24:17 let your hand be against me. The heart of David, like the heart of God (v. 16), is grieved by the suffering he sees among his people, his “sheep.” As their shepherd-king, he is moved to compassion and, not knowing that God in His mercy has already stayed His hand (vv. 16, 21), asks that the hand of judgment fall upon him alone. David deserved punishment for his sin, and the people were innocent. David’s offer as a guilty person to suffer in the place of innocent “sheep” is not a very close analogy of Christ’s death for the sake of His sheep (John 10:11), although the language is similar. Christ was innocent and died for the guilty.