Again1 the anger of the LORD burned against Israel,2 and he incited David against them, saying, "Go and take a census of3 Israel and Judah."
So the king said to Joab4 and the army commandersa with him, "Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba5 and enroll6 the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are."
But Joab7 replied to the king, "May the LORD your God multiply the troops a hundred times over,8 and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?"
The king's word, however, overruled Joab and the army commanders; so they left the presence of the king to enroll the fighting men of Israel.
After crossing the Jordan, they camped near Aroer,9 south of the town in the gorge, and then went through Gad and on to Jazer.106
They went to Gilead and the region of Tahtim Hodshi, and on to Dan Jaan and around toward Sidon.117
Then they went toward the fortress of Tyre12 and all the towns of the Hivites13 and Canaanites. Finally, they went on to Beersheba14 in the Negev15 of Judah.
After they had gone through the entire land, they came back to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.
Joab reported the number of the fighting men to the king: In Israel there were eight hundred thousand able-bodied men who could handle a sword, and in Judah five hundred thousand.16