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Book of 1 Chronicles - Chapter 21 - Verse 17

And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father's house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.


In this verse, David is taking responsibility for his actions before God. He acknowledges his sin in conducting a census of the people, which was seen as an act of pride and lack of trust in God's protection. David recognizes that his leadership led to the sin, and he pleads with God to punish him and his family instead of the innocent people of Israel. By taking accountability for his actions, David demonstrates humility and a willingness to bear the consequences of his wrongdoing. This verse serves as a reminder of the importance of leadership accountability and the impact it can have on a community. It also highlights the principles of justice and mercy in God's judgment, as David intercedes for the people's well-being despite their unintentional involvement in his sin.

Theological Overview

In this verse, David takes responsibility for his actions and acknowledges that he was the one who sinned by ordering a census of the people, which went against God's will. The word 'numbered' could be explored in a word study to understand the implications of David's decision to count the people. The theological interpretation of this verse highlights David's humility and repentance, as he asks for God's punishment to fall on him and his family rather than on the innocent people he was chosen to lead. David refers to the people as 'sheep,' emphasizing his role as their shepherd and protector. By asking for mercy on behalf of the people, David demonstrates his compassion and care for his nation. This verse serves as a reminder of the importance of leadership and the consequences of straying from God's commandments.

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