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Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and Homiletical Lange's Commentary
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 21". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://studylight.org/
commentaries/ eng/ lcc/ 1-chronicles-21.html. 1857-84.
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 21". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://studylight.org/
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κ. The Census and the Plague: 1 Chronicles 21:0
1 Chronicles 21:1.And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. 2And David said unto Joab, and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring it to me, that I may 3know their number. And Joab said, The Lord add to His people an hundredfold as many as they are. Are they not, my lord the king, all my lord’s servants? Why doth my lord require this thing? Why shall it be a trespass 4to Israel? But the word of the king prevailed against Joab; and Joab de parted, and went through all Israel, and came to Jerusalem. 5And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David; and all Israel were a thousand thousand and a hundred thousand men that drew sword; and Judah was four hundred and seventy thousand men that drew sword. 6But Levi and Benjamin he counted not among them; for the king’s word was abominable to Joab.
7And God was displeased with this thing; and He smote Israel. 8And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now take away the iniquity of Thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. 9And the Lord spake unto Gad, David’s seer, saying, 10Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Three things I lay before thee; choose thee one 11of them, that I may do it unto thee. And Gad came to David, and said unto 12him, Thus saith the Lord, Choose thee either three years of famine; or three months to be driven1 before thy foes, and the sword of thy enemies to overtake thee; or three days the sword of the Lord and pestilence in the land, that the angel of the Lord may destroy in all the border of Israel; and now consider what word I shall return to Him that sent me. 13 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me now fall into the hand of the Lord; for very great are His mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man.
14And the Lord sent pestilence upon Israel; and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men. 15And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; and as he was destroying, the Lord beheld, and repented of the evil, and said to the destroying angel, It is enough now, stay thy hand: and the angel of the Lord stood by the floor of Ornan2 the Jebusite. 16And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the Lord standing between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched over Jerusalem; and David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces. 17And David said unto God, Have not I commanded to number the people? it is I that have sinned, and done evil indeed; and these sheep, what have they done O Lord my God, let Thy hand now be on me and on my father’s house, and not on Thy people to smite.
18And the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say unto David, that David should go up and set up an altar unto the Lord in the floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19And David went up at the word of Gad, which he spake in the name of the Lord. 20And Ornan turned, and saw the angel; and his four 21sons with him hid themselves: and ornan was threshing wheat. And David went to ornan; and ornan looked, and saw David, and came out of the floor, 22and bowed to David with his face to the ground. And David said unto ornan, Give me the place of this floor, that I may build therein an altar unto the Lord: thou shalt give it me for the full price, that the plague be stayed from the people. 23And ornan said unto David, Take thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen for burnt-offerings, and the threshing-rollers for wood, and the wheat for the meat-offering: I give all. 24And King David said unto ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price; for I will not take that which is thine for the 25Lord, nor offer burnt-offerings without cost. And David gave to ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight. 26And David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings; and he called upon the Lord, and He answered him by fire from heaven on the 27altar of burnt-offering. And the Lord commanded the angel; and he put his sword again into its sheath.
28At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him in the floor of ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. 29For the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt-offering, were at 30that time in the high place at Gibeon. And David could not go before it to inquire of God; for he was afraid before the sword of the angel of the Lord.
