1 Chronicles 21:5, That’s a big army!

Joab reported the number of the fighting men to David: In all Israel there were one million one hundred thousand men who could handle a sword, including four hundred and seventy thousand in Judah.

//Here’s David’s army that day: 1,100,000 from Israel and 470,000 from Judah. 

Wikipedia lists the number of current, active-duty soldiers in the United States armed forces at 1.4 million. In other words, David, a little tribal king in 1,000 B.C., has a larger army than the United States of America does today!

A bit later, Abijah stands on a little rolling hill and addresses two opposing armies: one with 400,000 fighting men, the other with twice that many. That’s 1,200,000 listeners, and no sound system. Abijah must have had quite a big voice!

Are you impressed? Don’t be. Revelation says that in the great war of Armageddon, an army of 200,000,000 will be defeated. That’s 142 times the size of the U.S. forces!

There’s no way in the world Bible writers meant their numbers to be read literally. They are highly exaggerated and meant to make a point.


  1. In those days they had huge armies made up of foot soldiers because they basicall hacked each other to pieces with swords.

    War is brutal today, but then it was hand-to-hand.

  2. Yeah, it would be bloody alright!

    “Huge” is a relative term, though. Given the size of the City of David and nearby cities (from excavations), one scholar’s estimation of the size of David’s kingdom is around 20,000 citizens.

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