Q. In the old testament, why is taking a census considered to be such a terrible thing? In 1
Chronicles, for example, when Satan convinced David to take a census of Israel’s fighting men, and God viewed it as evil in his sight.
A. No reason for the Lord’s anger is given here, but it’s clear that Davids’ general Joab also thought it was wrong. One possible reason is that such a census was normally taken before going to war to determine the size of the army and to notify those who would be called to fight. God had not authorized such an action.