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Deeper Commentary

1Ch 21:1 Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel-
2 Sam. 24:1 says that this happened because Yahweh was angry with Israel. This common phrase is typically used of God's anger with Israel for idolatry, which was clearly a problem amongst them even at David's time. He didn't want to punish them. The census gave them the opportunity to pay a half shekel each for "atonement money" (Ex. 30:12-15), lest they be struck with plague. It seems God worked through David's fear of an invasion or forthcoming battle with a 'satan'' / adversary, so that he took a census and the people had the chance to pay that atonement money in loyalty to Yahweh. But they didn't- and so they were struck with plague. David's feeling of guilt over the matter is understandable, but I will argue later that it was more a case of false guilt.

The books of Samuel and Chronicles are parallel accounts of the same incidents, as the four gospels are records of the same events but using different language. 2 Sam. 24:1 records: “The Lord... moved David against Israel” in order to make him take a census of Israel. The parallel account in 1 Chron. 21:1 says that “Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David” to take the census. In one passage God does the ‘moving’, in the other Satan does it. The only conclusion is that God acted as a ‘Satan’ or adversary to David. He did the same to Job by bringing trials into his life, so that Job said about God: “With the strength of Your hand You oppose me” (Job 30:21); ‘You are acting as a Satan against me’, was what Job was basically saying. Or again, speaking of God: “I must appeal for mercy to my accuser (Satan)” (Job 9:15 NRSV). The idea is sometimes used to describe our greatest adversary, i.e. our own sin, and at times for whole systems or empires which stand opposed to the people of God and personify sinfulness and evil. But it seems obvious that it is a bizarre approach to Bible reading to insist that whenever we meet these words 'Satan' and 'Devil', we are to understand them as references to a personal, supernatural being.

Perhaps the satan which moved David to number Israel was a Satan-Angel, as in the case of the righteous Angel involved with Balaam, acting as a satan / adversary, and with Job. The parallel with Balaam is that God sent a Satan-Angel against him because His anger was kindled against Balaam (Num. 22:22, the same phrase as in :1). The Angel may have acted directly on David's heart to bring about a trial for both David and Israel. This is one of the many indications that the numbering of the people was not David's sin. See on :10. But the adversaries to David and Israel were at that point the surrounding nations. Even if an Angel was involved, the immediate 'satan' would have been an approaching enemy army; and David wanted to know how many men he had to fight off that invasion. Or it could have been an extension of the gathering of troops made at the time of 2 Sam. 20:4, when David wanted to know how many soldiers he could really count on after Absalom's rebellion.

1Ch 21:2 David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring me word, so that I may know the sum of them-
The list of David's mighty men just given in 2 Sam. 23 included men literally from Dan to Beersheba. I suggested on :1 that the occasion of this census may have been when David wanted to know how many soldiers he could really count on after Absalom's rebellion. It's possible that although out of chronological sequence, the catalogue of mighty men in 2 Sam. 23 was the result of this census. This would explain Joab's comment in 1 Chron. 21:3 "Are they not all my Lord's servants?", as if to say 'Loyalty to you is not in question, taking a census won't prove loyalty to you'.  


1Ch 21:3 Joab said, May Yahweh make His people a hundred times as many as they are; but, my lord the king, aren’t they all my lord’s servants? Why does my lord require this thing? Why will he be a cause of guilt for Israel?-
Joab is alluding to Dt. 1:11. For all his unspirituality, he did also have a spiritual side. He was not unaware of the scriptures, and seemed to want to do what was genuinely best for Israel. Men with deeply mixed motives is quite a theme of the Bible's historical records; and that is because they are true to life. For that is how people are.

The numbering of Israel was another weak moment for David (note 2 Sam. 24:3,4,10), leading to suffering for others. Yet this same David had written that “there is no king saved by the multitude of an host” (Ps. 33:16). Perhaps this was an expression of repentance after this incident; or, if written before it, an example of David being over confident of his faith. “Why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?” (1 Chron. 21:3 AV) suggests Joab suspected the people would not pay the half shekel required when a census was taken, and so would be led into sin. Although it was their fault, the situation was provoked by God Himself provoking David to take the census, because His anger was kindled against Israel (:1). This would then be an example of God confirming a sinful people in the way they wished to go.

