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Bible Highlights: 2 Samuel 22-23-24 | Theocratic Ministry School: June 15

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(2 SAMUEL 22:8)

“Back and forth the earth began to shake and rock; The foundations of the heavens trembled And shook back and forth because he had been angered.”

*** it-1 p. 1064 Heaven ***
At 2 Samuel 22:8-15, David apparently uses the figure of a tremendous storm to represent the effect of God’s intervention on David’s behalf, freeing him from his enemies. The fierceness of this symbolic storm agitates the foundation of the heavens, and they ‘bend down’ with dark low-lying clouds. Compare the literal storm conditions described at Exodus 19:16-18; also the poetic expressions at Isaiah 64:1, 2.

(2 SAMUEL 22:10)

“He made the heavens bend as he descended, And thick gloom was beneath his feet.”

*** it-1 p. 1064 Heaven ***
At 2 Samuel 22:8-15, David apparently uses the figure of a tremendous storm to represent the effect of God’s intervention on David’s behalf, freeing him from his enemies. The fierceness of this symbolic storm agitates the foundation of the heavens, and they ‘bend down’ with dark low-lying clouds. Compare the literal storm conditions described at Exodus 19:16-18; also the poetic expressions at Isaiah 64:1, 2.

(2 SAMUEL 22:11)

“He rode on a cherub and came flying. He was visible on the wings of a spirit.”

*** it-1 p. 432 Cherub ***
In symbol, the cherubs served as “the representation of the chariot” of Jehovah upon which he rode (1Ch 28:18), and the wings of the cherubs offered both guarding protection and swiftness in travel. So David, in poetic song, described the speed with which Jehovah came to his aid, like one who “came riding upon a cherub and came flying” even “upon the wings of a spirit.”—2Sa 22:11; Ps 18:10.

(2 SAMUEL 22:12)

“Then he put darkness around him as a shelter, In dark waters and thick clouds.”

*** it-1 p. 356 Booth ***
Jehovah pictures himself as dwelling in a booth of clouds when he temporarily descends from heaven to earth. There majestic omnipotence conceals itself, and from there come the crashings of thunder. (Ps 18:9, 11; 2Sa 22:10, 12; Job 36:29)

(2 SAMUEL 22:26)

“With someone loyal you act in loyalty; With the blameless, mighty man, you deal blamelessly;”

*** w10 6/1 p. 26 “You Will Act in Loyalty” ***
We find the answer in the words of David recorded at 2 Samuel 22:26. A man of unshakable faith, David in poetic song says of Jehovah God: “With someone loyal you will act in loyalty.” David was confident that no matter how other humans might disappoint him, Jehovah would remain loyal to him.
Let us take a closer look at David’s words. The Hebrew term translated “act in loyalty” may also be rendered “act in loving-kindness.” True loyalty is rooted in love. Jehovah lovingly attaches himself to those who are loyal to him.
Note, too, that loyalty is more than just a feeling; it is active, not passive. Jehovah acts in loyalty, as David learned firsthand. During the darkest periods of David’s life, Jehovah acted in his behalf, loyally protecting and guiding the faithful king. A grateful David credited Jehovah with delivering him “out of the palm of all his enemies.”—2 Samuel 22:1.
What do David’s words mean for us? Jehovah does not waver or change. (James 1:17) He remains true to his standards and is ever faithful to his word of promise. In another of his psalms, David wrote: “Jehovah . . . will not leave his loyal ones.”—Psalm 37:28.
Jehovah values our loyalty. He treasures our loyal obedience to him, and he urges us to imitate him in showing loyalty in our dealings with others. (Ephesians 4:24; 5:1) If we display loyalty in these ways, we can trust that he will never abandon us. No matter how other humans may let us down, we can count on Jehovah to act loyally in our behalf, helping us to face successfully whatever trials may come our way. Are you moved to draw closer to Jehovah, “the loyal One”?—Revelation 16:5.
[Footnote]
Second Samuel 22:26 parallels Psalm 18:25. One Bible translation renders that psalm: “To the loyal You show Yourself full of love.”—The Psalms for Today.

*** w02 8/15 p. 5 To Whom Should You Be Loyal? ***
True Loyalty—An Expression of Love
King David said to Jehovah God: “With someone loyal you will act in loyalty.” (2 Samuel 22:26) The Hebrew word translated “loyalty” here conveys the idea of kindness that lovingly attaches itself to an object until its purpose in connection with that object is realized. With an attitude like that of a mother with a suckling child, Jehovah lovingly attaches himself to those who are loyal to him. To his loyal servants in ancient Israel, Jehovah said: “Can a wife forget her suckling so that she should not pity the son of her belly? Even these women can forget, yet I myself shall not forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15) Those who are willing to put loyalty to God above all else are assured of his loving care.

