Lectionary Year B
July 13, 2003
2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19

Step V: Distillation

A. Summary of Salient Features

(JFC) "The 'theological center of gravity' in this passage" is the very presence of God symbolized by the Ark (~yhil{a/h' !Ara]) of Elohim/the Covenant and its being relocated into Jerusalem. Walter Brueggemann (Interpretation commentary) calls it, "a radical and bold innovation in the form of dynasty and royal city . . ." Other key elements here include King David, his celebrative way of reacting to the ark's journey and arrival in Jerusalem and, perhaps the final sharing of gift-cakes with the people. These reflections leave as lesser significant such parts as the citizens, Obed-Edom, the sacrifice(s), Michal and the various musical instruments as well as David's ephod.

B. Smoother Translation

(JFC) 1 The chosen men of Israel, some 30,000, were brought together again by David. 2 And David and all the people who were with him rose and went from Baale-Judah to go up from there with the ark of Yahweh which is called by the name, the name of Yahweh of Hosts being by the cherubim on top of it. 3 And they caused the ark to ride upon a new wagon/cart and they bore/carried it from the house of Abinadab which is on a hill. And Uzza and Ahio the sons of Abinadab were guiding/driving the new cart. 4 And they carried it from the house of Abinadab which (is) on a hill with the ark of Elohim and Ahio (was) walking before the ark. 5 And David and all the house of Israel were dancing before Yahweh in all trees/wood of juniper/pine/cypress/fir and with lyre/harp and lute/guitar and with tumbrels/tambourines and with rattles and with buzzing spears. 12b And David went and caused the ark of Elohim to ascend from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with great joy. 13 And it happened that their having stepped six steps as they were carrying the ark of Yahweh he sacrificed a bull and a fatling. 14 And David was dancing in all strength before Yahweh and David was girded by a linen ephod. 15 And David and all the house of Israel brought up/caused to ascend the ark of Yahweh in the sound of a tempest and with the sound of a ram's horn. 16 And it happened as the ark of Yahweh entered the city of David that Michal the daughter of Saul looked down and out from the window and saw the King David dancing and she held in contempt/despised him in her heart/mind. 17 And they brought the ark of Yahweh and set in a place in the midst of the tent which David had set/made for it and he made a whole burnt offering before Yahweh and peace offerings, too. 18 And David completed in the making of the whole burnt offering and the peace offerings and he blessed the people in the name of Yahweh of hosts. 19 And he shared with all the people in the crowd of Israel to a man and to a woman a cake of bread one and a portion of meat/cake of dates one and each one went all the people each one to his own home. C. Hermeneutical Bridge (JFC) Walter Eichrodt, TOT, refers to "the meaning of history to be found in the regular sequence of sin and punishment, and the restoration thus effected by the state of affairs willed by God; and it is this which the Priestly history-writing attempts to exhibit (Cf. I Sam. 4-6; II Sam.6 . . .)." James F. Hopewell's Congregation: Stories ad Structures emphasizes, among many other ideas, the contexts/communities in which churches are located and how they identify themselves from that outside environment into themselves. David's relocating the Ark to Jerusalem must have been somewhat a response to its ecosystem in those days. Do we get that idea, among others, from II Samuel 6, with the dynamic sovereignty of God present with the people making up the faith community.

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