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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

2 Samuel 24



Verses 1-25

The Numbering of the People, and its Penalty

In punishment for David's sin in numbering the people, God sends a pestilence, which slays 70,000 men. In gratitude for the stay of the plague, David erects an altar in the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

1. Again] This refers to the former occasion mentioned in 2 Samuel 21. He moved] Chronicles states that 'Satan.. provoked David.' The older account does not enter into the distinction between what God permits and what God causes. This distinction is the result of later reflection and more subtle theology.

5-8. Their course is easy to follow, though several of the names are corrupt. They started from the city of Aroer on the Arnon, and passed through eastern Palestine. They next crossed to Zidon, and traversed western Palestine to Beersheba in the extreme south.

5. On the right side (i.e. on the south) of the city that lieth in the midst of the river (RV 'valley')] Perhaps this city was Ar of Moab (Isaiah 15:1).

6. Tahtim-hodshi] Thenius conjectures that this is a mistake for 'Kadesh,' a town on the Orontes marking the extreme northern limit of Israel. Dan-jaan] read 'Dan.'

10. David's sin consisted in pride in his own strength and forgetfulness of his dependence on God. It was the very sin which ruined Saul.

13. Seven years] LXX and Chronicles read 'three years.'

15. From the morning even to the time appointed] These words occasion some difficulty as the pestilence was stayed before the appointed time. They are omitted in Chronicles.

22. Instruments of the oxen] i.e. the wooden yoke: cp. 1 Kings 19:21.

23. This v. continues Araunah's speech: RV 'all this, O king, doth Araunah give.'


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.

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