When David decided to count the people of Israel, he gave orders not to count anyone under twenty years of age, because the Lord had promised long ago that Israel would have as many people as there are stars in the sky.
David decided to count the men in Israel. There were very many people because the Lord had promised to make the Israelites as many as the stars in the sky. So David counted only the men who were 20 years old and older.
David didn’t keep a count of men under the age of twenty, because God had promised to give Israel a population as numerous as the stars in the sky. Joab son of Zeruiah started out counting the men, but he never finished. God’s anger broke out on Israel because of the counting. As it turned out, the numbers were never entered into the court records of King David.
And David would not number them that were within twenty years, for the Lord [had] said, that he would multiply Israel as the stars of heaven. (But David did not list those who were under twenty years of age, for the Lord had said that he would multiply Israel like the stars in the heavens.)
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