1Ch 21:4 Nevertheless the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Therefore Joab departed, and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem-
2 Sam. 24:4 "and against the captains of the army". The army captains likewise agreed with Joab that the census was not a good idea. This incident is at a time when David's word prevails against Joab and the generals, and we get the impression that this would not have happened after his sin with Bathsheba, after which Joab speaks and acts towards David in a belligerent manner. So the incident may be not in chronological order; indeed none of the cameos of Davidic history at the end of 2 Samuel are in chronological order.

1Ch 21:5 Joab gave up the sum of the numbering of the people to David. All those of Israel were one million one hundred thousand men who drew sword; and in Judah were four hundred and seventy thousand men who drew sword-
According to 1 Chron. 21:5, there were 1,100,000 “men that drew sword” in Israel. According to 2 Sam. 24:9, there were 800,000 “valiant men” in Israel, according to the same census. There is no contradiction- rather the Samuel record is perceiving that there was a higher level of commitment, as. There were the enthusiasts, and those who merely could draw a sword. They were all living on different levels.

The numbers are also difficult because the Hebrew word for "thousand" need not mean a literal 1,000, but it is at time used to refer to a military subdivision. And it can have different definitions in some areas and at some times and by some writers. That is likely the reason for the difference between the numbers presented in Samuel and Chronicles, rather than textual corruption. If taken literally, the numbers are unrealistic; nearly 2 million soldiers (according to Chronicles) in the combined kingdom would imply a huge total population. Even if there were six million population in the territory they then inhabited (about 11,000 square miles), this would give an average population density of 600 / square mile. It seems really doubtful that the country could have supported this.

"Drew the sword" is the same phrase used in 1 Chron. 21:16 of how the destroying Angel had a drawn sword in his hand. The idea seems to be that God's Angelic power was more than a match for thousands of Israelites with their drawn swords. This would be an argument in favour of the idea that David did indeed sin at this time by trusting in his own swords, although the greater sin appears to have been with the people.

1Ch 21:6 But he didn’t count Levi and Benjamin among them for the king’s word was abominable to Joab-
Perhaps Joab reasoned that the Levites were not numbered as they were exempt from military service (Num. 1:47). But that was just a cover for the fact he didn't want to obey the king's word, because he knew Israel would not pay the required temple tax and there would be plague because of it. And Benjamin, the tribe of Saul, were perhaps particularly opposed to being numbered by David.

1Ch 21:7 God was displeased with this thing; therefore He struck Israel-
Israel were struck as promised in the law, because they refused to pay the temple tax when they were numbered. We note therefore that God's anger was with Israel rather than David, who took false guilt in this matter.