*** w92 11/15 p. 19 Serve Jehovah Loyally ***
What It Means to Be Loyal
3 David’s song of deliverance gives us this comforting assurance: “With someone loyal you [Jehovah] will act in loyalty.” (2 Samuel 22:26) It is the Hebrew adjective cha•sidhʹ that denotes “someone loyal,” or “one of loving-kindness.” (Psalm 18:25, footnote) The noun cheʹsedh contains the thought of kindness that lovingly attaches itself to an object until its purpose in connection therewith is realized. Jehovah expresses that sort of kindness for his servants, even as they express it for him. This righteous, holy loyalty is rendered “loving-kindness” and “loyal love.” (Genesis 20:13; 21:23) In the Greek Scriptures, “loyalty” carries the idea of holiness and reverence, expressed in the noun ho•si•oʹtes and the adjective hoʹsi•os. Such loyalty includes faithfulness and devotion and means being devout and carefully performing all duties toward God. To be loyal to Jehovah means to stick to him with devotion so strong that it acts like a powerful adhesive.
4 Jehovah’s own loyalty is shown in many ways. For example, he takes judicial action against the wicked because of loyal love for his people and loyalty to justice and righteousness. (Revelation 15:3, 4; 16:5) Loyalty to his covenant with Abraham moved him to be long-suffering toward the Israelites. (2 Kings 13:23) Those loyal to God can count on his help to the end of their loyal course and can be sure that he will remember them. (Psalm 37:27, 28; 97:10) Jesus was strengthened by the knowledge that as God’s chief “loyal one,” his soul would not be left in Sheol.—Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:25, 27.

(2 SAMUEL 22:35)

“He trains my hands for warfare; My arms can bend a bow of copper.”

*** it-1 p. 170 Arms, Armor ***
The reference to “a bow of copper” is likely to be understood as meaning a wooden bow mounted with copper. (2Sa 22:35)

(2 SAMUEL 22:36)

“You give me your shield of salvation, And your humility makes me great.”

*** w12 11/15 p. 17 par. 7 Cultivate the Spirit of a Lesser One ***
7 God’s example of humility had a tremendous effect on the psalmist David. He sang to Jehovah: “You will give me your shield of salvation, and it is your humility that makes me great.” (2 Sam. 22:36) David attributed any greatness he had in Israel to Jehovah’s humility—to God’s condescending, or humbling himself, to pay attention to him. (Ps. 113:5-7) Is it any different with us? In the way of qualities, abilities, and privileges, what do any of us have that we “did not receive” from Jehovah? (1 Cor. 4:7) The person who conducts himself as a lesser one is “great” in that he becomes more valuable as a servant of Jehovah. (Luke 9:48, ftn.)

*** w10 9/15 p. 14 par. 11 Unity Identifies True Worship ***
Remarkably, Jehovah is an example of humility in that he deals with imperfect people like us. David wrote: “It is your [God’s] humility that makes me great.” (2 Sam. 22:36)

*** w04 11/1 p. 29 What Jehovah’s Humility Means for Us ***
What Jehovah’s Humility Means for Us
DAVID was a man who knew adversity. He suffered mistreatment at the hands of King Saul, his jealous father-in-law. Three times Saul tried to kill David with a spear and for years hunted him incessantly, forcing him to become a fugitive. (1 Samuel 18:11; 19:10; 26:20) Yet, Jehovah proved to be with David. Jehovah saved him not only from Saul but also from other enemies. We can, therefore, appreciate David’s sentiments, expressed in song: “Jehovah is my crag and my stronghold and the Provider of escape for me. . . . You [Jehovah] will give me your shield of salvation, and it is your humility that makes me great.” (2 Samuel 22:2, 36) David achieved a measure of greatness in Israel. How, then, was Jehovah’s humility involved?
When the Scriptures speak of Jehovah as being humble, they do not mean that he is limited in any way or that he is subject to others. Instead, this beautiful quality indicates that he has deep compassion for humans who sincerely strive to gain his approval and extends mercy to them. At Psalm 113:6, 7, we read: “[Jehovah] is condescending to look on heaven and earth, raising up the lowly one from the very dust.” His “condescending” means that “he bends down to see” or that “he is humbling Himself to look.” (Today’s English Version; Young’s Literal Translation of the Holy Bible) So from the heavens Jehovah himself ‘bent down,’ or ‘humbled himself,’ in order to pay attention to David, an imperfect but humble man who desired to serve God. Therefore, David reassures us: “Jehovah is high, and yet the humble one he sees.” (Psalm 138:6) The merciful, patient, and compassionate way in which Jehovah dealt with David should encourage all who seek to do God’s will.

*** it-1 p. 1159 Humility ***
A Quality of God. Jehovah God himself includes humility among his qualities. This is not because there is any inferiority on his part or any submission to others. Rather, he shows humility in exercising mercy and great compassion upon lowly sinners. That he deals with sinners at all and has provided his Son as a sacrifice for mankind’s sins is an expression of his humility. Jehovah God has permitted evil for some 6,000 years and let mankind be brought forth, even though their father Adam had sinned. Through undeserved kindness, mercy was thereby shown to Adam’s offspring, giving them opportunity for everlasting life. (Ro 8:20, 21) All of this displays, along with other fine qualities of God, his humility.
King David saw and appreciated this quality in God’s undeserved kindness to him. After Jehovah had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, he sang: “You will give me your shield of salvation, and it is your humility that makes me great.” (2Sa 22:36; Ps 18:35) Though in his great dignity he sits in his exalted place in the highest heavens, it can nevertheless be said of Jehovah: “Who is like Jehovah our God, him who is making his dwelling on high? He is condescending to look on heaven and earth, raising up the lowly one from the very dust; he exalts the poor one from the ashpit itself, to make him sit with nobles, with the nobles of his people.”—Ps 113:5-8.