Preliminary Remark. Relation of the Foregoing Account of Chronicles to 2 Samuel 24:0.—As clearly as the mostly verbal agreement of our account with the parallel text of Samuel points to one common source of both, so numerous and important are also their deviations from one another. They chiefly consist of the following:—a. The position of the history of the census in 2 Samuel is that of an appendix to the history of David’s reign already in the main completed. In our book, on the contrary, it closes only that section of the history of this king which refers to the external security and enlargement of his power by wars, buildings, etc.; but it thereby leads (in connection with the following description of his preparation for the building of the temple, 22.) to a new section, that by means of full details of his temple, state and war officers, is fitted to present a picture of the inner character of his government, b. The event is so introduced in 2 Samuel, that reference is made to a former plague, a famine (2 Samuel 21:1-14) which God had brought on the kingdom, so that David’s pernicious project of a census is represented as the direct effect of the divine anger (“And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel; and He moved David, etc.”), but, in our account, so that the whole is referred to a tempting influence of Satan on David, and connected neither with that famine nor any former visitation of Israel under David (not, for example, with the insurrections of Absalom and Shebna, which, like the famine, are entirely unnoticed by our author). For the question, whether the representation of Satan as the moral originator of the census rests on the influence of the religious ideas of a later time, see on 1 Chronicles 21:1. c. The census executed by Joab at the command of David is described pretty fully in 2 Samuel 24:4-9, but only summarily in our chapter, with the chief emphasis on the numerical result, and the notice of a special circumstance unmentioned in 2 Samuel, namely, that Joab, because the royal commission was repugnant to him, neglected to enumerate the tribes of Levi and Benjamin (1 Chronicles 21:4-6). d. On the purchase of ornan’s (or, as the Keri is in 2 Samuel, Araunah’s) floor and the sacrifice by David, our text (1 Chronicles 21:19-27) is more full than 2 Samuel 24:19-25. e. The statement, forming the close of our account and its connection with what follows, regarding the selection of the floor of ornan for the constant place of sacrifice by David (and for the site of the temple), in 1 Chronicles 21:28-30, is wholly wanting in 2 Samuel 24:0, as, indeed, an express reference to the fact that that place attained a special sacredness under David by the angelic appearance and the sacrifice during the plague is absent there, while the whole occurrence is presented under the prevailing view of such a judicial punishment as the rebellions of Absalom and Shebna, and the famine already reported there, but by our author entirely omitted. That the most of these deviations are occasioned by the peculiar pragmatism and the special tendency of the author of the books of Samuel on the one hand and of the Chronist on the other, is already apparent from this brief survey, and will receive further confirmation from the following exposition.
1. The Census, its Occasion and Effect: 1 Chronicles 21:1-6.—And Satan stood up against Israel. That, instead of the divine anger, here Satan, the personal evil principle (see on Job 1:6; Job 2:1), is named as the hostile power that occasioned the pernicious expedient of the census, is now usually explained (even by Keil) as a later idea of the Israelites, and accordingly reckoned among the proofs that our book was composed after the exile. That this view is at least hasty, if it does not involve an error, is plain when we reflect—1. That the way in which the prologue of the book of Job presupposes the idea of Satan, as long naturalized in the belief of Israel, speaks for the origin of this idea, not only before the exile, but before the time of Solomon; 2. That passages such as Genesis 3:1 ff. and 1 Kings 22:19 ff., though the name שׂטן does not occur in them, show that the materials of this idea arose from that early time; and 3. That to the parallel passage 2 Samuel 24:0, though not using the name, the notion of an intervention of Satan in the temptation of David is by no means foreign; indeed, even a positive hint of this is implied in it. ew. and Wellh. justly assume that in the verb used, 2 Samuel 24:1, ויסת, “provoked,” lies an allusion to a personal tempting power, which cannot be God or the divine anger;3 that, indeed, according to the original, now mutilated, text of Samuel, probably הַשָּׂטָן was the subject of ויסת.—And provoked David to number Israel. The injury of the census, indicated by this expression, rests on this, that such an undertaking in and of itself counted as an act exciting the anger of God, and therefore demanding propitiation (comp. the expiatory customs in the enumerations of the Romans, according to Valerius, Maximus, Varro, and Livius, as also that census instituted by Moses, Exodus 30:11-16., which did not provoke God, only because the money collected by it as a gift to the tabernacle had a holy purpose, and therefore an expiating significance in itself). But a special wrong and blame was attached to the census of David, because it was a work of proud boastfulness and wicked haughtiness, not valuing, but over-valuing, his own power and greatness (comp. Joab’s warning, 1 Chronicles 21:3). The measure can scarcely be regarded as an expression of despotic wilfulness and tyrannic oppression of the people, or as a preparation for the imposition of an oppressive war tax or other tribute (Berth., etc.), or even as expressive of a lust for warlike conquest in the king (J. D. Mich.; comp. Kurtz in Herzog’s Real-Encyl. iii. 306); at least the text in nowise indicates that blame was attached to it on any of these grounds.
1 Chronicles 21:2. Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan, the usual formula to designate the land of Israel in all its length; comp. Jdg 20:1; 1 Samuel 3:20; 1 Kings 4:25, etc. The plain customary phrases: “Go, number” (לְכוּ סִפְרוּ), are simplifying and explanatory for those selected in 2 Samuel: שׁוּט־נָא (specially addressed to Joab) and פִּקְדוּ (including the assistants of Joab in the enumeration, the captains or commanders of the army).—And bring it to me, that I may know their number, the number of the Israelites.
