The Box of the Agreement in Jerusalem
1David built houses for himself in the City of David. Then he built a place to put God’s Holy Box. He set up a tent for it. 2Then he said, “Only the Levites are permitted to carry God’s Holy Box. The Lord chose them to carry it and to serve him forever.”
3David told all the Israelites to meet together at Jerusalem to see the Lord’s Holy Box carried to the place he had made for it. 4He called together these descendants of Aaron and the Levites:
5There were 120 people from the tribe of Kohath. Uriel was their leader.
6There were 220 people from the tribe of Merari. Asaiah was their leader.
7There were 130 people from the tribe of Gershon. Joel was their leader.
8There were 200 people from the tribe of Elizaphan. Shemaiah was their leader.
9There were 80 people from the tribe of Hebron. Eliel was their leader.
10There were 112 people from the tribe of Uzziel. Amminadab was their leader.
David Talks to the Priests and Levites
11Then David asked the priests, Zadok and Abiathar, to come to him. David also asked these Levites to come to him: Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab. 12David said to them, “You are the leaders from the tribe of Levi. You and the other Levites must make yourselves holy.#15:12 holy Here, this means “prepared to serve the Lord.” Also in verse 14. Then bring the Holy Box of the Lord, the God of Israel, to the place I have made for it. 13The first time we tried to bring it, we failed to ask the Lord about the right way to move it. And he punished us because you Levites did not carry it.”
14Then the priests and Levites made themselves holy so that they could carry the Holy Box of the Lord, the God of Israel. 15The Levites used the special poles to carry God’s Holy Box on their shoulders, the way Moses commanded. They carried the Holy Box just as the Lord had said.
16David told the Levite leaders to get their brothers, the singers. The singers were to take their lyres, harps, and cymbals and sing happy songs.
17Then the Levites got Heman and his brothers, Asaph and Ethan. Heman was Joel’s son. Asaph was Berekiah’s son. Ethan was Kushaiah’s son. These men were from the Merari tribe. 18There was also a second group of Levites. They were Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed Edom, and Jeiel. These men were the Levite guards.
19The singers Heman, Asaph, and Ethan played bronze cymbals. 20Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, and Benaiah played the alamoth#15:20, 21 alamoth, sheminith The meaning of these words is uncertain, but they may refer to types of instruments, special ways of tuning an instrument, or two different groups that played harps in the Temple orchestra. harps. 21Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed Edom, Jeiel, and Azaziah played the sheminith harps. This was their job forever. 22The Levite leader Kenaniah was in charge of the singing. Kenaniah had this job because he was very skilled at singing.
23Berekiah and Elkanah were two of the guards for the Holy Box. 24The priests Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer had the job of blowing trumpets as they walked in front of God’s Holy Box. Obed Edom and Jehiah were the other guards for the Holy Box.
25David, the elders of Israel, and the generals#15:25 generals Literally, “leaders over 1000 men.” went to get the Box of the Lord’s Agreement. They brought it out from Obed Edom’s house. Everyone was very happy! 26God had helped the Levites who carried the Box of the Lord’s Agreement. So they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams to him. 27All the Levites who carried the Holy Box wore robes made from fine linen. Kenaniah, the man in charge of the singing, and all the singers had robes made from fine linen. David also wore a robe made from fine linen. He also wore an ephod made of fine linen.
28So all the Israelites joined in bringing up the Box of the Lord’s Agreement. They shouted, they blew rams’ horns and trumpets, and they played cymbals, lyres, and harps.
29When the Box of the Lord’s Agreement arrived at the City of David, Saul’s daughter Michal looked through a window. When she saw King David dancing and playing, she lost her respect for him.