New Defender's Study Bible Notes
21:6 among them. See note on II Samuel 24:9 for the apparent differences between the numbers in this passage and those recorded in II Samuel.
21:8 I have sinned greatly. David’s sin was not in the specific act of ordering the census, for God had twice told Moses to number the people (Numbers 1:2; 26:2). It was his motive—that of pride in the extent of his accomplishments—that was sinful, especially since God had not ordered this numbering, as He had in those taken by Moses.
21:9 Gad, David’s seer. Gad was another prophet, like Nathan, whom the Lord also used in David’s life. Like Nathan, Gad also wrote a book of some sort (see I Chronicles 29:29), and his book also may have been a source from which the writer of Chronicles drew information about David. Gad had been with David since long before he became king (I Samuel 22:5).
21:10 three things. God judges and punishes sin, and He must even judge this sin of David’s, though David was greatly loved of God. Perhaps because God knew David deeply loved Himself, He offered David a choice of punishments—the only occasion recorded in Scripture where He offered any such choice.
21:13 a great strait. The “strait” was between three years of famine, three months of military defeat or three days of pestilence (I Chronicles 21:12), and David chose the latter. The parallel account (II Samuel 24:13) says the first option was seven years of famine. However, the two offers may have been made on two different occasions.
21:16 clothed in sackcloth. The donning of sackcloth, a rough garment of goat’s hair, was used to express mourning and repentance.
21:25 six hundred shekels of gold. The parallel passage (II Samuel 24:24) says that David paid Ornan fifty shekels of silver for his threshing floor. However, this amount was only for David’s sacrifices. Evidently the six hundred shekels was agreed on later by David to purchase the site for the temple (II Chronicles 3:1). The site, on Mount Moriah, was also significant as the place where Abraham had been asked to offer his son Isaac (Genesis 22:2).
21:27 commanded the angel. According to Psalm 103:20-21, God’s angels “excel in strength,” “do His commandments,” “hearken to the voice of His word,” and “do His pleasure.” Thus, this particular “angel of the LORD” (I Chronicles 21:12), was “sent” by God (I Chronicles 21:15), wielded “the sword of the LORD” (I Chronicles 21:12) in a destroying pestilence, gave instructions from God to the prophet Gad (I Chronicles 21:18), and finally obeyed God’s command to sheath his sword (I Chronicles 21:27). These verses thus provide certain significant insights into God’s use of angels to accomplish His will with His people.
21:29 which Moses made. It is noteworthy that the original tabernacle and altar, constructed in the wilderness after the children of Israel left Egypt, were still in use. They had been moved from Gilgal to Shiloh to Nob and finally to Gibeon, continuing in use until Solomon built his temple.