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From Eternity Past

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    Ark Returned to Jerusalem

    Now that David was established on the throne, he turned to accomplish a cherished purpose—to bring up the ark of God to Jerusalem. It was fitting that the capital of the nation should be honored with the token of the divine Presence.EP 511.3

    David's purpose was to make the occasion a scene of great rejoicing and imposing display. The people responded gladly. The high priest and the princes and leading men of the tribes assembled at Kirjath-jearim. David was aglow with holy zeal. The ark was brought out from the house of Abinadab and placed upon a new cart drawn by oxen, while two of the sons of Abinadab attended it.EP 511.4

    The men of Israel followed with shouts and songs of rejoicing, a multitude of voices joining in melody with the sound of musical instruments. “David and the house of Israel played before the Lord ... on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.” With solemn gladness the vast procession wound its way along the hills and valleys toward the Holy City.EP 511.5

    But “when they came to Nachon's threshing floor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God smote him there for his rashness [marginal reading]; and there he died by the ark of God.” Terror fell on the rejoicing throng. David was greatly alarmed, and in his heart questioned the justice of God. Why had that fearful judgment been sent to turn gladness into grief and mourning? Feeling that it would be unsafe to have the ark near him, David determined to let it remain where it was. A place was found for it nearby, at the house of Obed-edom.EP 512.1

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