Census Brings Plague
1Then Satan stood up against Israel and incited David to count Israel.
2So David said to Joab and to the leaders of the people, “Go, count Israel from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me word so that I may know their number.”
3But Joab said, “May the Lord add to His people a hundred times as many as they are! My lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? Why does my lord seek this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt to Israel?”
4Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Therefore, Joab departed and went throughout Israel, and came to Jerusalem.
5Then Joab gave the number of the census of the people to David. Israel was 1,100,000 men in all who drew the sword; and Judah was 470,000 men who drew the sword.
6But he did not Lit mustercount Levi and Benjamin among them, because the king’s Lit wordcommand was abhorrent to Joab.
7Now Lit it was evil in the sight of GodGod was displeased with this thing, so He struck Israel.
8David said to God, “I have sinned greatly, that I didby doing this thing. But now, please overlook Your servant’s guilt, for I have behaved very foolishly.”
9The Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying,
10“Go and speak to David, saying, ‘This is what the Lord says: “I extend to you three choices; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you.” ’ ”
11So Gad came to David and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Take for yourself
12three years of famine, or three months to be swept away before your foes while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of the Lord: a plague in the land, and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout the territory of Israel.’ Now, therefore, consider what answer I shall bring back to Him who sent me.”
13David 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 human hands.”
14So the Lord Lit gavesent a plague on Israel; seventy thousand men of Israel fell.
15And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; but as he was about to destroy it, the Lord saw and was sorry about the catastrophe, and said to the destroying angel, “It is enough; now relax your hand.” And the angel of the Lord was standing by the threshing floor of In 2 Sam 24:16, AraunahOrnan the Jebusite.
16Then David raised his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, with his drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, covered with sackcloth, fell on their faces.
17And David said to God, “Is it not I who Lit saidcommanded to count the people? Indeed, I am the one who has sinned and acted very wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done? Lord, my God, just let Your hand be against me and my father’s household, and not against Your people as a plague.”
18Then the angel of the Lord Lit said tocommanded Gad to say to David, that David was to go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
19So David went up at the word of Gad, which he spoke in the name of the Lord.
20Now Ornan turned back and saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. And Ornan was threshing wheat.
21As David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out from the threshing floor and prostrated himself to David with his face to the ground.
22Then David said to Ornan, “Give me the Lit placesite of this threshing floor, so that I may build on it an altar to the Lord; you shall give it to me for the full price, so that the plague may be brought to a halt from the people.”
23But Ornan said to David, “Take it for yourself, and may my lord the king do what is good in his sight. See, I am giving the oxen for burnt offerings, and the threshing sledges for wood and the wheat for the grain offering; I am giving it all.”
24Nevertheless, King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will certainly buy it for the full price; for I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer a burnt offering Lit gratuitouslywhich costs me nothing.”
25So David gave Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the Lit placesite.
26Then David built an altar there to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. And he called to the Lord, and He answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.
27The 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 offered sacrifice there.
29For the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were on the high place at Gibeon at that time.
30But David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was terrified by the sword of the angel of the Lord.
New American Standard Bible
Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020
by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved.
For Permission to Quote Information visit www.lockman.org