King David and the Ark of the Lord

David fled from King Saul and his soldiers, who pursued David to every place where he was told David had gone. God protected David and kept him safe for many years.

The prophet Samuel died, and all Israel assembled and mourned for him; and they buried him at his home in Ramah. Later, Saul and Jonathan died in a battle, and David mourned for them.

In the course of time, David inquired of the Lord. “Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?” he asked.

The Lord said, “Go up.”

David asked, “Where shall I go?”

“To Hebron,” the Lord answered.

So David went up there. David took his wives, and also the men who had supported him for many years while he was hiding from Saul, each with his family, and they all settled in Hebron and its towns. Then the men of Judah came to Hebron, and there they anointed David king over the tribe of Judah.

David is made king of Israel

The war between the house of Saul (Israel) and the house of David (Judah) lasted a long time. David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.

Finally, all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’”

When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.

David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.

King David and his men marched to Jerusalem to claim it from the people living there. David captured the fortress of Zion. David then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David. He built up the area around it, from the terraces inward. And he became more and more powerful, because the Lord God Almighty was with him.

Now Hiram king of Tyre sent envoys to David, along with cedar logs and carpenters and stonemasons, and they built a palace for David. Then David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.

David brings the Ark of the Lord to the City of David

David brought together all the able young men of Israel—thirty thousand. He and all his men went to Baalah in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark.

They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals.

When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down.

David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?” He was not willing to take the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household.

Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

They brought the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the Lord. After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord Almighty. Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each person in the whole crowd of Israelites, both men and women. And all the people went to their homes.

The king was settled in his palace and the Lord gave him rest from all his enemies around him.

Excerpts and edited verses taken from 1 Samuel 25 through 2 Samuel 7:1