David counts his soldiers
1 The Lord again became angry with the Israelites. So he caused David to bring trouble to them. He said to David, ‘Send men to count the people in Israel and Judah.’
2 So the king said to Joab, the leader of his army, ‘Go from Dan to Beersheba, through all the tribes of Israel. Count all the men who can fight. I want to know how many men there are.’
24:2from Dan to Beersheba was the whole country. Dan was at the north border of Israel. Beersheba was near the south border.
3 But Joab said to the king, ‘I pray that the Lord your God will make your army bigger and bigger. May it grow 100 times while you are alive to see it! But, my lord the king, why do you want to do this?’
4 But Joab and his officers had to obey the king's command. So Joab and the officers of the army went out to count the number of people in Israel.
5 They crossed the Jordan river. They made their first camp in a valley, on the south side of Aroer. Then they went through Gad's land and they reached Jazer. 6 They went from there to Gilead. Then they went to Kadesh in the land of the Hittites. Then they went to Dan and they continued west to Sidon. 7 Then they went south to Tyre, a strong city with walls around it. They went to all the towns of the Hivites and the Canaanites. Then they arrived at Beersheba in the south part of Judah.
8 In that way, they travelled through the whole country. After 9 months and 20 days they returned to Jerusalem.
9 Joab reported to the king about the number of soldiers who could fight. There were 800,000 men in Israel who could use a sword to fight. There were also 500,000 soldiers in Judah.