2 Samuel 6:13 NIV

13 When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf.

In the above text David is said to have offered a sacrifice after six steps but its not clear whether he did this for every six steps or just once.

How should we understand the above text?

2 Answers 2


Various commentaries allow room for either scenario (once at six paces or every six paces). Below offers a bit of rationale:

Historical Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew: Steps Toward an Integrated ...

By Robert Rezetko, Ian Young


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There is a parallel account recorded in

1 Chronicles 15:25 So David and the elders of Israel and the commanders of units of a thousand went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the house of Obed-Edom, with rejoicing. 26 Because God had helped the Levites who were carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord, seven bulls and seven rams were sacrificed.

That seem to be the summary of sacrifices.

More sacrifices were performed at the destination, in

1 Chronicles 16:1 They brought the ark of God and set it inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and they presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before God.

Sacrificing after six every steps all the way to Zion practically is not likely.

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