(2 SAMUEL 22:41)

“You will make my enemies retreat from me; I will put an end to those who hate me.”

*** it-1 p. 219 Attitudes and Gestures ***
Hand or foot on the back of the neck of one’s enemies is a figurative way of describing the defeat of an enemy, his being put to rout and fleeing away, being pursued and caught.—Ge 49:8; Jos 10:24; 2Sa 22:41; Ps 18:40.

*** it-2 p. 483 Neck ***
Therefore, to ‘have one’s hand on the back of the neck’ of his enemies was to conquer, or subdue, them. (Ge 49:8; 2Sa 22:41; Ps 18:40) With similar significance, on monuments of Egypt and Assyria, monarchs are represented in battle scenes as treading on the necks of their enemies. Likewise, Joshua ordered his army commanders: “Come forward. Place your feet on the back of the necks of these kings.”—Jos 10:24.

(2 SAMUEL 23:2)

“The spirit of Jehovah spoke through me; His word was on my tongue.”

*** si p. 102 par. 10 Bible Book Number 19—Psalms ***
10 The authenticity of these most ancient songs to Jehovah’s praise is amply testified to by their being in complete harmony with the rest of the Scriptures. The book of Psalms is quoted numerous times by the writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures. (Ps. 5:9 [Rom. 3:13]; Ps. 10:7 [Rom. 3:14]; Ps. 24:1 [1 Cor. 10:26]; Ps. 50:14 [Matt. 5:33]; Ps. 78:24 [John 6:31]; Ps. 102:25-27 [Heb. 1:10-12]; Ps. 112:9 [2 Cor. 9:9]) David himself said in his last song: “The spirit of Jehovah it was that spoke by me, and his word was upon my tongue.” It was this spirit that had operated upon him from the day of his anointing by Samuel. (2 Sam. 23:2; 1 Sam. 16:13) Additionally, the apostles quoted from the Psalms. Peter referred to “scripture . . . which the holy spirit spoke beforehand by David’s mouth,” and in a number of quotations from the Psalms, the writer to the Hebrews referred to them either as statements spoken by God or introduced them with the words, “just as the holy spirit says.”—Acts 1:16; 4:25; Heb. 1:5-14; 3:7; 5:5, 6.

(2 SAMUEL 23:3)

“The God of Israel spoke; To me the Rock of Israel said: ‘When the one ruling over mankind is righteous, Ruling in the fear of God,”

*** w09 5/1 p. 14 Word Pictures in the Bible—Do You Understand Them? ***
The Bible also likens Jehovah to inanimate things. He is described as “the Rock of Israel,” as a “crag,” and as a “stronghold.” (2 Samuel 23:3; Psalm 18:2; Deuteronomy 32:4) What is the point of similarity? Just as a large rock is solidly placed, unmovable, so Jehovah God can be a solid Source of security for you.

*** w95 12/15 p. 26 Righteousness Exalts a Nation ***
Righteousness Exalts a Nation
AFTER days of rain, what a pleasure it is to wake up and see the sun shining in a cloudless sky! The earth has been refreshed, and now the vegetation can grow luxuriantly. Jehovah God once used such a picture to illustrate the blessings of righteous rule. To King David he said: “When one ruling over mankind is righteous, ruling in the fear of God, then it is as the light of morning, when the sun shines forth, a morning without clouds. From brightness, from rain, there is grass out of the earth.”—2 Samuel 23:3, 4.

*** it-1 p. 1177 Illustrations ***
Frequently the prophets used a word or an expression in speaking of a person or a group with a view to imparting its characteristics to the individual or the group, that is, metaphorically. For example, Jehovah is described as “the Rock of Israel,” as a “crag,” and as a “stronghold,” thus conveying the idea that God is a solid source of security. (2Sa 23:3; Ps 18:2)

(2 SAMUEL 23:4)

“It is like the morning light when the sun shines, A morning without clouds. It is like the brightness after the rain, Making grass sprout from the earth.’”

*** w95 12/15 p. 26 Righteousness Exalts a Nation ***
Righteousness Exalts a Nation
AFTER days of rain, what a pleasure it is to wake up and see the sun shining in a cloudless sky! The earth has been refreshed, and now the vegetation can grow luxuriantly. Jehovah God once used such a picture to illustrate the blessings of righteous rule. To King David he said: “When one ruling over mankind is righteous, ruling in the fear of God, then it is as the light of morning, when the sun shines forth, a morning without clouds. From brightness, from rain, there is grass out of the earth.”—2 Samuel 23:3, 4.

