*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.
From Baale of Judah - See the margin and 1-Samuel 6:21 note.
Whose name - The literal rendering is, "Upon which is called the Name, the Name of Yahweh of Hosts, who sits upon the cherubim," i. e. the ark which is called after the Lord of Hosts and bears His Name (see Deuteronomy 28:10; 1-Kings 8:43; Isaiah 4:1).
From Baale of Judah - This is supposed to be the same city which, in Joshua 15:60, is called Kirjah-baal or Kirjath-jearim; (see 1-Chronicles 13:6); or Baalah, Joshua 15:9.
Whose name is called by the name of the Lord - That is, The ark is called the ark of the Lord of hosts. But this is not a literal version; the word שם shem, Name, occurs twice together; probably one of them should be read שם sham, There. There the name of the Lord of hosts was invoked, etc.
And David arose, and went with all the people that [were] with him from (a) Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth [between] the cherubims.
(a) This was a city in Judah called also Kirjathjearim, (Joshua 15:9).
And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him,.... The thirty thousand chosen men gathered together, and as many else as chose to go:
from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God; that is, they first went to this place, as in 1-Chronicles 13:6; in order to fetch the ark from thence, as here expressed, and then they came from thence with it; this place is the same that is called Baalah and Kirjathbaal, a city in the tribe of Judah; hence Judah is added to it, and the same with Kirjathjearim, Joshua 15:9; the place where it was brought to when fetched from Bethshemesh, 1-Samuel 7:1; and had been here now near fifty years; nor was it any where else during this time, only once at Gibeah of Saul with him, 1-Samuel 14:18;
whose name he called by the name of the Lord of hosts, that dwelleth between the cherubim; not the ark, but the Lord, whose is the ark; his name is called by the name of Jehovah, the infinite, incomprehensible, eternal, and immutable Being, the Lord of armies above and below; whose habitation was between the cherubim that overshadowed the mercy seat, which was above the ark; all this is said, not only to express the greatness and majesty of God, but for the honour of the ark, which belonged to him.
from Baale of Judah--A very large force of picked men were selected for this important work lest the undertaking might be opposed or obstructed by the Philistines. Besides, a great concourse of people accompanied them out of veneration for the sacred article. The journey to Baale, which is related (1-Chronicles 13:6), is here presupposed, and the historian describes the course of the procession from that place to the capital.
"David went with all the people that were with him to Baale-Jehuda, to fetch up the ark of God from thence." The words והוּדה מבּעליcause some difficulty on account of the מן, which is used instead of the accusative with ה loc., like בּעלתה in the Chronicles; yet the translators of the Septuagint, Chaldee, Vulgate, and other versions, all had the reading מן in their text, and בּעלי has therefore been taken as an appellative and rendered ἀπὸ τῶν ἀρχότων Ἰουδά ("from the rulers of Judah"), or as Luther renders it, "from the citizens of Judah." This is decidedly incorrect, as the word "thence" which follows is perfectly unintelligible on any other supposition than that Baale-Jehudah is the name of a place. Baale-Jehudah is another name of the city of Kirjath-jearim (Joshua 15:60; Joshua 18:14), which is called Baalah in Joshua 15:9 and 1-Chronicles 13:6, according to its Canaanitish name, instead of which the name Kirjath-jearim (city of the woods) was adopted by the Israelites, though without entirely supplanting the old name. The epithet "of Judah" is a contraction of the fuller expression "city of the children of Judah" in Joshua 18:14, and is added to distinguish this Baal city, which was situated upon the border of the tribe of Judah, from other cities that were also named after Baal, such as Baal or Baalath-beer in the tribe of Simeon (1-Chronicles 4:33; Joshua 19:8), Baalath in the tribe of Daniel (Joshua 19:44), the present Kuryet el Enab (see at Joshua 9:17). The מן (from) is either a very ancient error of the pen that crept by accident into the text, or, if genuine and original, it is to be explained on the supposition that the historian dropped the construction with which he started, and instead of mentioning Baale-Jehudah as the place to which David went, gave it at once as the place from which he fetched the ark; so that the passage is to be understood in this way: "And David went, and all the people who were with him, out of Baale-Jehudah, to which they had gone up to fetch the ark of God" (Kimchi). In the sentence which follows, a difficulty is also occasioned by the repetition of the word שׁם in the clause עליו נקרא עשׁר, "upon which the name is called, the name of Jehovah of hosts, who is enthroned above the cherubim." The difficulty cannot be solved by altering the first שׁם into שׁם, as Clericus, Thenius, and Bertheau suggest: for if this alteration were adopted, we should have to render the passage "where the name of Jehovah of hosts is invoked, who is enthroned above the cherubim (which are) upon it (i.e., upon the ark);" and this would not only introduce an unscriptural thought into the passage, but it would be impossible to find any suitable meaning for the word עליו, except by making very arbitrary interpolations. Throughout the whole of the Old Testament we never meet with the idea that the name of Jehovah was invoked at the ark of the covenant, because no one was allowed to approach the ark for the purpose of invoking the name of the Lord there; and upon the great day of atonement the high priest was only allowed to enter the most holy place with the cloud of incense, to sprinkle the blood of the atoning sacrifice upon the ark. Moreover, the standing expression for "call upon the name of the Lord" is יי בשׁם קרא; whereas פּ על יי שׁם נקרא signifies "the name of Jehovah is called above a person or thing." Lastly, even if עליו belonged to הכּרבים ישׁב, it would not only be a superfluous addition, occurring nowhere else in connection with הך ישׁב, not even in 1-Chronicles 13:6 (vid., 1-Samuel 4:4; 2-Kings 19:15; Isaiah 37:16; Psalm 99:1), but such an addition if made at all would necessarily require עליו אשׁר ע (vid., Exodus 25:22). The only way in which we can obtain a biblical thought and grammatical sense is by connecting עליו with the אשׁר before נקרא: "above which (ark) the name of Jehovah-Zebaoth is named," i.e., above which Jehovah reveals His glory or His divine nature to His people, or manifests His gracious presence in Israel. "The name of God denotes all the operations of God through which He attests His personal presence in that relation into which He has entered to man, i.e., the whole of the divine self-manifestation, or of that side of the divine nature which is turned towards men" (Oehler, Herzog's Real-Encycl. x. p. 197). From this deeper meaning of "the name of God" we may probably explain the repetition of the word שׁם, which is first of all written absolutely (as at the close of Leviticus 24:16), and then more fully defined as "the name of the Lord of hosts."
On which, &c. - That is, by, or before which, they were to present their prayers to God for counsel and succour upon all occasions. And this is mentioned here as the reason why David put himself and his people to so great trouble and charge, because it was to fetch up the choicest treasure which they had.
*More commentary available at chapter level.