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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 24:1

Now again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and it incited David against them to say, "Go, number Israel and Judah."


Adam Clarke Commentary

He moved David against them - God could not be angry with David for numbering the people if he moved him to do it; but in the parallel place ( 1 Chronicles 21:1;) it is expressly said, Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. David, in all probability, slackening in his piety and confidence toward God, and meditating some extension of his dominions without the Divine counsel or command, was naturally curious to know whether the number of fighting men in his empire was sufficient for the work which he had projected. See more on 2 Samuel 24:10; (note). He therefore orders Joab and the captains to take an exact account of all the effective men in Israel and Judah. God is justly displeased with this conduct, and determines that the props of his vain ambition shall be taken away, either by famine, war, or pestilence.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-24.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel - This sentence is the heading of the whole chapter, which goes on to describe the sin which kindled this anger, namely, the numbering of the people 1 Chronicles 21:7-8; 1 Chronicles 27:24. There is no note of time, except that the word “again” shows that these events happened “after” those of 2 Samuel 24:25; 2 Samuel 21:14.)

And he moved David - In 1 Chronicles 21:1 the statement is, “and an adversary” (not “Satan,” as the King James Version, since there is no article prefixed, as in Job 1:6; Job 2:1, etc.) “stood up against Israel and moved David,” just as 1 Kings 11:14, 1 Kings 11:23, 1 Kings 11:25 first Hadad, and then Rezon, is said to have been “an adversary” (Satan) to Solomon and to Israel. Hence, our text should be rendered, “For one moved David against them.” We are not told whose advice it was, but some one, who proved himself an enemy to the best interests of David and Israel, urged the king to number the people.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-24.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

DAVID'S SIN OF NUMBERING THE PEOPLE AND GOD'S PUNISHMENT BY PESTILENCE

"Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, `Go, number Israel and Judah.'" (2 Samuel 24:1).

The time of the events mentioned here was evidently near the end of David's reign.[1] The great problem of the chapter appears in this very first verse, where it is stated that, "God incited David against Israel by commanding him to number Israel and Judah." If God had indeed commanded David to number Israel, it could not have been a sin for him to have done so.

The true solution of what some view as a difficulty lies in 1 Chronicles 21:1, where it is flatly declared that, "Satan stood up against Israel, and incited David to number Israel." Significantly, the statement in Chronicles was written at practically the same time, historically, as were the Books of Samuel; and therefore we reject categorically the notion of critical scholars who claim that the account in 1 Chronicles 21:1 represents, "A subsequent advance of religious thought,"[2] in Israel, erroneously supposing that, "In this passage we have an illustration of the imperfect recognition of the moral nature of Yahweh."[3] "The language here leaves no doubt of the author's theory that God incites men to do that for which he afterward punishes them."[4] Such viewpoints are not merely erroneous, they are also founded in ignorance and misunderstanding.

No! God does not move men to do certain things and then punish them for it. That principle is made clear in the Exodus example of God's hardening Pharaoh's heart. That was done by the Lord only at a time subsequent to the ten-fold Biblical statement that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. God always allows the triumph of man's own free will; and, in doing so, what God thus allows is very properly said by the sacred writers to have been done by the Lord.

That is exactly the situation here. David was determined to number Israel, knowing full well that it was a sin for him to do so for the purposes which he had in mind. The temptation had come from Satan himself (as stated in Chronicles), and in all probability via the mouth of some of David's associates or advisers. David went forward with that determination despite solemn warnings from Joab. God is here said to have done it in the sense that, knowing David's willful heart, he allowed it.

Several Biblical examples show the same situation. When Judas Iscariot already had fully determined to betray the Lord, the Lord said, "What thou doest, do quickly"! (John 13:27). Thus, God commanded Judas to betray Christ! Also when Balaam, who was sinfully making his way to the court of Balak for the purpose of cursing Israel, was enabled to see the angel with the drawn sword, he would have turned back; but God spoke through the angel, saying, "Go with the men"! (Numbers 22:35) Thus it is not incorrect to say that God commanded Balaam to go to Balak's court where he was assigned the task of cursing Israel. Exactly the same situation is visible here in the statement that God commanded David to number Israel.

