(Oʹbed-eʹdom) [servant of Edom].
1. A Gittite at whose home the ark of the covenant was kept for three months after its near upset and the accompanying death of Uzzah. For the duration of its stay there, Obed-edom and his household were blessed by Jehovah, and when David learned of this he took it as an indication that Jehovah favored bringing the sacred chest on to Jerusalem.—2 Sam. 6:10-12; 1 Chron. 13:13, 14; 15:25.
Obed-edom was a “Gittite.” Normally this term designated a Philistine of Gath, but it can also refer to someone from Gath-rimmon, a Levite city in Dan assigned to the Kohathites. (Josh. 21:20, 23, 24) Entrusted as he was with the care of the Ark, he had to be a Levite, and hence must have been a Gittite from Gath-rimmon rather than a Philistine Gittite from Gath.
The name Obed-edom is found a number of times among Levite musicians and gatekeepers of the Davidic period. There are at least two such individuals referred to (1 Chron. 15:21, 24; 16:38), but beyond this it is impossible to determine whether the several other texts refer to either of these, or to still other contemporary individuals. Thus, Obed-edom, the Gittite, may possibly be the same as either No. 2 or No. 3 below.
2. A musician and gatekeeper in the procession that brought the Ark to Jerusalem. (1 Chron. 15:18, 21) He was likely the musician who continued to serve before the tent of the Ark in Jerusalem. (1 Chron. 16:4, 6, 37, 38a) Possibly the same as No. 1 above.
3. A gatekeeper in the same procession. (1 Chron. 15:24) He may also have been “the son of Jeduthun.” (1 Chron. 16:38b) Possibly the same as No. 1 above and/or No. 4 below.
4. A Korahite in the permanent division of gatekeepers who, together with sixty-two relatives, was assigned to guard the S side of the sanctuary grounds in Jerusalem.—1 Chron. 26:1, 4-8, 13, 15; see No. 3 above.
5. Caretaker of the gold, silver and other articles in the house of Jehovah during the reign of King Amaziah. When Jehoash of Israel invaded Jerusalem sometime between 858 and 844 B.C.E., these goods, and possibly Obed-edom himself, were all taken off to Samaria.—2 Chron. 25:23, 24.