1 Chronicles 21:6 MEANING

1 Chronicles 21:6
(6) But Levi . . .--This verse is wanting in Samuel, but it probably existed in the original source. There is nothing in the style to suggest a later hand; while the word "counted" (p?qad), which has not been used before in this chapter, occurs twice in the parallel passage (2 Samuel 24:2; 2 Samuel 24:4). It is noticeable also that the chronicler writes "the king" (not "David") here, as in Samuel.

As regards the fact stated, we may observe that the sacerdotal tribe of Levi would naturally be exempted from a census taken for military or political purposes. (Comp. Numbers 1:47; Numbers 1:49.) And 1 Chronicles 27:24 expressly asserts that the census was not completed; a result with which Joab's disapprobation of the scheme may have had much to do. The order in which the tribes were numbered (2 Samuel 24:4-8; see 1 Chronicles 21:4) makes it likely that Judah and Benjamin were to have been taken last, and that, after numbering Judah, Joab repaired to the capital, where he was ordered by the king to desist from the undertaking. Josephus (Antiq. vii. 13, 1) speaks as if Joab had not had time to include Benjamin in the census. He may have feared to give offence to the tribe of Saul.

Verse 6. - Averse to his task as Joab was, he may have been indebted to the memory of the exemption of Levi from census for the idea of enlarging upon it and omitting Benjamin as well. The important contents of this short verse are not found in Samuel, so that we can borrow no light thence. But Benjamin was "the least of the tribes" (Judges 21:1-23), and Peele has suggested that God would not permit the numbers of either of these tribes to be lessened, as he foresaw that they would be faithful to the throne of David on the division of the kingdom. Others think that the omission of these tribes in the census may have been due to Joab's recall to Jerusalem before the completion of the work, and to the king's repentance in the interim cutting off the necessity of completing it. This little agrees, however, with the resolute tone and assigned reason contained in this verse. Peele's explanation, meantime, explains nothing in respect of the statement that the king's word was abominable to Joab.

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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