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand: and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel."

God gave the path of direction to that first stone that hit Goliath directly in the forehead, and all the people of the earth then knew that there was a God in Israel. This brought the knowledge of this young man David all the people of Israel, and for the appointment that he would be king, at the death of king Saul. However in the battles that had gone on before the death of Goliath, allowed the Ark of the Covenant to be captured by the Philistines, and the ark lay in the camp of the Philistines, as recorded in I Samuel 4:1-20. So as this chapter of First Chronicles 13 starts, David is calling for an assembly of the men of Israel. for it is time to go and bring the ark of God back to Israel, where it belongs. This story of the removal of the ark of God back to Israel is found in II Samuel 6:1-23.

I Chronicles 13:1 "And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader."

II Samuel 6:1 "Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand."

The battle with the Philistines is over, and God gave Israel complete victory. David's mind at this time was turning to bringing the "Ark of the Covenant" back to the Tabernacle where it belonged. It is important that we understand exactly what this ark of the Covenant is and what it represents. The Ark of the Covenant was made at the God's command, and the instructions of making the ark were laid out by the Lord God of the hosts, and given to Moses.

Two years after the children of Israel had been freed from their bondage in Egypt, and were camped at the base of Mount Sinai; God gave the instructions for the building of the Tabernacle, and as the people were building the Tabernacle; God gave Moses the instructions for the furniture and things that would go into that Tabernacle, and to be used in the approach and worship of YHVH the Almighty Father.

Exodus 25:10 "And they shall make an ark of Shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof."

This ark was to be part of the furniture that will be place in the Tabernacle. When men build something they always start outside and work inward, however God is starting inward in the very center of the Tabernacle, in the holy of Holies, and working outward. This ark will be the center of all worship, and will be the place where man enters to communicate with his maker, YHVH our heavenly Father.

A "cubit" in the Hebrew is "ammah", and is in length from 21 to 24 inches long. So the ark of the covenant was about four feet long, and three feet wide and in height.

Exodus 25:11 "And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about."

After the box of Shittim word was made, they covered it both inside and outside with pure Gold.

Exodus 25:12 "And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof, and two rings shall be in one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it."

The rings, of course, are for the selected men that God has chosen to transport this ark during the time that the children of Israel are on the move, going to their promise land. This ark would be continually moved for the next thirty eight years, during their wanderings through the wilderness.

Exodus 25:13, 16 "And thou shalt make staves of Shittim wood, and overlay them with gold." [13] "And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them" [16]

It is important that we understand first of all that this ark was build to last, and God knew that it would be carried all over the place for many centuries. It was some five hundred years since it was built, to the time when David brought it back to Jerusalem. It was never intended to be carried around on horse or ox carts, and thus God's appointed the Levite men who were to be used to move it from place to place. Because of its weight, four men at a time were to be used in carrying the ark.

Exodus 25:15, 16 "The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it." [15] "And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee." [16]

God is telling Moses and Aaron, after you have this ark made, I will tell you what you shall put into the ark. The Word "testimony" in the Hebrew is "`eduth" and it means to "bear witness". The use of this ark in the worship to God, was to be a witness before men that God is bearing a witness to all His promises that he made to the children of Israel through their leader Moses.

After The ark was constructed, God instructed Moses to put three things within the ark, The tables of stone that had the ten commandments on them, the rod of Aaron, and the manna of spiritual bread that had fed the children of Israel in their wanderings through the wilderness.

Exodus 25:17-20 tells us that the "mercy seat" that was made and placed over the ark which is the propitiatory cover, made for the commitment that denotes the blood sprinkled thereon. Before the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, God required the sprinkling of the blood of certain animals, however at Jesus Christ's death, His shed blood became the perfect sacrifice for one and all times for those that would by faith and through repentance in Jesus name could seek forgiveness for their sins. Paul addressed this in Hebrews 9:3-8.

Hebrews 9:3 "And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;"

The "Holiest of all" was that inner sacred room where only the high priest could enter once a year for making the offerings for the sins of the people and for himself. A vail covered the entrance of the room, so only the priest could enter, and if the sin offering was not satisfactory, the priest would be killed by God, and the people would have to drag him out by a rope tied around his foot.

Hebrews 9:4 "Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the Covenant [Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai]."

Are you starting to see the importance of the Ark of the Covenant, with respect to our Lord? The Ark of the covenant was not to be fooled around with, nor transported behind the tail of any animal, and carried on a cart. Inside the ark were the holiest of things that were used as spiritual lessons, for the sake of a reminder of God's faithfulness to his children, while coming out of their captivity. The manna reminded of the spiritual food that sustained the Israelites, when there was not food. The budding rod of Aaron, is a reminder of God's faithfulness to those that follow His instruction in detail, as Moses and Aaron stood before Pharaoh, saying as God told them to say, "Let My people go." The testimony that was within the ark, is God's instructions to His people as to how we should govern our lives and live in peace with our neighbors and commune with Him.

