The Second Book of Samuel
(Parallel Chapter - 1 Chronicles, Chapter 21)
(Additionally, 1 Chronicles, Chapters 22, 28 & 29 Included)
Israel Census Event
Israel King David Counts the Israel People Time
Wonderful to have you back for more Daily Bread! This last chapter of
The Second Book of Samuel has quite an interesting story. Let's think
back just a few chapters first and recall when the Lord sent a famine
through the land of Israel. After three years David asked God why,
and He answered David, so David took the appropriate measures and the
Lord lifted the famine.
The Lord not only used David to end disaster for the children of
Israel, but this time, to bring disaster. You see, for some reason
(which is not mentioned) the Lord was angry with Israel, so he used
David as a tool to initiate their discipline. This is one of those
things that is very difficult and quite possibly too complicated for
us as humans to understand.
How ... Why, does our loving God allow some terrible (in our eyes)
things to happen? Well, first of all, God doesn't let all terrible
things happen ... Scads of terrible things happen because of the
choices that mankind makes without the counsel of God.
Make no mistake, though, some things that we deem as terrible, or
worse, happen by God's will. A few examples ... The Lord allowed the
serpent to enter the garden of Eden. The Lord sent evil spirits upon
Saul. The Lord delivered the children of Israel into the hands of
their enemies when they would backslide. The Lord allowed Satan to
mess with Job.
But just because we don't understand the reasons God does what He
does ... That doesn't make Him wrong and us right ...
Job was a righteous man. He didn't deserve what happened to him. And
though he never blamed God, he did question what he did not know.
Israel Census Study
Israel King David Counts the Israel People Lesson
1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and
2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without
Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words?
6 Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind,
7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee,
and declare thou unto me.
8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn
me, that thou mayest be righteous?
Stick out your chest like a man ... I'll ask, and you answer me ...
Will you question or discredit my justice? Will you insist that I'm
unrighteous so that you may seem to be righteous?
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Israel King David Counts the Israel People Time
I gotta ask you now ... Many of us are scared to death to actually
say that we've disagreed with God's judgment about something before,
but how many times have we in our minds and just haven't ever said it
aloud? Go on, it's okay ... Everybody knows.
They've all done it too. The cool thing is that right this second,
you can say you're sorry to your Father, and be forgiven ... Clean
again ... Pure as the driven snow!
Let's take a look at how Job responded to the Lord.
2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no
thought can be withholden from thee.
3 Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge?
therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful
for me, which I knew not.
Pretty self explanatory.
Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I
uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I
Israel Census Truth
Israel King David Counts the Israel People Concern
Here Job is repeating what the Lord asked him ... You said, "Who is
this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words?" Truly I
talked about things I didn't understand.
Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and
declare thou unto me.
Again, Job is restating what the Lord said ... You said, "Listen and
I'll ask you a question and you answer."
5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now
mine eye seeth thee.
6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
Israel Census Discussion
Israel King David Counts the Israel People Warning
Before, I knew about you only by hearsay, but now you've made me see
... And I can't stand myself, and beg your forgiveness.
But the important thing as forgiven Christians is not to wallow in
self pity. Yes, we hate when we sin. Yes we must be sincerely
repentant and get on our knees and ask forgiveness.
But we can't be effective servants of the Lord if we don't forgive
ourselves too and get up off our knees and on our feet and continue
to walk the Christian Walk with an even steadier pace because of what
we learn from our mistakes.
So, in conclusion to all this lead up to our study today ... When
something that the Lord does seems unrighteous to our human
reasoning, that doesn't mean that the Lord is unjust, it simply means
that we're without understanding. And that's why He's God and we're
Now then ...
How did the Lord use David against Israel? He inspired David
to number the people of Israel.
Israel Census by David
Israel King David Counts the Israel People Danger
What's wrong with that? Let's go back to Moses day and see what the law
of the Lord said about numbering the people, shall we?
12 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel
after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his
soul unto the Lord, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague
among them, when thou numberest them.
