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the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 21

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

And Satan stood up against Israel. — That is, The devil, as Job 1:6 Psalms 109:6 Zechariah 3:1-2 . Satan signifieth an adversary. So the devil is to God and his people, Revelation 12:9 ; Revelation 20:2 an adversary at law Aντιδικος . 1 Peter 5:8 hating them with an inward, spiteful hatred, as do also his instruments. Psalms 55:4 The Emperor Commodus - cunctis incommodus, saith Orosius; semper incommodus, saith Vopiscus, in vita Taciti - was commonly called the enemy of God and men, the very name of the devil. Howbeit God so chained him up, that, of all the emperors until Constantine, he was most favourable unto Christians, Mountag., Act. and Mon., cap. 7, par. 115. by the mediation of Marcia, who favoured their doctrine, saith Dion; but especially by the overruling power and providence of God, who also had a holy hand in this that David here did: See Trapp on " 2 Samuel 24:1 "

Verse 2

And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know [it].

That I may know it. — But what needs that, now that there was a general aut pax aut pactio, peace or truce with all nations? Curiosity it was, at least: yea, it was pride and creature confidence that pricked David on to this numbering of the people, and made him so peremptory. The herbalists write of a certain plant which they call the Devil’s bit: because, being of sovereign use for mankind, the devil is thought, by simple people, of malice to bite off the root of it, which is found very small, or none at all. Humility is like unto this root, and may be called devil’s bit: not because he can ever bite it off, but for that he never leaveth nibbling at it.

Verse 3

And Joab answered, The LORD make his people an hundred times so many more as they [be]: but, my lord the king, [are] they not all my lord’s servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?

Why then doth my lord require this thing? — Or, Delight in this thing? which showeth that David was somewhat tickled and taken with the multitude of his people. See on 2 Samuel 24:3 .

Verse 5

And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all [they of] Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah [was] four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword.

See Trapp on " 2 Samuel 24:9 "

Verse 7

And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel.

And God was displeased. — Pride flieth in the face of God, when other sinners fly from him; and creature confidence robbeth him of his jewel: hence he so hateth them. 1 Peter 5:5

Verse 8

And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.

See Trapp on " 2 Samuel 24:10 "

Verse 10

Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three [things]: choose thee one of them, that I may do [it] unto thee.

I offer thee. — Heb., I stretch out over thee; I put thee to thy option. This was a great mercy: David must be whipped; but he may choose his own rod. It is with sweet briar, surely, that God chasteneth his children.

Verse 12

Either three years’ famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh [thee]; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me.

Either three years’ famine. — It is in Samuel, seven years’ famine. Seven years, say some, was God’s first offer: but David, praying for a shorter time - as Abraham brought God down from a fifty to ten persons, Genesis 18:24-32 and as Ezekiel obtained ox dung for man’s dung Ezekiel 4:15 - he reduced it to three years. See a better solution to this seeming contradiction in 2 Samuel 24:13 . See Trapp on " 2 Samuel 24:13 "

Verse 15

And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.

Unto Jerusalem to destroy it. — There was the ark; there were David and the elders humbling themselves: thither therefore the plague came last.

Verse 16

And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders [of Israel, who were] clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.

Having a drawn sword in his hand. — This must needs be terrible to the beholders. Commodus, the emperor, set his own statue before the senate house, in form of an archer ready to shoot, that he might strike a terror into the people. Herodian.

Verse 17

And David said unto God, [Is it] not I [that] commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but [as for] these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father’s house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.

See on 2 Samuel 24:17 .

Verse 18

Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.

Then the angel of the Lord. — Not the destroying angel, saith Diodate, but the Son of God himself, who did appear to the prophets. Eπεχω .

Verse 20

And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat.

Now Ornan was threshing wheat. — Though he had sometime been a king, as some gather from 2 Samuel 24:23 . See Trapp on " 2 Samuel 24:23 "

Verse 23

And Ornan said unto David, Take [it] to thee, and let my lord the king do [that which is] good in his eyes: lo, I give [thee] the oxen [also] for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all.

Lo, I give thee the oxen also. — Wherewith he was treading out the corn, as Deuteronomy 25:4 .

I give it all. — He was the more free and forward in his offer, so to expedite the business for the staying of the plague, whereof he and his sons were afraid, and hid themselves.

Verse 28

At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there.

Then he sacrificed there. — There Abraham had sacrificed long before Genesis 22:2 ; Genesis 22:9

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 21". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/1-chronicles-21.html. 1865-1868.
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