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2 Samuel 24:1-10

Context
David Displeases the Lord by Taking a Census

24:1 The Lord’s anger again raged against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go count Israel and Judah.” 1  24:2 The king told Joab, the general in command of his army, “Go through all the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beer Sheba and muster the army, so I may know the size of the army.”

24:3 Joab replied to the king, “May the Lord your God make the army a hundred times larger right before the eyes of my lord the king! But why does my master the king want to do this?”

24:4 But the king’s edict stood, despite the objections of 2  Joab and the leaders of the army. So Joab and the leaders of the army left the king’s presence in order to muster the Israelite army.

24:5 They crossed the Jordan and camped at Aroer, on the south side of the city, at 3  the wadi of Gad, near Jazer. 24:6 Then they went on to Gilead and to the region of Tahtim Hodshi, coming to Dan Jaan and on around to Sidon. 4  24:7 Then they went to the fortress of Tyre 5  and all the cities of the Hivites and the Canaanites. Then they went on to the Negev of Judah, to Beer Sheba. 24:8 They went through all the land and after nine months and twenty days came back to Jerusalem. 6 

24:9 Joab reported the number of warriors 7  to the king. In Israel there were 800,000 sword-wielding warriors, and in Judah there were 500,000 soldiers.

24:10 David felt guilty 8  after he had numbered the army. David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly by doing this! Now, O Lord, please remove the guilt of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.”

1 sn The parallel text in 1 Chr 21:1 says, “An adversary opposed Israel, inciting David to count how many warriors Israel had.” The Samuel version gives an underlying theological perspective, while the Chronicler simply describes what happened from a human perspective. The adversary in 1 Chr 21:1 is likely a human enemy, probably a nearby nation whose hostility against Israel pressured David into numbering the people so he could assess his military strength. See the note at 1 Chr 21:1.

2 tn Heb “and the word of the king was stronger than.”

3 tn Heb “in the middle of.”

4 map For location see Map1 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

5 map For location see Map1 A2; Map2 G2; Map4 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

6 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

7 tn Heb “and Joab gave the number of the numbering of the people.”

8 tn Heb “and the heart of David struck him.”



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