The Census of Israel and Judah
1Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to 21:1 take a census ofnumber Israel.
2So David said to Joab and to the leaders of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba to Dan, and bring the number of them to me that I may know it.”
3And Joab answered, “May the Lord make His people a hundred times more than they are. But, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? Why then does my lord require this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt in Israel?”
4Nevertheless the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Therefore Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and came to Jerusalem.
5Then Joab gave the sum of the number of the people to David. All Israel had one million one hundred thousand men who drew the sword, and Judah had four hundred and seventy thousand men who drew the sword.
6But he did not count Levi and Benjamin among them, for the king’s 21:6 commandword was abominable to Joab.
7And 21:7 Lit. it was evil in the eyes of GodGod was displeased with this thing; therefore He struck Israel.
8So David said to God, “I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing; but now, I pray, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”
9Then the Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying,
10“Go and tell David, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: “I offer you three things; choose one of them for yourself, that I may do it to you.” ’ ”
11So Gad came to David and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Choose for yourself,
12either 21:12 seven, 2 Sam. 24:13three years of famine, or three months to be defeated by your foes with the sword of your enemies overtaking you, or else for three days the sword of the Lord—the plague in the land, with the 21:12 Or Angel, and so throughout the chapterangel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.’ Now consider what answer I should take back to Him who sent me.”
13And David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”
14So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell.
15And God sent 21:15 Or the Angelan angel to Jerusalem to destroy it. As 21:15 Or Hehe was destroying, the Lord looked and relented of the disaster, and said to the angel who was destroying, “It is enough; now restrain 21:15 Or Youryour hand.” And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshing floor of 21:15 Araunah, 2 Sam. 24:16, 18–24Ornan the Jebusite.
16Then David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, having in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem. So David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces.
17And David said to God, “Was it not I who commanded the people to be numbered? I am the one who has sinned and done evil indeed; but these sheep, what have they done? Let Your hand, I pray, O Lord my God, be against me and my father’s house, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.”
18Therefore, the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David that David should go and erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
19So David went up at the word of Gad, which he had spoken in the name of the Lord.
20Now Ornan turned and saw the angel; and his four sons who were with him hid themselves, but Ornan continued threshing wheat.
21So David came to Ornan, and Ornan looked and saw David. And he went out from the threshing floor, and bowed before David with his face to the ground.
22Then David said to Ornan, 21:22 Lit. Give“Grant me the place of this threshing floor, that I may build an altar on it to the Lord. You shall grant it to me at the full price, that the plague may be withdrawn from the people.”
23But Ornan said to David, “Take it to yourself, and let my lord the king do what is good in his eyes. Look, I also give you the oxen for burnt offerings, the threshing implements for wood, and the wheat for the grain offering; I give it all.”
24Then King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing.”
25So David gave Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the place.
26And David built there an altar to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called on the Lord; and He answered him from heaven by fire on the altar of burnt offering.
27So the Lord commanded the angel, and he returned his sword to its sheath.
28At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there.
29For the tabernacle of the Lord and the altar of the burnt offering, which Moses had made in the wilderness, were at that time at the high place in Gibeon.
30But David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the Lord.
New King James Version®, Copyright© 1982, Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.