2 Samuel 24:9

And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.
Read Chapter 24

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Eight. And five. Theodotion says nine and four, which comes to the same sum. (Haydock) But 1 Paralipomenon xxi. 5, reads, eleven hundred thousand, and four hundred and seventy thousand fighting men: though even there the Arabic version has the number here specified, which is less incredible. The fighting men are not above a fifth part of the population; and we may allow that David might have about seven million subjects. It seems, therefore, best to abandon the latter number as incorrect, since all commentators confess that similar mistakes have been made by the transcribers; and to maintain the contrary, would be indirectly to throw the blame upon the sacred writers. (Calmet) Yet some account for the variation, by saying, that Joab gave not in the full number here, (Menochius; Abulensis;) which seems contrary to the text, there were found (Haydock) Cornelius a Lap ide supposes, that the excess of number was occasioned by the subsequent list of the Levites But could they amount to so many? (Calmet) And what proof is there that they were numbered, after the anger of God had manifested itself so severely? (Haydock) Others affirm, that Joab did not take an account of the 288,000 chosen out of the twelve tribes, that 24,000 of them might guard the palace by turns, in each of the twelve months, 1 Paralipomenon xxvii. 1. (Bo chart, Anim. p. 1. B. ii. 37.; Grotius;) But thus there will be 18,000 more than even in Paralipomenon, where we find in all 1,570,000, though the tribe of Juda have fewer, by 30,000, than in this book. To account for this, some say, (Haydock) the proselytes are here taken in, or the inhabitants of all the territory, which was at first assigned to Juda, Josue xix. 29. (Menochius) All this is conjecture, (Haydock) and must remain among the systems of history. (Calmet) If Joab chose to diminish the numbers of Israel, why has he increased those of Juda? Did he wish to flatter the king's vanity, or partiality for his own tribe? It is difficult to say what interest Joab could have in withholding the truth; and for the sacred historian to countenance his delusion, would expose us to the same danger of mistake, and overthrow the authority of Scripture, no less than if the author had been liable to error, and uninspired. It seems, therefore, most rational to suppose that we have here the true list of the warriors, and that the book of Paralipomenon has been injured by the negligence of transcribers, as it has on many other occasions. (Haydock)

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

App Store LogoPlay Store Logo