1Ch 21:8 David said to God, I have sinned greatly, in that I have done this thing. But now, put away, I beg You, the iniquity of Your servant; for I have done very foolishly-
The response is similar to that to the sin with Bathsheba, again before a prophet. Balaam also said the same words (Num. 22:34), and again we find an Angel 'standing'. Although David did take false guilt, it seems there was some element of real failure. The allusion is to the foolishness of Saul (1 Sam. 13:13). He feels he is no better than Saul for his trust in human strength; see on :14. 1 Chron. 21:6,7 says that David's "word" of command of the census was "abominable" to Joab, and also God was "displeased" with "this thing", the same Hebrew translated "word". Unless this refers to His displeasure with Joab for despising David's word. Yahweh had likewise been "displeased" with David in the matter of Uriah (2 Sam. 11:27 s.w.). But although David's lack of faith wasn't good, it seems to me on balance that he was largely taking false guilt. Perhaps we are to read that God was displeased with Israel's lack of response to the word of command about the census, seeing Israel didn't pay the half shekel required at the time. Indeed David's trust in human numbers would not have been pleasing to God, it was a slip backwards. But we wonder whether he took false guilt in this matter. For it was allowable to take a census of Israel, although there was to be a half shekel tax paid at the time, which if not paid would result in plague (Ex. 30:12-15). Joab perhaps guessed that those numbered would not pay this and therefore the census would lead Israel into sin. This is why God chose the punishment of plague; not upon David, but upon Israel. Yet David perhaps realized all that, but knew that his lack of faith in wanting a census, his lack of consideration for the weakness of others, would lead them into sin and punishment. And therefore he felt guilty. It could be argued that his sacrifice atoned for himself and for the people, but they still suffered for not having paid the required "atonement money". But then we must balance against this the comment that "David had done that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, and didn’t turn aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite" (1 Kings 15:5). No mention is made of the matter of the census. There is true guilt, the guilt we should take for our actual sins; and false guilt, the guilt put on us by others and the malfunctioning of the human conscience. In this matter of David's guilt about the census, we may have an example of a man taking false guilt. The fact Israel and not David were punished with plague would rather confirm this. It may be impossible for us to sort out within us what is true guilt or false guilt, at least not be any intellectual process. But we can rest assured that all our guilt, of whatever kind, is met in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, the ultimate guilt offering.

1Ch 21:9 Yahweh spoke to Gad, David’s prophet, saying-
Gad was to write his record of these things (1 Chron. 29:29), so maybe his record has been incorporated here.

1Ch 21:10 Go and speak to David saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh, I offer you three things. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you’-
When given a choice, Ahaz declined to choose, and was condemned for it (Is. 7:11). David declines to choose, because he preferred to fall into God's hands of grace than decide himself; and is not condemned. The same actions can be committed with different motives, and therefore only God can judge. But the invitation to "choose one of them" was for David's education, to elicit his reflection as to whether it was appropriate that he were punished, or the people; or he be punished along with the people. God's choice of plague was in accordance with the teaching of Ex. 30:12-15, that if Israel didn't pay the atonement money at the time of a census, they would be punished with plague.

1Ch 21:11 So Gad came to David and said to him, Thus says Yahweh, ‘Take your choice-
Although David was innocent, I suggest he was given the choices in order to develop his own self examination over the matter. Thus as king, famine would not have hurt David personally. He was asked to consider whether this was appropriate.

1Ch 21:12 either three years of famine; or three months to be consumed before your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you; or else three days’ suffering the sword of Yahweh, even plague in the land, and the angel of Yahweh destroying throughout all the borders of Israel’. Now therefore consider what answer I shall return to Him who sent me-
Famine, war and plague are the three Divine judgments listed in Ez. 14:21 as coming upon Jerusalem at the time of the exile. David had already experienced war and famine (because of the Gibeonites, 2 Sam. 21). Now he was to experience plague. The lesson to the exiles was that these judgments had indeed come because of sin, but the experience of them could be cut short by intense prayer and repentance after the pattern of David. For Yahweh "relented" of the three days plague because of David's prayer and sacrifice. We see here the open ended nature of His purpose. 

1Ch 21:13 David said to Gad, I am in distress-
The phrase is that used of Saul's great distress on the night of his final condemnation (1 Sam. 28:15). David felt he had been foolish as Saul had been (2 Sam. 24:10 = 1 Sam. 13:13). David had replaced Saul because of Saul's apostacy, but he was being made to realize through this experience (even if it was all false guilt), that he too was a sinner and saved by his acceptance of grace, and not because he was intrinsically better than Saul.

Let me fall, I pray, into the hand of Yahweh; for His mercies are very great. Let me not fall into the hand of man-
David appealed to God's mercy in the matter of Bathsheba (Ps. 51:1). Perhaps he learned from that, and chose to throw himself upon that same mercy. But the exact timing of this incident isn't clear. Perhaps it was because of learning about God's grace through this incident that he later learned to throw himself upon God's great mercy when he sinned with Bathsheba and against Uriah. David’s experience of God’s grace stayed with him when he faced up to the results of his errors in the future. From experience, he can ask to fall into the Lord’s hand rather than man’s, because “His mercies are great”- using the same two Hebrew words he had used when Nathan came to him in Ps. 51:1: “Have mercy upon me… according unto the multitude [Heb. ‘greatness’] of thy tender mercies”. And so the experience of God’s gracious mercy over one sin fortifies us to believe in His grace when, sadly, we fall again; although, in passing, I think that here David himself didn’t really do so much wrong. Yet he perceived himself to have sinned, so the point is still established. 

