1 Chronicles 21:5
And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword.
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(5) The number.Muster, or census (miphqăd). The first clause is identical with Samuel, but has “David” for “the king,” as elsewhere.

And all they of Israel.And all Israel became (came to). The numbers are different in Samuel, which states them as 800,000 for Israel and 500,000 for Judah. The latter may fairly be regarded as a round number (500,000), our text giving the more exact total (470,000). As to the former, we may assume that the 1,100,000 of our text is an error of transcription, or, more probably, that the traditions respecting this census varied, as may easily have happened, inasmuch as the numbers were not registered in the royal archives (1Chronicles 27:24). Perhaps, however, our estimate includes the standing army of David, reckoned (1Chronicles 27:1-15) at a total of 288,000 men (in round numbers, 300,000); thus 800,000 (Sam.) + 300,000 = 1,100.000 (Chron.).

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.In 2 Samuel 24:9 the numbers are different. The explanation there given is not so generally accepted as the supposition that the numbers have, in one passage or the other (or possibly in both), suffered corruption. 5. Joab gave the sum of the number of the children of Israel—It amounted to one million one hundred thousand men in Israel, capable of bearing arms, inclusive of the three hundred thousand military (1Ch 27:1-9), which, being already enlisted in the royal service, were not reckoned (2Sa 24:9), and to four hundred seventy thousand men in Judah, omitting thirty thousand which formed an army of observation stationed on the Philistine frontier (2Sa 6:1). So large a population at this early period, considering the limited extent of the country and comparing it with the earlier census (Nu 26:1-65), is a striking proof of the fulfilment of the promise (Ge 15:5). No text from Poole on this verse.

See Chapter Introduction And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were {d} a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was {e} four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword.

(d) Joab partly for grief and partly through negligence gathered not the whole sum as it is here declared.

(e) In Samuel 30,000 more are mentioned, which was either by joining to them some of the Benjamites who were mixed with Judah, or as the Hebrews write, here the chief and princes are left out.

5. they of Israel] Chron. gives Israel as 1,100,000 and Judah as 470,000; 2 Sam. gives Israel as 800,000 and Judah as 500,000.

that drew sword] All males over twenty years of age would be so described; cp. Numbers 1:20.

Verse 5. - The report of the numbers as given in this verse does not tally with that of the parallel place. Here they are three hundred thousand more for Israel, and thirty thousand fewer for Judah, than there. No really satisfactory explanation of these discrepancies has yet appeared. The somewhat ingenious suggestion that the Chronicle-compiler counted in the standing army (two hundred and eighty-eight thousand, 1 Chronicles 27:1-15) for Israel, and omitted from Judah a supposed "thirty thousand," under the head of "the thirty" of our ch. 11; while the writer of the Book of Samuel did exactly the converse, - can scarcely pass muster, although it must be noticed that it would meet in the main the exigencies of the case. A likelier suggestion might be found in a comparison of the statements of our ver. 6 compared with 1 Chronicles 27:22-24. Indeed, the last sentence of this last-quoted verse (1 Chronicles 27:24) may possibly contain the explanation of all (cutup. Numbers 1:47-50; Numbers 2:33). That Joab utterly refused to number Levi, because this was a thing most distinctly prohibited (and further because it was not material to David's presumable objects), was quite to be expected. And though Joab is said in the following verse not to have numbered Benjamin, it is possible enough that he may have known this number (1 Chronicles 7:6-11). Yet see what follows. 1 Chronicles 21:5The 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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