And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel,
&c.] It had been kindled, and appeared before in sending a three years' famine among them for Saul's ill usage of the Gibeonites, ( 2 Samuel 21:1 ) ; and now it broke forth again, either for some secret sins committed, as Kimchi suggests, or for the rebellion of Absalom, and the insurrection of Sheba, in which multitudes of them joined; so Abarbinel; no doubt there was cause for it, though it is not expressed:
and he moved David against them;
not the Lord, but Satan, as may be supplied from ( 1 Chronicles 21:1 ) ; or "it moved him"; the anger of the Lord, as the last mentioned writer interprets it; or the heart of David, as Ben Gersom; that is, the evil imagination of his heart, as Kimchi; the Lord left him to the corruption of his nature, sometimes called Satan, ( 2 Corinthians 12:7 ) ; which wrought powerfully in him, and stirred him up to take a step contrary to the interest of Israel, and what was prejudicial to them, as the event showed: it moved him to say; to Joab and his captains:
go, number Israel and Judah:
not all the individuals, but such as were fit for war, able to bear arms, see ( 2 Samuel 24:9 ) .