Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 15
The chief priests of Israel still recognised David to be the king whom God had chosen. They would not support Absalom his son, who had wrongly tried to make himself king.
The ark was Israel’s most sacred object, which David brought to Jerusalem in chapter 6. It was evidence of God’s covenant, in other words, his promises that established his special relationship with Israel.
Jerusalem was the place that God had chosen in Deuteronomy 12:1-14 (see Psalm 132:13-14). There, Solomon would build the great house of God called the temple. The place for the ark was in its inner room, called the most holy place (Hebrews 9:3-4). Therefore, the ark should have remained permanently in Jerusalem. It was an extraordinary decision to take it from there. It was as if God himself had left that city (compare Ezekiel chapter 10). Then the city would no longer be under God’s protection and its enemies could destroy it completely.
The priests made the extraordinary decision to move the ark because, even in this situation, God was with David. They wanted to express the fact that God would still carry out his promises to David (7:5-16). So, they brought the ark to David. They carefully followed all the rules that God had given about how to carry the ark. That was why the Levites (a particular family of relatives of the priests) carried the ark (Numbers 3:31).
There were two chief priests during David’s rule. Abiathar came from the family that had, until then, been Israel’s chief priests. However, after David’s rule, the chief priests came from Zadok’s family (see 1 Kings 2:27 and 1 Samuel 2:30).
Next part: David decides that the ark must remain in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 15:25-26)
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