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1 Chronicles 21 Summary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Ch. 1Ch 21:1-27 (= 2Sa 24:1-25)

The Numbering and the Plague

The subject of the present section (David’s numbering of the people and the plague which followed) is a difficult one, but a combination of the details of the narratives of Sam. and Chron. makes the main features clear. (1) Israel (and not David only) had sinned, for the Lord at the beginning was angry against Israel (2Sa 24:1). (2) The anger of the Lord, by withdrawing protection from Israel, gave an opportunity to Israel’s enemy ( Satan = “adversary”; see note below). (3) This enemy moved David to commit a sin, the consequences of which affected the whole people. Thus the punishment of sin came through the commission of fresh sin. David’s sin consisted (1) in the pride and (possibly) in the designs of further conquest which prompted his act, (2) in trampling on the feelings of his people as expressed by Joab. Notice that the two numberings ordered by God Himself in the wilderness (Num 1:1-46; Num 3:39; Num 26:1-65) afforded no precedent except for a numbering by direct Divine command. Moreover a census was regarded as a cause of tie outbreak of plague, and it was prescribed that, when Moses took a census, every man numbered should pay half a shekel for the service of the tabernacle “as a ransom for his soul, that there be no plague among them.” (Exo 30:12).

Consult other comments:

1 Chronicles 21:0 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

1 Chronicles 21:0 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

1 Chronicles 21:0 - College Press Bible Study Textbook Series

1 Chronicles 21:0 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

1 Chronicles 21:0 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

1 Chronicles 21:0 - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

1 Chronicles 21:0 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

1 Chronicles 21:0 - Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

1 Chronicles 21:0 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

1 Chronicles 21:0 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges