Joab the son of Zeruiah began to number
By the order of David, but entirely against his own will, see ( 1 Chronicles 21:2-4 1 Chronicles 21:6 ) ,
but he finished not;
the two tribes of Benjamin and Levi not being counted by him, ( 1 Chronicles 21:6 )
because there fell wrath for it against Israel;
the plague being broke forth before he had done numbering, which put a stop to it, ( 1 Chronicles 21:14 )
neither was the number put in the account of the chronicles of David;
that which was brought in by Joab, though imperfect, was not entered into the diary, journal, or annals which David ordered to be written of all memorable events and transactions in his reign; and which were afterwards carried on by the kings of Judah, often referred to in the preceding books; and this was done, not because of the imperfection of the account, but because David did not choose this sin of his should be transmitted to posterity, though it has been, notwithstanding this precaution of his.