1 Chronicles 21
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David’s Military Census
(2 Samuel 24:1-9)

1Then Satana rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. 2So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, “Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan and bring me a report, so that I may know their number.”

3But Joab replied, “May the LORD multiply His troops a hundred times over. My lord the king, are they not all servants of my lord? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?”

4Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab. So Joab left and traveled throughout Israel, and then he returned to Jerusalem. 5And Joab reported to David the total number of the troops. In all Israel there were 1,100,000 men who drew the sword, including 470,000 in Judah. 6But Joab did not include Levi and Benjamin in the count, because the king’s command was detestable to him.

Judgment for David’s Sin
(2 Samuel 24:10-14)

7This command was also evil in the sight of God; so He struck Israel.

8Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly because I have done this thing. Now I beg You to take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.”

9And the LORD instructed Gad, David’s seer, 10“Go and tell David that this is what the LORD says: ‘I am offering you three options. Choose one of them, and I will carry it out against you.’”

11So Gad went and said to David, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Take your choice 12of either three years of famine, three months of being swept awayb before your enemies and overtaken by their swords, or three days of the sword of the LORD—days of plague upon the land, with the angel of the LORD ravaging every part of Israel.’ Now then, decide how I should reply to Him who sent me.”

13David answered Gad, “I am deeply distressed. Please, let me fall into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are very great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men.”

A Plague on Israel
(2 Samuel 24:15-17)

14So the LORD sent a plague upon Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell dead.

15Then God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem, but as the angel was doing so the LORD saw it and relented from the calamity, and He said to the angel who was destroying the people, “Enough, withdraw your hand now!”

At that time the angel of the LORD was standing by the threshing floor of Ornanc the Jebusite.

16When David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of the LORD standing between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem, David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell facedown. 17And David said to God, “Was it not I who gave the order to count the people? I, the shepherd,d am the one who has sinned and acted wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? O LORD my God, please let Your hand fall upon me and my father’s house, but do not let this plague remain upon Your people.”

David Builds an Altar
(2 Samuel 24:18-25)

18Then the angel of the LORD ordered Gad to tell David 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 that Gad had spoken in the name of the LORD.

20Now Ornan was threshing wheat when he turned and saw the angel; and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. 21David came to Ornan, and when Ornan looked out and saw David, he left the threshing floor and bowed facedown before David.

22Then David said to Ornan, “Grant me the site of this threshing floor, that I may build an altar to the LORD. Sell it to me for the full price, so that the plague upon the people may be halted.”

23Ornan said to David, “My lord the king may take whatever seems good. Look, I will give the oxen for the burnt offerings, the threshing sledges for the wood, and the wheat for the grain offering—I will give it all.”

24“No,” replied King David, “I insist on paying the full price, for I will not take for the LORD what belongs to you, or offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

25So David paid Ornan six hundred shekelse of gold for the site. 26And there he built an altar to the LORD and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. He called upon the LORD, who answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.

27Then the LORD spoke to the angel, who put his sword back into its sheath.

28At that time, when David saw that the LORD had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he offered sacrifices there. 29For the tabernacle of the LORD that Moses had made in the wilderness and the altar of burnt offering were presently at the high place in Gibeon, 30but David could not go before it to inquire of God, because he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the LORD.

Footnotes:

1 a That is, the Accuser or the Adversary
12 b Hebrew; LXX and Vulgate (see also 2 Samuel 24:13) of fleeing
15 c Ornan is a variant of Araunah; also in verses 18-28
17 d Probable reading of the original Hebrew text (see 2 Samuel 24:17); MT does not include the shepherd
25 e That is, approximately 15.1 pounds or 6.8 kilograms

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