Truly David is our example. David was very much involved in Israel his people. He saw himself as their representative. "The God of my rock is my shield... he is a shield to all them that trust in him" (2 Sam. 22:3,31). “I am in a great strait; let us fall now into the hand of the Lord” (2 Sam. 24:14) reflects this. When he sung Psalms, he invited them to come and sing along with him (Ps. 105:2; 107:22; 111:1). And many of these Psalms of praise seem to have their origin in his experience of forgiveness regarding Bathsheba. The Lord based His parables of the lost sheep and the man finding the treasure of the Gospel in a field on the statements of David (Ps. 119:162,176), as if He saw David as representative of all those who would truly come to Him. "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven" (Ps. 32:1), David wrote, after experiencing God's mercy in the matter of Bathsheba. But Paul sees this verse as David describing "the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works" (Rom. 4:6). Each of us are in need of a like justification; therefore we find ourselves in David's position.

God is kinder than men. It's better to be punished by Him than by men. This puts paid to the Catholic conception of God as a merciless torturer of wicked men. Clearly the doctrine of eternal torments was invented by men, not God.

1Ch 21:14 So Yahweh sent a plague on Israel; and seventy thousand men of Israel fell-
2 Sam 24:15 adds: "So Yahweh sent a plague on Israel from the morning even to the appointed time; and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men".
"The appointed time" could refer to the time of the evening sacrifice, which David was to offer on Araunah's property and not at the sanctuary. Or the idea may be that there was an "appointed time" of suffering but it was not defined, because it was open ended- the terminus depended upon the intensity of David's prayers and sacrifice. The three day period of plague  was changed because "Yahweh relented" (:15)- because of David's prayer shortening the stipulated time period. This is why there can be no prescriptive chronology of events in the last days, nor date set for the Lord's return. The appointed time is variable, depending upon factors such as human prayer, repentance and taking the Gospel to all the world.

LXX "So David chose for himself the mortality: and they were the days of wheat-harvest; and the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel from morning till noon, and the plague began among the people".

1Ch 21:15 God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it. As he was about to destroy, Yahweh saw, and He relented of the disaster, and said to the destroying angel, It is enough; now stay your hand. The angel of Yahweh was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite-
This could imply that Ornan's area was about to be destroyed. But it seems we have here an example of the summary being made, and then we read how that came about. Perhaps David was in Jerusalem, maybe praying at the sanctuary, and saw the Angel standing over the nearby hill of Jebus or Moriah. His prayer and obedient, urgent sacrifice then stopped the Angel right there. The Angel "stood" by the threshing floor (1 Chron. 21:15 AV), as if the Angel's path of destruction was stopped right there by the sacrifice offered in that place.

The encouragement for the later generation of Jews was that the evil planned upon Jerusalem could be relented from; if there was genuine repentance. God's hand here was "stayed", but the encouragement was that God would not "stay" His hand in His program of redemption; the same word is often translated "fail" in the assurance that God will not fail His people in ultimately restoring them.

This “destroying Angel” is surely “the destroyer” who operated in the wilderness. We see here one Angel having the ability to formulate a purpose and another blindly carrying it out until told not to- a scenario which we  see repeated elsewhere (e. g. at the Passover and in Ez. 9). It was only David's prayer which lead to “the destroyer” ceasing. Notice how the Angel repented and then encouraged David to offer a sacrifice so the Angel would be "intreated for the land" (2 Sam. 24:19,25). Similarly, the Angel repented of punishing Israel and wanted to restore them, and to enable this to happen He encouraged the people through Ezra to be spiritual. Thus Angelic repentance has to be confirmed by human action.


