Prophet Pearls #26 – Shemini (2 Samuel 6:1-7:17)

Image courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University.In this episode of Prophet Pearls, on the Prophets portion of Shemini, covering 2 Samuel 6:1-7:17, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson provide background and insight into this portion focusing on the Ark of the Covenant. Gordon tracks the movements and uses of the Ark from the time of Saul to the last we hear about it, during David’s reign. We learn possible meanings for the unique word “shal” - the reason that Uzzah was slain. Johnson draws prophetic parallels for Obed-edom’s relationship with the Ark and David’s decision to return it to Jerusalem. We learn of  two other instances in the Tanakh where God refers to himself as a father to Solomon, and to Solomon as his son. Gordon closes with a prayer of thankfulness to be in the Land of his fathers and to be part of an era of blessing in which the Torah is going forth from Zion. All this and more in this week's Prophet Pearls!

"Now it was told King David, saying, 'Yehovah has blessed the house of Obed-edom... because of the ark of God.'" (2 Samuel 6:12)

I look foward to reading your comments!

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Image courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University.

15 thoughts on “Prophet Pearls #26 – Shemini (2 Samuel 6:1-7:17)

  1. I remember my Grandmother telling me about a professor and his college students, apparently in the late 1800’s or early 1900;s who tried to make an exact replica of The Ark of The Covenant according to instructions in the Torah and they couldn’t complete it because it created such electrical power… I just googled it and someone else was asking about the same thing on a website ‘’ but there is no answer… just the inquiry and a lot of guessing and silly comments but nothing about the actual experiment.
    I also found a site called Quora that mentions it, stating that one Erich von Daniken seems to be the originating source for this story…so I researched him… but he seems to have been WAY out in left field with space aliens etc… so not a reliable source.

    What I’m wondering is, if a replica could produce that kind of electrical current would it not be feasible that the Real Ark conducted some kind of current which is why it had to be carried by wooden poles and why when Uzzah touched it he was struck dead? I believe God is all things good… and therefore believe He is Love, He is music, He is Grace, He is Mercy, He is Justice He is Science,… He is Power… While the Ark itself is not God… His Power was in it. The people of that day would have seen Uzzah’s death as being ‘struck by Yehovah’ himself instead of the result of contact with an electrical current. This is not diminishing Yehovah in it… but to me just shows even more how Yehovah God is all Powerful and Creative. Just a thought.

    I continue to pray for Israelites who still do not understand or are afraid of the concept of having a personal Relationship with The Father.. of BEing in Relationship WITH Him. As a Gentile it took me far too many years to get it myself… but for different reasons than thinking of Him as too Holy or too Powerful to be able to have a relationship with.
    Whatever the reason for believing one can not have a personal relationship with The Creator God, I pray for His Truth to come into the lives of each Israelite… and for each Gentile… who still do not understand this concept, to be able to discover it, to live it, to have it.

  2. Wasn’t the problem with Uzzah is that the priests were to carry the ark by the poles and not on a cart? Wasn’t this so as not to touch the ark itself? Therefore, if Uzzah (even with good intentions) did what was forbidden, (like Nadab and Abihu) then YHVH was not happy about it. David may have thought it was too harsh……maybe Aaron did too. But our opinions are not relevant to whether or not we obey the commands.

    • Interesting,

      And David was angry because the LORD had burst forth against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzzah, to this day.
      And it is displeasing to David, because that Jehovah hath broken forth a breach upon Uzzah, and [one] calleth that place Perez-Uzzah, unto this day;
      – 2 Samuel 6:8

      Did David understand that as “the initiator” of moving the ark , the punishment should really have come to him for not transporting the ark as requested by the law set forth?

      If so has Yehovah spared David’s life, but requested a punishment never the less (Uzzah happened to be the one who touched it ?)

      Just a thought..