Caird wrote of the opinions of some modern critical commentators who find here a theological view of God, "Which was later outgrown," pointing out that, "It was not really outgrown; because it recurs in the Biblical account of the hardening of Pharaoh's heart."[5]

Not only that, exactly the same principle is still operative during the Christian dispensation. Paul pointed out that people who do not love the truth but have pleasure in unrighteousness are actually incited by God to believe a falsehood that they might be condemned (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). "Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned, etc."

We are certain, therefore, that something exactly like this lies behind what is written here in this first verse.

The sinful error of Biblical critics who slander the character of God himself, basing their allegations upon a single, isolated text, is primarily the result of a false method of interpretation. There is no isolated text that should be interpreted without consideration of the light that falls upon it from other Biblical declarations. Satan certainly justified his appeal for Christ to jump off the pinnacle of the temple, if only the text Satan quoted had been considered; but Jesus reminded him of what was also written (Matthew 4:7). The whole counsel of God is never available in some isolated text, a fact made perfectly dear in Isaiah 28:10,13.

Over and beyond all that we have written above, this first verse here is written in the shadow of the ancient Oriental conviction which, "Acknowledges the great truth that all actions, both good and bad, are of God. `Shall there be evil in a city and Jehovah hath not done it (Amos 3:16)'?"[6] What is meant is that nothing on earth ever happens, whether good or bad, which is not covered under the blanket of God's permissive will. It is in that understanding that 2 Samuel 24:1, above, must be interpreted.

"The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel" (2 Samuel 24:1). It is considered uncertain by many as to why God was angry with Israel; but Keil and Payne both accepted the view that the anger of the Lord was probably due to the twin rebellions of Israel against David under the leadership of Absalom and of Sheba.[7]

"Again" (2 Samuel 24:1). A number of scholars apply this as a reference to the famine mentioned in 2 Samuel 21[8] but this is very uncertain. There were almost countless times when God was angry with Israel.

"Go, number Israel and Judah" (2 Samuel 24:1). The mystery here is, "Just why was that a sin"? "What harm was there in it? Moses numbered the people twice. Should not the shepherd know the number of the sheep? What evil did David do when he numbered the people? It is certain that it was a sin, a very great sin, but wherein lay the evil of it is not exactly clear."[9]

A number of writers have offered reasons why the action was sinful, which reasons may or may not be correct. That David did so with an inglorious intention of boasting, that he had in mind the military extension of his kingdom, or that he intended to use the information for the purpose of levying heavier taxes, or for a more vigorous prosecution of his forced labor projects - all of these reasons have been advanced by able scholars. Evidently some, or all, of these reasons were applicable.

That his numbering the people was indeed sinful appears in the fact that even Joab knew it was wrong; and without any further instruction whatever from the Lord, David himself admitted that he had sinned grievously in doing so (2 Samuel 24:10).


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-samuel-24.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel,.... It had been kindled, and appeared before in sending a three years' famine among them for Saul's ill usage of the Gibeonites, 2 Samuel 21:1; and now it broke forth again, either for some secret sins committed, as Kimchi suggests, or for the rebellion of Absalom, and the insurrection of Sheba, in which multitudes of them joined; so Abarbinel; no doubt there was cause for it, though it is not expressed:

and he moved David against them; not the Lord, but Satan, as may be supplied from 1 Chronicles 21:1; or "it moved him"; the anger of the Lord, as the last mentioned writer interprets it; or the heart of David, as Ben Gersom; that is, the evil imagination of his heart, as Kimchi; the Lord left him to the corruption of his nature, sometimes called Satan, 2 Corinthians 12:7; which wrought powerfully in him, and stirred him up to take a step contrary to the interest of Israel, and what was prejudicial to them, as the event showed: it moved him to say; to Joab and his captains:

go, number Israel and Judah: not all the individuals, but such as were fit for war, able to bear arms, see 2 Samuel 24:9.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-24.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And a again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and b he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.

(a) Before they were plagued with famine, (2 Samuel 21:1).

(b) The Lord permitted Satan, as in (1 Chronicles 21:2).


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-24.html. 1599-1645.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

We have, in this chapter, a part of David's history, the date of which is not certain. He is here in a state of trespassing against the Lord, by numbering the people. The prophet Gad is sent to reprove him, and to propose to his choice one of three plagues with which the Lord would chastise him. We have also the relation of the chastisement, and David's repentance.


