1 Chronicles 21 New Life Version (NLV)
David Numbers Israel and Judah
21 Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and the leaders of the people, “Go and number Israel from Beersheba to Dan. Then let me know how many people there are.” 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 want this thing done? Why should he bring guilt upon Israel?” 4 But the king’s word was stronger than Joab. So Joab left and went through all of Israel, and returned to Jerusalem. 5 He gave the number of all the people to David. There were 1,100,000 men in all Israel who used the sword. And there were 470,000 men in Judah who used the sword. 6 But Joab did not number Levi and Benjamin among them because he did not like what the king had told him to do. 7 God was not pleased that Israel was numbered so He punished Israel. 8 David said to God, “I have sinned very much by doing this thing. But now I beg You, take away the sin of Your servant for I have done a very foolish thing.”
9 The Lord said to Gad, David’s man of God, 10 “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says. “I give you three things to choose from. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you.”’” 11 So Gad came to David and said, “This is what the Lord says. ‘Choose one of these. 12 Three years of no food in the land; three months to be destroyed by the sword of those who hate you; or three days of the sword of the Lord. This would be a disease sent upon the land. The angel of the Lord would destroy with disease through all the land of Israel.’ Now decide what answer I should give Him Who sent me.” 13 David said to Gad, “I am in much trouble. Let me fall into the hand of the Lord. For His loving-kindness is very great. But do not let me fall into the hand of man.” 14 So the Lord sent a disease upon Israel. And 70,000 men of Israel died. 15 God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem. But as he was about to destroy it, the Lord saw the trouble and was sorry. He said to the destroying angel, “It is enough. Now take your hand away.” The angel of the Lord was standing by the grain-floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16 Then David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven. The angel had his sword in his hand, held out over Jerusalem. Then David and the leaders fell on their faces. They were dressed in cloth made from hair. 17 David said to God, “Was it not I who said that the people must be numbered? I am the one who has sinned and done a very bad thing. But what have these sheep done? O Lord my God, I beg You, let Your hand be against me and my father’s house. But do not let the trouble be upon Your people.”
18 Then the angel of the Lord told Gad to say to David, “Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the grain-floor of Ornan the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up when he heard what Gad said in the name of the Lord. 20 Now Ornan was beating the grain. He turned and saw the angel. And his four sons hid themselves. 21 Ornan looked and saw David coming. So he went out from the grain-floor and put his face to the ground showing respect to David. 22 David said to him, “Give me this part of the grain-floor, that I may build an altar on it to the Lord. Give it to me for the full price. Then the disease will be turned away from the people.” 23 Ornan said to David, “Take it. Let my lord the king do what is good in his eyes. See, I will give the bulls for burnt gifts. I will give the objects made of wood used for beating grain for the fire-wood. And I will give the grain for the grain gift. I will give it all.” 24 But King David said to Ornan, “No, I will buy it for the full price. I will not take what is yours for the Lord. And I will not give a burnt gift for which I do not pay.” 25 So David gave Ornan 600 pieces of gold by weight for the place. 26 Then David built an altar there to the Lord. He gave burnt gifts and peace gifts, and he called to the Lord. The Lord answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt gifts. 27 Then the Lord told the angel to return his sword to its holder.
28 When David saw that the Lord had answered him on the grain-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he gave his gifts there. 29 The meeting tent which Moses had made in the desert was in the high place at Gibeon then. The altar of burnt gifts was there also. 30 But David could not go in front of it to pray to God. For he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the Lord.