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.

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