Who incited David to take a census, God or Satan?

Posted on Oct.26, 2008. Filed in 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles. Average rating: 3.0 / 10 (Rate It).

In both 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles, David takes a census of the soldiers of Israel. However, the two accounts disagree about what prompted him to do so.

According to 2 Samuel, God incited David to take the census:

Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, ‘Go, count the poeple of Israel and Judah.’ [2 Samuel 24:1 (NRSV)]

What 2 Samuel attributes to God, however, 1 Chronicles attributes to Satan:

Satan stood up against Israel, and incited David to count the people of Israel. [1 Chronicles 21:1 (NRSV)]

So who incited David to take the census, God or Satan?

N.B. All posts are written in a style sympathetic to the claim of Biblical error, even in cases where the author ("Errancy") disagrees with the claim. See the About page for the site's philosophy.

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    I think this is a huge problem. In Samuel, God instructs David to take the census, and then punishes him for doing so!

    Chronicles appears to be a redacted version to remove the absurdity of God punishing David for his obedience. Hence the insertion of Satan …

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