1 Chronicles 21:3. Joab’s Warning.—The Lord add to His people a hundredfold as many as they are. In 2 Samuel stands, in accordance with the preference of this author for repetitions of the same phrase (comp. 1 Samuel 12:8), a double כָּהֶם, “so many as they are, so many as they are, a hundredfold,” or more briefly: “so and so many as they are a hundredfold.” For the present simpler expression, comp. Deuteronomy 1:11.—Are they not all . . . my lord’s servants? Does any one doubt that this great multitude of people is subject to thee? Will any one check thy joy in the greatness and power of thy kingdom? This question is wanting in the often deviating text of Samuel, in place of which are the words: “that the eyes of my lord the king may see it” (the hundredfold increase of the people).—Why shall it be a trespass to Israel?—a trespass (אַשְׁמָה) that brings divine punishment on the people instead of thee, the king, who art guilty of this wicked haughtiness.
1 Chronicles 21:4. But the word of the king prevailed against Joab, literally, “was strong above Joab” (which form חזק על is perhaps to be restored in 2 Samuel in place of the present ח׳ אֶל), overcame his resistance (Luth.: “succeeded against Joab”); comp. 2Ch 8:3; 2 Chronicles 27:5.
1 Chronicles 21:5. And all Israel were a thousand thousand and a hundred thousand men that drew sword, literally, “that bare the sword;” comp. Judges 8:10; Judges 20:2; Judges 20:15; Judges 20:17; Judges 20:46, etc. The number 1,100,000, compared with the 800,000 menatarms in 2 Samuel 24:9, involves an actual deviation, which either depends on an ancient variety in the traditions concerning the numerical result of the census, or what is more probable, must be derived from a confusion of the numbers; comp. the cases of this kind cited in the Introd. § 6, No. 5. The difference in the number of the Jewish men-at-arms is smaller, in which the 500,000 in 2 Samuel is merely a round number, for the more exact one, 470,000, contained in our text. Moreover, differences in the later traditions might the more easily arise in this Davidic census, because it was merely oral, as, according to 1 Chronicles 27:24, the result was not entered in the annals of the kingdom. The general correctness of the account, that Israel then numbered about a million, and Judah about half a million warriors, is warranted by the communications of the author, which attest even for much later times the extraordinary density of the population in the formerly so fruitful land of promise. And that the actual army of David, 1 Chronicles 27:1 ff., amounted only to 288,000 men, by no means contradicts the present statement relative to the total number of men fit to bear arms; comp. our remark on 1 Chronicles 4:18.
1 Chronicles 21:6. But Levi and Benjamin he counted not among them; for the king’s word was abominable to Joab; on account of the reluctance with which he obeyed the command of the king, the numbering was not quite completed: it was stopped, perhaps at the king’s command, before Benjamin, the last of the tribes to be numbered, was taken in hand; comp. the more exact statements in 2 Samuel 24:5 ff. concerning the order pursued by the commission under Joab, that, starting from the southern tribes east of Jordan, went round over the north of the land to the south of Judah, and thence arrived at Jerusalem. As no time remained for the numbering of Benjamin (comp. 1 Chronicles 27:23 f.—the express statement that the numbering was not completed; also Josephus, Antiq.vii 13. 1 Chronicles 1:0 : χωρὶς τῆς βενιαμίτιδος φυλῆς. ἐξαριθμῆσαι γὰρ αὐτὴν οὐκ ἔφθασεν) so the tribe of Levi was omitted on account of its legal exemption from numerations for political or military objects (comp. Numbers 1:47-54). In the present statement, therefore, there is nothing incredible; and neither its absence in 2 Samuel, nor the circumstance that the Chronist, instead of the unfinished state of the census, puts forward in his subjective pragmatism the reluctance of Joab as the cause of the omission of those tribes, justifies the suspicions entertained by de Wette and Gramberg against it. Comp. Keil, Apologet. Versuch, p. 349 ff.
