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Uzzah

Uzzah was a Levite (see Levites), the son of Abinadab in whose house the men of Kirjath-jearim brought The Ark Of The Covenant after it was recovered from the Philistines. About 20 years later, King David decided to have the Ark brought to Jerusalem. Uzzah and his brother Ahio drove the new cart on which the Ark was placed. Despite the long-standing command of The Lord that only specifically-authorized Levites were to touch the Ark, anyone else "shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die" (Numbers 4:15), "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 error; and there he died by the Ark of God."

"they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die"

The Philistines had also learned the same lesson, the hard way. They had captured the Ark, but soon discovered that they would much rather not be in possession of it because The Lord's wrath came upon them for holding it. Note: the RSV is used for this verse quote because it correctly translates the original word as "tumors," whereas the King James incorrectly uses "emerods." The Lord actually inflicted the Philistines with the "tumors" of bubonic plague i.e. buboes: "a lymph node that is inflamed and swollen because of plague."

King David leading The Ark

"When the Philistines captured the Ark of God, they carried it from Ebenezer to Ashdod; then the Philistines took the Ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon and set it up beside Dagon."

"The hand of The Lord was heavy upon the people of Ashdod, and He terrified and afflicted them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territory. And when the men of Ashdod saw how things were, they said, "The Ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us; for His hand is heavy upon us and upon Dagon our god." So they sent and gathered together all The Lords of the Philistines, and said, "What shall we do with the Ark of the God of Israel?" They answered, "Let the Ark of the God of Israel be brought around to Gath." So they brought the Ark of the God of Israel there."

"But after they had brought it around, the hand of The Lord was against the city, causing a very great panic, and He afflicted the men of the city, both young and old, so that tumors broke out upon them. So they sent the Ark of God to Ekron. But when the Ark of God came to Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out, "They have brought around to us the Ark of the God of Israel to slay us and our people." They sent therefore and gathered together all The Lords of the Philistines, and said, "Send away the Ark of the God of Israel, and let it return to its own place, that it may not slay us and our people." For there was a deathly panic throughout the whole city. The hand of God was very heavy there; the men who did not die were stricken with tumors, and the cry of the city went up to heaven." (1 Samuel 5:1-12 RSV)

The Philistines gladly returned the Ark to the Israelites.

"And the men of Kirjathjearim came, and fetched up the Ark of The Lord, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the Ark of The Lord. And it came to pass, while the Ark abode in Kirjathjearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after The Lord." (1 Samuel 7:1-2 KJV)

Later, King David decided to bring the Ark to Jerusalem, an event that turned tragic for Uzzah because he carelessly ignored The Lord's warning that he must surely have been aware of.

"Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the Ark of God, whose Name is called by the Name of The Lord of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims. And they set the Ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart. And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the Ark of God: and Ahio went before the Ark. And David and all the house of Israel played before The Lord on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals."

"And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, 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 error; and there he died by the Ark of God." (2 Samuel 6:1-7 KJV)

Fact Finder: Throughout Bible History, neither non-Israelites (e.g. the Philistines, as in the example shown above) or unauthorized Israelites, including unauthorized Levites (e.g. Uzzah) were permitted to possess, or even touch, the Ark. How is that Biblical reality a key clue as to the place where the Ark, if it is ever found, will be found?
See Raiders Of The Lost Ark; also How Does The Ark Get To Heaven?


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