(2 SAMUEL 23:8)

“These are the names of David’s mighty warriors: Joʹsheb-bas•sheʹbeth a Tah•cheʹmo•nite, the head of the three. He brandished his spear over 800 slain at one time.”

*** w05 10/1 p. 10 par. 3 Highlights From the Book of First Chronicles ***
11:11—Why is the number of slain 300 and not 800 as in the parallel account at 2 Samuel 23:8? The head of David’s three most valiant men was Jashobeam, or Josheb-basshebeth. The other two mighty men were Eleazar and Shammah. (2 Samuel 23:8-11) The reason for the difference in the two accounts may well be that they refer to different deeds performed by the same man.

*** it-2 p. 113 Josheb-basshebeth ***
JOSHEB-BASSHEBETH
(Joʹsheb-bas•sheʹbeth).
The head one of David’s three most outstanding mighty men. (2Sa 23:8) At 1 Chronicles 11:11 he is called Jashobeam, which is probably the more correct form. There are other scribal difficulties with the text in 2 Samuel 23:8, making it necessary for the obscure Hebrew in the Masoretic text (which appears to read, “He was Adino the Eznite”) to be corrected to read “He was brandishing his spear.” (NW) Other modern translations read similarly. (AT; RS; Mo; Ro, ftn; JB) Thus Samuel is made to agree with the book of Chronicles and with the construction pattern in this section of material. It is “the three” that are being discussed, but to introduce another name, Adino, makes four. Additionally, each of the three mighty men has one of his deeds credited to him, so if the overpowering of the 800 were attributed to someone else, there would be no deed credited here to Josheb-basshebeth (Jashobeam).—See JASHOBEAM No. 2.
There is a possibility that the deed ascribed to Josheb-basshebeth at 2 Samuel 23:8 is not the same as that mentioned at 1 Chronicles 11:11. This may explain why the Samuel account speaks of 800 slain, whereas the Chronicles account refers to 300 slain.

(2 SAMUEL 23:11)

“Next to him was Shamʹmah the son of Aʹgee the Harʹa•rite. The Phi•lisʹtines gathered together at Leʹhi, where there was a plot of land full of lentils; and the people fled because of the Phi•lisʹtines.”

*** it-2 p. 236 Lehi ***
Later, according to the rendering of numerous translators, Shammah struck down many Philistines assembled at Lehi. (2Sa 23:11, 12; AT, JB, NW, RS) However, the Hebrew term la•chai•yahʹ literally means “into the tent village,” and, by a slight change in vowel pointing, is rendered “to Lehi.”

(2 SAMUEL 23:15)

“Then David expressed his longing: “If only I could have a drink of the water from the cistern by the gate of Bethʹle•hem!””

*** it-1 p. 300 Bethlehem ***
Later, as a fugitive, David longed for a drink of water from a cistern at Bethlehem, then the site of a Philistine outpost. (2Sa 23:14, 15; 1Ch 11:16, 17) It may be noted that three wells are still found on the N side of the town.

(2 SAMUEL 23:16)

“At that the three mighty warriors forced their way into the camp of the Phi•lisʹtines and drew water from the cistern by the gate of Bethʹle•hem and brought it to David; but he refused to drink it and poured it out to Jehovah.”

*** lv chap. 7 p. 77 par. 7 Do You Value Life as God Does? ***
7 David, “a man agreeable to [God’s] heart,” grasped the principles behind God’s law on blood. (Acts 13:22) On one occasion when he was very thirsty, three of his men forced their way into the enemy camp, drew water from a cistern, and brought it to him. How did David react? “Should I drink the blood of the men going at the risk of their lives?” he asked. In David’s eyes, the water was, in effect, the lifeblood of his men. So despite his thirst, he “poured it out to Jehovah.”—2 Samuel 23:15-17.

(2 SAMUEL 23:17)

“He said: “It is unthinkable on my part, O Jehovah, that I should do this! Should I drink the blood of the men going at the risk of their lives?” So he refused to drink it. These are the things that his three mighty warriors did.”

*** lv chap. 7 p. 77 par. 7 Do You Value Life as God Does? ***
7 David, “a man agreeable to [God’s] heart,” grasped the principles behind God’s law on blood. (Acts 13:22) On one occasion when he was very thirsty, three of his men forced their way into the enemy camp, drew water from a cistern, and brought it to him. How did David react? “Should I drink the blood of the men going at the risk of their lives?” he asked. In David’s eyes, the water was, in effect, the lifeblood of his men. So despite his thirst, he “poured it out to Jehovah.”—2 Samuel 23:15-17.

*** w05 5/15 p. 19 par. 6 Highlights From the Book of Second Samuel ***
23:15-17. David had such a deep respect for God’s law on life and blood that on this occasion, he refrained from doing what even resembled a violation of that law. We must cultivate such an attitude toward all of God’s commands.