  3. Shalom again! Some good comments here and I hope mine is an encouraging one also and full of hope. I don’t sense to direct this type of comment towards Kieth. Therefore Nehemiah, there you go again waxing wise with your parallel juxtaposition between the Ark’s name of Yahovah bringing it front and center AND the last days projected blessings of bringing God’s name forth once again! WAY TO GO! for such a one being so very detail oriented. You have again taken that which is seen, to see the unseen. (wisdom Rom 1:20). I believe the true “circumcised of heart” children of Amighty God ARE speaking forth His Holy name as it is being learned but in context of Scripture, this isn’t enough, is it? His proper name must be commomplace and spoken amongst any and all as it becomes known. Not rejected so wickedly as is today. So it was and will be again only this time around, the true Messiah will cause it to happen as the place called by His name is established once again. The sooner the better is my judgment. Amein and Amein! Please keep the wisdom coming as in these things, we may boast that we understand and come to know our Father. Didn’t we discuss salvation and relationship a couple episodes back. Brought deep felt tears inside and out to see the wise truth and what His intentions are. Earth shattering it is! Be blessed again and again continually. me

  4. David must have reasoned that the poles were wood, no hanan hands touched it, so a wood wagon? It is wood and not touched by hunam hands and it travels faster.

    Machal most likely had some resentment her father was not king, I don’t think David was naked, I think he word the Ephod, which meant he reveled he was a king priest line, Melchizedek. That’s the uncoverning she meant; not naked skin. Right?

    • Shalom Janice and all! If we look at Machal in context of being a woman, subject to like passions. If the points given concerning her heritage, the silver spoon upbringing not to menton being a “chip of the ol block” as the saying goes, have validity,, couldn’t we deduce quite conclusively in context that PRIDE and arrogance were her overflowing traits here? Another saying is “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” so as her father was, so she was. No doubt she was a miserable mistake in the Kings existence although we can clearly see the behind the scenes politics which brought forth such a mistake. When David was on the run, he took another wife which I believe was another mistake although she as indicated was a wonderful wise woman. Obviously these women didn’t satisfy so he continually looked for another,, ie., “the RIGHT one” perhaps? I personally believe Bathsheba was the one Amighty God had made for him. Sin complications withstanding, Yahovah would have worked this out His way if David would have sought and patiently waited. God placed her before him but someone else saw too and worked to thewart the blessed plan of God. HINT: haSatan. David was no ordinary man and he would have his “perfect” match made just for him. The cost was high however and so it seems for everyman who would seek a likewise prize! Take it or leave it, just my humble opinion. Blessings, me

  5. יברכך יהוה I was touched, Nehemia, by the word you spoke from Isaiah before you prayed, “For the Torah will go forth from Zion, and the word of Yehovah from Yerushalayim.” Truly it’s a blessed honor the two of you have been given! Thanks for the study. A couple of questions:

    1) Since the high priest was the only one who could go into the Most Holy Place on Yom ha Kippurim (and that only after a barrier of incense smoke preceded him), what was the protocol for gaining access to the ark in the first place so that it could be transported along with the rest of the Mishkan? I was always under the impression that anyone entering the Most Holy Place other than the high priest according to said prescription would be met with a similar fate as Nadav and Avihu.

    2) I’ve heard that Eliahu ha Tishbi (Elijah the Tishbite) was also a non-Israelite prophet, which blew my mind to consider. I read that Tishbey is mentioned nowhere else in Scripture and its location is unknown (maybe a town called Istib 8 miles north of the Jabbok river). Or does Tishbi refer to תושב (sojourner). Either way, does this make Eliahu a non-Israelite prophet as well?

    Shalom aleykem,

  6. Thanks again guys. But sorry here comes my but. Poor Solomon took 1000 wives!!!! And built for them high places and the kingdom was divided after his death sure wasn’t a happy ending. Maybe you could address his gross lack of wisdom in his personal life. Kinda hard to understand him taking 1000 wives I guess one could reason it was to make foreign alliances. But 1000 wives YIKES!!!

  7. Before entering Gaza, the IDF was prayed over. All I can gather is that it was the prayer before battle that includes the phrases “You will not be afraid”, and “I will fight for you”, and they were then NOT afraid (as told by a soldier on youtube who went street-to-street in that invasion, and filmed some of it), and there were NO casualties. I keep trying to find more video of it, I guess there is none of the rabbi (priest?) praying over the troops at the border just before the battle. But I wonder if the praying leader spoke the Name over the troops? Does anyone know?

  8. Following the discussion of the non-Israelite prophet, here is a short list of non-Israelites having provision in the law and nation of Yehovah:

    Exodus 12:49
    The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you.

    Exodus 22:21
    You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

    Exodus 23:9
    You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.

    Exodus 23:12
    Six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you shall cease from labor so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female slave, as well as your stranger, may refresh themselves.

