The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Second Book of Kings
Then David mustered anew the fighting men of Israel, thirty thousand strong.
Meanwhile, he set out with the men of Juda that followed him, and went to fetch the ark of God home; that ark which takes its name from the Lord God of hosts, dwelling there above it between the cherubim.
And they carried the ark away from Abinadab’s house at Gabaa, putting it on a newly-made waggon, with Abinadab’s sons, Oza and Ahio, for its drivers.
He it was had had charge of it, there in Gabaa, till now; but now they took it away from his house, with Ahio walking before it,
while David and the Israelites played music, there in the Lord’s presence, on instruments of rare workmanship, harp and zither and tambour and castanets and cymbals.
They had reached the threshing-floor of Nachon, when the oxen began to kick and tilted the ark to one side; whereupon Oza put out his hand and caught hold of it.
Rash deed of his, that provoked the divine anger; the Lord smote him, and he died there beside the ark.
Great grief it was to David, this ruin the Lord had brought on Oza (the place is still called Oza’s Ruin),
and a dread of the Lord came upon him that day; How shall I, he asked, give shelter to the Lord’s ark?
No longer was he minded to give it a lodging in David’s Keep; it must find a home with Obededom the Gethite instead.
For three months the ark of the Lord was left with Obededom the Gethite, and brought a blessing on him and his household.
Then word was brought to David how the Lord had blessed Obededom and all that was his for the ark’s sake. So back he went, and brought the ark of God away from Obededom’s house, into David’s Keep, with great rejoicing; seven choirs of dancers he took with him, and a young bull for a victim.✻
No sooner had the bearers of the ark gone six paces on their journey, than he sacrificed the bull and a ram with it.
As for himself, he went dancing with all his might, there in the Lord’s presence; clad in the sacred mantle, he must dance too.
So David, and Israel with him, brought back the ark that bears record of the Lord’s covenant, with rejoicing and a great din of trumpets.
And as it came into David’s Keep, there was Michol, Saul’s daughter, looking on from her window; she saw king David leaping and dancing in the Lord’s presence, and her heart despised him.
When the ark had been brought into the city, they put it down at the appointed place, in the midst of a tabernacle which David had there spread out for it; and David brought burnt-sacrifices and welcome-offerings into the Lord’s presence there.
Then, when his offering was done, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts,
and gave to every Israelite, man or woman, a roll of bread and a piece of roast beef and a flour cake fried in oil;✻ and with that, the people dispersed to their homes.
David himself, going back to bless his own household, was met by Michol, Saul’s daughter. A day of great renown, she said, for the king of Israel, that exposed his person to man and maid, his own subjects, graceless as a common mountebank!
Nay, answered David, it was at the Lord’s coming. He it is that has chosen me, instead of thy father or any of thy father’s line, to rule the Lord’s people of Israel;
and before his coming play the mountebank I will; humble myself I will in my own esteem, and those maids thou speakest of will honour me yet the more.
And Michol, that was daughter to king Saul, never bore child again to the day of her death.
The Holy Bible