1 Chronicles 13, 15-16: The Ark Comes Back to Jerusalem

1 Chronicles 13, 15-16: The Ark Comes Back to Jerusalem

Original Publication Date
February 25, 2017
Oct 28, 2023 7:21 PM
1 ChroniclesChapter StudyMusicDavidTemple Furnishings
Bible References

1 Chronicles 13; 15-16

Table of Contents
This page was originally posted on my Blogger version of the blog on February 25, 2017 The content below has a few minor tweaks for clarity, and additional references, and some updated information.


In 1 Samuel 6-7, Saul leads the Israelites in taking the Ark back from the Philistines. Once recovered, it is entrusted to Abinadab in Kirjathjearim. David references this in 1 Chronicles 13:3 when he points out in Saul's day the Israelites left the Ark in Kirjathjeraim without thought. David knew that God's Ark was to be in the place God had appointed (Jerusalem) and he intended to get it there!

1 Chronicles 13, 15, and 16 parallels the information given in 2 Samuel 6, and tells us of the Ark's journey from Kirjathjeraim to Jerusalem.

Death of Uzza

David takes quite the procession with him to retrieve the Ark. This honor was given because the Ark was the holiest object God had instructed the Israelites to create. In this procession of people was a man named Uzzah (or Uzza). Uzzah tries to steady the Ark but is struck dead by God for touching the Ark. Seeing this, the other men become afraid and decide to leave the ark with Obededom, who's family is blessed by the Lord for keeping the Ark.

Relating to Today

Uzzah's death is one of those things that makes you stop and think. Even David thought God had "made a breach upon Uzzah" (1 Chronicles 13:11, 2 Samuel 6:8). Uzzah is seemingly doing the right thing, but is subsequently punished... Why?

The first thing we should note is that the Ark was being transported by a cart, which isn't how the ark was supposed to be transported in the first place. The Ark was to be carried by the Levites using the staffs created specifically for it. I'm not sure how much the Ark weighed, but I'd wager it was heavy enough to put some strain on the shoulders of men who weren't used to carrying it. Placing it in a cart and letting oxen pull it was easier and more convenient. We often fall into the trap of compromising God's Word to do the convenient thing. Wether we try to create our own Sabbath day so as not to disrupt or inconvenience our lives or we take part in worldly customs so as not to seem odd, we place ourselves—and perhaps those around us—in the same danger Uzzah was in.

If the Israelites had followed God's instructions concerning the Ark, it would have been held steady by the Levites appointed to carry it. Of course, if the Israelites had followed God's Word, the Ark would never have taken from them in the first place. Nonetheless, if the Levites were carrying the Ark as instructed, one man faltering would not have placed the Ark in danger of falling to the ground. Furthermore, someone jumping in to save the day would have grabbed the staff to steady the Ark.

Uzzah may have been right in his fear of the Ark falling, but he was just as wrong as everyone else in letting them transporting it in such a manner. In the chapters surrounding the verses (in both 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles) we never see Uzzah step up to tell anyone that they shouldn't be carrying the Ark in that manner. He knew the Ark was holy enough that it couldn't touch the ground, so why did he think he could touch it?

Uzzah was in the position where his options probably looked bleak. He could touch the Ark to steady it, and die. Or he could have left it alone and possibly witness it falling. Had the ark fell, however, there was a pretty good chance God would have punished everyone right then and there. Uzzah made the decision he thought was best; despite angering God in the process, he may have saved the lives of his fellow men.

The Final Move

After the event with Uzzah, David makes sure that the ark is being taken care of precisely the way Moses described. He realizes that they were punished for not following God's protocol, so he demands the Levites sanctify themselves and take up their duty. David also assigns them to positions to praise God with music. As they carried the Ark, those in charge of the trumpet, cymbals, etc., likely played to rejoice and praise God.

Now that everything was in order, they could bring the Ark back to Jerusalem safely. Once the Ark was in Jerusalem, they sacrificed 7 rams and 7 bullocks unto God. This was a great time of celebration. We are retold that David danced before God and his first wife, Michal, despised him for this (2 Samuel 6:16 and 1 Chronicles 15:29).

Keepers of the Ark

An man named Asaph and his brothers were left to minister before the ark. Obededom and his 68 brothers were to be porters. Zadok was the high priest. Heman and Jeduthun were placed in charge of music.

Music was clearly apart of worship from the beginning, however today there is much confusion over what is acceptable music versus unacceptable music. Many argue that since we are to be set apart from the world, our music should be too. Having been to a church where I couldn't tell if I was in the club or the church, I understand this point of view. However, God never specified a proper genre, and even our hymns today match popular music from a different era. I think God can come through any genre. I think the main concern is what your spirit takes in when you hear a particular song. There are certain songs where the music is all you hear; it invokes a fleshly desire to dance—these are the song where God gets lost in the worldliness of the music. However there are also contemporary gospel songs in which you can feel the Spirit moving.

Note that when I say fleshly desire to dance I’m talking specifically about the flesh. David was overcome with joy and danced for God. Only you and the Most High know your motives for dancing and whether you are dancing in praise or in the flesh. This is why as believers it is important to examine ourselves and not to judge others!

