New International Reader's Version

2 Samuel 24:1-25

David Counts His Fighting Men

1The Lord was very angry with Israel. He stirred up David against them. He said, “Go! Count the men of Israel and Judah.”

2So the king spoke to Joab and the army commanders with him. He said, “Go all through the territories of the tribes of Israel. Go from the town of Dan all the way to Beersheba. Count the fighting men. Then I’ll know how many there are.”

3Joab replied to the king. He said, “King David, you are my master. May the Lord your God multiply the troops 100 times. And may you live to see it. But why would you want me to count the fighting men?”

4The king’s word had more authority than the word of Joab and the army commanders. That was true in spite of what Joab had said. So they left the king and went out to count the fighting men of Israel.

5They went across the Jordan River. They camped south of the town in the middle of the Arnon River valley near Aroer. Then they went through Gad and continued on to Jazer. 6They went to Gilead and the area of Tahtim Hodshi. They continued to Dan Jaan and on around toward Sidon. 7Then they went toward the fort of Tyre. They went to all the towns of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went on to Beersheba. It was in the Negev Desert of Judah.

8They finished going through the entire land. Then they came back to Jerusalem. They had been gone for nine months and 20 days.

9Joab reported to the king how many fighting men he had counted. In Israel there were 800,000 men who were able to handle a sword. In Judah there were 500,000.

10David felt sorry that he had counted the fighting men. So he said to the Lord, “I committed a great sin when I counted Judah and Israel’s men. Lord, I beg you to take away my guilt. I’ve done a very foolish thing.”

11Before David got up the next morning, a message from the Lord came to Gad the prophet. He was David’s seer. The message said, 12“Go and tell David, ‘The Lord says, “I could punish you in three different ways. Choose one of them for me to use against you.” ’ ”

13So Gad went to David. He said to him, “Take your choice. Do you want three years when there won’t be enough food in your land? Or do you want three months when you will run away from your enemies while they chase you? Or do you want three days when there will be a plague in your land? Think it over. Then take your pick. Tell me how to answer the one who sent me.”

14David said to Gad, “I’m suffering terribly. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord. His mercy is great. But don’t let me fall into human hands.”

15So the Lord sent a plague on Israel. It lasted from that morning until he decided to end it. From Dan all the way to Beersheba 70,000 people died. 16The angel reached his hand out to destroy Jerusalem. But the Lord stopped sending the plague. So he spoke to the angel who was making the people suffer. He said, “That is enough! Do not kill any more people.” The angel of the Lord was at Araunah’s threshing floor. Araunah was from the city of Jebus.

17David saw the angel who was striking down the people. David said to the Lord, “I’m the one who has sinned. I’m the one who has done what is wrong. I’m like a shepherd for these people. These people are like sheep. What have they done? Let your judgment be on me and my family.”

David Builds an Altar

18On that day Gad went to David. Gad said to him, “Go up to the threshing floor of Araunah, the Jebusite. Build an altar there to honor the Lord.” 19So David went up and did it. He did what the Lord had commanded through Gad. 20Araunah looked and saw the king and his officials coming toward him. So he went out to welcome them. He bowed down to the king with his face toward the ground.

21Araunah said, “King David, you are my master. Why have you come to see me?”

“To buy your threshing floor,” David answered. “I want to build an altar there to honor the Lord. When I do, the plague on the people will be stopped.”

22Araunah said to David, “Take anything you wish. Offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering. Here are threshing sleds. And here are wooden collars from the necks of the oxen. Use all the wood to burn the offering. 23Your Majesty, I’ll give all of it to you.” Araunah continued, “And may the Lord your God accept you.”

24But the king replied to Araunah, “No. I want to pay you for it. I won’t sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that haven’t cost me anything.”

So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen. He paid 20 ounces of silver for them. 25David built an altar there to honor the Lord. He sacrificed burnt offerings and friendship offerings. Then the Lord answered David’s prayer and blessed the land. The plague on Israel was stopped.

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2. Samuelsbog 24:1-25

Davids folketælling

1Endnu en gang blev Herren vred på Israel. Han fik David til at bringe Israels folk i ulykke ved at give ham den tanke at optælle Judas og Nordrigets samlede hærstyrke.24,1 I parallelstedet, 1.Krøn. 21,1, siges det, at det var Satan, som fristede David til at mønstre folket, noget, som David godt vidste, var imod Guds vilje. Senere i dette kapitel (v. 17) erkender David, at han har syndet. Gud sætter menneskers loyalitet på prøve, og det kan ske ved, at Satan får lov at friste dem, som f.eks. i Job 1,6-12 eller Matt. 4. 2Kongen sagde derfor til Joab og de øvrige officerer: „Rejs rundt blandt alle Israels stammer fra Dan i nord til Be’ersheba i syd og optæl alle de våbenføre mænd, så jeg kan vide, hvor mange jeg råder over.”

