Dave Burnette's Commentary

2 Samuel Chapter 24

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Nathan, Zabud, & Gad 
Date Penned: (930 BC)
Overview: A Record of David's Reign (c 1-24)
Theme: David's Struggles (c 11-24)
Message: David Takes a Census (v 1-25)

2 Samuel 24 Commentary

(24:1) An Unadvised Census -  What was wrong with taking a census? A census was commanded in Numbers to prepare an army for conquering the Promised Land (Numbers 1:2; 26:2). A census amounted to a draft or conscription for the army. The land was now at peace, so there was no need to enlist troops. The nation of Israel had extended its borders and become a recognized power. David's sin was pride and ambition in counting the people so that he could glory in the size of his nation and army, its power and defenses. By doing this, he put his faith in the size of his army rather than in God's ability to protect them regardless of their number. Even Joab knew a census was wrong, but David did not heed his advice. We sin in a similar way when we place our security in money, possessions, or the might of our nation.

(24:1-3) David's Pride is Exposed - Did God cause David to sin? God does not cause people to sin, but he does allow sinners to reveal the sinfulness of their hearts by their actions. God presented the opportunity of taking a census to David in order to confront David's personal pride and deal with Israel's disastrous national tendency to take pride in their own military strength rather than trusting in God's protection. In 1 Chronicles 21:1, Scripture says that Satan incited David to take the census. Israelite writers did not always distinguish between primary and secondary causes. So if God allowed Satan to tempt David, to them it would have been the same as if God had done it.

(24:12-14) God is Angry with Israel - Both David and the Israelites were guilty of sin (24:1). David's sin was pride, but the Bible does not say why God was angry with the people of Israel. Perhaps it was due to their support of the rebellions of Absalom (2 Samuel 15-18) and Sheba (2 Samuel 20), or perhaps they had put their security in military and financial prosperity rather than in God, as David had done. God dealt with the whole nation through David, who exemplified the national sin of pride. God gave David three choices. Each was a form of punishment God had said the people could expect if they disobeyed his laws (plague- Deuteronomy 28:20-22; famine -28:23-24; and war 28:25-26). David wisely chose the form of punishment that came most directly from God. He knew how brutal men in war could be, and he also knew God's great mere. When you sin greatly, turn back to God. To be punished by him is far better than to take your chances without him.

(24:18) The Temple Mount - Many believe that this threshing floor where David built the altar is the location where Abraham nearly sacrificed Isaac (Genesis 22:1-18). After David's death, Solomon built the temple on this spot. Centuries later, Jesus would teach and preach here. Today this area is called the Temple Mount and is a sacred area for Christians, Jews, and Muslims.

(24:25) David Leaves a Legacy - The book of 2 Samuel describes David's reign. Since the Israelites first entered the Promised Land under Joshua, they had been struggling to unite the nation and drive out the wicked inhabitants. Now, after more than 400 years, Israel was finally at peace. David had accomplished what no leader before him, judge or king, had done. His administration was run on the principle of dedication to God and to the well-being of the people. Yet David also sinned. Despite his sins, however, the Bible calls David a man after God's own heart ( Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22) because when he sinned, he recognized it and confessed his sins to God. David committed his life to God and remained loyal to him throughout his lifetime. The book of Psalms gives an even deeper insight into David's love for God.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

The Sin of Pride

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Today we continue in the book of 2nd Samuel with Chapter 24.  In our text, we see David taking a Census and submitting to the judgment of God for starting this act as a symbol of pride and independence toward God. In making an application, we see that God hates pride, for our pride is a form of self-worship. In Pride, We lift ourselves above others and even God Himself when we are proud. The Bible tells us how God even hates us for having a proud look - and in our text today - the actions of pride. When blessed by the Lord, we take credit for the Lord's doings instead of being humble before the Lord and acknowledging Him as the source of our blessings. How about you? Do you see yourself acting proud or even having a proud look? Let us learn from our text today to understand the Lord's view on our pride and to remember to stay humble before the Lord.


2 Samuel 24

2 Samuel 24

 1And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.

 2For the king said to Joab the captain of the host, which was with him, Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people.

 3And Joab said unto the king, Now the LORD thy God add unto the people, how many soever they be, an hundredfold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing?

 4Notwithstanding 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.

 5And they passed over Jordan, and pitched in Aroer, on the right side of the city that lieth in the midst of the river of Gad, and toward Jazer:

 6Then they came to Gilead, and to the land of Tahtimhodshi; and they came to Danjaan, and about to Zidon,

 7And came to the strong hold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and of the Canaanites: and they went out to the south of Judah, even to Beersheba.

 8So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.

 9And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.

 10And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.

 11For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying,

 12Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.

 13So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me.

 14And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.

 15So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.

 16And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite.

 17And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father's house.

 18And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite.

 19And David, according to the saying of Gad, went up as the LORD commanded.

 20And Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants coming on toward him: and Araunah went out, and bowed himself before the king on his face upon the ground.

 21And Araunah said, Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar unto the LORD, that the plague may be stayed from the people.

 22And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood.

 23All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The LORD thy God accept thee.

 24And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

 25And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.