April 30

2 Samuel 23-24


The Last Days of David                                                    2 Samuel 23-24


2 Samuel 23:1-7-David's last words concerning God placing him on the throne and protecting him.  They express his understanding of the sovereignty of God.

2 Samuel 23:8-39-These are the names of 37 of the men who served among David's elite fighting force.  Generally, the active number of these warriors was kept to about 30.  But, when one died, or had to leave for other reasons…he would be replaced.  That is the reason why there are more than 30 names.  Among all of these there were 3 that stood out as leaders: Abishai, Behaiah, and Joab (David’s commander).

2 Samuel 24:1-David took a census of Israel.  Usually this was done to determine either taxation, or a military draft.  But David seems to have been influenced by Satan to do so (cf. 1 Chronicles 21:1-4).  It appears that David was trusting in the number of his people to provide the resources for the Temple which he planned to build.  God was not happy with this action because David was looking to the resource of the people instead of Him to build the Temple.


  1. The principle of Exodus 30:12 speaks to God's ownership of His people. In the thinking of these ancient cultures, a man only had the right to count or number what belonged to him. Israel didn't belong to David; Israel belonged to God. It was up to the LORD to command a counting, and if David counted he should only do it at God's command and receiving ransom money to "atone" for the counting…
  2. Why does my lord the king desire this thing? Joab wasn't afraid to speak to David when he thought the king was wrong. With the best interest of both David and Israel in mind, Joab tactfully asked David to reconsider this foolish desire to count the nation.
  3. Joab also hints at the motive behind the counting - pride in David. The this thing that David desired was the increase of the nation, and he perhaps wanted to measure the size of his army to know if he had enough force to conquer a neighboring nation. "He did it out of curiosity and creature-confidence." (Trapp)
  4. So late in his reign, David was tempted to take some of the glory in himself. He looked at how Israel had grown and prospered during his reign - it was remarkable indeed. The count was a way to take credit to himself. "The spirit of vainglory in numbers had taken possession of the people and the king, and there was a tendency to trust in numbers and forget God." (Morgan)

David Guzik :: Study Guide for 2 Samuel 24,



Joab questioned David...but followed orders.  There were 800,000 men in Israel and 500,000 in Judah.  God was not pleased with David and punished him.  He gave him a choice of the punishment.  David chose a 3-day plague...70,000 people died (:15).  David pled with the LORD to punish him, not the people...and the plague stopped.


  1. Please let me fall into the hand of the LORD: This meant that David chose the three days of plague. In the other two options the king and his family could be insulated against the danger, but David knew that he had to expose himself to the chastisement of God.
  2. "Had he chosen war, his own personal safety was in no danger, because there was already an ordinance preventing him from going to battle. Had he chosen famine, his own wealth would have secured his and his own family's support. But he showed the greatness of his mind in choosing the pestilence, to the ravages of which himself and his household were exposed equally with the meanest of his subjects." (Clarke)
  3. Do not let me fall into the hand of man: This meant that David chose the three days of plague. In the other two options, Israel would either be at the mercy of neighbors (as in the famine) or attacked by enemies. David knew that God is far more merciful and gracious than man is.

David Guzik :: Study Guide for 2 Samuel 24,



God instructed David to build an altar and offer a sacrifice.


  1. Erect an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite: This is where David met the Angel of the LORD, and where God relented from the plague before it came upon Jerusalem. Now God wanted David to meet Him there in worship.
  2. "Threshing floors were usually on a height, in order to catch every breeze; some area to the north of David's city is indicated" (Baldwin)
  3. The threshing floor of Araunah had both rich history and a rich future. 2 Chronicles 3:1 tells us that the threshing floor of Araunah was on Mount Moriah; the same hill where Abraham offered Isaac (Genesis 22:2), and the same set of hills where Jesus died on the cross (Genesis 22:14).
  4. To buy the threshing floor from you, to build an altar to the LORD: David wanted to transform this place where chaff was separated from wheat into a place of sacrifice and worship. It would remain a place of sacrifice and worship, because this land purchased by David became the site of Solomon's temple (1 Chronicles 21:28-22:5).

David Guzik :: Study Guide for 2 Samuel 24,



Prayer: Lord, I pray that you will send men and women of great faith, warriors for the faith, to serve alongside me.  Help us to support, and protect, and motivate each other to be great for God!  To use all of the resources that You have give us…natural abilities, spiritual gifts, experience, training, resources…for Your glory.


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