1 Chronicles 21:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.

New Living Translation
Satan rose up against Israel and caused David to take a census of the people of Israel.

English Standard Version
Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel.

New American Standard Bible
Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.

King James Bible
And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Satan stood up against Israel and incited David to count the people of Israel.

International Standard Version
Then Satan attacked Israel by inciting David to enumerate a census of Israel.

NET Bible
An adversary opposed Israel, inciting David to count how many warriors Israel had.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Satan attempted to attack Israel by provoking David to count the Israelites.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Satan stood up against Israel and provoked David to number Israel.

King James 2000 Bible
And Satan stood up against Israel, and incited David to number Israel.

American King James Version
And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

American Standard Version
And Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Satan rose up against Israel: and moved David to number Israel.

Darby Bible Translation
And Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.

English Revised Version
And Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Satan stood up against Israel, and incited David to number Israel.

World English Bible
Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.

Young's Literal Translation
And there standeth up an adversary against Israel, and persuadeth David to number Israel,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

21:1-30 David's numbering the people. - No mention is made in this book of David's sin in the matter of Uriah, neither of the troubles that followed it: they had no needful connexion with the subjects here noted. But David's sin, in numbering the people, is related: in the atonement made for that sin, there was notice of the place on which the temple should be built. The command to David to build an altar, was a blessed token of reconciliation. God testified his acceptance of David's offerings on this altar. Thus Christ was made sin, and a curse for us; it pleased the Lord to bruise him, that through him, God might be to us, not a consuming Fire, but a reconciled God. It is good to continue attendance on those ordinances in which we have experienced the tokens of God's presence, and have found that he is with us of a truth. Here God graciously met me, therefore I will still expect to meet him.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 1. - Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. This remarkable sentence takes the place of the statements in the parallel, "And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah." Our own passage seems to confine the temptation and sin to David. David also seems to be spoken of as the object of malignant attack on the part of Satan, though Israel is spoken of as the object of malignant envy and animosity. It is also to be noticed that in ver. 17 David takes all the blame to himself, and speaks of the people as "innocent sheep." A people and whole nation have, indeed, often suffered the smart of one ruler's sin. Yet here the light thrown upon the whole event by the account in the Book of Samuel must be accepted as revealing the fact that there had been previously something amiss on the part of the people - perhaps something of illest significance lurking in their constitution. This alone could "kindle the anger of the Lord against Israel." It is the opposite of this which kindles the anger of Satan - when he witnesses excellence, surpassing excellence, as when he witnesses "the weakest saint," yet in that strongest position," on his knees." The apparent inconsistency in Satan being spoken of as resisting Israel, and the anger of the Lord being spoken of as kindled against Israel, is but apparent and superficial. In the first place, these histories do only purport to state the facts overt. And in this sense either alternative statement gives the prima facie facts. Either is true, and both may be true in different chronological order. And further, that the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel is no disproof that Satan will see and seize his opportunity. It looks the contrary way. There was a time and an occasion in Eden when Satan thought he saw an opportunity, tried it, and found it, when the anger of the Lord was not kindled against Adam and Eve for certain. But much more prompt will be the executive of Satan at another and less doubtful time. The paths in written history are often awhile rugged and broken up; the written history of Scripture is no exception. And in thus being the more in analogy with history itself, those unevennesses and breaks are the better attestation of both the reality of the Scripture history and the veracity of its writers. The word (שָׂטַן) occurs twenty-four times in the Old Testament. On all occasions of its occurrence in the Book of Job and in the prophecies of Zechariah, it shows the prefixed definite article; in all other places it is, with the present passage, unaccompanied by the article. Its translation here might appear strictly as that of a proper name. But this cannot be said of the other instances of its use, when without the article (Numbers 22:22, 32; 1 Samuel 29:4). This constitutes with some the ground of the very opposite opinion and opposite translation. If we regard the name as utterly expressing the personality of Satan, the passage is very noteworthy, and will be most safely regarded as the language of the compiler, and not as copied from the original source. The signification of the word "Satan," as is well known, is "adversary," or "accuser." The sin of David in giving the order of this verse was of a technical and ceremonial character, in the first place, whatever his motives were, and however intensified by other causes of a moral and more individual complexion. We learn (Exodus 30:12-16) the special enactments respecting what was to be observed when "the sum of the children of Israel after their number" was to be taken. However, the same passage does not say, it fails to say, when such a numbering would be legitimate or when not. It is left us, therefore, to deduce this from observation. And we notice, in the first place, that, on the occasion of its undoubted rightness, it is the work of the distinct commandment of God (Numbers 1:1-3; Numbers 26:1-4). Next, we notice the religious contribution, "the ransom," that was required with it (Exodus 30:12-16; Exodus 38:25, 26; Numbers 31:48-54). Again, we notice that the numberings narrated both in the beginning of the Book of Numbers (1.) and toward the close (26.) had specific moral objects as assigned by God - among them the forcible teaching of the loss entailed by the successive rebellions of the people (Numbers 26:64, 65; Deuteronomy 2:14, 15). And though last, not least, all these indications are lighted up by the express and emphatic announcements in God's original promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that their seed should become past numbering, multitudinous as the stars, and as the sands of the seashore. From all which we may conclude that only that numbering was held legitimate which was for God's service in some form, and as against human pride and boastfulness - by God's command as against a human king's fancy - and which was attended by the payment of that solemn "ransom" money, the bekah, or half-shekel (Exodus 30:12). Other numbering had snares about it, and it was no doubt because it had such intrinsically that it was divinely discountenanced, and in this case severely punished. It seems gratuitous with some to tax David with having other motives than those of some sort of vanity now at work, sinister designs of preparing, unaided and unpermitted, some fresh military exploits, or stealing a march on the nation itself in the matter of some new system of taxation. The context offers no corroboration of either of these notions, while several lesser indications point to the simplest explanation (1 Chronicles 27:23).