13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them
that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary:
(a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of
14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered,
from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the Lord.
1 And the Lord spake unto Moses in the wilderness of
Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first day of the
second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land
of Egypt, saying,
2 Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children
of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with
the number of their names, every male by their polls;
3 From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to
go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their
So, we can see that it wasn't against God's law to number the people,
but let's look more carefully. In the scriptures above, it's pretty
clear that the reason for numbering Israel was to find out how big
your army was.
Israel Census in Context
Israel King David Counts the Israel People Fear
So, David's sin in numbering the people was essentially his pride.
How so? Well, knowing the amount of soldiers you have would
definitely mean you're trusting in human power instead of God's power.
Well, Joab knew this wasn't such a hot idea, so he tried to dissuade
David saying, "You know God would give you a hundred times as many
people in the kingdom if that's what you want, and may you live to
see it, but knowing the exact number isn't necessary. Why is it so
But the king's decision overruled Joab and the army commanders. So
they went out to count the people. They returned nine months and
twenty days later and Joab reported the number to the king: Israel
had 800,000 valiant men and Judah had 500,000 men.
Annnnnd, then David's heart felt heavy after he had taken the census.
Y'know that gut wrenching feeling you get when you know you've done
David confessed his sin to God and the Prophet Gad delivered a
message to David from the Lord offering him one of three choices as
chastening ... Seven years of famine in the land, three months of war
being pursued by their enemies, or, three days of pestilence in the
David thought it would be better to fall into the hand of the Lord
because of His grace and mercy, so when Gad told this to the Lord, He
sent a pestilence through Israel starting the next morning and
seventy thousand people died throughout Israel.
Israel Census Explanation
Israel King David Counts the Israel People Saga
The Angel of the Lord stretched out his hand over Jerusalem to
destroy it, and when David looked up, he saw the Angel standing
between the earth and Heaven with a drawn sword in his hand. And the
Lord had pity because of the affliction and said to the Angel,
"That's enough. Take back your hand." The Angel stood by the
threshing place of Araunah (referred to as Ornan in 1 Chronicles) the
Jebusite when God stopped the plague.
David said to the Lord, "I've sinned. I've done wickedly. But what
have these sheep done? Please punish me and not them. Let your anger
be against me and my family. And Gad came that day to David and said,
"Go and build an altar for the Lord in the threshing floor of Araunah
So David went to build an altar there. And Araunah wanted to give
David the threshing floor and all he needed to make his offerings for
free but David insisted that he pay Araunah for everything because it
wouldn't be honorable to offer burnt offerings that cost him nothing.
David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and built an altar for
the Lord there, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings there.
So the Lord answered David's prayer for the land and the plague was
stopped. When David saw that his offerings were acceptable to the
Lord, he continued to sacrifice there because at that season the
tabernacle that Moses had made in the wilderness and the altar of the
burnt offering were at the worshiping place at Gibeon, but David
couldn't bring himself to go there to talk to God because he was
afraid after seeing the sword of the Angel of the Lord.
Israel Census Purpose
Israel King David Counts the Israel People Error
The rest of this study is actually from
1 Chronicles, Chapter 22,
Chapter 28, and
because chronologically, this is when it happened. We will get a
little ahead of ourselves by doing this because the end of 1
Chronicles doesn't coincide exactly with the end of 2 Samuel,
but it's pretty close, and since we're combining the parallel
chapters, it's as close as we can get. You'll see in just a moment.
When David recognized that his prayers were being answered in this
place, combined with the fact that Gad (a Prophet of the Lord) told
him to build an altar there, he decided that this would be the spot
where the Temple of the Lord should be built and where the people of
Israel were to offer burnt offerings.
He ordered for the foreigners that were staying in Israel to cut
stone for the building. He also prepared iron and brass beyond
calculation for nails and hinges and such. Cedar trees were brought
in abundance in preparation for the building.
