2 Samuel 24:15

15 So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.

2 Samuel 24:15 Meaning and Commentary

2 Samuel 24:15

So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel
Upon the land of Israel, the people of the land, directly employing an angel to go through the coasts of it, and empowering him to inflict a pestilential disease:

from the morning even to the time appointed:
from the morning the prophet Gad came to David with a message from the Lord; that very morning the plague began, and lasted to the time set for it, the three days, or at least unto the beginning of the third, when reaching Jerusalem, the Lord repented of it, and stayed his hand; though many think a much shorter time is intended; some think it lasted no more than half a day, if so much; some say but three hours F6; the Septuagint version, until dinnertime; and the Syriac and Arabic versions, until the sixth hour of the day, which was noon; and so Kimchi says, some of their Rabbins interpret it of the half or middle of the day; the Targum is,

``from the time the daily sacrifice was slain until it was burnt;''

and it is the sense of several learned men that it was only from the morning until the time of the evening sacrifice, or evening prayer, about three o'clock in the afternoon, and so lasted about nine hours:

and there died of the people, from Dan even to Beersheba, seventy
thousand men;
so that there was a great diminution of the people in all places where they were numbered; and David's sin may be read in the punishment of it; his heart was lifted up by the numbers of his people, and now it must be humbled by the lessening of them.


FOOTNOTES:

F6 Pirke Eliezer, c. 43.

2 Samuel 24:15 In-Context

13 So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me.
14 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.
15 So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.
16 And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite.
17 And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father's house.