Looking at the Conflicting Verses
Why does it say God tempted David in 2 Sam 24:1, but in 1 Chron 21:1 it says the "devil" tempted?
2 Samuel 24
1 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
2 For the king said to Joab the captain of the host, which [was] with him, Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people.
3 And Joab said unto the king, Now the LORD thy God add unto the people, how many soever they be, an hundredfold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see [it]: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing?
10 And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.
1 Chronicles 21
1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
2 And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know [it].
7 And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel.
8 And David said unto God, 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.
Surface look at the Bible's answer.
God tempts no one.
James 1:13 - Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.
Resolving the Conflict
Looking for an answer to this problem, I tried to think of related texts that parallel the account in Samuel and Chronicles. I thought to look at how the Septuagint LXX rendered the text, it was actually the first place I looked.
2 Samuel 24:1 (LXX/Septuagint)
And the Lord caused his anger to burn forth again in Israel, and Satan stirred up David against them, saying, Go, number Israel and Juda.
1 Chronicles 21:1 (LXX/Septuagint)
And the devil stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.
Information on the Masoretic Text
Information on the Septuagint
What's wrong with a Census?
1 Chronicles 21:3
And Joab answered, The LORD make his people an hundred times so many more as they [be]: but, my lord the king, [are] they not all my lord's servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel? (see also, 1 Samuel 24:3)
When we find conflicts, how do we resolve them?
I have studied the Bible for over 40 years. I focus on the Scripture itself, and study the surrounding writings with the same veracity. Bringing literary and historical context to Bible study.