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David Counts His Army(A)

24 The ·Lord was angry with [L anger of the Lord burned against; C compare 1 Chr. 21:1] Israel again, and he ·caused [incited] David to turn against the Israelites. He said, “Go, ·count [number; take a census of] the people of Israel and Judah.”

So King David said to Joab, the commander of the army, “Go through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba [C the far north and south of Israel], and ·count [take a census of; register; number] the people. Then I will know how many there are.”

But Joab said to the king, “May the Lord your God give you a hundred times more ·people [soldiers], and may my master the king live to see this happen. ·Why do you [L But why does my lord the king] want to do this?”

But the ·king commanded [L king’s word overruled/prevailed against] Joab and the commanders of the army, so they left the king to ·count [take a census of; register; number] the Israelites [C taking the census indicates David’s ungodly dependence on the number of his troops].

After crossing the Jordan River, they camped near Aroer on the south side of the city in the ·ravine [valley]. They went through Gad and on to Jazer. Then they went to Gilead and the land of Tahtim Hodshi and to Dan Jaan and around to Sidon. They went to the ·strong, walled city [fortress] of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went to ·southern [L the Negev of] Judah, to Beersheba. After nine months and twenty days, they had gone through all the land. Then they came back to Jerusalem.

Joab ·gave the list of the people [reported the number of soldiers] to the king. There were eight hundred thousand men in Israel who could ·use [draw; handle] the sword and five hundred thousand men in Judah.

10 ·David felt ashamed [L David’s heart/conscience troubled him] after he had ·counted [taken a census of; registered; numbered] the people. He said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly by what I have done. Lord, I beg you to ·forgive me, [L take away the guilt/iniquity of] your servant, because I have been very foolish.”

11 When David got up in the morning, the ·Lord spoke his word [L word of the Lord came] to Gad, who was a prophet and David’s seer. 12 The Lord told Gad, “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I offer you three ·choices [options; things]. Choose one of them and I will ·do it to [inflict it on] you.’”

13 So Gad [1 Sam. 22:5] went to David and said to him, “Should ·three [C so 1 Chr. 21:12; the Hebrew text has “seven”] years of ·hunger [famine] come to you and your land? Or should ·your enemies chase you [L you flee from your pursuing enemies] for three months? Or should there be three days of ·disease [epidemics; pestilence; plagues] in your land? Think about it. Then decide ·which of these things [what answer] I should ·tell [give] the Lord who sent me.”

14 David said to Gad, “I am in ·great [deep] ·trouble [distress]. Let ·the Lord punish us [L us fall into the hands of the Lord], because ·the Lord is very merciful [L his mercy is great]. Don’t let ·my punishment come from human beings [L me fall into human hands]!”

15 So the Lord sent a ·terrible disease [epidemic; pestilence; plague] on Israel. It began in the morning and continued until the ·chosen time to stop [appointed time]. From Dan to Beersheba [C from the far north and the far south of Israel] seventy thousand people died. 16 When the angel raised his ·arm [L hand] toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord ·felt very sorry about the terrible things that had happened [relented about the calamity/disaster]. He said to the angel who was ·destroying [afflicting] the people, “That is enough! ·Put down [Stay; Withdraw] your ·arm [L hand]!” The angel of the Lord was ·then [at that moment] by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

17 When David saw the angel that ·killed [L was striking down/ravaging] the people, he said to the Lord, “I am the one who sinned and did wrong. ·These people only followed me like sheep. They did nothing wrong [L What have these sheep done?]. Please ·punish me and my family [L let your hand fall on me and my father’s house].”

18 That day Gad came to David and said, “Go and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David did what Gad told him to do, just as the Lord commanded.

20 Araunah looked and saw the king and his servants coming to him. So he went out and ·bowed facedown [prostrated himself] on the ground before the king. 21 He said, “Why has my ·master [lord] the king come to ·me [L his servant]?”

David answered, “To buy the threshing floor from you so I can build an altar to the Lord. Then the ·terrible disease [epidemic; pestilence; plague] will ·stop [be averted/lifted/withheld from the people].”

22 Araunah said to David, “My ·master [lord] and king, you may take anything you want for a ·sacrifice [offering]. Here are some oxen for the whole burnt offering and the threshing ·boards [sledges] and the yokes for the wood. 23 My king, I give ·everything [all this] to you.” Araunah also said to the king, “May the Lord your God ·be pleased with [respond favorably to; accept] you.”

24 But the king answered Araunah, “No, I ·will pay you for [insist on buying] the land. I won’t ·offer [sacrifice] to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for ·one and one-fourth pounds [L fifty shekels] of silver. 25 He built an altar to the Lord there and ·offered [sacrificed] whole burnt offerings and ·fellowship [or peace; well-being; Lev. 3:1] offerings [C this site is the later location of the temple; 1 Chr. 22:1]. Then the Lord ·answered his [was moved by/felt pity from this] prayer for the country, and the ·disease [epidemic; pestilence; plague] in Israel ·stopped [was averted/lifted/withheld].