SH'MU'EL BET (2 Samuel) Chapter 24

The corresponding letter to this chapter is Beit-house; duality as in husband and wife; also division between good and evil; etc.

The Census Taken

Sh'mu'el Bet 24:1-9 Now again the anger of the L-RD burned against Israel, and it incited David against them to say, "Go, number Israel and Y’hudah." The king said to Yoav the commander of the army who was with him, "Go about now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Be’er-Sheva, and register the people, that I may know the number of the people." But Yoav said to the king, "Now may the L-RD your G-d add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see; but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?" Nevertheless, the king's word prevailed against Yoav and against the commanders of the army. So Yoav and the commanders of the army went out from the presence of the king to register the people of Israel. They crossed the Yarden and camped in Aroer, on the right side of the city that is in the middle of the valley of Gad and toward Jazer. Then they came to Gilead and to the land of Tachtim-Hodshi, and they came to Dan-Ya’an and around to Tzidon, and came to the fortress of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivi and of the Kena’ani, and they went out to the south of Y’hudah, to Be’er-Sheva. So when they had gone about through the whole land, they came to Yerushalayim at the end of nine months and twenty days. And Yoav gave the number of the registration of the people to the king; and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Y’hudah were five hundred thousand men.

Now a census was forbidden by G-d.

Exodus 30:12: When you take the census of the children of Israel for their number, then every man shall give a ransom for himself to the L-RD, when you number them, that there may be no plague among them when you number them.

The idea was that a man only had the right to count what belonged to him. Israel belonged to G-d so only he had the right to count them or order that they be counted.

This incident is retold in chronicles. Here we see that it was Satan who tempted David. However, G-d allowed it to teach David a lesson.

1 Chronicles 21:1 Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.

David was motivated by his desire to be sure he had enough man power to defend the nation against an outside attack. He should have trusted that G-d would give the victory regardless of the number of soldiers he had.

Sh'mu'el Bet 24:10-14 Now David's heart troubled him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the L-RD, "I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O L-RD, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly." When David arose in the morning, the word of the L-RD came to the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying, "Go and speak to David, "Thus the L-RD says, "I am offering you three things; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you."'" So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, "Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days' pestilence in your land? Now consider and see what answer I shall return to Him who sent me." Then David said to Gad, "I am in great distress. Let us now fall into the hand of the L-RD for His mercies are great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man."

David understood it is better to trust in the mercies of the L-rd than to fall into the hand of man.

So G-d sent a pestilence upon Israel for 3 days.

Sh'mu'el Bet 24:15-17 So the L-RD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and seventy thousand men of the people from Dan to Be’er-Sheva died. When the angel stretched out his hand toward Yerushalayim to destroy it, the L-RD relented from the calamity and said to the angel who destroyed the people, "It is enough! Now relax your hand!" And the angel of the L-RD was by the threshing floor of Aravnah the Y’vusi. Then David spoke to the L-RD when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, "Look, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and against my father's house."

The Angel of the L-rd is another name for Yeshua, when he appears during the Tanakh era.

David asks that his sin be on his head. In contrast, Yeshua comes to take the sins of the whole world on himself. Do you trust in what you or man can do or do you trust in the mercy of the L-rd?

Romans 5:12-21 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned -- for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moshe, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the mercy of G-d and the gift by the mercy of the one Man, Yeshua HaMashiach, abound to the many. The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Yeshua HaMashiach. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, mercy abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so mercy would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Yeshua HaMashiach our Lord.

Sh'mu'el Bet 24:18-25 So Gad came to David that day and said to him, "Go up, erect an altar to the L-RD on the threshing floor of Aravnah the Y’vusi." David went up according to the word of Gad, just as the L-RD had commanded. Aravnah looked down and saw the king and his servants crossing over toward him; and Aravnah went out and bowed his face to the ground before the king. Then Aravnah said, "Why has my lord the king come to his servant?" And David said, "To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the L-RD, that the plague may be held back from the people." Aravnah said to David, "Let my lord the king take and offer up what is good in his sight. Look, the oxen for the burnt offering, the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. "Everything, O king, Aravnah gives to the king." And Aravnah said to the king, "May the L-RD your G-d accept you." However, the king said to Aravnah, "No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the L-RD my G-d which cost me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. David built there an altar to the L-RD and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. Thus the L-RD was moved by prayer for the land, and the plague was held back from Israel.

David built an altar on the same location where the Temple was later built.

2 Chronicles 3: 1Then Solomon began to build the temple of the Lord in Yerushalayim on Mount Moriah, where the L-rd had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Aravnah the Y’vusi, the place provided by David.