*** si p. 63 par. 26 Bible Book Number 10—2 Samuel ***
David expresses the desire: “O that I might have a drink of the water from the cistern of Bethlehem that is at the gate!” (23:15) At that, the three mighty men force their way into the Philistine camp, draw water from the cistern, and carry it back to David. But David refuses to drink it. Instead, he pours it out on the ground, saying: “It is unthinkable on my part, O Jehovah, that I should do this! Shall I drink the blood of the men going at the risk of their souls?” (23:17) To him the water is the equivalent of the lifeblood they have risked for it.

(2 SAMUEL 23:23)

“Although he was distinguished even more than the thirty, he did not attain to the rank of the three. However, David appointed him over his own bodyguard.”

*** it-1 p. 1010 Guard ***
The Hebrew word mish•maʹʽath, meaning, basically, “hearers” and rendered “subjects” in Isaiah 11:14, is used to refer to David’s bodyguard (2Sa 23:23; 1Ch 11:25) and to the bodyguard of Saul, over which David had been chief.—1Sa 22:14.

(2 SAMUEL 23:33)

“Shamʹmah the Harʹa•rite, A•hiʹam the son of Shaʹrar the Harʹa•rite,”

*** it-2 p. 905 Shagee ***
SHAGEE
(Shaʹgee).
A Hararite whose son Jonathan was one of David’s mighty men. (1Ch 11:26, 34) The parallel passage at 2 Samuel 23:32, 33 reads, “Jonathan, Shammah the Hararite.” It is usually agreed that the words “son of” have somehow been lost, which, if supplied, would make the text read “Jonathan [the son of] Shammah the Hararite,” Shammah apparently being an alternative name for Shagee.

(2 SAMUEL 23:34)

“E•liphʹe•let the son of A•hasʹbai the son of the Ma•acʹa•thite, E•liʹam the son of A•hithʹo•phel the Giʹlon•ite,”

*** it-1 pp. 60-61 Ahasbai ***
AHASBAI
(A•hasʹbai).
A Maacathite whose “son” Eliphelet was an outstanding fighter for David. (2Sa 23:34) The Maacah from which Ahasbai came could refer to Abel-beth-maacah in the territory of Naphtali or to the Syrian kingdom of Maacah. (2Sa 20:14; 10:6, 8) In the parallel list at 1 Chronicles 11:35, 36 the name Ur appears in place of Ahasbai.

*** it-1 p. 91 Ammiel ***
3. Father of Bath-sheba, Uriah’s wife later taken by David. (1Ch 3:5) At 2 Samuel 11:3, he is called Eliam, which is simply a transposition of the components of the name Ammiel and means “God of the People.” He was possibly the son of Ahithophel, the Gilonite, who was David’s counselor but who turned traitor.—2Sa 23:34; 15:31.

*** it-1 p. 708 Eliam ***
2. One of David’s mighty men; son of Ahithophel. (2Sa 23:34) He may possibly have been the same as No. 1 above, which would make Bath-sheba the granddaughter of Ahithophel.

(2 SAMUEL 24:1)

“The anger of Jehovah again blazed against Israel when one incited David against them, saying: “Go, take a count of Israel and Judah.””

*** w05 5/15 p. 19 par. 4 Highlights From the Book of Second Samuel ***
24:1—Why did taking a count of people constitute a serious sin for David? The taking of a census was not in itself forbidden in the Law. (Numbers 1:1-3; 26:1-4) The Bible does not say what objective moved David to number the people. However, 1 Chronicles 21:1 indicates that Satan incited him to do so. In any event, his military chief, Joab, knew that David’s decision to register the people was wrong, and he tried to dissuade David from doing it.

*** w92 7/15 p. 5 Does the Bible Contradict Itself? ***
▪ Who caused David to take a count of the Israelites?
Second Samuel 24:1 states: “Again the anger of Jehovah came to be hot against Israel, when one incited David [or, “when David was incited,” footnote] against them, saying: ‘Go, take a count of Israel and Judah.’” But it was not Jehovah who moved King David to sin, for 1 Chronicles 21:1 says: “Satan [or, “a resister,” footnote] proceeded to stand up against Israel and to incite David to number Israel.” God was displeased with the Israelites and therefore allowed Satan the Devil to bring this sin upon them. For this reason, 2 Samuel 24:1 reads as though God did it himself. Interestingly, Joseph B. Rotherham’s translation reads: “The anger of Yahweh kindled against Israel, so that he suffered David to be moved against them saying, Go count Israel and Judah.”

