Incorrect Transportation of the Ark
Verse 3 – The ark of God was Israel’s national treasure and was ordinarily kept in the tabernacle. When the ark was returned to Israel after a brief Philistine captivity (1 Samuel 4:1-7:2), it was kept in Abinadab’s home for 20 years. David wanted to bring the ark to Jerusalem to ensure God’s blessing on the entire nation.
Verses 6, 7 – Uzzah was only trying to protect the ark, so was God’s anger just? According to Numbers 4:5-15, the ark was to be moved only by the Levites They were to never touch the ark. To touch it was a capital offense under Hebrew law. God’s action was directed at both David and Uzzah. Uzzah, though sincere in his desire to protect the ark, had to face the consequences of the sin of touching it. In addition, Uzzah may not have been a Levite. The next time David tried to bring the ark to Jerusalem, he was careful to handle it correctly (1 Chronicles 15:1-15).
Verses 8-12 – David became angry because a well-meaning man had been killed and a joyous return of the ark had been spoiled. However, he knew that the fault was his for transporting the ark carelessly. After cooling down, he had the ark put into temporary storage while he waited to see if the Lord would allow him to bring it to Jerusalem. The fact that God blessed the home of Obed-Edom was a sign to David that he could try once again to move the ark to Jerusalem.
Correct Transportation of the Ark
Verses 16, 17 – Michal was David’s first wife, but here she is called daughter of Saul, possibly to show how similar her attitude was to her fathers. Maybe she thought this display of emotion by David was not fitting for a King. Burnt offerings marked a dedication to God, while fellowship offerings were sacrificed meals shared by priests and worshipers.
Verse 20 – As a daughter of a king herself, Michal may have wanted King David to be more aloof from the common people.
Verse 21 – David responded sharply. David’s mention of whole family was a subtle jab at Michal as well.
Verse 22 – Michal apparently did not think David should humble himself by celebrating as he did, but David insisted that he had acted appropriately and would continue to do so.
Verse 23 – Some suggest Michal’s childlessness was the result of God’s direct judgment but the text is not clear about this. Her childlessness may have been due to the tension she placed on her and David’s marriage.