The ark at Kiriath-jearim (1 Sam 6:20-7:2)

“Then the people of Beth-shemesh said. ‘Who is able to stand before Yahweh, this holy God? To whom shall he go up so that we may be rid of him?’ So they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath-jearim. ‘The Philistines have returned the ark of Yahweh. Come down and take it up to you.’ The people of Kiriath-jearim came and took up the ark of Yahweh. They brought it to the house of Abinadab on the hill. They consecrated his son, Eleazar, to have charge of the ark of Yahweh. From the day that the ark was lodged at Kiriath-jearim, a long time passed, some twenty years, and all the house of Israel lamented after Yahweh.”

The people of Beth-shemesh were a little afraid of the ark so that they wanted to ship it to Kiriath-jearim, which had been a city of the Gibeonites. The people at Kiriath-jearim decided to put the ark into the house of Abinadab. There will be other people with this same name. However, this Abinadab seems to be a Levite. Thus they consecrated his son Eleazar to be in charge of the ark. The Ark of the Covenant stayed there for 20 years in a private house, which seems like a strange place to keep this holy of holies.