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Numbering in the Bible

1 Chronicles 21
also 2 Samuel 24

In First Chronicles Chapter 21, we are given the account of King David attempting to number the people of Israel.
Those involved in the numbering knew that this was a great and grievous sin to itemize people as things, as a number.

"Why will he [ King David] be a cause of trespass [ sin] to Israel ?" 1 Chronicles 21:3
"The king's word was abominable [ detestable, loathsome] to Joab." 1 Chronicles 21:6

"And God was displeased with this thing; therefore He smote Israel." 1 Chronicles 21:7

When David came to his senses, he repented that he had the people numbered.
"I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech Thee, do away the iniquity of Thy servant; for I have done very foolishly." 1 Chronicles 21:8

God then speaks through the prophet Gad to David.

So Gad relays the message to David that the consequence of having executed such a grievous sin results in three judgements.
David, because he made heartfelt repentance, must choose which one of the three consequences he will bear.

1. The judgement of three years of famine.

2. Or three months of war in which the enemy will be the victor.

3. Or three days of pestilence, allowed by the LORD, in which the destroying angel ( "angel of the LORD") causes the deaths of many in Israel.

The first judgement was the longest in duration, and would cause the deaths of many innocent people.
David did not choose that judgement.

The second judgement--war--David realized that he and his kingdom would be at the mercy of man, even his enemy. David did not choose that judgement.

Instead, David took the punishment of shortest endurance and one in which the LORD would be most directly involved.

Let me fall now into the hand of the LORD;
for very great are His mercies:
But let me not fall into the hand of man.
" 1 Chronicles 21:13

We see from this passage that the numbering of man is a great offense. It turns man into an object, rather than a person.... a quantity to be used, or to be taken advantaged of ( for taxation, or the military or for work details). Society, when numbered, changes from being warm and personal to becoming cold and impersonal. Once a man is perceived as an object, he is used for the purposes of the governing powers that are over him. He is no longer respected as a person in his own right, but as an impersonal part of a whole...an entity which exits for the State.

1 Samuel 8:11-18.

It is interesting that David says,"let me not fall into the hand of man". It is interesting because in the very last days, the antichrist and the false prophet will seek to cause each person on planet earth to have a "unique identifying number". That unique number will be placed in the right hand of man, or in his forehead, in order to buy and sell (eat). Revelation 13:16-18.
By one's own right hand, one will place himself into the hand of man. Within the hand of man, there is no mercy.
David knew that with the LORD there is mercy, and so he would not allow himself to fall into the hand of man, who had no mercy.

One's right hand is called "dexter", meaning dexterous or skillful. One uses the right hand, in general, for all utilitarian purposes. In the Bible the right hand is associated with righteousness. Our Lord Himself is seated at the right hand of the Father. When one takes the oath of office, one raises his right hand to God and ends with the phrase "so help me God." ( At least they used to).

The left hand is called "sinister", connoting a sleight of hand, or deviousness. This is its SYMBOLIC meaning, not a literal meaning.
It is associated with the opposite of righteousness.
In the coming 666 System, one will give one's right hand to a sinister satanic system.

As we watch our modern technology develop the subdermally implanted rfid microchip --the 666 Mark of the Beast---  for all Financial transactions, we realize that many WILL allow themselves to be totally numbered and enclosed ...  that many persons will willfully participate in the coming Global numbering system called "the Mark of the Beast".
His number is 666. We do not yet see who that man is yet (9-2015), nor do we fully understand why the number is 666, but we all have that feeling that very soon we will know.


In Daniel Chapter 5, we come again to the word "number", but this time it is spoken of as "Mene, mene".... meaning :
"thou art numbered, thy days are numbered, your number's up, prepare to meet your God, prepare to die".
This was not only in reference to the kingdom of Babylon, but to the king of Babylon himself, as well as the citizens of Babylon.
That very night. the Medeo-Persian armies were outside the city gates of Babylon , assured already of victory in a few hours.

When one takes the Mark of the Beast, one can almost hear the sound of "mene, mene". Not only is one's hand numbered, but truly one's days are numbered at that point ..... 42 months at the most, and perhaps a lot sooner if the noisome and grievous sore mentioned in Revelation 16:2 becomes life-threatening.


When God gave Israel direct commands to go to battle on the defensive, commanders counted their warriors in preparation for the battle. That alone was permitted.
But David was going to go on the Offensive, practicing Manifest Destiny, which the Lord abhorred. It was indeed a great sin.

The Lord finds the numbering of man to be loathsome and abominable. God made us in His image. He did not make us according to a mathematical formula. He did not quantify our assets and liabilities, nor does He ever label us in solidified profiles. With the Lord, we are not forever fixed and staid, as we are within the System.

We are forever fluid and flexible before the Lord, always capable of His grace and favor, determined by our attitude and actions of righteousness-- not by quantitative measures. Not by 5 days good, and 4 days bad. Not by 10 sins today, and only one tomorrow. Not by odds and evens, subtractions, additions, multiples and divisions.
We are viewed in an ever-changing, ever dynamic interpersonal relationship with God. The glow of one's heart towards God first, and then for our neighbor, reveals the state of one's soul. We are judged on the basis of a living inter-active relationship with Jesus Christ from which flows our relationship with our fellows, and not by any numbered entity.
Matthew 25

The Lord simply asks, "Do you love Me"? John 21:15-17

To love Him is to obey Him, and to obey Him is to refuse to be numbered with the 666 Mark of the Beast.

"Let me not fall into the hand of man" 1 Chronicles 21:13

Have you told Him that you love Him today ?