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2 Samuel 24

David Sins in Taking a Census

And again the anger of Yahweh burned against Israel, and it incited David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.”
2 So the king said to Joab the commander of the military force who was with him, “Go about now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and take a census of the people, that I may know the total count of the people.” 3 But Joab said to the king, “Now may Yahweh your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see; but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?” 4 Nevertheless, the king’s word stood strong against Joab and against the commanders of the military force. So Joab and the commanders of the military force went out from the presence of the king to take a census of the people of Israel. 5 And they crossed the Jordan and camped in Aroer, on the right side of the city that is in the middle of the valley of Gad and toward Jazer. 6 Then they came to Gilead and to the land of Tahtim-hodshi, and they came to Dan-jaan and around to Sidon, 7 and came to the fortified city of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivites and of the Canaanites, and they went out to the south of Judah, to Beersheba. 8 So they had gone about through the whole land, and they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9 And Joab gave the total count of the census of the people to the king; and there were in Israel 800,000 valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were 500,000 men. 10 Then David’s heart struck him after he had counted the people. So David said to Yahweh, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Yahweh, please take away the iniquity of Your slave, for I have acted very foolishly.” 11 Then David arose in the morning, and the word of Yahweh came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, 12 “Go and speak to David, ‘Thus says Yahweh, “I am offering you three things; choose for yourself one of them, and I will do that to you.”’” 13 So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your adversaries while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ pestilence in your land? Now, know and see what word I should return to Him who sent me.” 14 Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us now fall into the hand of Yahweh, for His compassions are abundant. But do not let me fall into the hand of man.” 15 So Yahweh sent a pestilence against Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and 70,000 men of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. 16 Then the angel sent forth his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, and Yahweh relented of the calamity and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough! Now relax your hand!” And the angel of Yahweh was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17 Then David spoke to Yahweh when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, “Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done unrighteousness; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me and my father’s house.”

David Erects an Altar

18 So Gad came to David that day and said to him, “Go up, erect an altar to Yahweh on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.”
19 So David went up according to the word of Gad, just as Yahweh had commanded. 20 And Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants crossing over toward him; and Araunah went out and bowed his face to the ground before the king. 21 Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to Yahweh, that the plague may be checked from being upon the people.” 22 And Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what is good in his sight. Look, the oxen for the burnt offering, the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23 Everything, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May Yahweh your God accept you.” 24 However, the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to Yahweh my God which cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 Then David built there an altar to Yahweh and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. Thus Yahweh was moved by the entreaty for the land, and the plague was checked from being upon Israel.