Hebrews 9:5 "And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly."

The reason that they could not speak of that then, while the mercy seat was in affect, was that the blood of Jesus Christ had not yet been fulfilled. So that was the purpose of the mercy seat until that time had been fulfilled. The mercy seat was the place where man went to commune directly with YHVH our heavenly Father. However, now after the shedding of Christ blood on the cross and Christ's resurrection, each of the believers can go directly to the throne of God boldly, "in the name of Jesus". When we use and say, "in Jesus' name" in our prayers, we are acknowledging that we accept the blood of Christ as the payment for our sins. Also stating that we believe that all the prophecies foretold in the Scriptures pertaining to the coming Messiah that were fulfilled in Jesus Christ's life, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, to be at the right hand of YHVH our heavenly Father.

Hebrews 9:6 "Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests when always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God."

Under the first tabernacle, made for all those years from the coming out of Egypt to the time of David and Solomon when the Temple was built, this was a requirement annually, a must for every year that these sacrifices of animals be made for the covering of sin. The priests were the only ones that stood between God and man, to shed the blood of animals in those sacrifices for sins.

Hebrews 9:7 "But the second went the highpriest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, but for the errors of the people:"

All of the priests could enter through the first veil into the tabernacle, but only this high priest could enter into the Holy of Holies; that inner room that housed the ark of the covenant. The High priest must first make the sacrifice offering for his own sins, before he became fit to offer the blood sacrifice offering of select animals for the sins of the people. This even was the most sacred of all events for the entire year for the children of Israel.

It was the veil of the Holy of Holies that was rent when Christ hung on the cross and at death shed his blood for our sins. This veil wasn't a veil like a woman wears on her hat, but the material was thick and very heavy. The reason that the veil was rent in two, was so that you and I and all that would believe on Jesus Christ would not have to have a man go into this small room, and petition to our Heavenly Father for the forgiveness of our sins. Again, this is so that all believers can go directly to YHVH Father and ask forgiveness for our sins individually. For our Sacrifice is not of animals, but from the perfect Sacrifice, the blood of Jesus Christ. The shedding of blood was a requirement, but only the blood of Christ is now and has always been the permanent requirement for the blotting out of all sin in our lives. That is the reason that we pray "in Jesus' name".

Hebrews 9:8 "The Holy Ghost [Spirit] this signifying, that the way into the Holist of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing."

It was not time for the Holy Spirit prior to Christ's sacrificial death on the cross, or the elimination of the Holy of Holies; but at God's appointed time the Father sent His Holy Spirit. We read of this coming in Act 2, when a hundred and twenty men and women were gather in the upper room and the Holy Spirit came upon them to give them the power to bring the gospel to the world, even to our generation. I Peter 3:18-20 tells us that this sacrifice needed to be offered by Christ only once.

I Peter 3:18 "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:"

The reason that Jesus came to earth to live His life in the Flesh Body, was so that He would die on the cross for the sins of those that would believe on Him. Jesus lived a just and righteous life in all manner of His life; thus in His death, "the Just" suffered for the "unjust". Jesus came to pay the price for your sins so that you do not need to be condemned to hell. It is your soul within your flesh body that receive the eternal life, and your spirit and soul are quickened [made alive], and continue to live eternally. That quickening is the work of the Holy Spirit, giving you a new changed life. Jesus died to being all souls back to the Father.

I Peter 3:19 "By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison,"

These spirits that Christ went to and preached to in prison, where the spirits of the saints that died prior to His death on the cross.

I Peter 3:20 "Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is eight souls were saved by water."

These souls were not like the fallen angels that refused to enter into this age of flesh man through the birthing process, and life a life in the flesh. No, each soul entered this earth age with a flesh body, with the things of that first earth age completely blanked from their mind, and in the innocence of a baby. Each soul born from above into his or her flesh body then had the right to choose between life and death, God's way or Satan's way, the road to eternal live, or the path to destruction.

So David called all the men of Israel together to commit to him and place David on the throne over all the tribes as one nation.

I Chronicles 13:2 "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;"

As David is calling the men of Israel together, and requesting that the ark of God be brought back to Israel, thought priests and Levites are named here, the Prophet Samuel did not mention these priests and Levites in 2nd Samuel 6:1-19. This fact is where the problem of the movement came, for the priests and Levites were left out of the movement of the ark of God. Remember from Exodus 25 that the ark was to be carried by the Levites when it was moved, and not on any cart at the tail of an animal. That was the purpose for placing the rings and staves attached to the ark.

