2 Samuel 24International Children’s Bible (ICB)
David Counts His Army
24 The Lord was angry with Israel again. He caused David to turn against the Israelites. David said, “Go, count the people of Israel and Judah.”
2 King David spoke to Joab, the commander of the army. David said, “Go through all the tribes of Israel. Go from Dan to Beersheba[a] and count the people. Then I will know how many there are.”
3 But Joab said to the king, “May the Lord your God give you 100 times more people. And may you live to see this happen. But why do you want to do this?”
4 But the king very strongly commanded Joab and the commanders of the army. So they left the king to count the people of Israel.
5 After crossing the Jordan River, they camped near Aroer. They camped on the south side of the city in the ravine. They went through Gad and on to Jazer. 6 Then they went to Gilead and the land of Tahtim Hodshi. Next they went to Dan Jaan and around to Sidon. 7 They went to the strong, walled city of Tyre. They also went to all the cities of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went to southern Judah, to Beersheba. 8 After 9 months and 20 days, they had gone through all the land. Then they came back to Jerusalem.
9 Joab gave the list of the people to the king. There were 800,000 men in Israel who could use the sword. And there were 500,000 men in Judah.
10 David felt ashamed after he had counted the people. He said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done! Lord, I beg you, forgive my sin! I have been very foolish.”
11 Before David got up in the morning, the Lord spoke his word to Gad. He 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. Choose one for me to do to you.’”
13 Gad went to David and told him. Gad said, “Choose one of these three things. Should three years of hunger come to you and your land? Or should your enemies chase you for three months? Or should there be three days of disease in your country? Think about it. Then decide which of these things I should tell the Lord who sent me.”
14 David said to Gad, “I am really in trouble. But the Lord is very merciful. So let the Lord punish us. Don’t let my punishment come from people!”
15 So the Lord sent disease on Israel. It began in the morning. And it continued until the chosen time to stop. From Dan to Beersheba 70,000 people died. 16 The angel raised his arm toward Jerusalem to destroy it also. But the Lord felt very sorry about the terrible things that had happened. He said to the angel who was destroying the people, “That’s enough! Put down your arm!” At this time the angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
17 David saw the angel that killed the people. Then he said to the Lord, “I’ve sinned! I’ve done wrong! But these people only followed me like sheep! They did nothing wrong! Please let your punishment be against me and my father’s family!”
18 That day Gad came to David. Gad told him, “Go and build an altar to the Lord. Build it on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David did what Gad told him to do. He obeyed the Lord’s command and went to see Araunah.
20 Araunah looked and saw the king and his servants coming to him. So he went out and bowed facedown on the ground. 21 He said, “Why has my master the king come to me?”
David answered, “To buy the threshing floor from you. I want to build an altar to the Lord. Then the disease will stop.”
22 Araunah said to David, “My master and king, you may take anything you want for a sacrifice. Here are some oxen for the whole burnt offering. Here are the threshing boards and the yokes for the wood! 23 My king, I give everything to you!” Araunah also said to the king, “May the Lord your God be pleased with you!”
24 But the king answered Araunah, “No. I will pay you for the land. I won’t offer to the Lord my God burnt offerings which cost me nothing!”
So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for one and one-fourth pounds of silver. 25 Then he built an altar to the Lord there. And he offered whole burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered his prayer for the country. And the disease in Israel stopped.
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