David did not move the Ark into the city but had it carried to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. He was a Levite from Gath-rimmon, a Levitical city (Josh 21.4). Only Levites who are from Kohath can carry the Ark (1 Chr 13.13; 15.11-15). The Ark stayed with Obed-deom for three months and God blessed him, and David heard about it.
So David went and brought the Ark into the city. He took it into a tent that David had made for it. The Mishkan was at Gibeon (1 Chr 21.29; 2 Kings 3.4). When the Levites walked six paces, they sacrificed an ox and a fatling on an altar constructed for this. Now, the number six alludes to the number of man, weakness and sin. But after 6000 years (the Olam Ha Zeh) the Ark (Yeshua) will return to the city.
David was very happy about all of this and he was dancing before the Lord and sang. He was wearing a linen ephod instead of his royal robes. His wife Michal, Saul’s daughter, was very upset with him dancing like this and looking foolish before the maidservants and told him so. But David humbled her pride by saying that he was honoring the Lord and was very thankful to him for bringing the Ark into the city without incident this time. He told her that the Lord had chosen him before her father, and made him king. If she didn’t like his dancing she was going to get really upset because he was going to do even more. And when he humbles himself before the Lord, the maidservants she was worried about will honor him even more.
Then in 2 Sam 6.23 it says that Michal had no child until the day of her death. She brought up children for Adriel who were not her own (2 Sam 21.8). By being angry at David for praising God, she brought on herself a curse because barrenness was seen by the Jewish people as a curse. But there is another way to look at this. The seed of David and the seed of Saul would never be mixed.
Spiritually, this teaches us that the seed of Messiah and the seed of the serpent/Satan will not mix either. The Torah says in Lev 19.19 that two kinds of seed cannot be mixed together. The word “Babylon” carries the meaning of “mixed” also. God’s kingdom cannot mix with Satan’s kingdom (Gen 3.15). Mark 3.23-29 says that Satan cannot cast out Satan and that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. Gen 1.11 says that things reproduce “after their own kind.” We also learn in Dan 2.31-45 that the feet have a heel. Satan’s heel has tried to take over God’s head, reversing the curse in Gen 3.15; Hab 3.13 and Isa 14.12. Satan has tried to sow (mix) his word into God’s word, the Torah. However, God’s word is the only good seed (Matt 13.1-30; Luke 8.4-15).
2 Sam 7.1-29 deals with David’s concern to build a house for the Ark. David was in his house (palace) that Hiram’s servants had built, and God had given him rest on every side from all his enemies. So, David said to Nathan that he was concerned that he was dwelling in a house of cedar while the Ark was in a tent (not the Mishkan) that David had made (2 Sam 6.27).
Nathan gave him permission to build the Temple, but David will not be the one to do it, and the timing was wrong. They did not have the site of the Altar yet. That location will come later through some very trying circumstances. Again we will quote from the book “Aryeh Kaplan Anthology II” by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, p.69-71, where it says, “The final step was the revelation of the place of the Altar and the Bible describes this most graphically. God became angry at David and had him count the Israelites, bringing on them a terrible plague. David then prayed to the Lord for forgiveness. He saw an angel standing on the threshing floor of Arnon the Jebusite. The Prophet Gad then told David, ‘Go raise an altar to God on the threshing floor of Arnon the Jebusite’ (2 Sam 24.18), and David did so, bringing offerings to God as an atonement.”
“The place of the Altar was thus revealed to David. This is the same place where Adam was created, and where he has offered the first sacrifice. There Cain and Abel, as well as Noah had brought offerings to God. On that very spot Abraham had bound his son Isaac when he was commanded by God. When this was revealed to David, he said, ‘This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the Altar of sacrifice for Israel’ (1 Chr 22.1).”
“One thing that still must be clarified is the reason for the manner in which the Altar was revealed. Why did it have to be revealed through a sin, and only after David’s subsequent repentance? Furthermore, the scripture states that ‘God became angry at Israel’ (2 Sam 24.1) but does not give any reason for it. If one looks at the verse immediately before this, however, one will find a mention of Uriah the Hittite, one of David’s generals. The Midrash states that God became angry at David and Israel because David had caused the death of Uriah. This Uriah was the husband of Bathsheba, and when David wished to take Bathsheba for a wife, he sent Uriah to the front where he was killed. The fact that David had sent a man to certain death in order to marry his wife was considered a great wrong, and David was severely rebuked by the prophet Nathan.”