*** it-2 p. 765 Registration ***
David’s Calamitous Registration. A registration taken toward the end of King David’s reign is also recorded, one that brought calamity. The account at 2 Samuel 24:1 reads: “And again the anger of Jehovah came to be hot against Israel, when one incited David against them, saying: ‘Go, take a count of Israel and Judah.’” The “one” who did the inciting is not there identified. Was it some human counselor? Was it Satan? Or even God? First Chronicles 21:1 helps to answer the question, saying: “Satan proceeded to stand up against Israel and to incite David to number Israel.” That rendering in the New World Translation agrees with the Hebrew text and with translations into Greek, Syriac, and Latin. It is also consistent with the renderings in other translations.—AT, NE, RS, JB, Mo.
However, as the footnote at 1 Chronicles 21:1 points out, the Hebrew word sa•tanʹ can also be rendered “a resister.” Byington translates it “a Satan”; Young’s translation reads, “an adversary.” So it is possible that the “one” moving David to decide on the calamitous course was a bad human counselor.
Interestingly, a footnote at 2 Samuel 24:1 shows that this text could be rendered: “And again the anger of Jehovah came to be hot against Israel, when he incited David against them.” The translation in The Bible in Basic English reads: “Again the wrath of the Lord was burning against Israel, and moving David against them, he said, Go, take the number of Israel and Judah.” Hence, some commentators consider that the “one” or “he” who incited David to take the census was Jehovah. His ‘anger against Israel,’ according to this view, predated the census and was due to their recent rebellions against Jehovah and his appointed king, David, when they followed first ambitious Absalom and then the good-for-nothing Sheba, the son of Bichri, in opposition to David. (2Sa 15:10-12; 20:1, 2) Such a viewpoint could be harmonized with the view that Satan or some bad human counselor incited David if the incitement is viewed as something that Jehovah purposely allowed, as by removing his protection or restraining hand.—Compare 1Ki 22:21-23; 1Sa 16:14; see FOREKNOWLEDGE, FOREORDINATION (Concerning individuals).
On David’s part, there may have been wrong motive due to pride and trust in the numbers of his army, hence a failing to manifest full reliance on Jehovah. In any case, it is clear that on this occasion David’s chief concern was not that of glorifying God.

(2 SAMUEL 24:3)

“But Joʹab said to the king: “May Jehovah your God multiply the people 100 times, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it, but why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?””

*** it-2 p. 765 Registration ***
Objected to by Joab. When ordered to take the registration, David’s general Joab objected, saying, “May Jehovah your God even add to the people a hundred times as many as they are while the very eyes of my lord the king are seeing it. But as for my lord the king, why has he found delight in this thing?” (2Sa 24:3) Joab’s words imply that the national strength did not depend on numbers but on Jehovah, who could supply numbers if that was his will.

(2 SAMUEL 24:5)

“They crossed the Jordan and camped at A•roʹer, to the right of the city in the middle of the valley, toward the Gadʹites, and on to Jaʹzer.”

*** it-1 p. 178 Aroer ***
This city of Aroer appears to have been the starting point for the census ordered by King David, which thereafter swung N to Dan-jaan and looped over to Tyre and Sidon and then S to Beer-sheba in the Negeb. (2Sa 24:4-8) The mention of “the city that is in the middle of the torrent valley” coincides with similar references at Deuteronomy 2:36 and Joshua 13:9, 16. This unnamed city is considered by some to correspond to Khirbet el-Medeiyineh, about 11 km (7 mi) SE of Aroer.

(2 SAMUEL 24:9)

“Joʹab now gave to the king the number of the people who were registered. Israel amounted to 800,000 warriors armed with swords, and the men of Judah were 500,000.”

*** w92 7/15 p. 5 Does the Bible Contradict Itself? ***
▪ How can one harmonize the different figures given for Israelites and Judeans in David’s count?
At 2 Samuel 24:9 the figures are 800,000 Israelites and 500,000 Judeans, whereas 1 Chronicles 21:5 numbers Israel’s fighting men at 1,100,000 and Judah’s at 470,000. Enlisted regularly in the royal service were 288,000 troops, divided into 12 groups of 24,000, each group serving one month during the year. There were an additional 12,000 attendant on the 12 princes of the tribes, making a total of 300,000. Apparently the 1,100,000 of 1 Chronicles 21:5 includes this 300,000 already enlisted, whereas 2 Samuel 24:9 does not. (Numbers 1:16; Deuteronomy 1:15; 1 Chronicles 27:1-22) As regards Judah, 2 Samuel 24:9 apparently included 30,000 men in an army of observation stationed on the Philistine frontiers but which were not included in the figure at 1 Chronicles 21:5. (2 Samuel 6:1) If we remember that 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles were written by two men with different views and objectives, we can easily harmonize the figures.

*** it-2 p. 766 Registration ***
The count revealed that Israel had 1,100,000 men and Judah had 470,000, according to the record at 1 Chronicles 21:5. The report at 2 Samuel 24:9 says 800,000 men of Israel and 500,000 men of Judah. Some believe that a scribal error exists. But it is unwise to ascribe error to the record when the circumstances, methods of counting, and so forth, are not fully understood. The two accounts may have reckoned the number from different viewpoints. For example, it is possible that members of the standing army and/or their officers were counted or omitted. And different methods of reckoning may have caused a variation in the listing of certain men, as to whether they were under Judah or Israel. We find what may be such an instance at 1 Chronicles 27. Here 12 divisions in the king’s service are listed, naming all the tribes except Gad and Asher, and naming Levi and the two half tribes of Manasseh. This may have been because the men of Gad and Asher were combined under other heads at the time, or for other reasons not stated.

