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I'm a bit confused at this. In the second book of Shmuel chapter 24 it starts with saying how G-d's anger was kindled against Israel.
Why, what did they do?
And why did Hashem tell King David to count Israel?

  • Rashi and Radak don't know. – msh210 Dec 29 '15 at 6:52
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HaShem did not command David to count Israel. If you confer the same event in I Chronicles 21:1: And Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel, You can see that it was more of a test than telling or commanding David.

It is also written in Berakhot 62b: behold I will cause thee to stumble in a matter which even school-children know ; for it is written, "When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel, according to their number, then shall they give every man a ranson for his soul unto the Lord... that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them" (Exod. xxx. 12). Immediately "Satan stood up against Israel" (I Chron. xxi. 1); for it is written, "He stirred up David against them, saying, Go, number Israel and Judah" (II Sam. xxiv. 1). Immediately "Satan stood up against Israel" (I Chron. xxi. 1); for it is written, "He stirred up David against them, saying, Go, number Israel and Judah" (II Sam. xxiv. 1). But when he numbered them, he took no ransom from them ; and it is written, "So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed" (ibid. v. 15).

  • But my question is: what did Israel do so that g-d should be angry at Them. It's almost as if they did something to anger hashem and so hashem sent satan to implant it into david so that he should count Israel. And he counted them in a way that is bad. Almost as if the punishment was coming but hashem wanted an excuse for punishing Israel and Judah, but the question remains: what did they do to anger g-d. – TheTribeOfJudah Dec 29 '15 at 23:51
  • My apologies. Why HaShem was "Again" incensed with Israel is not clearly expressed as was the 3 years famine which was for "..Saul, and for his bloody house, because he put to death the Gibeonites."(2 Samuel 21:1) There is speculation of other events around that time such as the insurrection of Sheba son of Bichri of which many Israelites followed (2 Samuel 20:1) or possibly the 12,000 who were part of the pursuit of David during Absalom's Revolt. But again, this is only speculation as the exact reason seems not to be expressed. Sorry I could not be of more help. – Orin Dion Dec 30 '15 at 0:36
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The oneness of the Jews which is disrupted by counting individuals is a function of their unification under a king.

Hashem's anger with the king is anger at the people vis-a-vis their oneness which is only effected through the king.

Klal yisrael could not exactly be held blameless at the pressures exerted on David in the process of becoming their king.

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