1 Chronicles 21:15
And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now your hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it.—The reading of Samuel is probably right, “And the angel stretched out his hand towards Jerusalem, to destroy it.” The verb is the same word in each, and the word “God” in our text is substituted for “Jehovah,” which, again, is a misreading of part of the Hebrew of Samuel (yādô ha), the first word meaning his hand, and the second being the definite article belonging to “angel.”

To destroy.—A different voice of the same verb as in Samuel.

And as he was destroying, the Lord beheld. Not in Samuel. The words “soften the harshness of the transition from the command to the countermand” (Bertheau).

As he was destroying.About (at the time of) the destroying; when the angel was on the point of beginning the work of death. It does not appear that Jerusalem was touched. (Comp. 2Samuel 24:16.)

That destroyed.—Samuel adds, “Among the people.” The addition is needless, because the Hebrew implies “the destroying angel.” (Comp. Exodus 12:23.

It is enough, stay now.—According to the Hebrew accentuation, Enough now (jam satis), stay (drop) thine hand.

Stood.Was standing. Samuel, “had come to be.”

Ornan.—So the name is spelt throughout this chapter. Samuel has the less Hebrew-looking forms ha-’ôrnah (text; comp. the LXX. ǒpva) or ha-Arawnah, margin) here, and in 1Chronicles 21:18 Aranyah (text), elsewhere Arawnah. Such differences are natural in spelling foreign names. The LXX. have “Orna,” the Syriac and Arabic “Aran.”

1 Chronicles 21:15-16. God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it, &c. — This seems to import that there were more angels than one employed to effect this destruction in different parts of the country: and that the angels, sent to Jerusalem, had begun to slay some of its inhabitants. The Lord beheld, and repented him of the evil — Probably because he beheld their serious repentance. David and the elders clothed in sackcloth — That is, in mourning garments; fell on their faces — Humbling themselves before God for their sins, and deprecating his wrath against the people. 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.And the angel of the Lord destroying ... - These words are not in Samuel, which puts the third alternative briefly. They prepare the way for the angelic appearance 1 Chronicles 21:16, on which the author is about to lay so much stress. 15. stood by the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite—Ornan was probably his Hebrew or Jewish, Araunah his Jebusite or Canaanitish, name. Whether he was the old king of Jebus, as that title is given to him (2Sa 24:23), or not, he had been converted to the worship of the true God, and was possessed both of property and influence. No text from Poole on this verse. See Chapter Introduction And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and {f} as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he {g} repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.

(f) Read 2Sa 24:16.

(g) When God draws back his plagues, he seems to repent, read Ge 6:6.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. unto Jerusalem] The plague arrived in Jerusalem after making ravages elsewhere.

as he was destroying] R.V. as he was about to destroy, agreeing with 2 Sam., when the angel stretched forth his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it.

It is enough] The sudden cessation of this pestilence has numerous parallels in the history of epidemics.

the threshingfloor of Ornan] The Chronicler makes this threshing-floor the site of the Temple. The author of Sam. is silent on the point. Cp. 1 Chronicles 21:25; 1 Chronicles 21:28, notes.

Ornan] This is the form of the name throughout this chapter, but in 2 Samuel 24 the K’rî gives everywhere Araunah, The C’thîb of Sam. however offers various forms, one of which (to be read Ornah, 1 Chronicles 21:16) approximates to the form given in Chron. Variation in reproducing foreign names is common; see note on 1 Chronicles 18:5 (Damascus), and on 2 Chronicles 36:6 (Nebuchadnezzar).Verse 15. - And God sent an angel. It is at this point first that any mention of an angel is found in the parallel place, but then not in the present form, but in a sentence which would seem to presuppose the knowledge of the agency of an angel on the occasion: "And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented him of the evil" (2 Samuel 24:16). Stood by the threshing-floor of Ornan. The verb "stood" is employed here quite generically. It does not imply that the angel stood on the ground; for see next verse, in which it is said that he "stood between the earth and the heaven," the Hebrew verb being exactly the same. Ornan is the uniform form and spelling of the name in Chronicles. In Samuel, however, the name appears as אֲרַנְוָה (2 Samuel 24:20), or Araunah. Yet in ver. 16, of the same chapter the Kethiv inverts the order of the resh and vau, prefixing the article, or what looks like it, and again in ver. 18 the Kethiv shows the form אֲרַנְיָה. Ornan, then, or Arauuah, was a descendant of the old Jebusite race to whom the fort of Zion once belonged. And the present narrative finds him living on the Hill of Moriah (Conder's' Bible Handbook,' 2nd edit., 236 [6]). The threshing-floor. The primitive threshing-floors of the Israelites still essentially obtain. They were level spots of stamped and well-trodden earth, about fifty feet in diameter, and selected in positions most exposed to the wind, in order to take the advantage of its help in the separating of the grain from the chaff. On these circular spots of hard earth the sheaves of grain, of whatever kind, were distributed in all sorts of disorder. Oxen and other cattle trod them. And sometimes these beasts were driven round and round five abreast. The stalk of the grain was, of course, much bruised and crushed, and the method is described still as of a very rough and wasteful kind. Instruments were also employed, as the "flail" (Ruth 2:17; Isaiah 28:27, 28); the "sledge," to which possibly reference is made in Judges 8:7, 16, under the name barkanim (Authorized Version, "briers"). These sledges were of two kinds:

