Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 6

David’s sacrifices as he brings the ark to Jerusalem

2 Samuel 6:13

In the first procession, before Uzzah’s death, there is no mention whatever of sacrifices. That surprises us. Sacrifices were extremely important in the religion of Israel (Leviticus chapters 1 to 7).

Perhaps there were sacrifices then, but people carried them out as a mere ceremony, without any thought about their meaning. Or perhaps in all the preparations, David neglected to arrange sacrifices.

It was different in the second procession. David recognised the importance of sacrifices (Hebrews 9:22). 2 Samuel 6:13 seems to describe sacrifices at the start of the procession, by the house of Obed-Edom. 1 Chronicles 15:26 describes sacrifices to thank God at the end of the procession.

The sacrifices were animals that people offered to God. Without sacrifices, people could not approach God or his holy things, because of their wrong and evil deeds. So, God taught them to offer back to him a life that he had given, the life of an innocent animal (Genesis 22:8). God would accept that animal’s life, and with it, he accepted his people’s prayers. So, those sacrifices made it possible for God’s people to have a relationship with him.

In the first procession, David was trying to impress God with a great ceremony. David thought that his ceremony would please God. In the second procession, David realised that his own efforts, however great, would not please God. We can only come to God by means of what he has done to provide us with a relationship with him. So in this second procession, David was no longer depending upon himself. Instead, he depended only on God’s goodness.

Next part: David dances in front of the ark (2 Samuel 6:14-15)


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