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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
2 Samuel 24

 

 

Verses 1-25

Chapter 24

2 Samuel 24:1-25 — David Numbers the People - In 2 Samuel 24:1-25 we have the record of David numbering the children of Israel, which resulted in God's judgment upon the people. The Lord had given the nation of Israel the procedures for numbering the population in the book of Exodus ( Exodus 30:11-16). Each man was to offer half a shekel unto the Lord in order to make atonement for his soul so that a plague does not break out among them. In this way, the Lord would recognize each person counted. Since David does not perform this census properly, he caused a plague to break forth among the people.

Exodus 30:11-16, "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD. Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD. The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls. And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls."

2 Samuel 24:1 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.

2 Samuel 24:1 — "and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah" - Comments- David"s act of numbering the people is a way of looking to man"s strength and not to God alone. Note:

1 Chronicles 27:23, "But David took not the number of them from twenty years old and under: because the LORD had said he would increase Israel like to the stars of the heavens."

Psalm 20:7, "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God."

In Isaiah 22:10, "Israel numbered the houses in the city to try and fortify the wall and to repair its breaches. This also was looking to the arm of flesh.

Isaiah 22:10, "And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall."

In contrast, note the story of Gibeon and his army of 300 men who defeated 185 ,000 Midianites.

2 Samuel 24:1Comments- Sailhamer notes that there are a number of examples in the historical books of the Old Testament where God's anger was turned against Israel ( Judges 2:14; Judges 2:20; Judges 3:8; Judges 10:7, 2 Kings 13:3; 2 Kings 23:26). The parallel verse to 2 Samuel 24:1 is found in 1 Chronicles 21:1, which reads differently, "And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel." In the book of Chronicles it was Satan ( שָׂטָן), and not the Lord, who caused David to number the people. In an effort to reconcile these different statements, Sailhamer notes that each time God was angry with Israel, He gave over to their enemies. He goes on to explain that when King Solomon was obeying the Lord, God gave him rest from all of his adversaries, "…so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent." ( 1 Kings 5:4). Later, when Solomon sinned, "the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Song of Solomon , Hadad the Edomite," ( 1 Kings 11:14) and "God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah," ( 1 Kings 11:23), and "he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon." ( 1 Kings 11:25) In these four verses, the same Hebrew word, "satan" ( שָׂטָן), is used, as in 1 Chronicles 21:1. Sailhamer notes that the word ( שָׂטָן) is also used in a similar context in 1 Samuel 29:4. Thus, based upon this recurring motive in the historical books, he reconciles these two different statements by interpreting 1 Chronicles 21:1 to mean that David's enemies rose up with threats to invade Israel because of his disobedience to God. 69]

69] John H. Sailhamer, Introduction to Old Testament Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, c 1995), 305.

Judges 2:14, "And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies."

Judges 2:20, "And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice;"

Judges 3:8, "Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years."

Judges 10:7, "And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon."

2 Kings 13:3, "And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael, all their days."

2 Kings 23:26, "Notwithstanding the LORD turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal."

1 Kings 5:4, "But now the LORD my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent."

2 Samuel 24:13 So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days" pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me.

2 Samuel 24:13 — "seven years" - Comments- The parallel passage in 1 Chronicles 21:12 says, "three years."

1 Chronicles 21:12, "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."

A look at the Hebrew words:

2 Samuel 24:13 - Hebrew ( שֶׁבַע) - "seven" - (H 7651)

1 Chronicles 21:12 - Hebrew ( שְׁלשָׁה) - "three" - (H 7969)

2 Samuel 24:13Comments- God could have pronounced a judgment upon David as in 2 Samuel 12:10, where God judged David"s household. But the judgment at the end of David"s life was a judgment upon the nation of Israel ( 2 Samuel 24:1). In contrast, the judgment in David"s sin against Bathsheba was a judgment upon an individual, which judgment matched the laws of God"s Word according to Proverbs 17:13.

2 Samuel 12:10, "Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife."

2 Samuel 24:1, "And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah."

Proverbs 17:13, "Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house."

2 Samuel 24:14 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.

2 Samuel 24:14 — "His mercies" - Comments- An example of God"s mercy is in found in 2 Samuel 12:22, where David sought God"s grace and mercy.

2 Samuel 12:22, "And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?"

2 Samuel 24:15 So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.

2 Samuel 24:15Scripture Reference- Note Exodus 30:12-16 :

Exodus 30:12, "When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them."

2 Samuel 24:17 And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father"s house.

2 Samuel 24:17 — "when he saw the angel" - Comments- Is this part of the experience, when David was shown the pattern of the tabernacle? This angel was standing by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite ( 2 Samuel 24:16). We are told that he not only saw an angel, but that fire came down from heaven to consume the sacrifice ( 1 Samuel 21:16). A few verses later, at this threshing floor, David declares this to be the house of the Lord ( 1 Chronicles 22:1). 2 Chronicles 3:1 implies that David did have a vision while at the threshingfloor of Ornan.

1 Chronicles 21:26, "And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering."

1 Chronicles 22:1, "Then David said, This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of the burnt offering for Israel."

2 Chronicles 3:1, "Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite."

2 Samuel 24:19 And David, according to the saying of Gad, went up as the LORD commanded.

2 Samuel 24:19Comments- David"s repentance results in obedience to God"s Word.

2 Samuel 24:24 And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

2 Samuel 24:24Comments- The parallel passage in 1 Chronicles 21:25 says that David paid six hundred shekels of gold for the threshing floor of Araunah and the oxen.

1 Chronicles 21:25, "So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight."

2 Samuel 24:25 And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.

2 Samuel 24:25Comments- This site later became the location of Solomon"s temple, and it is believed to be the site of Abraham"s sacrifice of Isaac.

1 Chronicles 21:28, "At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there."

1 Chronicles 22:1, "Then David said, This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of the burnt offering for Israel."

2 Samuel 24:25Comments- In 2 Samuel 23:1-7 David functioned in the office of a prophet. In 2 Samuel 24:25 David is functioning in the office of a priest. Thus, David functioned in the offices of a king, a priest, and a prophet, as did his New Testament counterpart, Jesus the Messiah; for King David was a type and figure of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/2-samuel-24.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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