1And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. 2For 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 Beer-sheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people.24.2 Go: or, Compass 3And 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? 4Notwithstanding the king’s word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the host. And Joab and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel.
5¶ And they passed over Jordan, and pitched in Aroer, on the right side of the city that lieth in the midst of the river of Gad, and toward Jazer:24.5 river: or, valley 6Then they came to Gilead, and to the land of Tahtim-hodshi; and they came to Dan-jaan, and about to Zidon,24.6 land of Tahtim-hodshi: or, nether land newly inhabited 7And came to the strong hold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and of the Canaanites: and they went out to the south of Judah, even to Beer-sheba. 8So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.
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. 11For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, 12Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. 13So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. 14And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.24.14 are great: or, are many
15¶ So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beer-sheba seventy thousand men. 16And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite.24.16 Araunah: also called, Ornan 17And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house.
18¶ And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite.24.18 Araunah: Heb. Araniah 19And David, according to the saying of Gad, went up as the LORD commanded. 20And Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants coming on toward him: and Araunah went out, and bowed himself before the king on his face upon the ground. 21And Araunah said, Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar unto the LORD, that the plague may be stayed from the people. 22And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood. 23All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The LORD thy God accept thee. 24And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.
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.