(2 SAMUEL 24:11)

“When David got up in the morning, Jehovah’s word came to Gad the prophet, David’s visionary, saying:”

*** it-2 p. 1160 Visionary ***
Not all of Jehovah’s prophets were visionaries. However, Gad was called both a “prophet” and “David’s visionary,” apparently because at least some of the messages he received from God came by means of visions containing divine instruction or counsel for King David.—2Sa 24:11; 1Ch 21:9.

(2 SAMUEL 24:13)

“So Gad came in to David and told him: “Should seven years of famine come on your land? Or should you flee for three months from your adversaries while they pursue you? Or should there be three days of pestilence in your land? Now consider carefully what I should reply to the One who sent me.””

*** it-2 p. 766 Registration ***
Jehovah’s judgment. Jehovah’s prophet Gad was sent to David, giving David, the authorizer of the census, a choice of one of three forms of punishment: a famine for three years, the sword of Israel’s enemies overtaking Israel for three months, or a pestilence for three days. David, leaning on God’s mercy rather than man’s, chose “to fall into the hand of Jehovah”; in the pestilence that followed, 70,000 persons died.—1Ch 21:10-14.
Here another variation is found between the Samuel and Chronicles accounts. Whereas 2 Samuel 24:13 says seven years of famine, 1 Chronicles 21:12 says three. (The Greek Septuagint reads “three” in the Samuel account.) One proffered explanation is that the seven years referred to at Second Samuel would, in part, be an extension of the three years of famine that came because of the sin of Saul and his house against the Gibeonites. (2Sa 21:1, 2) The current year (the registration took 9 months and 20 days [2Sa 24:8]) would be the fourth, and three years to come would make seven. Although the difference may have been due to a copyist’s error, it may be said again that a full knowledge of all the facts and circumstances should be had before one reaches such a conclusion.

(2 SAMUEL 24:17)

“When David saw the angel who was striking the people down, he said to Jehovah: “I am the one who sinned, and I am the one who did wrong; but these sheep—what have they done? Let your hand, please, come against me and my father’s house.””

*** w05 5/15 p. 19 par. 9 Highlights From the Book of Second Samuel ***
24:17. David felt regret that his sin brought suffering upon the entire nation. A repentant wrongdoer should feel remorse over the reproach his action may have brought upon the congregation.

(2 SAMUEL 24:24)

“However, the king said to A•rauʹnah: “No, I must buy it from you for a price. I will not offer up to Jehovah my God burnt sacrifices that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the cattle for 50 silver shekels.”

*** it-1 p. 146 Araunah ***
ARAUNAH
(A•rauʹnah).
The Jebusite owner of the threshing floor purchased by King David for building an altar to Jehovah. This action resulted as the divinely indicated means of ending a scourge provoked by David’s numbering of the people.—2Sa 24:16-25; 1Ch 21:15-28.
Araunah apparently offered the place, along with cattle and wood implements for the sacrifice, without charge, but David insisted on paying a price. The record at 2 Samuel 24:24 shows that David purchased the threshing floor and the cattle for 50 silver shekels ($110). However, the account at 1 Chronicles 21:25 speaks of David’s paying 600 gold shekels (c. $77,000) for the site. The writer of Second Samuel deals only with the purchase as it relates to the altar location and the materials for the sacrifice then made, and it thus appears that the purchase price referred to by him was restricted to these things. On the other hand, the writer of First Chronicles discusses matters as relating to the temple later built on the site and associates the purchase with that construction. (1Ch 22:1-6; 2Ch 3:1) Since the entire temple area was very large, it appears that the sum of 600 gold shekels applies to the purchase of this large area rather than to the small portion needed for the altar first built by David.

*** it-2 p. 715 Purchase ***
When King David wanted to purchase the threshing floor of Araunah (Ornan), the man graciously tried to give it to the king. However, David insisted on paying a sum of 50 silver shekels ($110) for the immediate altar site plus the necessary sacrificial materials.

*** it-2 p. 715 Purchase ***
(2Sa 24:21-24;


No. 1: 2 Samuel 22:21-32 (3 min. or less)


(2 Sam. 22:21-32) Jehovah rewards me according to my righteousness; He repays me according to the innocence of my hands. 22 For I have kept the ways of Jehovah, And I have not wickedly abandoned my God. 23 All his judgments are before me; I will not deviate from his statutes. 24 I will remain blameless before him, And I will keep myself from error. 25 May Jehovah repay me according to my righteousness, According to my innocence before him. 26 With someone loyal you act in loyalty; With the blameless, mighty man, you deal blamelessly; 27 With the pure you show yourself pure, But with the crooked you show yourself shrewd. 28 For you save those who are humble, But your eyes are against the haughty, and you abase them. 29 For you are my lamp, O Jehovah; It is Jehovah who lights up my darkness. 30 With your help I can charge against a marauder band; By God’s power I can scale a wall. 31 The way of the true God is perfect; The saying of Jehovah is refined. He is a shield to all those taking refuge in him.32 For who is a God besides Jehovah? And who is a rock except our God?