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Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/2-samuel-24.html. 1828.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

A FATAL BLUNDER

‘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

We do not see immediately upon its being mentioned how it was wrong for David to number the people; that is, in the modern phrase, to take a census of the population. We have a census of the population taken at certain intervals, and this is not wrong, but very proper and useful. What is the difference between the circumstances of the children of Israel and our own?

I. Notice first the object with which this act was done.—It was very clear what David had an eye to in numbering the people. It was one of those steps which the kings of the nations around were accustomed to take from time to time when they wanted to know how strong they were and what wars they could carry on, what countries they could invade and what cities they could take. This was the way of the heathen world, whom the Israelites were specially bidden not to imitate. They were not meant by God to be a conquering nation; they were a holy nation, a peculiar people, whom God had admitted into a special covenant with Himself. David’s act was one of vulgar kingly ambition, in absolute contradiction to the express designs of God for the Jewish people. It pleased God by a terrible visitation at once to check this new temper and suppress at its very commencement this dangerous aim.

II. Another reason why David’s act was a sinful one was that it was done under a very different dispensation from that under which we live.—To the Jews God was not only their God in heaven, but their King on earth as well. Anything that interfered with this special Divine sovereignty was treason, because the chosen people were not to set up governments and modes of policy for themselves, as other nations did, but were to wait upon the voice of their Divine King. David was only king under a Divine King, and had no right to be constructing great plans out of his own head.

III. There is a sense, and a very true sense, in which David’s sin applies to us.—People are very fond of numbering the good things they have or suppose themselves to have. This is the peril to which our Lord refers when He says, ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth … for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also;’ that is, you will be always brooding in your heart upon them, and they will fill your mind to the exclusion of all spiritual thoughts. The Bible takes us out of ourselves, and directs us to God as the great object of our love, and in Him to our neighbour. ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.’

Canon Mozley.

Illustrations

(1) ‘The numbering of the people was one of the last and most reprehensible acts of David. From the expressions here used we learn that God permitted Satan to tempt David to the commission of a crime, which would draw down punishment on himself and his people, as he afterward permitted the same evil and lying spirit to seduce the prophets of Ahab 1 Kings 22:22), and the disciple of Christ (St. Luke 22:3). The ruling passion by which the tempter assailed David was the pride of life, which, though checked and mortified by the wholesome restraints of adversity, broke out again in the sunshine of prosperity.’

(2) ‘It was not the census itself which was displeasing to God, but the motive which inspired David to take it. Various conjectures have been suggested to account for David’s wish to number the people. Some suppose that he intended to develop the military power of the nation with a view to foreign conquest: others that he meditated the organisation of an imperial despotism and the imposition of fresh taxes. But whether any definite design of increased armaments or heavier taxation lay behind it or not, it seems clear that what constituted the sin of the act was the vainglorious spirit which prompted it. In a moment of pride and ambition—pride at the prosperity of the kingdom, ambition to be like the kings of the nations round about—he desired to know to the full over how vast and populous a kingdom he ruled, forgetting that the strength of Israel consisted not in the number of its people, but in the protecting care of God. This view is strongly corroborated by Joab’s expostulation. It was a momentary apostasy from Jehovah; an oblivion of that spirit of dependence which was the duty and the glory of the kings of Israel.’


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Bibliography
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:1". Church Pulpit Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/2-samuel-24.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.

Ver. 1. And again the anger of the Lord.] Again, after the late three years’ famine for Saul’s sin, and the late slaughter of twenty thousand for rebelling with Absalom, this plague of pestilence is sent - as they seldom go sundered - for the injury done to Uriah - saith Rupertus - who is named in the last verse of the former chapter; but more likely it was for some general sin of the whole land; whether it were their recently revolting from David, or their putting too much confidence in their king and his worthies; or the abuse of their present peace and plenty; or whatever else, God was displeased, and David so far abandoned and left to himself, that he yielded to that satanical suggestion, which brought the people’s ruth and ruin.

And he moved David against them.] God did; Satan also did, [1 Chronicles 21:1] being let loose upon David for the purpose: like as the dog may be said to bait the beast; and the owner of the beasts that suffereth him to be baited. (a)

Go, number Israel and Judah.] This was the last act that he did before he took his bed. And some Hebrews say, that he was so grieved at the common calamity that followed upon his sin, and so terrified at the sight of the punishing angel, that thereupon he took his bed, and was so infirm, as 1 Kings 1:1. It was not simply unlawful for him to number the people; but he did it out of curiosity and creature confidence. David - otherwise devoted to God’s holy fear [Psalms 119:38] - had not now the fear of the Lord swaying in his soul, which teacheth to hate evil, even inward evils, such as lie in the bosom and bottom of the soul, as "pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way," [Proverbs 8:13] those "spiritual wickednesses," and more immediate affronts offered to the Divine Majesty; with which God is more angry, than with a fleshly crime, though heinously seconded, such as was David’s sin in the matter of Uriah.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-24.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 24:1

We do not see immediately upon its being mentioned how it was wrong for David to number the people; that is, in the modern phrase, to take a census of the population. We have a census of the population taken at certain intervals, and this is not wrong, but very proper and useful. What is the difference between the circumstances of the children of Israel and our own?

I. Notice first the object with which this act was done. It was very clear what David had an eye to in numbering the people. It was one of those steps which the kings of the nations around were accustomed to take from time to time when they wanted to know how strong they were and what wars they could carry on, what countries they could invade and what cities they could take. This was the way of the heathen world, whom the Israelites were specially bidden not to imitate. They were not meant by God to be a conquering nation; they were a holy nation, a peculiar people, whom God had admitted into a special covenant with Himself. David's act was one of vulgar kingly ambition, in absolute contradiction to the express designs of God for the Jewish people. It pleased God by a terrible visitation at once to check this new temper and suppress at its very commencement this dangerous aim.

II. Another reason why David's act was a sinful one was that it was done under a very different dispensation from that under which we live. To the Jews God was not only their God in heaven, but their King on earth as well. Anything that interfered with this special Divine sovereignty was treason, because the chosen people were not to set up governments and modes of policy for themselves, as other nations did, but were to wait upon the voice of their Divine King. David was only king under a Divine King, and had no right to be constructing great plans out of his own head.

III. There is a sense, and a very true sense, in which David's sin applies to us. People are very fond of numbering the good things they have or suppose themselves to have. This is the peril to which our Lord refers when He says, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, ...for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also;" that is, you will be always brooding in your heart upon them, and they will fill your mind to the exclusion of all spiritual thoughts. The Bible takes us out of ourselves, and directs us to God as the great object of our love, and in Him to our neighbour. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

J. B. Mozley, Sermons Parochial and Occasional, p. 72


References: 2 Samuel 24:1.—H.Thompson, Concionalia: Outlines of Sermons for Parochial Use, vol. i., p. 349; F W. Krummacher, David King of Israel, p. 478; Homiletic Magazine, vol vi., p. 171.


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Bibliography
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:1". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/2-samuel-24.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Samuel 24:1. He moved David against them, to say, Go, number This verse may be rendered thus, And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel; for he moved David, or, David was moved against them, to say, Go, number, &c. active verbs in the third person being frequently to be rendered as impersonals, and not to be referred to the nouns immediately foregoing: and thus the text will be fully reconcileable with that in Chronicles, which says, that Satan moved him to number the people. Genesis 16:13-14 is exactly parallel with this; where it is said of Hagar, "She called the name of the Lord, who spake to her, Thou, God, seest me; for she said, Have I here looked after him? therefore he called the well, the well Lahai-roi." Who called it so? Not that God who saw her; and therefore the words must be rendered, as in our version, the well was called. But there is another way of rendering and understanding this passage, viz. For he moved David, or, David was moved against them, not as in our version, to say, but by saying, Go, number; which last will then be, not David's words to his officers, which follow in the next verse, but his who counselled David to this action: and thus David's numbering the people will be neither by the inspiration of God, nor immediately by the instigation of Satan, as that word means the Devil. See the parallel passage, 1 Chronicles 21:1. And yet somebody actually said to him, Go, number the people; and this person seems to have been one of his courtiers, or attendants; one who, to give David a higher notion of his grandeur, and of the number and strength of his forces, put it into his head, and persuaded him to take the account of them; and in Chronicles is therefore called Satan, or an adversary, either designedly or consequentially both to David and his people. And this will exactly agree with what the author of the book of Chronicles says, An adversary stood up against Israel, and provoked, or, as the word is rendered here, moved him against them. The word שׂטן, Satan, properly signifies an adversary, whether to a bad or a good cause. In the former sense it is used Numbers 22:23 where the angel of the Lord is said to stand in the way לו לשׂטן lesatan lo, as an adversary, a Satan, to Balaam. In a bad sense it is used ch. 2 Samuel 19:22 where David calls the sons of Zeruiah his Satan or adversary; and thus in the place before us: "An adversary to the peace of David and Israel, stood up and excited him to number the people; ויסת vaiiaset, excited him by his persuasion and advice; actually saying to him, Go, number, &c." Thus "Jezebel, הסתה hesattah, stirred up her husband Ahab to work wickedness;" was continually soliciting and urging him to it. 1 Kings 21:25. See also Job 2:3. Deuteronomy 13:6. Houbigant is of opinion, that this passage is to be supplied from the Chronicles, and accordingly he translates it the same as in that place.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-samuel-24.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

