And the LORD spoke to Gad, David's seer, saying,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And the Lord (Jehovah) spake unto Gad.—Samuel, “And David arose in the morning. Now a word of Jehovah had come to Gad the prophet, a seer of David, saying—“ This appears to be more original than our text.
David’s seer.—Better, a seer of David’s, for the same title is applied to Heman (1Chronicles 25:5). For Gad, see 1Samuel 22:5, and 1Chronicles 29:29. From the latter passage it has been inferred that it was Gad who wrote the original record of the census.Numbers 1:47-49. The omission of Benjamin must he ascribed to a determination on the part of Joab to frustrate the king's intention, whereby he might hope to avert God's wrath from the people. And the LORD spake unto Gad, David's seer, saying,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. And the Lord spake] The historian now retraces his steps to describe the circumstances which heralded the approach of the plague.
Gad] He is three times mentioned in Chron., each time as a “seer,” viz. 1 Chronicles 21:9 (= 2 Samuel 24:11); 1 Chronicles 29:29; 2 Chronicles 29:25. He was perhaps an older contemporary of Nathan, who bears the more modern title of “prophet” (cp. 1 Samuel 9:9).Verse 9. - Gad, David's seer. The parallel place says, "The Prophet Gad (הֲנָּבִיא), David's seer" (2 Samuel 24:11). The Hebrew word here used in both passages for "seer," is חֹזֶה, in place of the word of higher import, הָרֹאֶה, the use of which is confined to Samuel, Hanani, and to the person spoken of in Isaiah 30:10. In this last passage our Authorized Version translates "prophet" while in 1 Chronicles 29:29 our Authorized Version translates both Hebrew names in the very same verse by the one English word "seer." Gad was, perhaps, a pupil of David (2 Samuel 22:8), and was the successor of Samuel (1 Chronicles 9:22) in this office. 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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