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.

Japanese Contemporary Bible

サムエル記Ⅱ 24:1-25

24

ダビデの人口調査

1さて、主が再びイスラエルに怒りを燃やすようなことが持ち上がりました。ダビデはどうしたことか、人口調査をして国民を煩わせる思いに駆られたのです。主はその思いをそのままにしました。 2王は、側近で軍の司令官であるヨアブに命じました。「わが国の北から南まで、くまなく全住民を登録させなさい。どれほどの国民をかかえているか知りたいからだ。」

3ヨアブは答えました。「どうか、あなたの長らえます間に、主が現在の人口の百倍にも増やしてくださいますように。それにしても、王様がわざわざ国勢を誇示なさるには及ばないと存じますが。」

4しかし、ヨアブの忠告も王のたっての願いには勝てず、ヨアブをはじめとする将校たちは、国の人口調査に出かけることになりました。 5一行はまずヨルダン川を渡り、ガドの谷の真ん中にある町の南方、ヤウゼルに近いアロエルに野営しました。 6それからタフティム・ホデシの地とギルアデを巡り、さらにダン・ヤアンに進んで、シドンの方に回りました。 7その後ツロの要塞に行き、ヒビ人やカナン人の町をすべて行き巡り、ユダの南に広がるネゲブをベエル・シェバまで下りました。 8こうして、九か月と二十日かかって、全国を行き巡り、この任務を終えたのです。 9ヨアブは登録人数を王に報告しました。その結果、徴兵人口は、イスラエルで八十万、ユダで五十万とわかりました。

10ところが、人口調査を終えたあと、ダビデの良心は痛み始めました。彼は主に祈りました。「私はとんでもない過ちを犯してしまいました。どうか、私の愚かなふるまいをお見逃しください。」

11翌朝、主のことばが預言者ガドにありました。ガドは、ダビデと主との間を取り次いでいた人物です。主はガドに語りました。 12「ダビデに告げよ。わたしが示す三つのうち一つを選べと。」

13ガドはダビデのもとへ行き、こう尋ねました。「七年間にわたる全国的なききんがよいか、三か月間、敵の前を逃げ回るのがよいか、三日間、疫病に見舞われるのがよいか、一つを選んでください。よくお考えになって、主にどうお答え申し上げるべきかをご指示ください。」

14ダビデは答えました。「こんな決断を下さなければならないとは、実につらい。だが、人の手に陥るよりは主の手に陥るほうがましだ。主のあわれみは大きいのだから。」

15すると主は、その朝から、イスラエルに疫病をはやらせました。災いは三日間にわたり、国中で七万人もの死者が出ました。 16死の使いがエルサレムに災いの手を伸ばそうとした時、主は事態をあわれんで、主の使いに中止するよう命じました。ちょうど主の使いは、エブス人アラウナの打ち場のそばに立っていました。

17この時、ダビデは天の使いに目を留め、主にこう言ってすがりました。「お願いです。罪を犯したのは、この私だけなのです。国民に罪はございません。どうか、お怒りを私と私の一家にだけお向けください。」

18その日、ダビデのもとに来たガドは、「エブス人アラウナの打ち場に行き、そこに主の祭壇を築きなさい」と言いました。 19ダビデは命じられたとおり出かけました。 20アラウナは、王と家来の一行が近づいて来るのを見て駆け寄り、顔を地面にこすりつけんばかりにひれ伏しました。 21「王様、またどうして、こちらにお越しくださったのでしょう。」

「あなたの打ち場を買い取り、主の祭壇を築きたいと思ってだ。そうすれば、この災いも終わらせていただけよう。」

22「王様、どうぞ、何でもお気に召すままにお使いください。焼き尽くすいけにえ用の牛もおりますし、祭壇のたきぎの代わりに、どうぞ打穀機や牛のくびきを燃やしてください。 23何にでもご用立てください。どうか主が、あなたのささげるいけにえをお受け入れくださいますように。」

24「いやいや、ただで受け取るわけにはいかない。ぜひ、売ってもらいたい。何の犠牲も払わず、焼き尽くすいけにえをささげたくはないのだ。」

こう言って、ダビデは打ち場と牛とを買い取りました。 25そして、主のために祭壇を築き、焼き尽くすいけにえと和解のいけにえとをささげたのです。主はダビデの祈りを聞き、疫病の流行はやみました。