2 Samuel 24:4
Notwithstanding the king's word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the host. And Joab and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
24:1-9 For the people's sin David was left to act wrong, and in his chastisement they received punishment. This example throws light upon God's government of the world, and furnishes a useful lesson. The pride of David's heart, was his sin in numbering of the people. He thought thereby to appear the more formidable, trusting in an arm of flesh more than he should have done, and though he had written so much of trusting in God only. God judges not of sin as we do. What appears to us harmless, or, at least, but a small offence, may be a great sin in the eye of God, who discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart. Even ungodly men can discern evil tempers and wrong conduct in believers, of which they themselves often remain unconscious. But God seldom allows those whom he loves the pleasures they sinfully covet.1 Chronicles 21:2, supplies some missing words. This passage should run, as at 2 Samuel 24:4, "And the king said to Joab and to the princes of the host who were with him," etc. (compare 1 Chronicles 27:22). They were employed "with Joab" as his assistants in the numbering, exactly as in the previous numbering Numbers 1:4 when a prince was appointed from each tribe to be "with" Moses and Aaron. CHAPTER 24

2Sa 24:1-9. David Numbers the People.

1-4. again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah—"Again" carries us back to the former tokens of His wrath in the three years' famine [2Sa 21:1]. God, though He cannot tempt any man (Jas 1:13), is frequently described in Scripture as doing what He merely permits to be done; and so, in this case, He permitted Satan to tempt David. Satan was the active mover, while God only withdrew His supporting grace, and the great tempter prevailed against the king. (See Ex 7:13; 1Sa 26:19; 2Sa 16:10; Ps 105:25; Isa 7:17, &c.). The order was given to Joab, who, though not generally restrained by religious scruples, did not fail to present, in strong terms (see on [279]1Ch 21:3), the sin and danger of this measure. He used every argument to dissuade the king from his purpose. The sacred history has not mentioned the objections which he and other distinguished officers urged against it in the council of David. But it expressly states that they were all overruled by the inflexible resolution of the king.

Joab perceiving the king bent upon it, would not hazard the king’s favour by further disputing or disobeying his command.

Notwithstanding the king's word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the host,.... Who it seems were of the same mind with Joab, and were against numbering the people, yet their arguments and remonstrances were of no avail with the king; he was determined it should be done, and laid his commands upon them to do it, which they were obliged to comply with:

and Joab and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel; seeing him resolute and determined, they submitted, took his orders, and set out to execute them.

Notwithstanding the king's word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the host. And Joab and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. against Joab, and against the captains of the host] A council of the officers of the army was held, in which the scheme was discussed.

Verse 4. - The captains of the host. The matter was not undertaken without a council being held, and at it David's chief officers agreed with Joab; but David had made up his mind, and would take no advice. 2 Samuel 24:4But as the king's word prevailed against Joab and against the captains of the army, they (Joab and the other captains) went out to number Israel. יחנוּ, they encamped, i.e., they fixed their headquarters in the open field, because great crowds assembled together. This is only mentioned here in connection with the place where the numbering commenced; but it is to be understood as applying to the other places as well (Thenius). In order to distinguish Aroer from the place of the same name in the Arnon, in the tribe of Reuben (Joshua 12:2; Numbers 32:34, etc.), it is defined more precisely as "the town in the brook-valley of Gad," i.e., Aroer of Gad before Rabbah (Joshua 13:25; Judges 11:33), in the Wady Nahr Ammn, to the north-east of Ammn (see at Joshua 13:25). ועל־יעזר (and to Jazer): this is a second place of encampment, and the preposition אל is to be explained on the supposition that יבאוּ (they came), which follows, was already in the writer's thoughts. Jazer is probably to be found in the ruins of es Szir, at the source of the Nahr Szir (see at Numbers 21:32).
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