And this is the first indication we've gotten that Solomon will be
the son that succeeds David as king. (Don't forget that it was
customary for the eldest son to inherit the throne, and Solomon was
not the eldest, nor anywhere near the eldest, but he was chosen by
1 Chronicles 22:5
And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is
to be builded for the LORD must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of
glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for
it. So David prepared abundantly before his death.
Israel Census Mistake
Israel King David Counts the Israel People Sin
So David called for Solomon and told him to build a house for the
Lord. He explained that he wanted to do it himself but that the Lord
told him that he had killed too many people and fought too many wars,
and because of all the bloodshed he caused, the Lord wouldn't let him
build a temple for Him. However, the Lord also promised David that he
would have a son named Solomon (which means 'peaceful'), who would be
a man of peace and while he reigned the Lord would give him quietness
throughout the kingdom and the Lord would keep Israel safe ...
1 Chronicles 22:10
He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be
his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for
You probably remember this story from 2
Samuel, Chapter 7, but we weren't informed then, that Solomon was
the son who would inherit the throne. So, David repeated what the
Lord told him, to Solomon. David wished good blessings on Solomon to
fulfill what the Lord said of him, and asked that the Lord give him
wisdom and understanding in ruling over Israel and keeping the law of
the Lord, and told Solomon to be strong and brave and not to be
troubled, and he would be prosperous.
David also told Solomon how he had prepared for the building of the
temple and encouraged him to do his best and put all of his heart and
soul into serving the Lord, building the temple and bringing the ark
and all the holy things into that place where the Lord chose to put
Israel Census Bible Study
Why Israel King David Counts the Israel People
5 But unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose
out of all your tribes to put His name there, even unto His
habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:
6 And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and
your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand,
and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of
your herds and of your flocks:
7 And there ye shall eat before the Lord your God, and ye
shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your
households, wherein the Lord thy God hath blessed thee.
Then David brought Solomon before all the leaders of Israel. He made
an official announcement that the Lord had chosen Solomon, of all his
sons, to inherit the throne of Israel and build the Temple of the
Lord. He encourages everyone to serve the Lord with a perfect heart
and to maintain integrity, so as to leave Israel an honorable
inheritance for their children after them.He then gives Solomon a
pattern for the building of the Temple which he (David) was given by
inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and the materials that he prepared
for the building. David then encourages Solomon to courageously
fulfill the work that the Lord had entrusted to him.
David makes a heartfelt address to the people and to Solomon, knowing
that he was old and it may be one of his last. He declares that
Solomon, the heir chosen to sit on the throne in David's place, was
young and inexperienced, and the work ahead of him was a great
endeavor, since the Temple was for the Lord Himself, not for man ...
What a feat!
David declares all that he has put toward the preparation of the
temple and asks the congregation to offer their services as well,
which they did, willingly and generously, and they all celebrated.
David blessed the Lord in front of the people and offered praise and
thanksgiving and sacrifices and offerings. There was a feast
afterward and they made Solomon king the second time ...
Israel Census Conclusion
Israel King David Counts the Israel People Summary
What? A second time? Yes, I know it sounds like we're getting a
little ahead of ourselves but you're about to learn what happened
when you begin The First Book of the Kings. But, here's a little hint
The first time Solomon was made king was when his brother Adonijah
tried to take the reign and Zadok, Nathan, and Benaiah hurried up and
anointed Solomon without much public formality (1
1 Chronicles 29:23-25
23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king
instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.
24 And all the princes, and the mighty men, and all the
sons likewise of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the
25 And the Lord magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight
of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not
been on any king before him in Israel.
Congratulations! You've just completed the study of The Second Book
of Samuel! Did you know that if you've completed all the Daily Bread
studies from the beginning, you've studied ten books of the Bible
already! Good for you! David is getting quite old now ... Soon
Solomon will be king in David's place, and though there was war
during the entire reign of king David, Solomon's reign was a time of
peace. But Israel is in for quite a change after that. Can't wait for
you to return and we can enjoy studying The First Book of the Kings
together, right here at Daily Bread!
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