2 SAMUEL CHAPTER 24

David, tempted by Satan, forceth Joab to number the people; who are thirteen hundred thousand fighting men, 2 Samuel 24:1-9. David acknowledgeth his sin in it: having three judgments propounded by God, he is in great distress, and chooseth the pestilence; of which seventy thousand men die, 2 Samuel 24:10-15. David by his humiliation preventeth the destruction of Jerusalem, 2 Samuel 24:16,17. He by Gad’s direction and order from God purchaseth Araunah’s threshing-floor to build an altar there; on which having sacrificed, the plague stayeth, 2 Samuel 24:18-25.

Again, to wit, after the former tokens of his anger, such as the three years’ famine, 2Sa 21.

He moved David he: who? Either,

1. Satan, as is expressed, 1 Chronicles 21:1. Or,

2. God; who is said, in like manner, to stir up Saul against David, 1 Samuel 26:19, and to turn the hearts of the Egyptians to hate his people, Psalms 105:25, and to make men to err from his ways, Isaiah 63:17, and to send strong delusions, &c., and to harden their hearts. All which expressions are not so to be understood, as if God did work these sinful dispositions; which neither was necessary, because they are naturally in every man’s heart, nor possible for the holy God to do; but because he permits them, and withdraws his grace and all restraints and hinderances from them, and giveth occasions and advantages to them; and directs their thoughts to such objects as may indeed be innocently thought of, which yet he knows they will wickedly abuse; and give them up to Satan, who he knows will deceive and entice them to such and such sins; which, being tempted to do by Satan, and being effected by their own wicked hearts, he so orders and overrules, that they shall be punishments for their former sins. Against them, i.e. for Israel’s punishment. To say, or, saying. For this may be referred, either,

1. To God, of whom the same expression is used 2 Samuel 16:10, The Lord said to Shimei, Curse David; which in both places is not to be understood of any command or impulse of God, but of his secret providence disposing things in manner here above expressed. Or,

2. To David; he moved David to say, to wit, to Joab, as he did, 2 Samuel 24:2.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-24.html. 1685.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Samuel 24:1. And again — After the former tokens of his anger, such as the three years’ famine, mentioned chap. 21. The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel — For their sins, and on account of the following action of David. The anger of the Lord, it must be well observed, was not the cause of David’s sin, nor of the sins of the people; for God cannot be the author of sin; but David’s sin and the sins of Israel were the cause of God’s anger. And he moved David against them — The reader must observe that, as there is no nominative case before the verb here, in the original, to express who moved David, the most strict rendering of the clause would be, There was who moved David against them, &c. By our version, the reader is led to suppose that the Lord, mentioned in the foregoing part of the sentence, moved David to commit this sin of numbering the people. But this is not only quite contrary to the nature and attributes of God, but to what we are expressly told 1 Chronicles 21:1, where we learn that it was Satan, and not the Lord, that moved David to do this. Here then we have a very remarkable instance, which cannot be too much regarded, to warn us against building any particular doctrine, or belief, on certain particular, detached expressions or passages of Scripture, not in harmony with the general tenor of God’s oracles; especially such doctrines as are entirely opposite to the essential nature or attributes of God. For had not this fact of David’s numbering the people been related, through the care of divine providence, by another sacred writer, who entirely clears God from having any concern in moving David to sin, it might have been concluded from the passage before us that God impelled David to this act; and, consequently, that it is consistent with the nature and government of God to excite the human mind to sinful acts: than which there can scarce be any thing more impious imagined. And therefore we may plainly see from hence, that we are not to form our notions from particular passages or expressions of the Holy Scriptures, but from the general tenor of them.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-24.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Stirred up, &c. This stirring up, was not the doing of God, but of satan; as it is expressly declared, 1 Chronicles xxi. 1. (Challoner) --- David was moved by vanity, &c., thus to displease God. --- Among. Hebrew, "against;" as the king could have done nothing more prejudicial to his people, 70,000 of whom perished on this occasion, ver. 15. (Haydock) --- We might also translate, "The anger of the Lord continued against Israel: for David, for their misfortune, was moved to say, Go," &c., as this would obviate the harshness of the expression. (Calmet) --- However, as it is the same in the Septuagint, &c., and as similar words do not prove that God is the author of sin, we may explain this in the same sense, allowing that he suffered the evil to take place, knowing how to draw good out of it. (St. Augustine, &c.) (Haydock) --- Some take this Satan to be an evil counsellor. (Calmet) --- The devil may be styled "the fury of God?" as he is his creature, though rebellious. (Worthington)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-24.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

