The Census Taken

24 (A)Now (B)the anger of the Lord burned against Israel again, and He incited David against them to say, “(C)Go, count Israel and Judah.” So the king said to Joab the commander of the army, who was with him, “Roam about now through all the tribes of Israel, (D)from Dan to Beersheba, and conduct a census of the people, so that I may know the number of the people.” But Joab said to the king, “(E)May the Lord your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king can still see; but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?” Nevertheless, the king’s order prevailed against Joab and against the commanders of the army. So Joab and the commanders of the army left the presence of the king to conduct a census of the people of Israel. They crossed the Jordan and camped in (F)Aroer, on the right side of the city that is in the middle of the Valley of Gad and toward (G)Jazer. Then they came to Gilead and to [a]the land of Tahtim-hodshi, and they came to Dan-jaan and around to (H)Sidon, then they came to the (I)fortress of Tyre and to all the cities of the (J)Hivites and of the Canaanites, and they went out to the south of Judah, to (K)Beersheba. So when they had roamed about through the whole land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. And Joab gave (L)the number of the census of the people to the king: in Israel there were (M)eight hundred thousand valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.

10 Now (N)David’s heart [b]troubled him after he had counted the people. So David said to the Lord, “(O)I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, Lord, please [c]overlook the guilt of Your servant, for (P)I have acted very foolishly.” 11 When David got up in the morning, the word of the Lord came to (Q)Gad the prophet, David’s (R)seer, saying, 12 “Go and speak to David, ‘This is what the Lord says: “I am imposing upon you three choices; choose for yourself one of them, and I will do it to you.”’” 13 So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall (S)seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee for three months before your enemies while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ of plague in your land? Now consider and see what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.” 14 Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us now fall into the hand of the Lord, (T)for His mercies are great; but do not let me fall into human hands.”

Plague Sent

15 So (U)the Lord [d]sent a plague upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and seventy thousand men of the people (V)from Dan to Beersheba died. 16 (W)When the angel extended his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, (X)the Lord relented of the disaster and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough! Now drop your hand!” And the angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17 Then David spoke to the Lord when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, “Behold, (Y)it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong; but (Z)these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me and against my father’s house!”

David Builds an Altar

18 So Gad came to David that day and said to him, “(AA)Go up, erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of [e]Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 Then David went up in accordance with the word of Gad, just as the Lord had commanded. 20 And Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants crossing over toward him; so Araunah went out and bowed his face to the ground before the king. 21 Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the Lord, (AB)so that the plague may be [f]withdrawn from the people.” 22 Araunah then said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what is good in his sight. Look, here are (AC)the oxen for the burnt offering, the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23 Everything, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God be (AD)favorable to you.” 24 However, the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will certainly buy it from you for a price; for (AE)I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God [g]that cost me nothing.” So (AF)David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 Then David built there an altar to the Lord, and he offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. And (AG)the Lord responded to prayer for the land, and the plague was [h]withdrawn from Israel.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Samuel 24:6 Another reading is Kadesh in the land of the Hittite
  2. 2 Samuel 24:10 Lit struck
  3. 2 Samuel 24:10 Lit allow to pass
  4. 2 Samuel 24:15 Lit gave
  5. 2 Samuel 24:18 In 2 Chr 3:1, Ornan
  6. 2 Samuel 24:21 Or brought to a halt
  7. 2 Samuel 24:24 Lit gratuitously
  8. 2 Samuel 24:25 Or brought to a halt