o'-bed-e'-dom (`obhedh 'edhowm (2Ch 25:24), `obhedd 'edhom (2Sa 6:10; 1Ch 13:13-14; 15:25), but elsewhere without hyphen, "servant of (god) Edom"; so W. R. Smith, Religion of Semites (2), 42, and H. P. Smith, Samuel, 294 f, though others explain it as = "servant of man"): In 2 Sam 6:10,11,12; 1Ch 13:13-14 a Philistine of Gath and servant of David, who received the Ark of Yahweh into his house when David brought it into Jerusalem from Kiriath-jearim. Because of the sudden death of Uzzah, David was unwilling to proceed with the Ark to his citadel, and it remained three months in the house of Obed-edom, "and Yahweh blessed Obed-edom, and all his house" (2Sa 6:11). According to 1Ch 13:14 the Ark had a special "house" of its own while there. He is probably the same as the Levite of 1Ch 15:25. In 1 Ch 15:16-21 Obed-edom is a "singer," and in 1Ch 15:24 a "doorkeeper," while according to 1Ch 26:4-8,15 he is a Korahite doorkeeper, to whose house fell the overseership of the storehouse (1Ch 26:15), while 1Ch 16:5,38 names him as a "minister before the ark," a member of the house or perhaps guild of Jeduthun (see 2Ch 25:24).
Obed-edom is an illustration of the service rendered to Hebrew religion by foreigners, reminding one of the Simon of Cyrene who bore the cross of Jesus (Mt 27:32, etc.). The Chronicler naturally desired to think that only Levites could discharge such duties as Obed-edom performed, and hence, the references to him as a Levite.
David Francis Roberts.