And again. The history in this chapter precedes 2Sa 23, by Figure of speech Hysterologia (App-6). See note on 23. i. the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4. He moved-He suffered him to be moved. By He-brew idiom (and also by modern usage) a person is said to do that which he permits to be done. Here we have the historical fact. In 1 Chronicles 21:1 we have the real fact from the Divine standpoint. Here the exoteric, in 1 Chronicles 21:1 the esoteric. For examples, see Exodus 4:21; Exodus 5:22. Jeremiah 4:10. Ezekiel 14:9; Ezekiel 20:25. Matthew 11:25; Matthew 13:11. Romans 9:18; Romans 11:7, Romans 11:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:11. God"s permission, but Satan"s suggestion (James 1:13, James 1:14); or, yasath may be taken impersonally, "David was moved".


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-24.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David ... "Again" carries us back to the former tokens of His wrath in the protracted famine which had severely scourged the kingdom (2 Samuel 21:1); and it appears that national sin of some heinous nature still prevailed, which necessitated a renewed infliction of divine judgments. God, though He cannot tempt any man (James 1:13), is frequently described in Scripture as doing what He merely permits to be done; and so in this instance He permitted David to fall into temptation, by withholding His supporting and restraining grace. It will be observed that "he" before "moved" is improperly introduced. [ Wayaacet (Hebrew #5496) has no nominative]; and as this verb signifies stimulated, incited, often in a bad sense, the meaning seems to be that David had been stirred up to the adoption of measure either by the urgency of some minister, whose evil influence predominated in the privy council, or by the suggestion of some worldly and unhallowed passion, which had acquired the ascendancy in his own breast.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-24.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(1) Kindled against Israel.—This was not in consequence of the numbering of the people, but in consequence of that which ultimately led to that act. We are not told why the anger of the Lord was kindled, but doubtless because He saw both in king and people that rising spirit of earthly pride and reliance on earthly strength which led to the sin.

He moved.—The pronoun here stands for “the Lord,” yet in 1 Chronicles 21:1, the temptation is attributed to Satan, and Satan is clearly meant of the devil, and not simply of “an adversary.” This is a striking instance of attributing directly to God whatever comes about under His permission. And yet it is more than that. God has established immutable spiritual as well as material laws, or rather those laws themselves are but the expression of His unchanging will. Whatever comes about under the operation of those laws is said to be His doing. Now David’s numbering the people was the natural consequence of the condition of worldliness and pride into which he had allowed himself to fall. God then moved him, because He had from the first so ordered the laws of the spirit that such a sinful act should be the natural outcome of such a sinful state. Of other interpretations: that which makes the verb impersonal—“one moved”—is hardly tenable grammatically; and that which makes the nominative a sort of compound word—“the wrath of the Lord” (as in some of the ancient versions)—leads to substantially the same explanation as that given above.

The word “number” in this verse is a different one from that used in the rest of the chapter, and means simply to count, while the other conveys the idea of a military muster.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-24.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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
21:1-14
he
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
moved
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

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-24.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, October 29th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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