2. The Divine Displeasure with the Numbering of the People by the Voice of the Seer Gad: 1 Chronicles 21:7-13.—And God was displeased with this thing, literally, “and it was evil (וַיֵּרַע) in God’s eyes for this thing:” the same construction appears in Genesis 21:22; usually without עַל before the displeasing object, Genesis 38:10; 2 Samuel 11:27, etc.—And He smote Israel. This is not so much an anticipation of that which is narrated 1 Chronicles 21:14 ff., as a generalizing description of the mode in which God’s anger took effect on Israel. It does not appear that the words are to be amended (Berth.), according to 2 Samuel 24:10 : וַיַּךְ לֶב־דָּוִד אֹתוֹ, “and the heart of David smote him.” We have here simply two modes of narrative, one of which regards more the human thought and deed, the other more the divine.
1 Chronicles 21:10. Three things I lay before thee, concerning thee, with thee, laying the choice before thee. Wellh. justly declares, not the strange נטל of Samuel, but our נטה to be original (against Berth.).
1 Chronicles 21:12. Either three years of famine. This time is certainly the original, not the seven years of the text in Samuel, which has arisen by the easy change of the letters (שׁבע for שׁלשׁ), and finds its emendation in the Sept.—Or three months to be driven before thy foes. What is here original, whether נִסְפֶּה of our text (nom. particip. Niph.: “to perish, be swept away”) or נֻסְךָ in 2 Samuel, must remain doubtful. On the contrary, the following וחרב אויביךָ למשׂגת “and the sword of thy foes to overtake” (=so that the sword of thy foes overtake thee), is certainly to be preferred to the reading וְהוּא רֹדְפֶךָ in 2 Samuel.—That the angel of the Lord destroy in all the border of Israel. This enforcing addition to the third question is wanting in 2 Samuel, but must be no less original than that parallel addition to the second question. And the hendiadyoin: “the sword of the Lord and pestilence,” for the simple pestilence (דֶּבֶר) in 2 Samuel, can scarcely be regarded as an arbitrary addition of the Chronist. Comp., moreover, with respect to the triad of divine judgments—famine, sword, and pestilence—the parallels, Leviticus 26:25 f.; 1Ki 8:37; 2 Chronicles 20:9; Jeremiah 14:12 ff; Jeremiah 21:7-9; Jeremiah 24:10; Jeremiah 27:8; Jeremiah 27:13; Jeremiah 29:17 f., Jeremiah 32:24-36, Jeremiah 34:17, Jeremiah 38:2, Jeremiah 42:17; Jeremiah 42:22, Jeremiah 44:13; Ezekiel 5:12; Ezekiel 6:11 f., 1 Chronicles 7:15, 1 Chronicles 12:16; also Ezekiel 21:19, where this woful triad is indicated by the figure of three swords; likewise Ezekiel 5:17; Ezekiel 14:13-19, Revelation 6:8, where the triad is extended to a quatrain by the addition of beasts of prey (comp. still other appropriate parallels in my Theol. naturalis, i. p. 637).
3. The Judgment, and David’s Repentant Entreaty for its Removal: 1 Chronicles 21:14-17.—And the Lord sent pestilence upon Israel. That this pestilence continued “from the morning even to the time appointed” is stated in the precise account in 2 Samuel; likewise that it affected all the people “from Dan even to Beersheba.” Wellh. (p. 220) defends, perhaps not unjustly, the extended form of our first verse-member, which the Sept. presents, as original: “And David chose the pestilence; and when the days of wheat harvest came (comp. 1 Chronicles 21:20), the plague began among the people.”
1 Chronicles 21:15. And God sent an angel to Jerusalem. The מַלְאָךְ without the article, “an angel,” is strange, as the angel in question, 1 Chronicles 21:12, was named before. Berth. gives the preference to the text 2 Samuel 24:16 : “And the angel stretched out his hand to Jerusalem,” whereas Movers (p. 91) defends our text as original. Perhaps neither text now contains exactly and fully the original, whether we amend, with Keil: “And the angel of God stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem,” or declare the restoration of the original now impossible (with Wellh.).—And as he was destroying, the Lord beheld, and repented of the evil; that is, as soon as the angel had begun to destroy, Jehovah considered, and repented that He had decreed the heavy stroke. On this repentance of God, comp. Genesis 6:16; Exodus 32:14; Jeremiah 42:10; Jonah 3:10; Psalms 106:23.—It is enough now, stay thy hand. Notwithstanding the acc. distinct. over רַב, this word is to be connected with the following עַתָּה, and taken in the sense of “enough” (sufficit); comp. Deu 1:6; 1 Kings 19:4. Against Berth., who in 2 Samuel 24:16 connects רב with בָּעָם, and regards this “a great mass of people” as the original reading, see not only Keil, but also Wellh.—And the angel of the Lord stood by the floor of ornan the Jebusite. That this ornan (or Araunah, as the Keri writes his name in 2 Samuel; comp. Crit. Note here) had been king of the Jebusites cannot be inferred from 2 Samuel 24:23, as the word המלךְ there is either to be erased, with Then., or (with Böttcher and Wellh.) to be referred by emendation to David (there addressed by Araunah). That the floor of ornan was on Mount Moriah, the subsequent site of the temple, north-east of Zion, is stated in the sequel; see 1 Chronicles 21:28 ff.