David's Psalm

Some of the psalms found in the Book of Psalms were penned by king David. It’s not surprising in 1 Chronicles 16 we find that before anything was done, David's delivered a psalm of praise to God. The structure of the psalm is as follows: giving thanks, worship/praise, recounting His blessings, history of the covenant, worship/praise, thanks.

Back to 📕1 Chronicles overview

Other Pages to View

Bible Studies


Related Studies



Related Studies


Related Podcasts


Related Experiences


Related History

1 Chronicles 22: David Prepares Solomon to Build the Temple
1 ChroniclesChapter StudyDavidSolomonTemple
1 Chronicles 23-26: Levite Duties
1 ChroniclesChapter StudyLeviPriesthoodMusic
1 Chronicles 27-29: The Last Days of David
1 ChroniclesChapter StudyWealthTempleDavidSolomonSacrifice
1 Chronicles 18-21: David’s Military
1 ChroniclesChapter StudyAmmonSyriaPhilistineDavid
1 Chronicles 17: The Temple
1 ChroniclesChapter StudyDavidSolomonEgyptTemple
1 Chronicles 11-12, 14: David Becomes King
1 ChroniclesChapter StudyDavidRelationshipsLeadership
1 Chronicles 10: Saul’s Death
1 ChroniclesChapter StudySaulDeath
1 Chronicles 1-9: Genealogies
1 ChroniclesChapter StudyWomen
1 Kings 1-2: Solomon Crowned King
1 KingsChapter StudySolomonDavidWomenDeath
Psalms 51-55
Chapter StudyPsalmsDavidSacrificeCommunication
Psalms 21-30
Chapter StudyPsalmsMessianic ProphecyBook 1DeathLeadershipIntercessory PrayerDavid
Jonah 1: Running From God
Chapter StudyJonahWaterDavidAnimalsRepentance and ForgivenessMessiahFaith
Psalms 1-10
Chapter StudyPsalmsBook 1Messianic ProphecySymbolismProphecyCovenantJusticeDavid
Joshua 3-4: Crossing the Jordan River
JoshuaChapter StudyTemple FurnishingsJoshua (person)WaterBaptism
2 Chronicles 34-35: Josiah
2 ChroniclesChapter StudyJosiahJoashEgyptPassoverTemple Furnishings
2 Chronicles 29-32: Hezekiah
2 ChroniclesChapter StudyHezekiahMusicPassoverDeathIsaiah the prophetAssyriaLevi
2 Chronicles 1-7: Solomon Builds the Temple
2 ChroniclesChapter StudyTempleTemple FurnishingsSolomonEgyptTyre
1 Samuel 18-27: Saul Tries to Kill David
1 SamuelChapter StudyJonathanRelationshipsSaulDavidPhilistineMurderMichal
1 Samuel 28-31: Saul’s Last Battle
1 SamuelChapter StudyAmalakitesPhilistineDavidWitchcraftSaul
1 Samuel 25: Samuel’s Death and David’s Wives
1 SamuelChapter StudyAbigailRelationshipsWomenDavidSamuelMichal
1 Samuel 23: David Saves Keilah
1 SamuelChapter StudyDavidBetrayalPhilistine
1 Samuel 16: David is Anointed
1 SamuelChapter StudySaulDavidSamuelRelationships
1 Samuel 17: David and Goliath
1 SamuelChapter StudyPhilistineDavidNephilim and Giants
1 Samuel 4-7: The Ark of the Covenant
1 SamuelChapter StudyPlaguesBenjaminPhilistineFalse Deities and ProphetsTemple Furnishings
2 SamuelCharacter StudyDavidTamarSexual ImoralitySexual Assault
Isaiah 25-27: Songs
IsaiahChapter StudyDeathProphecyMusic
Isaiah 12: Praise God with Song
IsaiahChapter StudyMusic
2 Samuel 11-12: David and Bathsheba
2 SamuelChapter StudyRelationshipsAdulteryJudgementDavidMurder
Character StudyRuth1 Samuel2 Samuel1 Kings2 Kings1 Chronicles2 ChroniclesPsalms
2 Samuel 21-24: Contradictions on David's Final Days?
2 SamuelChapter StudyDavidSaulDoctrinePhilistine
2 Samuel 19-20: Israel and Judah
2 SamuelChapter StudyDavidDivision of Israel
2 Samuel 5-10: David’s Military Success
2 SamuelChapter StudyDavidRelationshipsMessianic Prophecy
2 Samuel 1-4: After Saul’s Death
2 SamuelChapter StudySaulDavidDivision of Israel
Mediate Like Abigail
Abigail1 SamuelDavidCharacter StudyWomenYouTube
2 Samuel 13-19: Absalom’s Coup
Chapter Study2 SamuelDavidRelationshipsTamarWomenSexual ImoralitySexual AssaultRepentance and Forgiveness
Do Not Commit Adultery
PSALMS to God is a blog, podcast, and YouTube channel that discusses many topics and issues, always keeping YHWH as the anchor. Hosea 4:6 says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”—here, the aim is to always ask questions and study to find the answers. You can keep up with new content by signing up for the weekly newsletter.