Preparing to Move the Ark
1David now built several buildings for himself in the City of David. He also prepared a place for the Ark of God and set up a special tent for it. 2Then he commanded, “No one except the Levites may carry the Ark of God. The Lord has chosen them to carry the Ark of the Lord and to serve him forever.”
3Then David summoned all Israel to Jerusalem to bring the Ark of the Lord to the place he had prepared for it. 4This is the number of the descendants of Aaron (the priests) and the Levites who were called together:
5From the clan of Kohath, 120, with Uriel as their leader.
6From the clan of Merari, 220, with Asaiah as their leader.
7From the clan of Gershon,# Hebrew Gershom, a variant spelling of Gershon. 130, with Joel as their leader.
8From the descendants of Elizaphan, 200, with Shemaiah as their leader.
9From the descendants of Hebron, 80, with Eliel as their leader.
10From the descendants of Uzziel, 112, with Amminadab as their leader.
11Then David summoned the priests, Zadok and Abiathar, and these Levite leaders: Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab. 12He said to them, “You are the leaders of the Levite families. You must purify yourselves and all your fellow Levites, so you can bring the Ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to the place I have prepared for it. 13Because you Levites did not carry the Ark the first time, the anger of the Lord our God burst out against us. We failed to ask God how to move it properly.” 14So the priests and the Levites purified themselves in order to bring the Ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to Jerusalem. 15Then the Levites carried the Ark of God on their shoulders with its carrying poles, just as the Lord had instructed Moses.
16David also ordered the Levite leaders to appoint a choir of Levites who were singers and musicians to sing joyful songs to the accompaniment of harps, lyres, and cymbals. 17So the Levites appointed Heman son of Joel along with his fellow Levites: Asaph son of Berekiah, and Ethan son of Kushaiah from the clan of Merari. 18The following men were chosen as their assistants: Zechariah, Jaaziel,# As in several Hebrew manuscripts and Greek version (see also parallel lists in 15:20; 16:5); Masoretic Text reads Zechariah ben Jaaziel. Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, and the gatekeepers—Obed-edom and Jeiel.
19The musicians Heman, Asaph, and Ethan were chosen to sound the bronze cymbals. 20Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, and Benaiah were chosen to play the harps.# Hebrew adds according to Alamoth, which is probably a musical term. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. 21Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, Jeiel, and Azaziah were chosen to play the lyres.# Hebrew adds according to the Sheminith, which is probably a musical term. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. 22Kenaniah, the head Levite, was chosen as the choir leader because of his skill.
23Berekiah and Elkanah were chosen to guard# Hebrew chosen as gatekeepers for; also in 15:24. the Ark. 24Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer—all of whom were priests—were chosen to blow the trumpets as they marched in front of the Ark of God. Obed-edom and Jehiah were chosen to guard the Ark.
Moving the Ark to Jerusalem
25Then David and the elders of Israel and the generals of the army# Hebrew the commanders of thousands. went to the house of Obed-edom to bring the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant up to Jerusalem with a great celebration. 26And because God was clearly helping the Levites as they carried the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams.
27David was dressed in a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who carried the Ark, and also the singers, and Kenaniah the choir leader. David was also wearing a priestly garment.# Hebrew a linen ephod. 28So all Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant with shouts of joy, the blowing of rams’ horns and trumpets, the crashing of cymbals, and loud playing on harps and lyres.
29But as the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David skipping about and laughing with joy, she was filled with contempt for him.