2 Samuel 24:2

2 So the king said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Take a census of all the tribes of Israel—from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south—so I may know how many people there are.”

2 Samuel 24:2 Meaning and Commentary

2 Samuel 24:2

For the king said to Joab the captain of the host, which [was]
with him
Or who was with him, even Joab, who was now at court, and was a counsellor of David, as well as his general; or which army was with Joab, a standing army he had the command of:

go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba;
from the northern part of the land of Israel to the southern part of it, and this course was accordingly steered, ( 2 Samuel 24:6 2 Samuel 24:7 ) ;

and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people;
so that this appears to be done not through any urgent necessity, but merely out of curiosity, and to gratify the pride of his heart, and please himself with the thought of ruling such a numerous people, and brag of their numbers to other nations, and place his confidence therein; and no wonder it was displeasing to the Lord.

2 Samuel 24:2 In-Context

1 Once again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he caused David to harm them by taking a census. “Go and count the people of Israel and Judah,” the LORD told him.
2 So the king said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Take a census of all the tribes of Israel—from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south—so I may know how many people there are.”
3 But Joab replied to the king, “May the LORD your God let you live to see a hundred times as many people as there are now! But why, my lord the king, do you want to do this?”
4 But the king insisted that they take the census, so Joab and the commanders of the army went out to count the people of Israel.
5 First they crossed the Jordan and camped at Aroer, south of the town in the valley, in the direction of Gad. Then they went on to Jazer,

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. As in Greek version (see also 24:4 and 1 Chr 21:2 ); Hebrew reads Joab the commander.