|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1-43 The people were numbered to show God's faithfulness in thus increasing the seed of Jacob, that they might be the better trained for the wars and conquest of Canaan, and to ascertain their families in order to the division of the land. It is said of each tribe, that those were numbered who were able to go forth to war; they had wars before them, though now they met with no opposition. Let the believer be prepared to withstand the enemies of his soul, though all may appear to be peace.
Verse 19. - As the Lord commanded Moses, so he numbered them. The usual note of absolute obedience to the Divine instructions; but it serves to express the fundamental difference between this numbering and David's.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
As the Lord commanded Moses,.... In this Moses and David differed in numbering the people of Israel; the one did it by an express command from God, and in obedience to it; the other without one, and against his will, 1 Chronicles 21:17,
so he numbered them in the wilderness of Sinai; where they now were when this order was given, Numbers 1:1; and from whence they removed the twentieth day of this month, Numbers 10:11; so that in less than three weeks time, perhaps much sooner, this affair was finished; and it may be, that the place of numbering them at this time is expressly observed, to distinguish it from another numbering of them, recorded in this book, which was done in the plains of Moab, Numbers 26:2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. As the Lord commanded Moses, &c.—The numbering of the people was not an act sinful in itself, as Moses did it by divine appointment; but David incurred guilt by doing it without the authority of God. (See on 2Sa 24:10).
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