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Obed-Edom / Obededom

Meaning: servant of Edom

This was the name of three or four biblical men. The name appears 20 times in 15 verses in the King James and New King James Versions, and 19 times in 16 verses in the New International Version.

  1. “The Gittite”—This title either means that he was a native of Gath-Rimmon (Gath Rimmon) in Dan and a Levite (1 Chronicles 15:18) of the family of the Korhites (1 Chronicles 26:1, 4-8) or that he was a native of Gath. If the later, he may have been one of David's bodyguards.

    Obed-Edom, “the Gittite” was specially intrusted the custody of the ark of the covenant (2 Samuel 6:10-12). “When David was bringing up the ark ‘from the house of Abinadab, that was in Gibeah’ (probably some hill or eminence near Kirjath-jearim), and had reached Nachon's threshing-floor, he became afraid because of the 'breach upon Uzzah,' and carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom (2 Samuel 6:1-12)” [Matthew G. Easton, Easton's Bible Dictionary].

    The ark remained in Obed-Edom's home for three months (1 Chronicles 13:13,14). It brought him and his house great blessing. Afterwards, King David moved it with great gladness (1 Chronicles 15:25) to Jerusalem. There he placed it in the tabernacle that he had constructed for it.

  2. A Levite musician mentioned in 1 Chronicles 16:5 and 16:38. It is not clear whether this is the same person as mentioned above, or a second man named Obed-Edom. He played was assigned by David to “minister before the ark of the LORD” when it was placed in the tabernacle.

  3. A Merarite Levite, a temple porter (gatekeeper), who with his eight sons guarded the southern gate (26:4, 8, 15; 15:18, 21, 24). He helped bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 15). His sons were Shemaiah, Jehozabad, Joah, Sacar, Nethaneel, Ammiel, Issachar, Peulthai (in that order).

  4. Temple treasure keeper—a man who was in charge of the temple treasures during the time of King Amaziah of Judah (2 Chronicles 25:24).

Author: Paul S. Taylor.