city of jaars; i.e., of woods or forests, a Gibeonite town (Josh. 9:17) on the border of Benjamin, to which tribe it was assigned (18:15, 28). The ark was brought to this place (1 Sam. 7:1, 2) from Beth-shemesh and put in charge of Abinadab, a Levite. Here it remained till it was removed by David to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:2, 3, 12; 1 Chr. 15:1-29; comp. Ps. 132). It was also called Baalah (Josh. 15:9) and Kirjath-baal (60). It has been usually identified with Kuriet el-'Enab (i.e., "city of grapes"), among the hills, about 8 miles north-east of 'Ain Shems (i.e., Beth-shemesh). The opinion, however, that it is to be identified with 'Erma, 4 miles east of 'Ain Shems, on the edge of the valley of Sorek, seems to be better supported. (See KIRJATH.) The words of Ps. 132:6, "We found it in the fields of the wood," refer to the sojourn of the ark at Kirjath-jearim. "Wood" is here the rendering of the Hebrew word _jaar_, which is the singular of _jearim_.
It seems to have been at Gibeon, while the ark was in seclusion at kirjath-jearim.
We approached the hillside village of kirjath-jearim, with its terraces of olives and fig trees.
But in the removal of the ark from kirjath-jearim, this direction was entirely overlooked.
What then was Samuel doing during the twenty years that the ark was at kirjath-jearim?
In this understanding of the names, the verse means, "We heard that the Ark was at kirjath-jearim, and there we found it."
They sent therefore to their neighbours at kirjath-jearim, and begged them to come down and remove the ark.
But kirjath-jearim was not turned into the seat of the national worship.
It had lain for three months in the house of Obed-edom, and for twenty years been hidden at kirjath-jearim.