1 Chronicles 21 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
21 The Adversary [a] now rose up against Isra’el and incited David to take a census of Isra’el. 2 David said to Yo’av and the leaders of the people, “Go, take a census of Isra’el from Be’er-Sheva to Dan; then report to me, so that I can know how many of them there are.” 3 Yo’av said, “May Adonai make his people a hundred times as many as they are now! But, my lord the king, aren’t they all my lord’s servants in any case? Why does my lord the king require this? Why should he bring guilt upon Isra’el?” 4 Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Yo’av. So Yo’av left and went through all Isra’el, after which he came to Yerushalayim.
5 Yo’av reported the results of the census to David: in Isra’el were 1,100,000 men who could handle a sword, while Y’hudah had 470,000 men who could handle a sword. 6 But he didn’t count Levi and Binyamin among them, because the king’s order was hateful to Yo’av.
7 God was displeased with this and therefore punished Isra’el. 8 David said to God, “I have greatly sinned by doing this. But now, please! Put aside your servant’s sin, for I have done a very foolish thing.” 9 Adonai spoke to Gad, David’s seer: 10 “Go and tell David that Adonai says, ‘I am offering you a choice of three punishments: choose one of them, and I will execute it against you.’” 11 Gad came to David and said to him, “Take your choice: 12 three years of famine; or three months of being swept away by your enemies, while your enemies’ sword overwhelms you; or three days of Adonai’s sword — plague in the land, with the angel of Adonai destroying everywhere in Isra’el’s territory. Now think about what answer I should give to the one who sent me.”
13 David said to Gad, “This is very hard for me. Let me fall into the hand of Adonai, because his mercies are very great, rather than have me fall into the hand of man.” 14 So Adonai sent a plague on Isra’el; 70,000 of the people of Isra’el died.
15 God also sent an angel to destroy Yerushalayim, but when he was about to carry out the destruction, Adonai saw it and changed his mind about causing such distress; so he said to the destroying angel, “Enough! Now withdraw your hand.” The angel of Adonai was standing at the threshing-floor of Ornan the Y’vusi. 16 David raised his eyes and saw the angel of Adonai standing between the earth and the sky, and in his hand was a drawn sword stretched out over Yerushalayim. Then David and the leaders, wearing sackcloth, fell on their faces. 17 David said to God, “Wasn’t it I who ordered the census of the people? Yes, I am the one who has sinned and done something very wicked. But these sheep, what have they done? Please! Let your hand be against me and my father’s family, but not against your people, striking them with this plague!”
18 Then the angel of Adonai ordered Gad to tell David to go and set up an altar to Adonai on the threshing-floor of Ornan the Y’vusi. 19 David went up at Gad’s word, spoken in Adonai’s name. 20 Ornan turned back and saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. As Ornan was threshing wheat, 21 David approached Ornan. When Ornan looked and saw David, he went out from the threshing-floor and prostrated himself before David with his face to the ground. 22 Then David said to Ornan, “Let me have the parcel with this threshing-floor, so that I can build on it an altar to Adonai — I will pay you its full value — so that the plague will be lifted from the people.” 23 Ornan said to David, “Take it for yourself, and let my lord the king do what seems good to him. I’m giving you the oxen for the burnt offerings, the threshing-sledges for firewood and the wheat for the grain offering — I’m giving it all.” 24 But King David said to Ornan, “No; I insist on buying it from you at the full price. I refuse to take what is yours for Adonai or offer a burnt offering that costs me nothing.” 25 So David bought the place from Ornan for 600 shekels of gold by weight [fifteen pounds]. 26 Then David built an altar to Adonai there and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. He called on Adonai, who answered him from heaven by fire on the altar for burnt offerings. 27 Adonai gave an order to the angel, and he put his sword back in its sheath. 28 When David saw that Adonai had answered him at the threshing-floor of Ornan the Y’vusi, he sacrificed there. 29 For at that time the tabernacle of Adonai, which Moshe had made in the desert, together with the altar for burnt offerings, were in the high place at Giv‘on. 30 But David could not go into its presence to consult God, because the sword of the angel of Adonai had struck him with terror.
1 Chronicles 21 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Census of Israel and Judah
21 Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to [a]number Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and to the leaders of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba to Dan, and bring the number of them to me that I may know it.”
3 And Joab answered, “May the Lord make His people a hundred times more than they are. But, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? Why then does my lord require this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt in Israel?”
4 Nevertheless the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Therefore Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and came to Jerusalem. 5 Then Joab gave the sum of the number of the people to David. All Israel had one million one hundred thousand men who drew the sword, and Judah had four hundred and seventy thousand men who drew the sword. 6 But he did not count Levi and Benjamin among them, for the king’s [b]word was abominable to Joab.
7 And [c]God was displeased with this thing; therefore He struck Israel. 8 So David said to God, “I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing; but now, I pray, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”
9 Then the Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying, 10 “Go and tell David, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: “I offer you three things; choose one of them for yourself, that I may do it to you.” ’ ”
11 So Gad came to David and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Choose for yourself, 12 either [d]three years of famine, or three months to be defeated by your foes with the sword of your enemies overtaking you, or else for three days the sword of the Lord—the plague in the land, with the [e]angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.’ Now consider what answer I should take back to Him who sent me.”
13 And 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 sent a plague upon Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell. 15 And God sent [f]an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it. As [g]he was destroying, the Lord looked and relented of the disaster, and said to the angel who was destroying, “It is enough; now restrain [h]your hand.” And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshing floor of [i]Ornan the Jebusite.
16 Then David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, having in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem. So David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces. 17 And David said to God, “Was it not I who commanded the people to be numbered? I am the one who has sinned and done evil indeed; but these sheep, what have they done? Let Your hand, I pray, O Lord my God, be against me and my father’s house, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.”
18 Therefore, the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David that David should go and erect 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 had spoken in the name of the Lord. 20 Now Ornan turned and saw the angel; and his four sons who were with him hid themselves, but Ornan continued threshing wheat. 21 So David came to Ornan, and Ornan looked and saw David. And he went out from the threshing floor, and bowed before David with his face to the ground. 22 Then David said to Ornan, [j]“Grant me the place of this threshing floor, that I may build an altar on it to the Lord. You shall grant it to me at the full price, that the plague may be withdrawn from the people.”
23 But Ornan said to David, “Take it to yourself, and let my lord the king do what is good in his eyes. Look, I also give you the oxen for burnt offerings, the threshing implements for wood, and the wheat for the grain offering; I give it all.”
24 Then 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, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing.” 25 So David gave Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the place. 26 And David built there an altar to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called on the Lord; and He answered him from heaven by fire on the altar of burnt offering.
27 So the Lord commanded the angel, and he returned his sword to its sheath.
28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. 29 For the tabernacle of the Lord and the altar of the burnt offering, which Moses had made in the wilderness, were at that time at the high place in Gibeon. 30 But David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the Lord.