    Leviticus 19:10
    Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am Yehovah your God.

    Leviticus 19:33-34
    33 When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.
    34 The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am Yehovah your God.

    Leviticus 24:22
    There shall be one standard for you; it shall be for the stranger as well as the native, for I am Yehovah your God.

    Leviticus 25:35
    Now in case a countryman of yours becomes poor and his means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a stranger or a sojourner, in order that he may live with you.

    Numbers 15:15-16
    15 As for the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the alien who sojourns with you, a perpetual statute throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the alien be before Yehovah.
    16 There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the alien who sojourns with you.

    Deuteronomy 16:10-14
    10 Then you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks (i.e. Pentecost, Shavuot) to Yehovah your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give just as Yehovah your God blesses you;
    11 and you shall rejoice before Yehovah your God, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite who is in your town, and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your midst, in the place where Yehovah your God chooses to establish His name.
    12 You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.
    13 You shall celebrate the Feast of Booths seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat;
    14 and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns.

    Deuteronomy 26:12
    When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow, in order that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.

    Ruth 1:15-17 – Foreigners could choose to worship Yehovah.
    15 Then she said, “Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law.”
    16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.
    17 “Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may Yehovah do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.”

    1 Samuel 26:6 – Foreigners fought for King David.
    Then David said to Ahimelech the Hittite and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, saying, “Who will go down with me to Saul in the camp?” And Abishai said, “I will go down with you.”
    1 Kings 8:41-43
    41 Also concerning the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel, when he comes from a far country for Your name’s sake
    42 (for they will hear of Your great name and Your mighty hand, and of Your outstretched arm); when he comes and prays toward this house,
    43 hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name, to fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by Your name.

    2 Chronicles 6:32-33
    32 Also concerning the foreigner who is not from Your people Israel, when he comes from a far country for Your great name’s sake and Your mighty hand and Your outstretched arm, when they come and pray toward this house,
    33 then hear from heaven, from Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name, and fear You as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by Your name.

    Isaiah 56:3-8
    3 Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to Yehovah say, “Yehovah will surely separate me from His people.” Nor let the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.”
    4 For thus says Yehovah, “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, and choose what pleases Me, and hold fast My covenant,
    5 to them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial, and a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.
    6 Also the foreigners who join themselves to Yehovah, to minister to Him, and to love the name of Yehovah, to be His servants, everyone who keeps from profaning the Sabbath and holds fast My covenant;
    7 even those I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.
    8 The Lord Yehovah, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, declares, “Yet others I will gather to them, to those already gathered.”

    Jeremiah 26:20 – Non-Israelites can be prophets
    Indeed, there was also a man who prophesied in the name of Yehovah, Uriah the son of Shemaiah from Kiriath-jearim; and he prophesied against this city and against this land words similar to all those of Jeremiah.

  9. Keith & Nehemia
    You have hit a nerve here David claimed the ark from uzzah, does this parallel the need for reclaiming the Temple Mount away from the current occupier? Is Yehovah waiting for a David who will see the urgency to take back what belongs to Israel from those who have been defiling it?

  10. Will Israel begin to speak the name because the gentile do and make them jealous? As nations align to war against them, they may need to. Look at the history of the ban on the name.
    When Greece was the greatest empire on the face of the Earth, they tried to ban the name, but Judah the Maccabee formed a small army and fought back. They won. Greece fell. The Maccabees feared Yehovah more than they feared death and He preserved them.
    Three centuries later, Rome is the greatest empire on Earth, and they too attempt to ban the name. Bar Kochbah forms a small army to fight back. About this time Rabbi ben Teradion teaches from the Torah using the name. Rome burns him to death. The other rabbis get together and say,” We can’t have Rome killing us for speaking the name! Let US ban the name!” Israel gets destroyed. Rome continues for centuries. The rabbis feared death more than Yehovah.

  11. Yehovah must have been incensed that He was forced to enforce His word with Uzzah:

    NUM 4:15 “When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy objects and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, when the camp is to set out, after that the sons of Kohath shall come to carry them, so that they will not touch the holy objects and die. These are the things in the tent of meeting which the sons of Kohath are to carry.
    DEU 10:8 At that time Yehovah set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of Yehovah, to stand before Yehovah to serve Him and to bless in His name until this day.

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