|Uzzah - |
Son of Abinadab at whose house in Kirjath Jearim the ark stayed 20 years. Eleazar was his elder brother (1 Samuel 7:1), Ahio his younger brother. The latter and Uzzah drove the new cart wherein the ark was carried from Abinadab's house for removal to Zion (1 Chronicles 13:7). The oxen drawing it stumbled, slipping over the smooth rock at "the threshing floor of Chidon" (1 Chronicles 13:9) or "Nachon" (2 Samuel 6:6), or rather "of disaster" (chidon from chid) or "the stroke" (nachon) from naachah). Perez Uzzah (the breach on Uzzah) was eventually the name (contrast Jehovah's "breaking forth upon David's enemies as the breach of waters," Baal Perazim, 2 Samuel 5:20) Uzzah tried with his hand to prevent the ark's shaking, but, God smote him for the offense (fault: shal).
David felt displeased or excited, not toward God, but at the calamity which he attributed to himself and his undertaking. Uzzah though with good intentions had in his rash act forgotten the reverence due to the ark, the earthly throne and visible pledge of the presence of the unseen God. The Lord's service is no excuse for self-willed service. We must not in presumptuous haste try to sustain God's cause, as if it must fall unless it have our support; God can guard His own ark. We are reverently, and in the way of God's call, to put forth our efforts, believing that His true church is safe, however threatened, because it is His. God's law (Numbers 4; Ezekiel 25:14) had ordained that the ark was to be carried on the Levites' shoulders, not in a carriage.
Even the Levites (Ezekiel 25:15) were not to touch it, on pain of death. Instead of this David and Israel had followed the Philistines' method (1 Samuel 6:7, ff). David's excitement changed into fear of Jehovah; not daring to bring the ark near him, since a touch proved so fatal, he removed it to the house of Obed Edom the Gathite. Contrast the blessed effect of the touch of faith toward the ark's Antitype, Jesus (Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34). Uzzah was evidently a Levite, for otherwise the ark would not have been allowed to remain at his father Abinadab's house 20 years. Moreover, if Abinadab had not been a Levite his son Eleazar would not have been consecrated to take charge of the ark (1 Samuel 7:2). (For the site frontPEREZ UZZAH.)