2 Samuel 24

1David forceth Joab to number the people. 5The captains after nine months and twenty days deliver in the number to the king. 10David repenteth, and, being obliged to choose one plague out of three named to him, fixeth on three days' pestilence. 15After the death of seventy thousand in Israel, at David's humble suit the angel is stayed from destroying Jerusalem. 18By God's direction David purchaseth Araunah's threshingfloor; and having sacrificed there, the plague ceaseth.

1AND again thea anger of the LORD 1was kindled against Israel, and 2he moved David against 3them to 4say, Go, number Israel and Judah.

a 1 Chron. 21:1, etc.

1 This seems to point to the aforementioned three years’ famine, whereof 2 Sam. 21:1, etc.

2 Namely, the Lord. Not that He inspired it into David, but because in His just judgment, by His secret over-ruling Providence, He suffered Satan to do it, and used him as an instrument to punish deservedly the Israelites and to chastise and humble his servant David; as appears by comparing 1 Chron. 21:1, where this history is repeated.

3 Namely, against the Israelites, that is, for a punishment of the Israelites. Other, among them.

4 See 2 Sam. 16 on verse 10 and compare 1 Sam. 26:19; 1 Kings 22:22.

2For the king said to Joab the captain of the host, which was with him, Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from 5Dan even to Beer-sheba, and 6number ye the people, 7that I may know the number of the people.

5 The two uttermost borders of Canaan, Dan in the north and Beer-sheba in the south.

6 Thou and thy company, which thou shalt take along with thee, shall number all who are fit for battle, from twenty years old and upward. See Num. 1:3 and below verse 9. But some perceive that David’s sin consisted mainly therein that David also gave command to number those who were under the age of twenty years and were fit for war. From which also (according to their opinion) arises the difference of the numbers mentioned here in verse 9 and 1 Chron. 21:5.

7 Hereby David shows that he was led hereunto by mere curiosity and pride, which Joab and other officers, perceiving this, labored to draw and dissuade David from it. Compare 1 Chron. 21:3, 6; 27:23.

3And Joab said unto the king, Now the LORD thy God add unto the people, how 8many 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?

8 As every tribe is now.

4Notwithstanding 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.

5¶And they passed over Jordan, and pitched in Aroer, on the right side of the city that lieth 9in the midst of the river of Gad, and toward 10Jazer:

9Aroer was located in the tribe of Gad, in the middle between two brooks of Arnon, whereof the one ran down into the Jordan and the other into the Dead Sea. See also Deut. 2:36.

10 Situated on the brook Arnon, where it runs from the north to the south.

6Then they came to 11Gilead, and to the land of 12Tahtim-hodshi; and they came to 13Dan-jaan, and about to 14Zidon,

11 Extending from the brook Arnon unto the northern borders of Canaan.

12 Hebr. the land Tachtim Chodschi, which some translate: the land of them that dwell in the low grounds, lately inhabited or gained; namely, in Saul’s time, as some perceive. See 1 Chron. 5:10. Others apply it to the land of the Ammonites and Moabites, whereof 2 Sam. 8:2; 12:29, 30, 31. Some hold it to be a proper name of a certain region.

13 This is held to be the city Dan, the northern border of Canaan, mentioned in verse 2; previously called Laish, and Leshem, Joshua 19:47; Judges 18:29.

14 See Judges 18 on verse 7.

7And came to the strong hold of 15Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and of the Canaanites: and they went out to the south of Judah, even to Beer-sheba.

15 See Joshua 19 on verse 29.

8So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.

9And Joab gave up the sum 16of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel 17eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the 18sword; and the men of Judah were 19five hundred thousand men.

16 Hebr. of the numbering.

17 Namely, (according to the opinion of some) besides the number of those who were ordinary and known soldiers, who amounted to 288,000 with their commanders, each commander having under him 24,000, as is related in 1 Chron. 27:1, etc. These, being likewise reckoned among this number, we find thereabout the greater number specified, 1 Chron. 21:5. See further on verse 2.

18 See Judges 8 on verse 10.

19 The common appointed soldiery of Judah (as some perceive) being also reckoned among them, which are left out in 1 Chron. 21:5 (because they were already reckoned among the eleven hundred thousand) and whose commanders are mentioned in 2 Sam. 23:8, etc. It is also remarkable that Joab would not number the tribes of Levi and Benjamin, and perhaps neither the city of Jerusalem. See 1 Chron. 21:6; 27:14.

10¶And 20David’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, 21take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.

20 On account of reflection, sorrow, fear and contrition, about his committed sin. See the same manner of speech 1 Sam. 24:6 with the annotation.

21 See 2 Sam. 12 on verse 13.

11For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet 22Gad, David’s 23seer, saying,

22 See of this man 1 Sam. 22:5; 1 Chron. 29:29.

23 See 1 Sam. 9:9.

12Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I 24offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.

24 Or, lay upon thee, that is, I propound three judgments unto you; the one you shall choose, I shall lay upon you or send you.

13So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall 25seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, 26while 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.

25 The preceding three years (whereof 2 Sam. 21:1) and the fourth (in which this happened) being reckoned therewith, are the seven years, on the understanding that here under the time in which the famine ceased; otherwise but three, which number is specified in 1 Chron. 21:12. Some take seven years for a long time, for which three years are mentioned in Chronicles. Some perceive that God, in dealing with David at first, propounded seven years, and thereafter, mitigating the same, propounded less (namely, three).

26 Hebr. that he, (namely, every one of your enemies) may pursue thee. Understand with this: and in overtaking you, he deals cruelly with you. See 1 Chron. 21:12.

14And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the 27hand of the LORD; for his mercies are 28great: and let me not fall into the hand of 29man.

27 So that He Himself may chastise us without the intervention of man.

28 Or, many.

29 Hebr. of a man, namely, of mine enemies with whom I have found no mercy at all.

15¶So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even 30to the time appointed: and there died of the people from 31Dan even to Beer-sheba seventy thousand men.

30 Which God had specified by the prophet Gad, namely, for three days long. Some understand by the appointed time, the time of the evening sacrifice of the first day; so that the time by David’s repentance and prayers (whereof mention is made in the sequel) was shortened by God.

31 That is, throughout the entire land; as verse 2.

16And when the 32angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to 33destroy it, the LORD 34repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stayb now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshingplace of 35Araunah the 36Jebusite.

32 Whom God had sent forth for that intent, 1 Chron. 21:15.

33 By the pestilence.

34 See Gen. 6 on verse 6.

b stop, hold back*

35 Is called Ornan in 1 Chron. 21:15.

36 But converted to the true religion. Jerusalem was formerly called Jebus and inhabited by the pagan Jebusites. See Judges 1:21; 19:10, 12; 2 Sam. 5:6.

17And David spake unto the LORD when he 37saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have 38sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these 39sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s 40house.

37 For the angel appeared in the shape of a man, between heaven and earth, having a drawn sword in his hand, 1 Chron. 21:16.

38 In numbering the people.

39 He understands the people, who indeed were innocent as touching this sin of David, but otherwise had justly deserved this punishment.

40 That is, my kinsmen, who have also advised me or at least not dissuaded me from it.

18¶And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go 41up, rear an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of 42Araunah the Jebusite.

41 Out of your stronghold to the mount called Moriah, where Araunah dwelled, where Abraham was commanded to offer up his son, Gen. 22:2, 14, and afterward the temple was built. See 1 Chron. 22:1, etc.; 2 Chron. 3:1.

42 As in verse 16 and below. Or, Arniya, at this place.

19And David, according to the saying of Gad, went up as the LORD 43commanded.

43 By the angel whom God had charged to inform the prophet Gad thereof, 1 Chron. 21:18.

20And 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.

21And Araunah said, Wherefore is my lord the king come to 44his servant? And David said, To buy the threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar unto the LORD, that the plague 45may be stayed from the people.

44 That is, unto me.

45 Compare Num. 16:48.

22And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth 46good unto him: behold, here be 47oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for 48wood.

46 That is, what pleases or delights him.

47 Because Araunah was busy with threshing, in which oxen were used that drew about the threshing-cart or fledges over the corn. See Deut. 25 on verse 4.

48 To set the sacrifice on fire.

23All these things 49did Araunah, as a 50king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The LORD thy God 51accept thee.

49 As much as concerning him; but David would not accept it.

50 Some think that he is called a king, because he behaved himself here so liberally, as if he had been a king. Others perceive that he was a king of the Jebusites before David took hold of Zion. Others think that king was his surname.

51 That is, manifest that He doth graciously behold and accept thee, and also thy ways and sacrifices in the Messiah, whereof a clearer evidence appeared by the fire which God sent from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering, 1 Chron. 21:16.

24And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will 52surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me 53nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for 54fifty shekels of silver.

52 Hebr. buying buy.

53 Which are given me by another for nothing, but of that which is mine own.

54 This is to be understood of the price of the oxen and the other instruments; for, he bought the entire place or parcel of ground for six hundred shekels of gold, 1 Chron. 21:25. Some perceive that here is spoken of the sale of the threshing floor and of the oxen, but 1 Chron. 21:29 of the sale of the entire place upon which the temple was built. Of shekels of gold, see Gen. 24 on verse 22.

25And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the 55land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.

55 That is, reconciled to the inhabitants of the land, by means of prayer, made in the faith of the Messiah and His only propitiatory sacrifice, of which these sacrifices were a type.