1 Chronicles 21:16. And David . . . saw the angel of the Lord standing between the earth and the heavens. This whole verse, as also 1 Chronicles 21:20, with the statement of the hiding of ornan and his four sons before the angel, and 1 Chronicles 21:26, with the mention of the fire coming down from God on David’s offering, are wanting in the shorter and simpler account in 2 Samuel. These may be called embellishments of tradition, but they are not to be regarded as inventions of our historian (against Berth., etc.).—And David and the elders . . .fell on their faces. The mention of the elders is wanting in 2 Samuel, but is not the least strange, as it was a solemn act of expiation and penitence on behalf of the whole nation. Comp. also the mention, 2 Samuel 24:20, of the retinue of servants accompanying the king when he went to ornan.
1 Chronicles 21:17. Have not I commanded to number the people? In 2 Samuel the prayer of David is much briefer. But for this very reason the attempt of Bertheau to show that our text here and in the sequel arises from the effort to explain and improve the other text is altogether unjustified. Neither are the present words הלא אני אמרתי למנות בעם corrupted from those in Samuel: בראתו את־המלאך המכה בעם, nor is וְהָרֵעַ הֲרֵעוֹתִי to be changed into a supposed originalוְאָנֹכִי הָרֹעֶה הֲרֵעוֹתִי, “and I, the shepherd, have done wrong;” for the question: “but these sheep, what have they done?” is easily understood without the previous mention of the shepherd; comp. Psalms 95:7, c. Psalms 95:3, etc.
4. The Purchase of Ornan’s Floor, and the Offering of the Burnt-Sacrifice there: 1 Chronicles 21:18-27.
1 Chronicles 21:20. And ornan turned. So וַיָּשָׁב is certainly to be translated (comp. 2 Kings 20:5; Isaiah 38:5; and such New Testament passages as Luke 22:61, etc.), not “returned,” as Bertheau does against the context, at the same time defending the conjecture that וישב is corrupted from וַיַּשְׁקֵף.—And ornan was threshing wheat, a clause wanting in 2 Samuel, but certainly original, which is confirmed by the notice of the Sept. already mentioned on 1 Chronicles 21:15 concerning the wheat harvest as the time when the pestilence began.
1 Chronicles 21:22. Give me the place of this floor. So it is to be translated, not as in Luther: “Give me space in this floor.” The whole floor was necessary for the king’s object; it is also all bought by him. The history of this purchase recalls in general the similar incident in the life of Abraham, Genesis 23:0, but does not necessitate the assumption that the recollection of Genesis 23:9 affected the forms of the text, nor in particular that the twofold בכסף מלא was taken thence.
1 Chronicles 21:23. Lo, I give the oxen for burnt-offerings. Along with וְהַמּוֹרִיגִים stands also 2 Samuel: וכלי הבקר, “and the harness of the oxen,” their wooden yokes, a certainly original phrase, that has only fallen out of our text by a mistake. The other text also requires the mention of “the wheat for the meat offering,” which can be no late addition.
1 Chronicles 21:24. Nor offer burnt-offerings without cost, that is, without having paid the full price for them. The infin. וְהַֽעֲלוֹת after the finite verb as a continuation is not surprising; comp. Ew. § 351, c. Here also Bertheau’s emendations are superfluous.