I Chronicles 13:3 "And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we enquired not at it in the days of Saul."

I Chronicles 13:4 "And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the People."

The people knew that their meeting with YHVH Almighty God could only be at the mercy seat of God. God reminded them of that fact in Exodus 25:21, 22 "And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee." [21] "And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim's which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel." [22]

I Chronicles 13:5 "So David gathered all Israel together, from Shihor of Egypt even unto the entering of Hemath, to bring the ark of God from Kirjath-jearim."

The men of all the tribes met at this gathering, to rejoice in the Lord and bring the ark of the Covenant back home to Israel. The people from all the way to Egypt, to the northern most part of Israel came together.

I Chronicles 13:6 "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."

I Chronicles 13:7 "And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart."

Do you now seek how this picture of the Kenites in the Chronicles has been distorted a bit, for if the Levites and priests had been consulted, they would not have built a new cart for the ark, but prepared the ark for movement by the hand of Levites that God prescribed to handle the ark, in the first place. David overlooked one small part in the movement of this ark. Is God going to be pleased? Here all Israel is walking behind this cart being drawn by animals.

Friend, according to II Samuel 6:3, this was contrary to the Divinely prescribed law, that is given in Numbers 4:14, 15.

II Samuel 6:3 "And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart."

Numbers 4:14 "And they shall put upon it all the vessels thereof, wherewith they minister about it, even the censers, and fleshhooks, and the shovels, and the basons, all the vessels of the altar; and they shall spread upon it a covering of badgers' skins, and put to the staves of it."

Numbers 4:15 "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 Kahoth 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."

David and his military men planned the movement, and the Kenite scribes that were writing this book of Chronicles, placed those priests and Levites at the center of this movement. They assumed that David had to have priests and Levites in the move, but second Samuel doesn't bear that out. When the Philistines took the ark to their land, they did it in complete ignorance and no judgment fell on them, as recorded in I Samuel 6:7. David should have known better: hence judgment came upon them.

There is a lesson here for us, even living in these end times, and that is that anything introduced into the worship of God that is contrary to God's requirements is deserving of God's judgment. The Law of Moses was delivered to the Israelites for their guidance and it was not given to the heathen nations at that time. John talked about this in John 4:23, 24 "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him." [23] "God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." [24]

David's new cart is like many of the traditions and teaching that are coming into many church houses in these latter day, for they go against God set requirement for His people when the come and worship Him.

I Chronicles 13:8 "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."

You can see the joy in the hearts of all those that are taking part in the movement of the ark, for it is as the joy that is practiced in many churches, in the Worship of YHVH our heavenly Father. The full band with all the people came out to celebrate the coming home of the ark of the Covenant.

I Chronicles 13:9 "And when they come unto the thressingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled."

When the oxen passed by the threshing floor, they tripped and started to stumble, and the ark started to fall off that new cart. Chidon and Uzza were not Levitical priest, or men of Levi, but men of Judah. Remember who God designated to "carry the ark of the Covenant"? That's right, the Levites, the sons of Kohath, after the sons of Aaron had prepared it for the movement.

Again, as man tries to set up his own forms of worship, that go against the Word of God, when those traditions that are contrary to the Word are followed, people just don't understand why God does not continue to bless them. There is a time coming when those set to worship the first messiah coming, will depart from the faith, and worship Satan. Why? Because their traditions have taught them to. They will be jumping and rejoicing over their tradition just as David and these Israelites were. They had their new cart, good strong oxen, and good men to guide the team back to Jerusalem. You may have good honest men guiding your church, and well thought of traditions guiding the families within the church, but if those traditions are not based on What God's Word says, they are just not pleasing to God, no matter what you intentions.

I Chronicles 13:10 "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."

Uzza did what he thought was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as many are doing what they think is right in God's eyes, but they find joy and pleasure in going against the instructions that we have in the Word of God. It cost Uzza his life, and it will cost many their spiritual life, if they don't repent of those evil ways and traditions, and get back to following the instructions that God has set forth in His Holy Word.

I Chronicles 13:11 "And David was displeased, because the Lord had made a breach upon Uzza: wherefore that place is called Perez-uzza to this day."