1Ch 21:16 David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of Yahweh standing between earth and sky, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces-
This  says that the Angel had a "drawn sword" in hand, the same words used of the Angel before Balaam (Num. 22:23,31). His donkey "turned aside", using the same word for "stretched out" here. The sin of Balaam was connected with idolatry, and I suggested on :1 that this was the reason for God's anger being kindled against Israel. The sin of Balaam has connections with that of Israel, but not particularly with that of David. Again we get the impression the judgments were for the sake of the sins of the people, the anger of Yahweh was with them, rather than with David for wanting to take a census.

1Ch 21:17 David said to God, Isn’t it I who commanded the people to be numbered? It is even I who have sinned and done very wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand, O Yahweh my God, be against me, and against my father’s house; but not against Your people, that they should be plagued-
This was effectively asking God to abrogate the promises about his family of 1 Chron. 17. Thanks to David building an altar at his own expense and asking God to kill him and his family, God stopped the plague upon Israel (2 Sam. 24:16,17- the stretched out hand of God in destruction was what David asked to be upon him and his family). Israel were suffering the effect of their own sin, in not paying the temple tax (Ex. 30:11-16); but  in the spirit of Christ, David was willing to die for them. And his dominant desire was counted as if it had been done, and thanks to his self-sacrificial spirit, the people were saved when they personally were unworthy. The wrath of God can be turned away by the actions of those He is angry with (Num. 25:4; Dt. 13:15-17; Ezra 10:14; Jonah 3:7,10; 2 Chron. 12:7; Jer. 4:4; 21:12). And yet that wrath can also be turned away by the prayers of a third party (Ps. 106:23; Jer. 18:20; Job 42:7). This means that in some cases, our prayers for others can be counted as if they have repented. We can gain our brother for God’s Kingdom (Mt. 18:15), as Noah saved his own house by his faithful preparation (Heb. 11:7). Through our personal dying to the flesh, the life of Christ is manifest not only in us, but is made available to others: “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you” (2 Cor. 4:10-12). The life that is even now made manifest in us is also made available to work in others because death to the flesh has worked in us personally.

1Ch 21:18 Then the angel of Yahweh commanded Gad to tell David that David should go up, and make an altar to Yahweh in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite-
2 Chron. 3:1 implies David assumed that the spot where the Angel appeared to him in 2 Sam. 24:17,18 was where he should build the temple. It is another example of David's tendency to wildly over interpret, which led him to a mistaken obsession about building the temple and assuming Solomon to be his Messianic seed.

1Ch 21:19 David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spoke in the name of Yahweh-
David went along with the elders of Israel (:16), clothed in sackcloth. David is always presented as totally obedient to the prophets in his life (Samuel, Nathan and Gad), unlike Saul who was consistently disobedient to God's word through Samuel.

1Ch 21:20 Ornan turned back-
2 Sam. 24:20 "Araunah looked out", i.e. from the place in the threshing area where he was threshing wheat, where he and his four sons had hidden from the presence of the Angel. The records in Chronicles and Samuel perfectly fit with each other, although clearly focusing upon different elements of the scene; just like the gospel records.

And saw the angel; and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat-
Chronicles has "saw the Angel". 2 Sam. 24:20 "saw the king". This may reflect the confusion between malak ["Angel"] and melek ["king"], especially as ancient Hebrew didn't add the vowel points and the consonants of the two words are the same, m-l-k. Or it could be that Ornan saw David and also at the same time saw the Angel behind him in some form.

1Ch 21:21 As David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshing floor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground-
Clearly Ornan respected David, even though it seems he was a Gentile Jebusite, whose relatives may have been slain when David and Joab took Jebus at the start of David's reign.

