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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
2 Samuel 24



1David, tempted by Satan, forces Joab to number the people.
5The captains, in nine months and twenty days, bring the muster of thirteen hundred thousand fighting men.
10David repents, and having three plagues propounded by God, chooses the three days' pestilence.
15After the death of three score and ten thousand, David by prayer prevents the destruction of Jerusalem.
18David, by God's direction, purchases Araunah's threshing floor; where having sacrificed, the plague stays.

Verse 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.
A. M. 2987. B.C. 1017. An. Ex. Is. 474. again
This verse, when read without reference to any other part of the word of God, is very difficult to understand, and has been used by those who desire to undermine the justice of God, to shew that he sought occasion to punish--that he incited David to sin; and when he had so incited him, gave to him the dreadful alternative of choosing one of three scourges by which his people were to be cut off. On the face of the passage these thoughts naturally arise, because "the Lord" is the antecedent to the pronoun "he,"--He moved David. But to those who "search the Scriptures," this exceedingly difficult passage receives a wonderful elucidation, By referring to 1 Ch 21:1, the reader will there find that Satan was the mover, and that the Lord most righteously punished David for the display of pride he had manifested. Oh! that Christians, who sometimes have their minds harassed with doubts, would remember the promise, that what they know not now they shall know hereafter; and if no other instance of elucidation than this passage occurred to them to remove their doubts, let this be a means of stirring them up to dig deeper than ever into the inexhaustible mines of the Inspired Word.
James 1:13,14
12:11; 16:10; Genesis 45:5; 50:20; Exodus 7:3; 1 Samuel 26:19; 1 Kings 22:20-23; Ezekiel 14:9; 20:25; Acts 4:28; 2 Thessalonians 2:11
Go, number
1 Chronicles 27:23,24

Verse 2
For the king said to Joab the captain of the host, which was with him, Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people.
2:13; 8:16; 20:23; 23:37
Go now, etc
or, Compass now all.
1 Chronicles 21:2
from Dan
3:10; 17:11; Judges 20:1
and number
We know not in what the sinfulness of this action consisted. Some think it was a contempt of the promise that the Israelites should be innumerable, and that they ought not to have been numbered without an express command, as in the days of Moses. Others suppose with Josephus that it was a kind of sacrilege, in omitting to collect the half-shekel a-piece for the use of the sanctuary. It however would appear that pride and ambition, and a desire of conquest, induced David to this measure, and rendered it so displeasing to God.
that I may
Deuteronomy 8:13,14; 2 Chronicles 32:25,26,31; Proverbs 29:23; Jeremiah 17:5; 2 Corinthians 12:7

Verse 3
And Joab said unto the king, Now the LORD thy God add unto the people, how many soever they be, an hundredfold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing?
10:12; 1 Chronicles 21:3,4; Psalms 115:14; Proverbs 14:28; Isaiah 60:5

Verse 4
Notwithstanding the king's word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the host. And Joab and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel.
the king's
1 Chronicles 21:4; Ecclesiastes 8:4
went out
Exodus 1:17; Acts 5:29

Verse 5
And they passed over Jordan, and pitched in Aroer, on the right side of the city that lieth in the midst of the river of Gad, and toward Jazer:
Deuteronomy 2:36; Joshua 13:9,16; 1 Samuel 30:28; Isaiah 17:2
or, valley. Jazer.
Numbers 32:1,3,35; Isaiah 16:8,9

Verse 6
Then they came to Gilead, and to the land of Tahtimhodshi; and they came to Danjaan, and about to Zidon,
Genesis 31:21,47,48; Numbers 32:1,39
land of Tahtim-hodshi
or, nether land newly inhabited. Dan-jaan.
Joshua 19:47; Judges 18:29
Genesis 10:15; Joshua 11:8; 19:28; Judges 18:28

Verse 7
And came to the strong hold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and of the Canaanites: and they went out to the south of Judah, even to Beersheba.
Joshua 19:29
to Beer-sheba
2; Genesis 21:31-33

Verse 9
And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.
eight hundred thousand
1 Chronicles 21:5,6; 27:23,24

Verse 10
And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.
David's heart
1 Samuel 24:5; John 8:9; 1 John 3:20,21
I have sinned
12:13; 1 Chronicles 21:8; 2 Chronicles 32:26; Job 33:27,28; Psalms 32:5; Proverbs 28:13; Micah 7:8,9; 1 John 1:9
take away
Job 7:21; Hosea 14:2; John 1:29
12:13; Deuteronomy 32:6; 1 Samuel 13:13; 26:21; 2 Chronicles 16:9; Mark 7:22; Titus 3:3

