New Defender's Study Bible Notes
24:1 he moved David. There is no real contradiction here with I Chronicles 21:1, which says that “Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.” Satan can only do what God allows, as in the case of Job. In this case, Satan tempted David to commit sin, knowing that this would incur God’s judgment on Israel and hinder God’s plan of redemption. But God allowed Satan to do this because of David’s pride in his military might. Therefore, depending on viewpoint and emphasis, it would be correct to say either that God or Satan moved David to number the Israelites.
24:9 eight hundred thousand. I Chronicles 21:5 gives the number as 1.1 million. Possibly the 288,000 listed in I Chronicles 27:1-15 make up the difference.
24:9 five hundred thousand. This number is 470,000 in I Chronicles 21:5. The latter number, however, did not include the men from Levi and Benjamin (I Chronicles 21:6).
24:9 men. In I Chronicles 21:5 these numbers are given respectively, as 1,100,000 and 470,000. However, the 800,000 in Israel are said in II Samuel to be valiant men, experienced in warfare, suggesting that the other 300,000 were of military age but not yet tested in battle. As far as the numbers in Judah are concerned, the total in II Samuel included the tribe of Benjamin, while the total in I Chronicles did not (note I Chronicles 21:6). Apparently the 500,000 in Judah had been simply augmented by an estimated total of 30,000 for Benjamin.
24:13 seven years of famine. This statement of God’s seems to conflict with the “three years of famine” offered by God in I Chronicles 21:12. One explanation for this apparent discrepancy is that one represents a copyist’s error. It may also be that the proposals were made by God on two different occasions.
24:16 Araunah the Jebusite. It is noteworthy that the death angel stayed his hand at the prosperous site owned by a former Jebusite “king” (note II Samuel 24:23: the Jebusites were the former rulers of Jerusalem, before it was taken by David for his own capital). David therefore offered sacrifices here, and later prepared to build the temple here (II Chronicles 3:1), a site which was also on Mount Moriah where Abraham had been asked to offer up Isaac (Genesis 22:1-2).
24:24 fifty shekels of silver. The price of Araunah’s threshing floor, where David offered his sacrifices, was only fifty shekels of silver. However, David (possibly later) paid Araunah (also called Ornan) “six hundred shekels of gold” for his “place” (I Chronicles 21:25). This place evidently included all the grounds on which the magnificent temple of Solomon would eventually be built.