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Obed-edom is first mentioned in 2 Samuel 6. He was a Gittite (a native of Gath-rimmon), and a convert to Judaism who was a member of the priestly tribe of Levi. When David had established the capital of Israel at Jerusalem, he decided to bring the Ark of the Covenant (the ornate receptacle that contained the two stone tablets on which God had written the Law that was given to Moses at Mount Sinai in the book of Exodus, and which was a sign of God's presence with the Israelites) from its location at that time (the house of Abinadab in Gibeah, near Kiriath-Jearim) to Jerusalem, with great pageantry and celebration. In the course of transporting the Ark, the oxen that were pulling the cart in which the Ark was being carried stumbled, causing the Ark to start falling off the cart. Uzzah, one of the men accompanying the Ark, reached out to steady it, and touched the Ark, which God had forbidden. God therefore struck Uzzah down and killed him. This caused David to have second thoughts about continuing on to the final destination for the Ark in Jerusalem. The Ark was therefore placed in the nearby home of Obed-edom for safekeeping, where it remained for three months, during which God blessed Obed-edom and all his household. After those three months, David completed the transport of the Ark to Jerusalem. When the Ark was moved to Jerusalem, Obed-edom moved with it, becoming a gatekeeper, a musician, and a doorkeeper for the Ark. As an interesting note, a Jewish commentary indicates that the "edom" portion of his name (meaning "red") was in reference to the way in which Obed-edom made David blush with shame, because, after Uzzah was killed, David was unwilling to immediately resume taking the Ark to Jerusalem due to the risks involved, while Obed-edom willingly took the Ark into his home.
"And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obededom, and all his household." The ark represented the presence of God. There are also three other Obed-Edoms, one of them a porter at the house of God (a temporary setup during David's time). It could be that Obed-Edom moved his family to Jerusalem where the ark was because he noticed the difference that the presence of God made. I have heard a preacher compare it with attending church. "I don't have to go to church to believe in God." I know, but Jesus started the church, and being there includes getting a special sense of God's presence. As long as the church stays true to the Bible.
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