Verse 11
For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying,
1 Samuel 22:5; 1 Chronicles 2:19; 29:29
1 Samuel 9:9

Verse 12
Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.
I offer
1 Chronicles 21:10,11
that I may
12:9,10,14; Leviticus 26:41,43; Job 5:17,18; Proverbs 3:12; Hebrews 12:6-10; Revelation 3:19

Verse 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.
21:1; Leviticus 26:20; 1 Kings 17:1-7; 1 Chronicles 21:12; Ezekiel 14:13,21; Luke 4:25
Leviticus 26:17,36,37; Deuteronomy 28:25,52
three days
Leviticus 26:16,25; Deuteronomy 28:22,27,35; Psalms 91:6; Ezekiel 14:19-21

Verse 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.
I am in
1 Samuel 13:6; 2 Kings 6:15; John 12:27; Philippians 1:23
for his
Exodus 34:6,7; 1 Chronicles 21:13; Psalms 51:1; 86:5,15; 103:8-14; 119:156; 145:9; Isaiah 55:7; Jonah 4:2; Micah 7:18
or, many. let me not.
2 Kings 13:3-7; 2 Chronicles 28:5-9; Psalms 106:41,42; Proverbs 12:10; Isaiah 47:6; Zechariah 1:15

Verse 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.
the Lord
Numbers 16:46-49; 25:9; 1 Samuel 6:19; 1 Chronicles 21:14; 27:4; Matthew 24:7; Revelation 6:8
from Dan
seventy thousand men
Isaiah 37:36

Verse 16
And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite.
the angel
Exodus 12:23; 2 Kings 19:35; 1 Chronicles 21:15,16; 2 Chronicles 32:21; Psalms 35:6; Acts 12:23
Genesis 6:6; 1 Samuel 15:11; Psalms 78:38; 90:13; 135:14; Jeremiah 18:7-10; Joel 2:13,14; Amos 7:3,6; Habakkuk 3:2
It is enough
Exodus 9:28; 1 Kings 19:4; Isaiah 27:8; 40:1,2; 57:16; Joel 2:13,14; Mark 14:41; 2 Corinthians 2:6
18; 1 Chronicles 21:15; 2 Chronicles 3:1
the Jebusite.
5:8; Genesis 10:16; Joshua 15:63; Judges 1:21; 19:11; Zechariah 9:7

Verse 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.
1 Chronicles 21:16,17
Lo, I have sinned
10; Job 7:20; 42:6; Psalms 51:2-5; Isaiah 6:5
these sheep
1 Kings 22:17; Psalms 44:11; 74:1; Ezekiel 34:2-6,23,24; Zechariah 13:7
let thine
Genesis 44:33; John 10:11,12; 1 Peter 2:24,25

Verse 18
And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite.
11; 1 Chronicles 21:18-30
threshing floor
These, among the ancient Jews, were only round, level plats of ground in the open air, as they are to this day in the East, where the corn was trodden out by oxen.
Heb. Araniah.

Verse 19
And David, according to the saying of Gad, went up as the LORD commanded.
as the Lord
Genesis 6:22; 1 Chronicles 21:19; 2 Chronicles 20:20; 36:16; Nehemiah 9:26; Hebrews 11:8

Verse 20
And Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants coming on toward him: and Araunah went out, and bowed himself before the king on his face upon the ground.
9:8; Genesis 18:2; Ruth 2:10; 1 Chronicles 21:20,21

Verse 21
And Araunah said, Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar unto the LORD, that the plague may be stayed from the people.
To buy
Genesis 23:8-16; 1 Chronicles 21:22; Jeremiah 32:6-14
the plague
21:3-14; Numbers 16:47-50; 25:8; Psalms 106:30

Verse 22
And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood.
Let my lord
Genesis 23:11; 1 Chronicles 21:22
be oxen
1 Samuel 6:14; 1 Kings 19:21

Verse 23
All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The LORD thy God accept thee.
as a king
Psalms 45:16; Isaiah 32:8
The Lord
Job 42:8,9; Psalms 20:3,4; Isaiah 60:7; Ezekiel 20:40,41; Hosea 8:13; Romans 15:30,31; 1 Timothy 2:1,2; 1 Peter 2:5

Verse 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.
Genesis 23:13; 1 Chronicles 21:24; Malachi 1:12-14; Romans 12:17
So David
1 Chronicles 21:25; 22:1

Verse 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.
built there
Genesis 8:20; 22:9; 1 Samuel 7:9,17
So the Lord
14; 21:14; 1 Chronicles 21:26,27; Lamentations 3:32,33


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, November 23rd, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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