1 Chronicles 21-23New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Census Brings Pestilence
21 Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan, and bring me word that I may know their number.” 3 Joab said, “May the Lord 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 prevailed against Joab. Therefore, Joab departed and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem. 5 Joab gave the number of the [a]census of all 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 [b]number Levi and Benjamin among them, for the king’s [c]command was abhorrent to Joab.
7 [d]God was displeased with this thing, so He struck Israel. 8 David said to God, “I have sinned greatly, in that I have done this thing. But now, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”
9 The Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying, 10 “Go and speak to David, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, “I [e]offer you three things; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you.”’” 11 So Gad came to David and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Take for yourself 12 either three years of famine, or three months to be swept away before your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of the Lord, even pestilence in the land, and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.’ Now, therefore, consider what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.” 13 David said to Gad, “I am in great distress; please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great. But do not let me fall into the hand of man.”
14 So the Lord [f]sent a pestilence on Israel; 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, the Lord saw and was sorry over the calamity, and said to the destroying angel, “It is enough; now relax your hand.” And the angel of the Lord was standing by the threshing floor of [g]Ornan the Jebusite. 16 Then David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord 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 David said to God, “Is it not I who [h]commanded to count the people? Indeed, I am the one who has sinned and done very wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done? O Lord my God, please let Your hand be against me and my father’s household, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.”
18 Then the angel of the Lord [i]commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up and build an altar to the Lord 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 the Lord. 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 As David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out from the threshing floor and prostrated himself [j]before David with his face to the ground. 22 Then David said to Ornan, “Give me the [k]site of this threshing floor, that I may build on it an altar to the Lord; for the full price you shall give it to me, that the plague may be restrained from the people.” 23 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 burnt offerings and the threshing sledges for wood and the wheat for the grain offering; I will give it all.” 24 But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price; for I will not take what is yours for the Lord, or offer a burnt offering [l]which costs me nothing.” 25 So David gave Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the [m]site. 26 Then David built an altar to the Lord there and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. And he called to the Lord and He answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering. 27 The Lord commanded the angel, and he put his sword back in its sheath.
28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he offered sacrifice there. 29 For the tabernacle of the Lord, 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 the Lord.
David Prepares for Temple Building
22 Then David said, “This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel.”
2 So David [n]gave orders to gather the foreigners who were in the land of Israel, and he set stonecutters to hew out stones to build the house of God. 3 David prepared large quantities of iron [o]to make the nails for the doors of the gates and for the clamps, and more bronze than could be weighed; 4 and timbers of cedar logs beyond number, for the Sidonians and Tyrians brought large quantities of cedar timber to David. 5 David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the Lord shall be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all lands. Therefore now I will make preparation for it.” So David made ample preparations before his death.
Solomon Charged with the Task
6 Then he called for his son Solomon, and charged him to build a house for the Lord God of Israel. 7 David said to Solomon, “My son, [p]I had intended to build a house to the name of the Lord my God. 8 But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have [q]waged great wars; you shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much blood on the earth before Me. 9 Behold, a son will be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side; for his name shall be [r]Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. 10 He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ 11 Now, my son, the Lord be with you that you may be successful, and build the house of the Lord your God just as He has spoken concerning you. 12 Only the Lord give you discretion and understanding, and give you charge over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. 13 Then you will prosper, if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances which the Lord commanded Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and courageous, do not fear nor be dismayed. 14 Now behold, [s]with great pains I have prepared for the house of the Lord 100,000 talents of gold and 1,000,000 talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond weight, for [t]they are in great quantity; also timber and stone I have prepared, and you may add to them. 15 Moreover, there are many workmen with you, stonecutters and masons of stone and carpenters, and all men who are skillful in every kind of work. 16 Of the gold, the silver and the bronze and the iron there is no limit. Arise and work, and may the Lord be with you.”
17 David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help his son Solomon, saying, 18 “Is not the Lord your God with you? And has He not given you rest on every side? For He has given the inhabitants of the land into my hand, and the land is subdued before the Lord and before His people. 19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God; arise, therefore, and build the sanctuary of the Lord God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord and the holy vessels of God into the house that is to be built for the name of the Lord.”
23 Now when David [u]reached old age, he made his son Solomon king over Israel. 2 And he gathered together all the leaders of Israel with the priests and the Levites.
Offices of the Levites
3 The Levites were numbered from thirty years old and upward, and their number by [v]census of men was 38,000. 4 Of these, 24,000 were to oversee the work of the house of the Lord; and 6,000 were officers and judges, 5 and 4,000 were gatekeepers, and 4,000 were praising the Lord with the instruments which [w]David made for giving praise. 6 David divided them into divisions according to the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
7 Of the Gershonites were [x]Ladan and Shimei. 8 The sons of Ladan were Jehiel the first and Zetham and Joel, three. 9 The sons of Shimei were Shelomoth and Haziel and Haran, three. These were the heads of the fathers’ households of Ladan. 10 The sons of Shimei were Jahath, [y]Zina, Jeush and Beriah. These four were the sons of Shimei. 11 Jahath was the first and Zizah the second; but Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons, so they became a father’s household, one [z]class.
12 The sons of Kohath were four: Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. 13 The sons of Amram were Aaron and Moses. And Aaron was set apart to sanctify him as most holy, he and his sons forever, to burn incense before the Lord, to minister to Him and to bless in His name forever. 14 But as for Moses the man of God, his sons were named among the tribe of Levi. 15 The sons of Moses were Gershom and Eliezer. 16 The [aa]son of Gershom was [ab]Shebuel the chief. 17 The [ac]son of Eliezer was Rehabiah the chief; and Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very many. 18 The [ad]son of Izhar was [ae]Shelomith the chief. 19 The sons of Hebron were Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third and Jekameam the fourth. 20 The sons of Uzziel were Micah the first and Isshiah the second.
21 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli were Eleazar and Kish. 22 Eleazar died and had no sons, but daughters only, so their brothers, the sons of Kish, took them as wives. 23 The sons of Mushi were three: Mahli, Eder and Jeremoth.
24 These were the sons of Levi according to their fathers’ households, even the heads of the fathers’ households of those of them who were [af]counted, in the number of names by their [ag]census, doing the work for the service of the house of the Lord, from twenty years old and upward. 25 For David said, “The Lord God of Israel has given rest to His people, and He dwells in Jerusalem forever. 26 Also, the Levites will no longer need to carry the tabernacle and all its utensils for its service.” 27 For by the last words of David the sons of Levi were numbered from twenty years old and upward. 28 For their office is [ah]to assist the sons of Aaron with the service of the house of the Lord, in the courts and in the chambers and in the purifying of all holy things, even the work of the service of the house of God, 29 and with the showbread, and the fine flour for a grain offering, and unleavened wafers, or what is baked in the pan or what is well-mixed, and all measures of volume and size. 30 They are to stand every morning to thank and to praise the Lord, and likewise at evening, 31 and to offer all burnt offerings to the Lord, on the sabbaths, the new moons and the fixed festivals in the number set by the ordinance concerning them, continually before the Lord. 32 Thus they are to keep charge of the tent of meeting, and charge of the holy place, and charge of the sons of Aaron their [ai]relatives, for the service of the house of the Lord.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
You've successfully created your account! For the best Bible Gateway experience, consider an upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll get reduced banner ads and a huge digital Bible study library. Try it free for 30 days!
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.