1 Chronicles 21 Wrong....


Active Member
1 Chronicles 21:1 Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, “Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so that I may know how many there are.”

3 But Joab replied, “May the Lord multiply his troops a hundred times over. My lord the king, are they not all my lord’s subjects? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?”

As soon as I saw "census" I thought "oh no! People are going to die". What in the world happened to let Satan get in?

This is from the easy English site.

This account of David’s life misses a period of years. During that time, there had been the problems with his son Absalom and other crises. These events are in 2 Samuel chapters 13 to 23. They took about 20 years. The writer of Chronicles does not record them. The reason for this is that they did not match his purpose. He wanted to encourage the exiles as they returned from Babylon. So, he shows how God was in control of their history. The count in this chapter probably happened about 975 BC.

Satan hates God and all who trust in God. He was an enemy of Israel because the Israelites are God’s special people. He persuaded David to order this count. So, David ordered Joab to count the people from Beersheba to Dan. The phrase ‘Beersheba to Dan’ means the whole country of Israel from the south to the north.

We do not know why David wanted to count the people. It may have been because he was proud of himself. He wanted to know the extent of his power. It could have been for practical reasons. Perhaps he wanted to know how large an army he could have in a war. Or perhaps he had a scheme to tax the people in order to get money for the government.

It was not always wrong to count the people (for example, see Numbers chapters 1 and 26). But God had given Moses clear instructions about such counts (Numbers 3:47-48). Foreign kings might count their people for any reason. But the Israelites were different, because they were the LORD’s people. So when a leader counted the Israelites, he had to pay a price for their lives. He would do this by means of a tax that he collected from them at the same time. The leader could not keep that tax. He paid the money to the priests. They used it for the worship of God at the LORD’s tent (or afterwards, at the temple). God also told Moses that the Israelites must not count the tribe of Levi with the soldiers. That was because they belonged to God in a special way.

However, David did not obey God’s instructions about the count. Joab knew that it was wrong to count the people at this time. He was the commander of Israel’s army. Joab was a wicked man (1 Kings 2:5-6). But even he realised that David was not trusting God. Joab protested that the LORD could make Israel’s army strong enough for any battle. He urged David not to begin the count. Joab knew that the result would be punishment on Israel. The LORD was already angry against sin in Israel (2 Samuel 24:1). But David did what was wrong. He counted the people and he did not pay the price for their lives. So, the LORD punished him. And also, the people in Israel suffered as well.

David was wrong. He knew better. The people around him knew better. His nephew Joab knew better and tried to get David to change his mind. Even killer Joab knew Israel was doomed.

I find it interesting... they didn't know how to move the Ark but Joab knew they shouldn't do a census? Different times... I'm sure.