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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Obed-Edom

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(Heb. Obed'-edom', עֹבֶד אדֵוֹם , servant of Edom; Sept. in 2 Samuel Ο᾿βὴθ Ε᾿δώμ, in Chronicles Ἀβεδδαρά, Ἀβδεδόμ, Ἀβδοδόμ, with many other v. rr.), the name apparently of three Levites.

1. A person in whose premises, and under whose care, the ark was deposited when the death of Uzzah caused David to apprehend danger in taking it farther. B.C. 1043. It remained there three months, during which the family of Obed-edom so signally prospered that the king was encouraged to resume his first intention, which he then happily carried into effect (2 Samuel 6:10-12; 1 Chronicles 13:13-14; 1 Chronicles 15:25). We learn from 1 Chronicles 16:38, where the name is used generically, that Obededom's connection with the ark did not then terminate, he and his family having charge of the doors of the sanctuary (1 Chronicles 15:18; 1 Chronicles 15:24). This individual is distinguished from the following, whose time, functions, and circumstances closely resemble his, by the clear indications in the text:

(a.) He is described as a Gittite (2 Samuel 6:10-11), that is, probably, a native of the Levitical city of Gath-Rimmon in Dan, which was assigned to the Kohathites (Joshua 21:25), and is thus distinguished from "Obed- edom the son of Jeduthun," who was a Merarite. (See JEDUTHUN). That the former was a Kohathite or Korhite is plain from 1 Chronicles 26:1; 1 Chronicles 26:8.

(b.) In one passage (1 Chronicles 16:38) they are both named separately. It is Obed-edom the Gittite who was appointed to sound "with harps on the Sheminith to excel" (1 Chronicles 15:21; 1 Chronicles 16:5). That it was also he, with his family of eight sons and their children, "mighty men of valor" (1 Chronicles 26:4-8), who kept the south gate (1 Chronicles 26:15) and the house of Asuppim, is evident from the expression of the chronicler (1 Chronicles 26:5), adding, "for God blessed him," referring apparently to 2 Samuel 6:11, "the Lord blessed Obededom and all his household." J. Rowland, in Fairbairn's Dictionary, remarks, "The site of Obed-edom's house is still a remarkable spot. About two miles from the site of Kirjath- jearim, near Chesla, or ancient Chesalon, on the way thence to Jerusalem, a little beyond Khirbet el-Uz, or the ruins of Uzzah, Perez-uzzah, on the right-hand side of the road, is a little ravine; and on the other side of that ravine i.e. on the south side of it-is a high and prominent ridge, in the western extremity of which is a little depression, a flat space or plateau, about three or four acres of land, intensely green, surrounded by a belt of trees, and called Kuryet es Suideh, the Blessed City, or abode of the Blessed One." (See KIRJATH-JEARIM).

2. A son of Jeduthun, and one of the Temple wardens (1 Chronicles 16:38, second clause; and apparently mentioned there only). B.C. 1043.

3. A person who had charge of the sacred vessels in the time of Amaziah, king of Judah (2 Chronicles 25:24). B.C. cir. 835. But the name is possibly generic here also (see 1), and may merely denote the descendants of the Obed-edom in whose house the ark had rested.


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Obed-Edom'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/o/obed-edom.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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