MS M.638, fol. 39v

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David's Greatest Triumph, The Ark Enshrined in Jerusalem, David Blesses Israel

Old Testament Miniatures with Latin, Persian, and Judeo-Persian inscriptions

Paris, France
ca. 1244–1254
390 x 300 mm

Purchased by J.P. Morgan (1867–1943) in 1916

MS M.638, fol. 39v
Page description: 

David's Greatest Triumph
David retrieves the Ark of the Covenant from Obed-Edom's house, and a jubilant celebration ensues as the triumphant king, playing upon his harp, leads it into Jerusalem. Once the Ark has come six paces into the city, a sacrifice is made of an ox and a ram. No one is more overjoyed than the king himself, who dances and leaps before the procession. David's wild behavior embarrasses Michal, who points accusingly at him from her window. But the king is unconcerned, wishing only to give thanks and humble himself before God. (2 Kings 6:12–16)

The Ark Enshrined in Jerusalem
The Ark of the Covenant is placed in the new tabernacle David has built for it. Sacrifices and peace offerings are made to the Lord. (2 Kings 6:17)

David Blesses Israel
Having given thanks, the king blesses the people and distributes food to all. (2 Kings 6:18–19)


Folio 39v (Latin)

Upper half: How, upon hearing that the Lord had blessed Obed-edom and all that he had because of the ark which had stayed with him for three months, David carried it to his city with great joy, playing the harp and cheering with all the people so much so that they sacrificed an ox and a bull every six paces. And as the people were rejoicing, the trumpets were sounding, and the king was dancing, Michal, the king’s wife looked out through the window and despised him in her heart. (2 Samuel 6: 12–16)

Lower left: How, the ark having been set in the midst of the tabernacle, David offers many sacrifices in that place. (2 Samuel 6: 17)

Lower right: How, having completed the sacrifices, David blesses the people, distributing bread and other foods among them. (2 Samuel 16: 18–19)

Folio 39v (Persian)

Persian foliation: 5

Upper left margin: For three months, the Ark remained in the house of the servants of God and his wealth increased daily. And when His Excellence David saw this, he asked that the Ark be transported to his own castle.

Upper right margin: His Excellence David transported the Ark from there with music, pageantry and joy and at every six paces he sacrificed a sheep.
David’s wife was observing from the window and was joyous.

Lower left: And when he had the Ark installed, he sacrificed much.

Lower right: After the sacrifices, [David] called on the assembly and gave them food and also prayed.

Folio 39v (Judeo-Persian)

[The Judeo-Persian text is entirely illegible.]


Content consultant: Richard Leson

Persian translated by Sussan Babaie

Judeo-Persian translated by Vera Basch Moreen

Latin translation by Eran Lupu

After the commentary volume accompanying the Fine Art Facsimile edition by Faksimile Verlag Luzern