Army totals for 2 Samuel 24:9

2 Samuel 24:9— (Question #1) “This passage gives the total population for Israel’s army as 800,000 and Judah’s as 500,000, whereas 1 Chronicles 21:5,6 says it was 1,100,000 and 470,000.”

In 2 Samuel, the number of “mighty men” (אישׁ־חיל , ‘îysh khah’-yil) , who drew the sword was 800,000, but it did not include the standing army of 288,000 described in 1 Chronicles 27:1-15 or the 12,000 specifically attached to Jerusalem described in 2 Chronicles 1:14. If we add these three figures together we get 1,100,000, which is precisely the total number given in 1 Chronicles 21:5. This number doesn’t use the more specific term ‘îysh khah’-yil.

The issue with Judah’s army is similar.—the figure of 470,000 in 1 Chronicles 21 did not include the 30,000 men of the standing army mentioned in 2 Samuel 6:1. 1 Chronicles 21:6 clearly states that Joab did not complete the numbering, due to David’s second thoughts about doing a census.

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