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Satan. This shews that the Lord only (Haydock) permitted David's sin, (2 Kings xxiv.; Worthington) and in this sense only he is said to have instigated him; (Du Hamel) though we read this was done by the fury of the Lord, or by an evil spirit. (Haydock)
Israel, who will be severely punished. (Calmet) --- Sin is often used in this sense. (Vatable)
The number, &c. The difference of the numbers here and [in] 2 Kings xxiv. 9., is to be accounted for, by supposing the greater number to be that which was really found, and the lesser to be that which Joab gave in; (Challoner) or the transcribers of this place have been inaccurate. (Calmet)
Number. These might therefore escape the pestilence. (Du Hamel) --- For. Hebrew, "because the king's word was abominable to Joab." We read that Benjamin was numbered unto David, chap. vii. 5, 11. But that might be on another occasion; or the register continued in the archives, and was not brought to the king. See chap. xxvii. 24. (Calmet)
Iniquity. David was guilty, though he retained both faith and hope. (Worthington)
Seer, or prophet, whom David kept at court and consulted. He was endued himself with the prophetic spirit.
Three; a word omitted in Hebrew, but supplied by the Protestants. (Haydock) --- "I will bring three things upon thee." (Septuagint)
Three years' famine; which joined with the three foregoing years of famine, mentioned [in] 2 Kings xxi., and the seventh year of the land's resting, would make up the seven years proposed by the prophet, 2 Kings xxiv. 13. (Challoner) --- Perhaps it would be as well to acknowledge a mistake, (2 Kings; Haydock) on account of the similitude of the Hebrew words signifying three and seven: (Tirinus) unless the prophet reduced the time from seven to three years; as in Ezechiel (iv. 15.) God mitigates the severity of his first threat. (Sanctius)
Men. Susanna spoke on a different supposition, (Daniel xiii. 23., and Ecclesiasticus ii. 22.) of eternal punishment, in consequence of sin. David prefers to be punished by the hand of a tender father, rather than that of an enemy; (Tirinus; Estius) and he does not wish to screen himself from suffering in this world, but offers himself to share in the chastisement of his subjects. (Haydock)
Took. Hebrew, "repented of evil," taking pity of unhappy victims. --- Ornan, or Areuna. (Challoner) --- He had been king of the Jebusites before David took Jerusalem. (Mariana; Tirinus)
Altar. Hence it appears that holy men erected altars by God's command. (Du Hamel)
Now. Hebrew, "and Oranan turned back." --- Angel. Vatican Septuagint, the king and his four sons with him, along with Achabin." Other editions have, "and his four sons hidden with him." Arabic, "and the king, being come near to Aran, he saw David and his," &c. Syriac reads in like manner; but says nothing of the children either of David or of Ornan. We do not read that Ornan saw the angel, 2 Kings, but this circumstance may be here supplied. It is evident the Septuagint have read melec, "king," instead of malac, "angel." (Calmet) --- Eupolemus says the angel Dianathan shewed David were to build the temple. (Eusebius, Pr'e6p. ix. 30.)
Worth. Hebrew, "give it me for the full price," or "worth." Septuagint, "the money was weighed."
Six hundred sicles, &c. This was the price of the whole place on which the temple was afterwards built: but the price of the oxen was fifty sicles of silver, 2 Kings xxiv. 24. (Challoner) --- Or the fifty sicles were given for the threshing-floor alone. (Calmet) (Du Hamel)
Fire, to testify his approbation. (Worthington; Tirinus) See Genesis iv. 4., and 2 Paralipomenon vii. 1. (Calmet) --- This altar represented the cross, on which the Victim of our reconciliation [Jesus Christ] was offered. (Du Hamel)
God. He performed what God had commanded. But he would have offered other voluntary victims at Gabaon, if he had been able. (Calmet) --- The distance shewed the propriety of building the temple at Jerusalem, (Du Hamel) which was nearly in the centre of the country. (Haydock)
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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 21". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany