Summary 2 Samuel 24:
David takes a census of Israel and Judah moved by Satan. After 9 months and 20 days, the number of men numbered 800,000 in Israel and 500,000 in Judah. David confesses his sin (for not having faith in the Lord for fighting purposes), and Gad the prophet gives him 3 choices for consequences:
- 3 years of famine
- 3 months of fleeing from your enemies
- 3 days of plague
The plague was chosen, and 70,000 people died. David sacrificed to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite to stop the plague.
Summary 1 Chronicles 21:
Satan incited David to take the census. In all, there were 1,100,000 men, including 470,000 in Judah, but excluding the Levites and the Benjaminites. The passage from here is almost identical to 2 Samuel 24.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 22, Day 5: 2 Samuel 24 with 1 Chronicles 21:
12) David wanted to survey his kingdom in order to glory it its size and its potential military strength. God wanted David to continue to rely on divine help and guidance, not national pride. Exodus says, “When you take a census of the Israelites, each one must pay the Lord a ransom for his life.” Also, the David tempted David it says in 1 Chronicles 21
13) Part personal Question. My answer: God gives David a choice of punishments (which He does us as well). He forgives David and ends the plague early out of mercy. The personal side of this questions would take hours to recount. God is merciful by forgiving my sins, providing a Savior, and giving me so much in this world I don’t deserve.
14) David asks for forgiveness and mercy. He sacrifices costly sacrifices. Self-sacrificing is what I see in my culture. Helping others. Obeying God. Doing the right thing.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 22 Day 5: 2 Samuel 24 with 1 Chronicles 21:
This is a great chapter. It shows how David’s whole life was about God, and how God did it all for David, including providing the support David needed to rule effectively and successfully. Great lesson.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 22, Day 5: 2 Samuel 24 with 1 Chronicles 21:
Commentary 2 Samuel 24:
The translators of the New King James Version believe that “He” in this sentence applies to God because they capitalize it. Yet 1 Chronicles 21:1 tells us, Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel. The best explanation is that Satan prompted King David and is the “he” of 2 Samuel 24:1. Yet the Lord expressly allowed it as a chastisement against David (Nothing happens without God knowing or allowing).
In ancient cultures, a man only had the right to count or number what belonged to him. Israel didn’t belong to David; Israel belonged to God. It was up to the Lord to command a counting, and if David counted, he should only do it at God’s command and receiving ransom money to “atone” for the counting.
Once again, we see Joab as the voice of reason. He told David to quit mourning Absalom’s death in 2 Samuel 19, and now he asks David to reconsider his pride and his sin. The captains tried to tell David as well.
The total population would be 6 million in Israel based off the number of men at this time..
David’s three choices:
- Famine put the poor at risk who would not be able to afford the food
- War put all the soldiers at risk
- Plague was the equalizer — all were at risk
David chose plague because it was the only one he could suffer from.
The threshing floor of Araunah
2 Chronicles 3:1 tells us that the threshing floor of Araunah was on Mount Moriah; the same hill where Abraham offered Isaac (Genesis 22:2), and the same set of hills where Jesus died on the cross (Genesis 22:14).
This also became the site of Solomon’s temple (1 Chronicles 21:28-22:5).
FUN FACT: “David’s altar was the only one in pre-exilic times which God explicitly commanded to be built.” (Selman)
“The decision of God to establish his altar and temple at Moriah in Jerusalem has affected all history (cf. Revelation 11:1); for this mountain became the focus of the Holy City, where His Son was crucified. And it will continue to affect history; for from this ‘city he loves’, he will some day rule the nations of the earth (Isaiah 2:2-4).” (Payne)
David knew that it would not be a gift nor a sacrifice unto the LORD if it did not cost him something. He didn’t look for the cheapest way possible to please God.
David knew that the death of the 70,000 in Israel of the plague did not atone for his and Israel’s sin. Atonement could only be made through the blood of an approved substitute.
Burnt offerings were to atone for sin; peace offerings were to enjoy fellowship with God.
1 Chronicles 21:26 tells us that God showed His acceptance of David’s sacrifice by consuming it with fire from heaven. God honored David’s desire to be right and to fellowship with God by answering with Divine blessing from heaven. So it always is when God’s children draw near to their God and Father for cleansing and fellowship.
Commentary 1 Chronicles 21:
FUN FACT: “For the first time in Scripture, the word ‘Satan’ appears without the definite article as a proper noun.” (Payne)
Why were the Levites and Benjaminites not counted?
“Joab, seeing that this would bring down destruction upon the people, purposed to save two tribes. Should David ask, Why have you not numbered the Levites? Joab purposed to say, Because the Levites are not reckoned among the children of Israel. Should he ask, Why have you not numbered Benjamin? he would answer, Benjamin has been already sufficiently punished, on account of the treatment of the woman at Gibeah: if, therefore, this tribe were to be again punished, who would remain?” (Clarke)
240 ounces of gold was worth about one hundred thousand dollars. Second Samuel 24:24 notes a much smaller amount, 20 ounces of silver, for the threshing floor itself.
God simply uses Satan’s provocation at the opening of this chapter to answer of the question for David and for the nation of Israel: where to build his temple. There were other purposes of God at work here as well.
What does Ornan’s Threshing Floor Teach us?
Ornan’s threshing floor shows us where and how God wants to meet with men.
- A simple, unadorned place – not like a fancy church at all.
- A place of ordinary work.
- A place bought with money.
- A place from where bread was brought forth.
- A place where the justice of God was evident.
- A place where sin was confessed.
- A place where sacrifice was offered and accepted.