View 1st Chronicles 21 in the note window.
David causes Joab to number the people, ver. 1 - 6.
He repents, ver. 7, 8.
God gives him his choice of three judgments, and he chuses the
pestilence, ver. 9 - 13.
The havock made thereby: Jerusalem spared, ver. 14, 15.
David's prayer, ver. 16, 17.
His sacrifice and staying of the plague, ver. 18 - 30.
1: Satan stood - Before the Lord and his tribunal to accuse David
and Israel, and to beg God's permission to tempt David.
Standing is the accusers posture before men's tribunals; and
consequently the holy scripture (which useth to speak of the things of
God, after the manner of men, to bring them down to our capacities)
elsewhere represent Satan in this posture.
3: Why, &c. - Or, why should this be a cause of trespass, or an
occasion of punishment to Israel? God commonly punishes the people
for the sins of their rulers, because they are for the most part guilty
of their sins in one kind or other; or at least God takes this occasion
to punish people for all their sins.
6: Counted not - Partly for the following reason; and principally
by God's gracious providence to Levi, because they were devoted to his
service; and to Benjamin, because they were the least of all the tribes,
having been almost extinct, (Jdg 21:6), and because God foresaw that
they would be faithful to the house of David in the division of the
tribes, and therefore he would not have them diminished. And Joab also
presumed to leave these two tribes unnumbered, because he had specious
pretences for it; for Levi, because they were no warriors, and the
king's command reached only of those that drew sword. And for
Benjamin, because they, being so small a tribe, and bordering upon
Jerusalem, might easily be numbered afterward.
7: Displeased - Because this was done without any colour of
necessity, and out of mere curiosity, and ostentation.
14: There fell, &c. - He was proud of the number of his people, but
God took a course to make them fewer. Justly is that we are proud of so,
taken from us, or embittered to us.
16: Sackcloth - In mourning garments, humbling themselves before God
for their sins, and deprecating his wrath against the people.
18: Set up an altar, &c. - The commanding of David to build an
altar, was a blessed token of reconciliation. For if God had been
pleased to kill him, he would not have commanded, because he would
not have accepted a sacrifice at his hands.
20: Hid themselves - Because of the glory and majesty in which the
angel appeared, which mens weak natures are not able to bear; and from
the fear of God's vengeance which now seemed to be coming to their family.
25: Six hundred - We read, (2Sa 24:24),
he gave fifty shekels of gold: that is, he gave in
gold the value of six hundred shekels of silver.
26: By fire - Heb. by fire sent from heaven: which was the
sign of God's acceptance. The fire that might justly have fastened on
the sinner, fastened upon the sacrifice and consumed it. Thus Christ
was made sin and a curse for us, and it pleased the Lord to bruise him,
that through him God might be to us, not a consuming fire, but a reconciled
28: Sacrificed - When he perceived that his sacrifice was acceptable
to God, he proceeded to offer more sacrifices in that place.
30: Afraid - When he saw the angel stand with his drawn sword over
Jerusalem, he durst not go away to Gibeon, lest the angel in the
mean time should destroy Jerusalem: for the prevention whereof he
thought it proper to worship God in that place, which he had consecrated
by his special presence and acceptance.