3Men Joab svarede: „Gud give, at din hær må vokse til 100 gange af, hvad den er nu—og at du må leve så længe, at du oplever det! Hvorfor vil min herre, kongen, begå en sådan synd?”

4Men trods deres protester måtte Joab og officererne bøje sig for kongens ord. Joab og hans officerer drog altså af sted for at begynde optællingen. 5De krydsede Jordanfloden og slog lejr ved Aroer midt i kløften syd for byen.24,5 Aroer er den sydligste by i Rubens område øst for Dødehavet. Derefter gik de nordpå gennem Gads område og slog lejr ved Jazer. 6Derfra tog de videre til Gilead og hittitternes område.24,6 Flere af stednavnene i teksten er ukendte og oversættelsen usikker. Efter at have været i Dan satte de kursen mod Sidon. 7Senere kom de til fæstningen i Tyrus og til hivvitternes og kana’anæernes mange byer, inden de nåede til landets sydligste punkt, Be’ersheba i Juda. 8Efter denne rundrejse, som varede ni måneder og 20 dage, vendte Joab tilbage til Jerusalem 9og meddelte kongen det samlede tal på landets våbenføre mænd, 800.000 mand i Nordriget og 500.000 mand i Juda.

10Men da mønstringen var overstået, fik David dårlig samvittighed og sagde til Herren: „Jeg har begået en stor synd! Det var tåbeligt af mig at gøre sådan noget. Tilgiv mig, Herre!”

11Da David stod op næste morgen, havde profeten Gad, som var i Davids tjeneste, allerede fået følgende budskab fra Herren: 12„Gå hen og sig til David: Jeg, Herren, giver dig tre muligheder for straf, og du må selv vælge, hvilken en af dem det skal være.” 13Gad gik derefter hen til David og forelagde ham de tre muligheder: „Skal der komme tre24,13 Eller: „syv”. Den hebraiske tekst har „syv”, mens LXX og 1.Krøn. 21,12 har „tre”. års hungersnød i hele dit land? Vil du være på flugt for dine fjender i tre måneder? Eller skal Herren sende pest over landet i tre dage? Tænk dig nu godt om og lad mig vide, hvad jeg skal svare Herren, som har sendt mig.”

14„Det er et frygteligt valg,” sukkede David. „Men det er bedre for os at være prisgivet Herren, for hans nåde er stor. Lad mig ikke være prisgivet mennesker.”

15Straks den samme morgen sendte Herren så pest over hele Israel fra Dan i nord til Be’ersheba i syd. Pesten varede i tre dage, og 70.000 mænd døde. 16Da dødsenglen var parat til at ramme Jerusalem, blev Herren bedrøvet over den store ulykke, der var ved at ske. „Stop!” sagde han til englen. „Nu kan det være nok!” Englen stod da ved jebusitten Aravnas tærskeplads.

17Da David så englen, som slog folket med pest, sagde han til Herren: „Det er mig, der har syndet! Alle disse mennesker er som uskyldige får. Så er det bedre, at du rammer mig og min familie.”

18-19Samme dag kom Gad til David med følgende besked fra Herren: „Gå hen og byg et alter for Herren på jebusitten Aravnas tærskeplads!” David gik straks derop, som Herren havde befalet. 20Da Aravna fik øje på kongen og hans mænd, der styrede lige hen imod ham, gik han dem i møde og kastede sig på knæ med ansigtet mod jorden foran kongen.

21„Herre, hvad er grunden til dit besøg?” spurgte han David.

David svarede: „Jeg vil købe din tærskeplads, så jeg kan bygge et alter for Herren og få pesten til at standse.”

22„Min herre og konge, tag hvad du vil have,” svarede Aravna. „Udfør alle de ofre, du vil! Her er mine okser til brændofferet, og du må gerne bruge tærskeslæderne og åget til offerbrænde. 23Herre konge, jeg giver det alt sammen til dig. Må Gud Herren vise dig nåde!” 24„Nej,” svarede kongen, „jeg vil betale dig for det, for jeg vil ikke bringe Herren, min Gud, et offer, som ikke har kostet mig noget.”

Så købte David tærskepladsen og han gav 50 sølvstykker for okserne, 25hvorefter han byggede et alter for Herren og ofrede brændofre og takofre. Da forbarmede Herren sig over landet og Israels folk og standsede pesten.