So, Rabbi Kaplan is saying that David sinned and he killed Uriah, but he repented and received forgiveness and atonement. No matter how great a sin a person commits, if he is truly contrite in asking God for forgiveness, he will be forgiven. This is the main idea of the Altar and why it is connected to Uriah, Bathsheba and the census.
Kaplan continues, “But it is important to note exactly how God brought this about. As a result of David’s misdeed with Bathsheba and her husband Uriah, God enticed him to take a census of the Israelites. God caused David to forget the injunction, ‘When you take the sum of the children of Israel, according to their number, then each man shall give a ransom for his soul to God when you number them, that there be no plague among them when you number them’ (Exo 30.12). The atonement in the time of Moses consisted of a half-shekel given toward the building of the Tabernacle. The census was taken by counting the total number of half-shekels, and Moses used this silver to build the foundations of the Tabernacle. As a result, every Israelite had a part in the foundation of the Tabernacle. Further more, it is evident that the idea of properly counting the Israelites was very closely related to the building of the Tabernacle and the Temple.” In other words, Israel was going to be as the “stars of heaven” and could never be counted so don’t count the heads, but you could count the shekels of those who we numbered (or mustered) for the army.
“Thus, when God was ready to reveal the place of the Altar, he did so by tempting David to commit a wrong very closely related to the sanctuary, namely, counting the Israelites without the atonements of the half-shekel. The sin itself thus was bound to the very foundation of the Temple. When David subsequently repented and was forgiven, his repentance also became part of the Altar’s foundation.”
“David had thus done everything necessary to find the Altar according to Torah law. First, he had sought it for himself. Finally he had been worthy of having the place revealed to him by Gad the prophet. David then bought the place of the Altar from Arnon the Jebusite for fifty shekels of silver. He also collected fifty shekels of silver from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, buying the entire city of Jerusalem from Arnon for 600 shekels. The entire city of Jerusalem became the common property of all Israel.”
“Although David could not build the Temple himself, he prepared for its construction, assembling all the necessary materials. David dug the foundations of the Temple, particularly in the place of the Altar. He also gave Solomon a complete written plan of how the Temple should be built, as he had received from God, and the tradition from the prophet Samuel and from Ahitofel. David gave the pattern to Solomon, saying, ‘All is in writing, as God has given me wisdom by his hand on me, all the works of this plan’ (1 Chr 28.19).”
“Before David died, he made sure that his son Solomon was anointed as king. This was done at the spring of Gihon in Jerusalem. Solomon took his father’s place as king over all Israel, and one of his first acts was to complete the wall of the Holy City. But Solomon’s greatest accomplishment was building the Temple of God, in the exact spot that had been designated by God from the beginning of creation.”
“The Bible thus says, ‘Then Solomon built the house of God in Jerusalem, on Mount Moriah, where there had been a vision to his father, which he prepared in the place of David on the threshing floor of Arnon the Jebusite’ (2 Chr 3.1). Mount Moriah, of course, was the place where Abraham bound his son Isaac as a sacrifice, and this was the place revealed to David to be the Altar of God.” What Rabbi Kaplan does not mention is that Yeshua was also crucified on Mount Moriah to fulfill the picture that was acted out by Abraham and Isaac in Gen 22. We don’t agree with everything that Rabbi Kaplan has said here, but we do think it gives us a good idea of how the location of the Temple and the Altar came about. It was a progressive revelation through many individuals culminating with David and Solomon because it was time.
So we know that God spoke to Nathan the prophet and said that David was not the one to build the Temple. The Lord is not displeased with David for wanting to do this, but his son would build it. God will establish Solomon’s kingdom and correct when he needs to, and will not withdraw his loving-kindness from him like he did with Saul. By doing this, God will establish the house of David and his kingdom, and his throne will be established forever (a long time).
David went into the tent where the Ark was and sat before the Lord and prayed. Sitting while praying was also done in prayer (Exo 17.12; 1 Sam 4.13; 1 Kings 19.4). He tells the Lord that he is a sinful creature (“who am I”) and he was from a lowly family, and that God brought him this far. But what the Lord did is insignificant to what God will do for him and all his sons.
God knows David and his vile, sinful ways, but for the sake of his word to the fathers, to Samuel and for the sake of the Messiah, and according to his will, he has done all these things. He tells the Lord how great he is and there is no other, and there is no nation like Israel whom “God went to redeem.” He goes on to say how the Lord confirmed himself to them as long as they were obedient. He then wants to talk about what the Lord has spoken about David. He is asking the Lord to bless his house and that it may continue forever.
In Part 8, we will pick up in 2 Sam 8.1-18.