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Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

CHAPTER 21

1Ch 21:1-13. David Sins in Numbering the People.

1. Satan stood up against Israel—God, by withdrawing His grace at this time from David (see on [392]2Sa 24:1), permitted the tempter to prevail over him. As the result of this successful temptation was the entail of a heavy calamity as a punishment from God upon the people, it might be said that "Satan stood up against Israel."

number Israel—In the act of taking the census of a people, there is not only no evil, but much utility. But numbering Israel—that people who were to become as the stars for multitude, implying a distrust of the divine promise, was a sin; and though it had been done with impunity in the time of Moses, at that enumeration each of the people had contributed "half a shekel towards the building of the tabernacle," that there might be no plague among them when he numbered them (Ex 30:12). Hence the numbering of that people was in itself regarded as an undertaking by which the anger of God could be easily aroused; but when the arrangements were made by Moses for the taking of the census, God was not angry because the people were numbered for the express purpose of the tax for the sanctuary, and the money which was thus collected ("the atonement money," Ex 30:16) appeased Him. Everything depended, therefore, upon the design of the census [Bertheau]. The sin of David numbering the people consisted in its being either to gratify his pride to ascertain the number of warriors he could muster for some meditated plan of conquest; or, perhaps, more likely still, to institute a regular and permanent system of taxation, which he deemed necessary to provide an adequate establishment for the monarchy, but which was regarded as a tyrannical and oppressive exaction—an innovation on the liberty of the people—a departure from ancient usage unbecoming a king of Israel.

1 Chronicles 21:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
David Forces a Census
1Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel. 2So David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, "Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan, and bring me word that I may know their number."…
Cross References
2 Samuel 24:1
Again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, "Go and take a census of Israel and Judah."

1 Chronicles 20:8
These were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men.

1 Chronicles 27:24
Joab son of Zeruiah began to count the men but did not finish. God's wrath came on Israel on account of this numbering, and the number was not entered in the book of the annals of King David.

Zechariah 3:1
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.
Treasury of Scripture

And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

A.M.

2 Samuel 24:1 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he …

1 Kings 22:20-22 And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and …

Job 1:6-12 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves …

Job 2:1,4-6 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves …

Zechariah 3:1 And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel …

Matthew 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If you be the Son of God, …

Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have …

John 13:2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of …

Acts 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to …

James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot …

Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, …

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