Uzzah’s Rebellion

  • Ingrid M. Haase

Abstract

After David had freed Israelite soil from the Philistine menace, he was able to move the Ark to a more appropriate place from Abinadab's dwelling. He wanted it in Jerusalem, his new capital, where he needed a focal point for the Yahwistic portion of his subjects in order to counterbalance the Jebusite symbols of the city. Some of the priests who had been associated with the Ark throughout the generations had misgivings. Not that the Ark had to go back to Shiloh but neither did they want it sequestered in Jerusalem and become part of the local cult there. So during David's triumphal progress, when they came to a place, which was acceptable according to Israelite theology of the time, the guardians of the Ark tried to retain it there. It is not certain what happened next, because each sentence of the various passages is obscure in its structure and wording, but the chief of the priestly contingent dies. Eventually this occurrence gets to be interpreted as divine intervention in favour of David's scheme. Initially though, the incident does upset David enough for him to abandon his plans. He deposits the sacred object in the first house that he comes to, and it is only after he receives assurances from the remainder of the population, that he resumes his first ambition and he brings the Ark into Jerusalem . The name of the place though, Perez-uzzah, remains a constant reminder to David that a break had been made in his strength, his, David's, power. David was never able to overcome this breach, and neither was his son Solomon.
Published
2005-12-31
Section
Articles