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Go to Bible: 2 Samuel 24
“Again the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel.” What may have opened the door for Yahweh’s anger and Satan’s attack is Israel’s revolts against David, by Absalom and Sheba.
“he incited David against them.” This is the Semitic idiom of permission. An idiom is “a phrase or expression whose meaning cannot be understood from the ordinary meanings of the words in it.” E. W. Bullinger summarizes it well in his book, Figures Of Speech Used In The Bible; under the entry “Idioma,” number 4: “active verbs were used...to express not the doing of the thing, but the permission of the thing which the agent is said to do.” The idiom of permission is the reason why many verses in the Bible seem to attribute evil actions to God.
It is widely recognized by scholars that in Semitic languages the active verb can be used in a permissive sense. For example, in The Emphasized Bible by Joseph B. Rotherham, the phrase often translated as, “I will harden his [Pharaoh’s] heart” is translated as “I will let his heart wax bold” (cp. Rotherham, Exod. 4:21). Rotherham translates 2 Samuel 24:1 as: “…so that he suffered [allowed] David to be moved against them.” In other words, God was so angry against Israel that he could not protect them the way He would have liked and thus allowed Satan to work through David to cause disaster in Israel (cp. 1 Chron. 21:1, which shows that it was actually Satan who moved David to count Israel). For more on the idiom of permission, see commentary on Romans 9:18].(top)
|2Sa 24:2||- (top)|
|2Sa 24:3||- (top)|
|2Sa 24:4||- (top)|
“the right side of the city.” The south side.
“valley of Gad.” Most probably the Arnon River Valley.(top)
|2Sa 24:6||- (top)|
|2Sa 24:7||- (top)|
|2Sa 24:8||- (top)|
|2Sa 24:9||- (top)|
“remove.” The Hebrew is more literally “transfer.”(top)
“When David rose up in the morning.” It is likely that David was reflecting about his actions at night and his heart struck him.(top)
|2Sa 24:12||- (top)|
|2Sa 24:13||- (top)|
|2Sa 24:14||- (top)|
|2Sa 24:15||- (top)|
“Yahweh changed his mind concerning the disaster.” The Hebrew word translated “changed his mind” is nacham (#05162 נָחַם), and its range of meanings include to be sorry, repent, regret, change one’s mind, have compassion, be comforted, console oneself (Strong’s lexicon; BDB). Here in 2 Samuel 24:16, the word nacham has the force of both God changing His mind (CJB; NAB), and also backing off of the destruction, “relenting” of it (CSB; ESV; NASB; NET; NLT; NRSV).(top)
|2Sa 24:17||- (top)|
“of Araunah the Jebusite.” Somehow Araunah managed to not be displaced when David conquered the Jebusite city of Jerusalem.(top)
|2Sa 24:19||- (top)|
“Then Araunah went out.” The threshing floor was outside, but it was a defined area, and may have even been surrounded by a small wall.
“bowed down.” The common biblical way of bowing down before people or God was to fall to one’s knees and bow the upper body and face to the earth, as we see in this verse. The word translated “bowed down,” shachah (#07812 שָׁחָה), is the same Hebrew word as “worship.” [For more on bowing down, see commentary on 1 Chron. 29:20].(top)
“removed.” The Hebrew is more literally like “stopped.”(top)
|2Sa 24:22||- (top)|
|2Sa 24:23||- (top)|
“buy, yes, buy.” This is the figure of speech polyptoton for emphasis (see commentary on Gen. 2:16).
“for fifty shekels of silver.” It is amazing that Abraham paid 400 shekels of silver for the burial cave in which to bury Sarah, but David only paid 50 shekels of silver for the Temple mount (cp. Gen. 23:15-16). Is the weight of the silver the same? The shekel of Abraham was according to the current merchant’s standard.(top)
“God allowed himself to be entreated.” The verb is in the passive tense. The sense and translation should not be uncomfortable. We know from many Scriptures that sin separates God from people, and God opposes the proud (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5) and turns his ear away from people’s prayers (see commentary on Amos 5:5). So when people repent and make amends for their sin, God then opens his eyes and ears to the people and thus allows Himself to be entreated by them. This same verb in the passive occurs in 2 Samuel 21:14; 24:25; and Isa. 19:22.(top)