Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 7

The places where the tabernacle and the ark stood

2 Samuel 7:6

At the time of Moses, God rescued Israel’s people, who had been slaves in Egypt. God did not leave them after he had rescued them. Instead, he chose to live among them. He told Moses to build a special tent called the tabernacle, which was his home among them (Exodus chapter 26). Exodus 40:34-38 describes how his glory (splendid honour and beauty) filled the tabernacle.

For 40 years, Israel’s people travelled in the desert. Wherever they went, they placed God’s tabernacle in the centre of their camp (Numbers 9:15-23). In that way, God brought them into the country that God had promised to them - then called Canaan (Joshua chapters 3 and 4).

God gave Israel’s people that land as their permanent possession. However, there was still no permanent place for God’s tabernacle. We read about it at Shiloh (Joshua 18:1), at a place called Nob (1 Samuel 21:1-9) and at Gibeon (2 Chronicles 1:3). When the tabernacle was at Nob and at Gibeon, it did not contain its most sacred object, the box called the ark.

Instead the ark was in Ashdod, then Ekron (1 Samuel chapter 5), then Kiriath Jearim (1 Samuel 6:21 to 7:1), then finally Jerusalem (2 Samuel chapter 6).

God had promised to choose a certain place in Israel as his permanent home in this world (Deuteronomy 12:11). David may have already realised that this place was Jerusalem. However, God would not show him the actual place until the events that 2 Samuel chapter 24 describes (see 1 Chronicles 22:1).

Next part: Why did God's house continue to be a tent? (2 Samuel 7:7)


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