1Ch 21:22 Then David said to Ornan, Give me the place of this threshing floor, that I may build thereon an altar to Yahweh. You shall sell it to me for the full price-
The urgent thing required was sacrifice to God represented by the Angel hovering over the hill where both men were standing, about to slay the people of Jerusalem. We wonder why David firstly asks to buy the threshing floor, as this was a long process which Araunah may have needed to think carefully about as it was his home. Maybe this is a hint that Araunah was not a worshipper of Yahweh and therefore the land must be bought before an offering to another God could be made upon it. There is more evidence for that on :23. Or it may be that David wanted to offer the most genuine sacrifice, which was thought to be offered upon one's own property. He offered to buy the threshing floor "for the full price" (1 Chron. 21:22), the same phrase used of Abraham's purchase of property from the Canaanites in Gen. 23:9. This confirms the impression that Araunah was a Canaanite and not an Israelite.

That the plague may be stopped from afflicting the people-
This is the very phrase of Num. 16:48,50 and Num. 25:8; Ps. 106:30, where the people of Israel suffered from plague because of their idolatry, and Aaron stopped it, standing between the living and the dead. David was in an identical position to Aaron, again acting as the High Priest. And again we have evidence that the essential sin being punished was not David's taking of a census, but Israel's sin (see on :1).

1Ch 21:23 Ornan said to David, Take it for yourself, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes. Behold, I give the oxen for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meal offering. I give it all-
LXX "and the wheels and furniture of the oxen for wood". "The threshing instruments" may have referred to quite a major and expensive piece of equipment. But Ornan totally senses the urgency of the situation and is willing to offer even this as wood.

1Ch 21:24 King David said to Ornan, No; but I will most certainly buy it for the full price. For I will not take that which is yours for Yahweh, nor offer a burnt offering without cost-
I have suggested that the historical records were in places edited and made relevant for the exiles; and given their mean attitude to offerings in Mal. 1:10,13,14, David's example and principle would have been pertinent. And this is an abiding principle; sacrifice is to be costly, we are to be left "minus", rather than being without cost to us.

1Ch 21:25 So David gave to Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the place-
1 Chron. 21:25 speaks of 600 shekels for "the place", whilst 2 Sam. 24:24 mentions 50 shekels for the threshing floor and oxen. The entire area was later bought, in order to build the temple on that site (1 Chron. 22:1; 2 Chron. 3:1).

1Ch 21:26 David built an altar to Yahweh there, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called on Yahweh; and He answered him from the sky by fire on the altar of burnt offering-
Elijah in 1 Kings 18:24 takes the language of God 'answering by fire' from this account of David's intercession for the plagued, sinful people (same Hebrew words). Elijah saw himself as David, interceding to gain the forgiveness of impenitent third parties as a result of his sacrifice. And indeed there was an element of that. And in the final synthesis and unknowable equation of salvation, there is still a great role played by third parties in our salvation. This is just the language of God justifying Himself over Baal at the time of Elijah. I have suggested throughout that the plague was essentially punishment for Israel's idolatry; see on :1.

1Ch 21:27 Yahweh commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into its sheath-
We have here a visual representation of God's sensitivity to human prayer and repentance.

1Ch 21:28 At that time, when David saw that Yahweh had answered him in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there-
Burnt offerings always precede peace offerings (2 Sam. 24:25), because sacrifice is the principle upon which we can have peace with God. But David remained traumatized by the incident, fearing the sword he had seen (1 Chron. 21:30). This was a similar reaction by him to how he feared association with the ark for some period after the slaying of Uzzah (1 Chron. 13:12,13). The similarity in reaction is another indication that the record is true and the character portrayals absolutely consistent, as could only be true of a Divinely inspired record.

1Ch 21:29 For the tabernacle of Yahweh, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering, were at that time in the high place at Gibeon-
The wrong and unsatisfactory nature of having two sanctuaries is commented upon on 1 Chron. 16:40.

1Ch 21:30 But David couldn’t go before it to inquire of God; for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of Yahweh
"Afraid" is the word used of how the evil spirit from Yahweh troubled Saul. We could therefore read this as a slip backwards for David; his wrongful fear of God was confirmed by God. For this is the way He works with His Spirit. I suggested on :28 that this means that David remained traumatized by the incident, fearing the sword he had seen.