When Uzza placed his hand on the ark of God, the anger of YHVH our heavenly Father went out against Uzza, for Uzza had sinned a sin of disobeying the Divine command of God. The Ark of the Covenant was the instrument that God would commune with man prior to the death on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. No one but God's selected people, the Kohathites were allowed to touch the ark, and here a man of the tribe of Judah had violate that Divine Command of God. The error was not for trying to save the ark, but in placing the ark in that situation in the first place. David was not displeased with God, but with the Levitical priests for placing the ark in trouble in the first place. David wanted the Ark brought to the tabernacle that was to be moved from Hebron to Jerusalem, and he did not relied on the Levitical priests to fulfill that part of their position to see it arrived there safely. A good man had died, and all because proper discipline and instructions of God had not been met.

I Chronicles 13:12 "And David was afraid of God that day, saying, "How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?" 

David stopped the movement of the Ark until it could be determined the way that the ark was to be moved. David knew that if God would kill one over touching a hand of the ark; he knew that God would kill the whole bunch of them if they continued in their disrespect of His instructions.

I Chronicles 13:13 "So David brought not the ark home to himself to the city of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gettite."

Obed was a Levitical priest, living in the land that used to be occupied by the Edomites, before it was taken and became part of Israel. There would be no guesswork the next time the ark would be moved, so David left it with Obed for that three month period until the proper preparations were made for the movement. Obed the Gettite that lived in the land of the Edomites knew the instructions that God gave as to the keeping of this holy ark, and he taught his entire family of the care and keeping of the ark, and God blessed that family greatly.

I Chronicles 13:14 "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."

David knew that this ark was not just a box with gold covering it completely, but there was a meaning to every part of that Ark. It symbolized the many promises that God had made between Himself and His people. It was a reminder to the people that God loves; that God takes care of His own. Our God is a God of mercy and salvation, and the cherubims that protect the mercy seat are a reminder of His mercy. Within the Ark of God there is the entire plan of God given to the people for their continual remembrance.

God was pleased with Obed and his household for the way and respect that they gave to this precious instrument of God. Obed and his household knew what they were doing and the ways that God expected His ark to be treated. They obeyed God and worshipped God the way that He expected them to. Obed trained the people within his household to give them an understanding of proper respect that YHVH our Heavenly Father deserved. In return, God blessed Obed and his household greatly.

When we respect and teach those of our family to learn and respect the Word of God, and follow the instructions that He has given us in His Word, God will bless you and I also, just as Obed, his family and possessions were blessed. The sacrifices were made and respect given before the High Priest entered into the holy of holies to approach the mercy seat of God. There was only one way to approach the mercy seat, and there is only one way to approach the throne of God today, and that is through His Son Jesus Christ. That is why we pray all of our prayers, "In Jesus' Name", for we are recognizing that Jesus Christ paid the only price that could be paid to remove the sin that is in our lives. In Obed's day, animal sacrifices had to be made to have sin removed, but at the cross, the vail of the holy of holies was rent in two, and Christ's blood became our only sacrifice for all times.

Hebrews 10:6 "In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast had no pleasure."

Hebrews 10:7 "Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me) to do Thy will, O God."

Paul is quoting here from Psalms 40:7 here, but when Psalms was written, the volume of the book had not been completed yet, and those that approached God for forgiveness came as the law prescribed. Each detail of prophecy pertaining to Christ death and resurrection were written in the Old Testament prior to Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. As Jesus hung on that cross, He taught and spoke out Psalms 22, reminding us that His death, and all the events around that death were foretold a thousand years before it happened. Jesus came to fulfill every thing that was written in the Old Testament, and to come to God, you and I have to accept that fact.

Hebrews 10:8 "Above when He said, "Sacrifice and Offerings and burnt offerings and offering for sin Thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein;" which are offered by the law;"

Again, Paul is quoting from Psalms 40:6-8; and what our Lord was saying in Psalms 40 was that "I don't want your animals and sacrifices, but I want your love." God wanted your love and commitment to Him and to His instructions.

Hebrews 10:9 "Then said He, "Lo I come to do Thy will, O God." He taketh away the first, that He may establish the second."

God did take away the first blood sacrifices and ordinances, when His Son went to the cross. That was the establishment of the second. He took them away because the blood of Jesus Christ paid the price once, and for all times. God did not take away the law, but the blood sacrifices and those things that were required under the ordinances of the law for the removal of sins. No blood sacrifice can bring the Holy Spirit to this earth, but at Christ death, the Holy Spirit did come back, and His Spirit warms the heart of everyone that He touches."

Hebrews 10:10 "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

The blood of animals did not sanctify anyone, or make them perfect, for it was only a temporary covering for sin for that year it was given. However the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God YHVH, through the repentance by you and I removes all our sins from us, and makes us perfect in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. We are being sanctified through the Spirit of the one that was sacrificed on the cross, and that is why each and every pray that we pray is "in the name of Jesus". That is the reason that your prayers are heard by YHVH the almighty Father.


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