No. 2: Cain—Theme: How We React to Counsel Tells Much About Us—it-1 pp. 386-387 (5 min.)


***it-1 pp. 386-387 Cain***
CAIN
[Something Produced].
The first child born on earth to the original human pair, Adam and Eve.
Following the birth of Cain, Eve said: “I have produced a man with the aid of Jehovah.” (Ge 4:1) Did she have in mind that she might be the foretold woman who would produce the seed by means of which deliverance would come? (Ge 3:15) If so, she was greatly mistaken. However, she could validly say that Cain was produced “with the aid of Jehovah” because God had not taken away the reproductive powers of sinful Adam and Eve and because, when passing judgment on her, God had said that she would “bring forth children,” though it would be with birth pangs.—Ge 3:16.
Cain became a cultivator of the ground and, “at the expiration of some time,” he, as well as his younger brother Abel, brought offerings to present to Jehovah, feeling the need to gain God’s favor. Cain’s offering of “some fruits of the ground,” however, was not ‘looked upon with any favor’ by God. (Ge 4:2-5; compare Nu 16:15; Am 5:22.) While some point out that Cain’s offering is not said to be of the choicest fruits whereas Abel’s offering is specified to have been of the “firstlings of his flock, even their fatty pieces,” the problem was not in the quality of produce that Cain offered. As Hebrews 11:4 points out, Cain’s offering lacked the motivation of faith that made Abel’s sacrifice acceptable. The fact that God did not view Cain’s offering with favor may also have been because his offering was bloodless, whereas Abel’s represented a life poured out.
The manner in which the distinction between the approved and the disapproved offerings was made is not stated, but it was undoubtedly evident to both Cain and Abel. Jehovah, who reads the heart of man (1Sa 16:7; Ps 139:1-6), knew the wrong attitude of Cain, and His rejection of Cain’s sacrifice resulted in that wrong disposition being made clearly manifest. “The works of the flesh” now began to be openly produced by Cain: “enmities, strife, jealousy, fits of anger.” (Ga 5:19, 20) Jehovah showed the sullen man that exaltation could be his if he would simply turn to doing good. He could have humbled himself to imitate his brother’s approved example, but he chose to ignore God’s counsel to get the mastery over the sinful desire that ‘lurked at the door,’ craving to dominate him. (Ge 4:6, 7; compare Jas 1:14, 15.) This disrespectful course was “the path of Cain.”—Jude 11.
Subsequently, Cain said to his brother: “Let us go over into the field.” (Ge 4:8) (Though these words are not in the Masoretic text, a number of Hebrew manuscripts have the sign of omission here, while the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Greek Septuagint, the Syriac Peshitta, and Old Latin texts all include these words as spoken by Cain to Abel.) In the field Cain attacked Abel, killing him, and thereby becoming the first human murderer. As such he could be said to have “originated with the wicked one,” who is the father of manslayers as well as of the lie. (1Jo 3:12; Joh 8:44) Cain’s callous response to Jehovah’s inquiry as to Abel’s whereabouts was further evidence of his attitude; it was not an expression of repentance or remorse but a lying retort: “I do not know. Am I my brother’s guardian?”—Ge 4:9.
God’s sentencing of Cain to banishment from the ground evidently meant his eviction from the neighborhood of the garden of Eden, and the curse already upon the earth would be increased in Cain’s case, the earth not responding to his cultivation of it. Cain expressed regret over the severity of his punishment and showed anxiety as to the possibility of Abel’s murder being avenged upon him, but still no sincere repentance. Jehovah “set up a sign for Cain” to prevent his being killed, but the record does not say that this sign or mark was placed on Cain’s person in any way. The “sign” likely consisted of God’s solemn decree itself, known and observed by others.—Ge 4:10-15; compare vs 24 where that decree is referred to by Lamech.
Cain went into banishment in “the land of Fugitiveness to the east of Eden,” taking with him his wife, an anonymous daughter or granddaughter of Adam and Eve. (Ge 4:16, 17;compare 5:4, also the much later example of Abraham’s marriage to his half sister Sarah, Ge 20:12.) Following the birth of his son Enoch, Cain “engaged in building a city,” naming it for his son. Such city may have been but a fortified village by present standards, and the record does not state when it was completed. His descendants are listed in part and include men who distinguished themselves in nomadic stock raising, the playing of musical instruments, and the forging of metal tools as well as those who were known for their practice of polygamy and their violence. (Ge 4:17-24) Cain’s line ended with the global Flood of Noah’s day.

No. 3: Love and Obedience Bring Happiness—nwt p. 26 ¶4-6 (5 min.)


***nwt p. 26 pars. 4-6 Question 15: How can you find happiness?***
“You must love your neighbor as yourself.”
Matthew 22:39
“Just as you want men to do to you, do the same way to them.”
Luke 6:31
“Happy are those hearing the word of God and keeping it!”
Luke 11:28

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