c. 975 b.c.
David ordered his commander Joab to take a census of all the people in the regions in which he exercised direct control. The reason for this census was probably to assess David’s military capacity (see2 Sam. 24:9; 1 Chron. 21:5). Joab’s men left Jerusalem and began the census at Aroer, on the edge of the Arnon River. They progressed to Jazer near Rabbah, to Gilead, and on to Dan. After turning toward Sidon and the fortress of Tyre, they headed to Beersheba in the Negeb of Judah, and then they returned to Jerusalem.