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2 Samuel 24Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Census Taken

24 Now again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and [a]He incited David against them to say, “Go, [b]count [the people of] Israel and Judah.” So the king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, “Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan [in the north] to Beersheba [in the south], and conduct a census of the people, so that I may know the number of the people.” But Joab said to the king, “May the Lord your God add to the people a hundred times as many as there are, and let the eyes of my lord the king see it; but why does my lord the king [c]want to do this thing?” Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab and the commanders of the army. So they went from the king’s presence to take a census of the people of Israel. They crossed over the Jordan and camped in Aroer, on the south side of the city which is in the middle of the river valley [of the Arnon] toward Gad, and on toward Jazer. Then they came to Gilead and to the land of Tahtim-hodshi, and they came to Dan-jaan and around to Sidon, and they came to the stronghold of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivites and Canaanites, and they went out to the south of Judah, to Beersheba. So when they had gone about through all the land [taking the census], they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. And Joab gave the sum of the census of the people to the king. In Israel there were 800,000 valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were 500,000.

10 But David’s heart (conscience) troubled him after he had counted the people. David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the sin of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” 11 When David got up in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, 12 “Go and say to David, ‘Thus says the Lord, “I am giving you three choices; select one of them for yourself, and I will do it 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 enemies as they pursue you? Or shall there be three days of pestilence (plague) in your land? Now consider this and decide what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.” 14 Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for His mercies are great, but do not let me fall into the hands of man.”

Pestilence Sent

15 So the Lord sent a pestilence (plague) [lasting three days] upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and seventy thousand men of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. 16 When the [avenging] angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord relented from the disaster and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough! Now relax your hand.” And the angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17 When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he spoke to the Lord and said, “Behold, I [alone] am the one who has sinned and done wrong; but these sheep (people of Israel), what have they done [to deserve this]? Please let Your hand be [only] against me and my father’s house (family).”

David Builds an Altar

18 Then Gad [the prophet] came to David that day and said to him, “Go up, set up an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite [where you saw the angel].” 19 So David went up according to Gad’s word, as the Lord commanded. 20 Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants crossing over toward him; and he went out and bowed before the king with his face toward the ground. 21 Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, to build an altar to the Lord, so that the plague may be held back from the people.” 22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up whatever seems good to him. Look, here are oxen for the burnt offering, and threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23 All of this, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God be favorable to you.” 24 But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will certainly buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing.” So David purchased the [d]threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 David built an altar to the Lord there, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord was moved [to compassion] by [David’s] prayer for the land, and the plague was held back from Israel.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 24:1 See 1 Chr 21:1. As in the case of Paul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Cor 12:7; cf 1 Cor 5:5), God sometimes accomplishes His purposes by allowing Satan to inflict injury or cause trouble.
  2. 2 Samuel 24:1 Ordinarily taking a census would have been a routine procedure for a nation as a way of assessing taxes or conscripting and assigning men to an army. But in Israel none of this was necessary unless it was commanded by God, and David’s action was the product of ego and an uncharacteristic shift of trust and dependence from God to human resources (as Joab suspected, v 3). To his credit, David eventually realized this and came to God in repentance.
  3. 2 Samuel 24:3 Lit delight in.
  4. 2 Samuel 24:24 Later Solomon would build his temple on this site.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

2 Samuel 24New International Version (NIV)

David Enrolls the Fighting Men

24 Again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.”

So the king said to Joab and the army commanders[a] with him, “Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and enroll the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are.”

But Joab replied to the king, “May the Lord your God multiply the troops a hundred times over, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?”

The king’s word, however, overruled Joab and the army commanders; so they left the presence of the king to enroll the fighting men of Israel.

After crossing the Jordan, they camped near Aroer, south of the town in the gorge, and then went through Gad and on to Jazer. They went to Gilead and the region of Tahtim Hodshi, and on to Dan Jaan and around toward Sidon. Then they went toward the fortress of Tyre and all the towns of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went on to Beersheba in the Negev of Judah.

After they had gone through the entire land, they came back to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.

Joab reported the number of the fighting men to the king: In Israel there were eight hundred thousand able-bodied men who could handle a sword, and in Judah five hundred thousand.

10 David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.

11 Before David got up the next morning, the word of the Lord had come to Gad the prophet, David’s seer: 12 “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’”

13 So Gad went to David and said to him, “Shall there come on you three[b] years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me.”

14 David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.”

15 So the Lord sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. 16 When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

17 When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd,[c] have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family.”

David Builds an Altar

18 On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up, as the Lord had commanded through Gad. 20 When Araunah looked and saw the king and his officials coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground.

21 Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”

“To buy your threshing floor,” David answered, “so I can build an altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped.”

22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever he wishes and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23 Your Majesty, Araunah[d] gives all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May the Lord your God accept you.”

24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels[e] of silver for them. 25 David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 24:2 Septuagint (see also verse 4 and 1 Chron. 21:2); Hebrew Joab the army commander
  2. 2 Samuel 24:13 Septuagint (see also 1 Chron. 21:12); Hebrew seven
  3. 2 Samuel 24:17 Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint; Masoretic Text does not have the shepherd.
  4. 2 Samuel 24:23 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts King Araunah
  5. 2 Samuel 24:24 That is, about 1 1/4 pounds or about 575 grams
New International Version (NIV)

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