Uzzah, Uzza

UZZAH, UZZA uz’ ə (עֻזָּ֔ה). 1. A son of Abinadab (2 Sam 6:3). He was killed while driving the oxcart which carried the Ark of the covenant to Jerusalem. The Ark had been in the house of Abinadab for some time following the disaster it had occasioned in the Philistine cities and in Bethshemesh (1 Sam 6:19; 7:2). David, wishing to add to the prestige of the city of Jerusalem by making it a religious center, decided to bring to Jerusalem the Ark of the covenant, the sacred object of Israel’s early faith. Uzzah and his brother, Ahio, were driving the cart. In the festal ceremony that accompanied the caravan something happened. At the threshing-floor of Nacon, prob. one of the stopping places, either the oxen stumbled or the Ark began to slide. Uzzah reached out to steady the Ark and was fatally smitten. His death was attributed to the violation of the sacred character of the Ark (2 Sam 6:7; 1 Chron 13:10). David was greatly distressed at the incident, and immediately cancelled his plans to enshrine the Ark in Jerusalem. Instead, he deposited it in the home of Obed-edom. He named the place Perez-uzzah—“The breaking out against Uzzah.” The Ark remained in the home of Obed-edom for three months.

2. A son of Merari (1 Chron 6:29). He was one of the men David placed in charge of the service of song in the house of the Lord, after the Ark rested there (1 Chron 6:31).

3. The owner of a garden in which Manasseh and Amon, kings of Judah, were buried (2 Kings 21:18, 26).

4. One of the Temple servants who returned from the Exile (Ezra 2:49; Neh 7:51).