1 Chronicles 21:15 MEANING

1 Chronicles 21:15
(15) And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it.--The reading of Samuel is probably right, "And the angel stretched out his hand towards Jerusalem, to destroy it." The verb is the same word in each, and the word "God" in our text is substituted for "Jehovah," which, again, is a misreading of part of the Hebrew of Samuel (y?do ha), the first word meaning his hand, and the second being the definite article belonging to "angel."

To destroy.--A different voice of the same verb as in Samuel.

And as he was destroying, the Lord beheld. Not in Samuel. The words "soften the harshness of the transition from the command to the countermand" (Bertheau).

As he was destroying.--About (at the time of) the destroying; when the angel was on the point of beginning the work of death. It does not appear that Jerusalem was touched. (Comp. 2 Samuel 24:16.)

That destroyed.--Samuel adds, "Among the people." The addition is needless, because the Hebrew implies "the destroying angel." (Comp. Exodus 12:23.

It is enough, stay now.--According to the Hebrew accentuation, Enough now (jam satis), stay (drop) thine hand.

Stood.--Was standing. Samuel, "had come to be."

Ornan.--So the name is spelt throughout this chapter. Samuel has the less Hebrew-looking forms ha-'ornah (text; comp. the LXX. ?pva) or ha-Arawnah, margin) here, and in 1 Chronicles 21:18 Aranyah (text), elsewhere Arawnah. Such differences are natural in spelling foreign names. The LXX. have "Orna," the Syriac and Arabic "Aran."

Verse 15. - And God sent an angel. It is at this point first that any mention of an angel is found in the parallel place, but then not in the present form, but in a sentence which would seem to presuppose the knowledge of the agency of an angel on the occasion: "And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented him of the evil" (2 Samuel 24:16). Stood by the threshing-floor of Ornan. The verb "stood" is employed here quite generically. It does not imply that the angel stood on the ground; for see next verse, in which it is said that he "stood between the earth and the heaven," the Hebrew verb being exactly the same. Ornan is the uniform form and spelling of the name in Chronicles. In Samuel, however, the name appears as אֲרַנְוָה (2 Samuel 24:20), or Araunah. Yet in ver. 16, of the same chapter the Kethiv inverts the order of the resh and vau, prefixing the article, or what looks like it, and again in ver. 18 the Kethiv shows the form אֲרַנְיָה. Ornan, then, or Arauuah, was a descendant of the old Jebusite race to whom the fort of Zion once belonged. And the present narrative finds him living on the Hill of Moriah (Conder's' Bible Handbook,' 2nd edit., 236 [6]). The threshing-floor. The primitive threshing-floors of the Israelites still essentially obtain. They were level spots of stamped and well-trodden earth, about fifty feet in diameter, and selected in positions most exposed to the wind, in order to take the advantage of its help in the separating of the grain from the chaff. On these circular spots of hard earth the sheaves of grain, of whatever kind, were distributed in all sorts of disorder. Oxen and other cattle trod them. And sometimes these beasts were driven round and round five abreast. The stalk of the grain was, of course, much bruised and crushed, and the method is described still as of a very rough and wasteful kind. Instruments were also employed, as the "flail" (Ruth 2:17; Isaiah 28:27, 28); the "sledge," to which possibly reference is made in Judges 8:7, 16, under the name barkanim (Authorized Version, "briers"). These sledges were of two kinds:

(1) the morag (2 Samuel 24:22; 1 Chronicles 21:23; Isaiah 41:15), made of fiat planks joined together, and furnished with rough studs on the under surface; and

(2) agalah, rendered Authorized Version, "cart-wheel" (Isaiah 28:27), made of wooden rollers, or rollers of iron or stone, and dragged by cattle over the sheaves. Egypt and Syria, as well as Palestine, still show these instruments (see Robinson's 'Bibl. Res.,' 1:550; and Thomson's 'Land and the Book,' pp. 538-541).

21:1-30 David's numbering the people. - No mention is made in this book of David's sin in the matter of Uriah, neither of the troubles that followed it: they had no needful connexion with the subjects here noted. But David's sin, in numbering the people, is related: in the atonement made for that sin, there was notice of the place on which the temple should be built. The command to David to build an altar, was a blessed token of reconciliation. God testified his acceptance of David's offerings on this altar. Thus Christ was made sin, and a curse for us; it pleased the Lord to bruise him, that through him, God might be to us, not a consuming Fire, but a reconciled God. It is good to continue attendance on those ordinances in which we have experienced the tokens of God's presence, and have found that he is with us of a truth. Here God graciously met me, therefore I will still expect to meet him.See Chapter Introduction
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