1 Chronicles 21:25. And David gave to ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight. Otherwise 2 Samuel 24:24, where David purchases the floor with the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. The one of these two contradictory statements is certainly corrupt, and more probably that in 2 Samuel, as fifty shekels of silver is too low a price; comp. Abraham’s 400 shekels of silver for the cave of Machpelah, Genesis 23:15. The sum of 600 shekels of gold appears, indeed, too high; but an over-payment corresponds better with the crisis than a much smaller price, which might have been interpreted as an act of mean covetousness. That the Chronist has “intentionally exaggerated” (Then.) is a conjecture as little to be justified as the different harmonizing attempts of the ancients; for example, that each of the twelve tribes must have given fifty shekels, whereby the 600 shekels mentioned by the Chronist were raised (Raschi), or that the 600 shekels are to be reckoned as silver, but to be paid in gold, and with fifty pieces of gold, of which each was = twelve silver shekels (Noldius, ad concord. Part. not. 719), etc.
1 Chronicles 21:26. And David . . . offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings. After the sentence corresponding to these words in 2 Samuel 24:25 is found in the Sept. an addition that anticipates in brief the contents of 1 Chronicles 22:1-6.—And he called upon the Lord, and He answered him by fire (or heard him with fire) from heaven on the altar of burnt-offering. For these words, to be understood according to Leviticus 9:24, 1Ki 18:24; 1 Kings 18:38, 2 Kings 1:12, and 2 Chronicles 7:1, 2 Chronicles 7:2 Samuel has simply: “and the Lord was entreated for the land” (comp. on 1 Chronicles 21:16); likewise for our 1 Chronicles 21:27, with its mention of the angel’s sword returned into its sheath, the plainer and less poetical: “and the plague was stayed from Israel.”
5. David’s repeated Offering on the Floor of ornan, with the Reason: 1 Chronicles 21:28-30.—At that time . . . he sacrificed there; that is, repeatedly, frequently; Luther rightly: “was wont to offer there.” Only this sense of ויזבס שׁם agrees with the sequel, especially with 1 Chronicles 22:1.
1 Chronicles 21:29-30 explain this selection of ornan’s floor for the regular place of sacrifice for the king more precisely, by referring to the older sanctuary at Gibeon, and to the apparent neglect of it; comp. on 1 Chronicles 15:1; 1 Chronicles 16:39 f.—And David could not go before it, the tabernacle at Gibeon, and the altar there; comp. for לִפְנֵי in this connection, 1 Chronicles 16:4; 1Ch 16:37; 1 Chronicles 16:39.—For he was afraid before the sword of the angel of the Lord; the appearance of the angel, with its desolating effects, had left in his mind an awfully strong impression of the holiness of the place, so that he did not venture to sacrifice in any other place. This interpretation only (comp. Berth.) suits the fact and the context, not that of various recent expositors, who wish to extract strange motives out of the words; for example, J. H. Mich. “quia ex terrore visionis angelicœ: infirmitatem corporis contraxerat,” or O. v. Gerlach: “because Gibeon was too far away,” or Keil: “because Gibeon, notwithstanding the sanctuary existing there with the Mosaic altar, was not spared by the plague,” etc.
Comp., moreover, for the various details of the present account, the evangelical and ethical reflections at the close of the exposition of this book.
According to the parallel text 2 Samuel 24:13 (נֻסְךָ for נִסְפֶּה), rather “flight.” So the Sept., Vulg., and Luther.
 אָרְנָן the Sept. renders here and in the whole chapter by ’Ορνά, as it conforms to אוֹרְנָה, the Kethib in 2 Samuel 24:16 (for which elsewhere there the Keri אֲרַוְנה always stands). Our text has throughout invariably אָרְנָן, which the Vulg. gives rightly Ornan, Luther wrongly “Arnan.”
Comp. Volck, De summa carminis Jobi sententia, p. 33 sqq.: Hoc si tenes, Deum non sine causa populo suo atque ejus reui, suoerhienti illi quidem, succensuisse, Satanumque eumesse, qui, ut homines peopter delicta apud Deum accuest eorum pœnas repetiturus, ita hoc efficiat, ut peccati pullulantis vis erumpat: difficultatem ita expedies, ut Davidem, quia Deus iratus pravitatis pœnam irrogare voluerit ad infelix illud consilium adductum fuisse dicas diaboli divinæ voluntati inservientis impulsu, etc.—Comp. also Hofmann, Schriftbew, ii. p. 437 ff., and Schlottmann, Das Buch Hiob, p. 38 ff.