1 Chronicles 21 1,100,000


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1 Chronicles 21:4 The king’s word, however, overruled Joab; so Joab left and went throughout Israel and then came back to Jerusalem. 5 Joab reported the number of the fighting men to David: In all Israel there were one million one hundred thousand men who could handle a sword, including four hundred and seventy thousand in Judah.

6 But Joab did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, because the king’s command was repulsive to him. 7 This command was also evil in the sight of God; so he punished Israel​

1,100,000 swordsmen.... 470 of whom were in Judah.

This is from the easy English site.

David insisted that Joab must obey his order. He told Joab to go and Joab obeyed him. He and his officers went through all Israel. The task took them almost 10 months. Then they came and they gave to David the results of their count.

The total for all Israel was 1 100 000 men. This number included 300 000 men who were already in the army. (The number of the soldiers in 27:1-9 is 288 000 but with other officers this would be about 300 000. In the account in 2 Samuel 24:9, the total is 800 000 men. That total does not seem to include the men who were already in the army.)

David’s orders so disgusted Joab that he did not count all the tribes. He left out the tribes of Levi and Benjamin. Later David ordered a count of the tribe of Levi (23:3). Joab may have left them out because of their tasks in Israel’s religion (Numbers 1:47). If the count were for the purpose of taxes, this would not include the Levites. Also, they could not be soldiers. But there can be no such reason for him not to count Benjamin.

God was angry about the count and David now realised it. His conscience told him how wrong he had been. He confessed that he had sinned. Now he knew that he had been foolish. He asked God to forgive him. But in order to repent, it is not enough just to be sorry. A person must also turn away from sin. David had not paid the tax for the LORD’s tent or the temple. He had not paid the price for the lives of his men. And he had not given sacrifices so that God’s punishment would be against the animals instead of the people.​

So.... David owed a "tax" for every soldier that was counted. He had to pay the "tax" or these men would have to be put to death.

The Levites and the Benjamites don't have to worry. Joab didn't count them.

The rest of the commentaries have some ideas about why Joab didn't count the Levites and Benjamites. One even came up with a conspiracy theory, complete with a dialogue between David and Joab that was not at all Biblical. I wanted to go back and copy it so I could paste it here.... but when I went back I couldn't find that rabbit hole.

Have you ever noticed in one of those movies where six men are holding the hill against all odds, then one says something totally awesome and then that one gets killed. That's what I think of when I read these verses. We all have a number.... I hope when mine comes up... my one awesome statement is dramatic, but kind and loving....

I've been thinking of the number of views on this forum. I didn't use to look at them once they got a hit or two because I knew the post had worked. Then... I guess it was back in November... I noticed the number of views was in the hundreds.... and then... it got to be over a thousand.... and now.... there are more.... I became very afraid.

Look y'all.... I'm reading the Bible cover to cover.... along with commentary.... so I can get a better view of what is going on now. Through the Bible, I'm watching these cousins. There were only three men who walked or jumped off the Arc. According to the story.... everyone, everywhere, is related. So whatever is going on in the Middle East today.... was started by those people back then. I have not been to seminary. I'm retired... so I have time to dig and go down rabbit holes to learn the truth [or what someone else thinks so I can reconcile it with my view and the other commentaries]. Please continue to view.... and remember... I have no clue.