0 David's census (2 Samuel 23-24)

Episode 130: David's census

2 Samuel 23-24

David's mighty men

23 8 The Tachmonite, chief among the captains, aka Adino the Eznite, killed eight hundred at one time.

9-10 Eleazar the son of Dodo smote the Philistines until his hand got tired and stuck to the sword.

15 Once when David was thirsty, he asked someone to get him some water from the Bethlehem well, which was controlled by the Philistines.

16 Three of his mighty men broke through the enemy lines, got the water from the well, and brought it back to David. But he refused to drink it and poured it on the ground, saying,

17 I won’t drink this water (that I requested).

Isn't this the blood of the men who risked their lives?

18 Abishai killed 300 men with his spear.

20-23 Benaiah killed two lion-like men of Moab, a lion in the snow, and a goodly Egyptian who had a spear in his hand. He was more honorable than the thirty mighty men but didn't quite make it to the top three.

God tells David to have a census

24 1 God was angry with Israel, and he said to David, "Go number Israel and Judah."

2 So David said to Joab, "Go number Israel and Judah."

9 Joab counted 800,000 and 500,000 men who drew the sword from Israel and Judah, respectively.

God kills 70,000 men because of David's census

10 David felt guilty for taking the census that God told him to take. So he said to God,

I have sinned greatly. Please forgive me.

11-12 God came to the prophet Gad, and said,

Go and say to David, "You have three choices. Choose one of them and I'll do it to you."

13 So Gad came to David and said to him,

Which would you prefer: seven years of famine, fleeing three months before your enemies, or three days of pestilence?

14 David said, "Let's leave it up to God, since he is so merciful."

15 So God sent a pestilence on Israel, which killed 70,000 men.

16 But just as the angel was stretching out his hand to destroy Jerusalem with God's pestilence, God repented the evil he had planned to do. God said, "I've killed enough people. Put down your hand."

17 When David saw the angel killing the people, he said to God,

I've sinned, but what have these people done? Please stop killing them.

18 Gad came again to David, and said, "Build an altar to God."

25 So David built the altar and God stopped killing people in the plague that he sent.

A few more words about this episode

Benaiah killed two lion-like men of Moab (23:20)
Another thirty or so mighty men are listed in verses 24-39, but none of the colorful details are given, so I left them out.
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