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1 Chronicles 21

David Sins by Numbering Israel

Then Satan stood up against Israel and incited David to number Israel.
2 So David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, “Go, count Israel from Beersheba even to Dan, and bring me word that I may know their total count.” 3 But Joab said, “May Yahweh add to His people a hundred times as many as they are! But, 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?” 4 Nevertheless, the king’s word stood strong against Joab. So, Joab went out and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem. 5 And Joab gave the total count of the census of the people to David. And all Israel were 1,100,000 men who drew the sword; and Judah was 470,000 men who drew the sword. 6 But he did not number Levi and Benjamin among them, for the king’s command was abominable to Joab. 7 And this thing was displeasing in the sight of God, so He struck Israel. 8 Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly, in that I have done this thing. But now, please take away the iniquity of Your slave, for I have acted very foolishly.” 9 And Yahweh spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying, 10 “Go and speak to David, saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh, “I am offering you three things; choose for yourself one of them, and I will do that to you.”’” 11 So Gad came to David and said to him, “Thus says Yahweh, ‘Take for yourself 12 either three years of famine, or three months to be swept away before your adversaries, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of Yahweh, even pestilence in the land, and the angel of Yahweh destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.’ So now, see what word I should return to Him who sent me.” 13 Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let me now fall into the hand of Yahweh, for His compassions are exceedingly abundant. But do not let me fall into the hand of man.” 14 So Yahweh sent a pestilence against Israel; and 70,000 men of Israel fell. 15 And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; but as he was about to destroy it, Yahweh saw and relented concerning the calamity, and said to the destroying angel, “It is enough! Now relax your hand.” And the angel of Yahweh was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16 Then David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of Yahweh 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. 17 And David said to God, “Is it not I who commanded to number the people? Indeed, I am the one who has sinned and done a great evil; but these sheep, what have they done? O Yahweh my God, please let Your hand be against me and my father’s household, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.”

David Erects an Altar

18 Then the angel of Yahweh said to Gad to say to David, that David should go up and erect an altar to Yahweh on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
19 So David went up at the word of Gad, which he spoke in the name of Yahweh. 20 Now Ornan turned back and saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. And Ornan was threshing wheat. 21 Then David came to Ornan, and Ornan looked and saw David, and went out from the threshing floor and bowed his face to the ground before David. 22 Then David said to Ornan, “Give me the site of this threshing floor, that I may build on it an altar to Yahweh; for the full price you shall give it to me, that the plague may be checked from being upon the people.” 23 And Ornan said to David, “Take it for yourself; and let my lord the king do what is good in his sight. See, I will give the oxen for the burnt offerings and the threshing sledges for the wood and the wheat for the grain offering; I will give everything.” 24 However, King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price; for I will not lift up what is yours to Yahweh, or offer a burnt offering which costs me nothing.” 25 So David gave Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the site. 26 Then David built there an altar to Yahweh and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. And he called to Yahweh and He answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering. 27 Then Yahweh spoke to the angel, and he returned his sword to its sheath. 28 At that time, when David saw that Yahweh had answered him on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. 29 Now the tabernacle of Yahweh, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were in the high place at Gibeon at that time. 30 But David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was terrified by the sword of the angel of Yahweh.