(1) the morag (2 Samuel 24:22; 1 Chronicles 21:23; Isaiah 41:15), made of fiat planks joined together, and furnished with rough studs on the under surface; and

(2) agalah, rendered Authorized Version, "cart-wheel" (Isaiah 28:27), made of wooden rollers, or rollers of iron or stone, and dragged by cattle over the sheaves. Egypt and Syria, as well as Palestine, still show these instruments (see Robinson's 'Bibl. Res.,' 1:550; and Thomson's 'Land and the Book,' pp. 538-541). The naming of the העם שׂרי along with Joab is in accordance with the circumstances, for we learn from 2 Samuel 24:4 that Joab did not carry out the numbering of the people alone, but was assisted by the captains of the host. The object of אלי והביאוּ, which is not expressed, the result of the numbering, may be supplied from the context. No objection need be taken to the simple כּהם of 1 Chronicles 21:3, instead of the double וכהם כּהם in Samuel. The repetition of the same word, "there are so and so many of them," is a peculiarity of the author of the book of Samuel (cf. 2 Samuel 12:8), while the expression in the Chronicle corresponds to that in Deuteronomy 1:11. With the words וגו אדני הלא, "Are they not, my lord king, all my lord's servants," i.e., subject to him? Joab allays the suspicion that he grudged the king the joy of reigning over a very numerous people. In 2 Samuel 24:3 the thought takes another turn; and the last clause, "Why should it (the thing or the numbering) become a trespass for Israel?" is wanting. אשׁמה denotes here a trespass which must be atoned for, not one which one commits. The meaning is therefore, Why should Israel expiate thy sin, in seeking thy glory in the power and greatness of thy kingdom? On the numbers, 1 Chronicles 21:5, see on 2 Samuel 24:9. In commenting on 1 Chronicles 21:6, which is not to be found in Samuel, Berth. defends the statement that Joab did not make any muster of the tribes Levi and Benjamin, against the objections of de Wette and Gramberg, as it is done in my apologet. Versuche, Sa. 349ff., by showing that the tribe of Levi was by law (cf. Numbers 1:47-54) exempted from the censuses of the people taken for political purposes; and the tribe of Benjamin was not numbered, because David, having become conscious of his sin, stopped the numbering before it was completed (cf. also the remarks on 2 Samuel 24:9). The reason given, "for the king's word was an abomination unto Joab," is certainly the subjective opinion of the historian, but is shown to be well founded by the circumstances, for Joab disapproved of the king's design from the beginning; (cf. 2 Samuel 24:3 and 1 Chronicles 21:3). - In 1 Chronicles 21:7, the author of the Chronicle, instead of ascribing the confession of sin on David's part which follows to the purely subjective motive stated in the words, "and David's heart smote him," i.e., his conscience (2 Samuel 24:10), has ascribed the turn matters took to objective causes: the thing displeased God; and anticipating the course of events, he remarks straightway, "and He (God) smote Israel." This, however, is no reason for thinking, with Berth., that the words have arisen out of a misinterpretation or alteration of 2 Samuel 24:10; for such anticipatory remarks, embracing the contents of the succeeding verses, not unfrequently occur in the historical books (cf. e.g., 1 Kings 6:14; 1 Kings 7:2). - In reference to 1 Chronicles 21:8-10, see on 2 Samuel 24:10-16. - In 1 Chronicles 21:12, נספּה has not come into the text by mistake or by misreading נסך (2 Samuel 24:13), but is original, the author of the Chronicle describing the two latter evils more at length than Samuel does. The word is not a participle, but a noun formed from the participle, with the signification "perishing" (the being snatched away). The second parallel clause, "the sword of thine enemies to attaining" (so that it reach thee), serves to intensify. So also in reference to the third evil, the יהוה חרב which precedes בּארץ דּבר, and the parallel clause added to both: "and the angel of the Lord destroying in the whole domain of Israel."
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