2 Samuel 24 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
David Counts the People
24 The Lord was angry at Israel again, and he made David think it would be a good idea to count the people in Israel and Judah. 2 So David told Joab and the army officers,[a] “Go to every tribe in Israel, from the town of Dan in the north all the way south to Beersheba, and count everyone who can serve in the army. I want to know how many there are.”
3 Joab answered, “I hope the Lord your God will give you a hundred times more soldiers than you already have. I hope you will live to see that day! But why do you want to do a thing like this?”
4 But when David refused to change his mind, Joab and the army officers went out and started counting the people. 5 They crossed the Jordan River and began with[b] Aroer and the town in the middle of the river valley. From there they went toward Gad and on as far as Jazer. 6 They went to Gilead and to Kadesh in Syria.[c] Then they went to Dan, Ijon,[d] and on toward Sidon. 7 They came to the fortress of Tyre, then went through every town of the Hivites and the Canaanites. Finally, they went to Beersheba in the Southern Desert of Judah. 8 After they had gone through the whole land, they went back to Jerusalem. It had taken them nine months and twenty days.
9 Joab came and told David, “In Israel there are eight hundred thousand who can serve in the army, and in Judah there are five hundred thousand.”
The Lord Punishes David
10 After David had everyone counted, he felt guilty and told the Lord, “What I did was stupid and terribly wrong. Lord, please forgive me.”
11 Before David even got up the next morning, the Lord had told David’s prophet Gad 12-13 to take a message to David. Gad went to David and told him:
You must choose one of three ways for the Lord to punish you: Will there be seven[e] years when the land won’t grow enough food for your people? Or will your enemies chase you and make you run from them for three months? Or will there be three days of horrible disease in your land? Think about it and decide, because I have to give your answer to God, who sent me.
14 David was really frightened and said, “It’s a terrible choice to make! But the Lord is kind, and I’d rather have him punish us than for anyone else to do it.”
15-16 So that morning, the Lord sent an angel to spread a horrible disease everywhere in Israel, from Dan to Beersheba. And before it was over, seventy thousand people had died.
When the angel was about to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord felt sorry for all the suffering he had caused and told the angel, “That’s enough! Don’t touch them.” This happened at the threshing place that belonged to Araunah the Jebusite.
17 David saw the angel killing everyone and told the Lord, “These people are like sheep with me as their shepherd.[f] I have sinned terribly, but they have done nothing wrong. Please, punish me and my family instead of them!”
David Buys Araunah’s Threshing Place
18-19 That same day the prophet Gad came and told David, “Go to the threshing place that belongs to Araunah and build an altar there for the Lord.”
So David went.
20 Araunah looked and saw David and his soldiers coming up toward him. He went over to David, bowed down low, 21 and said, “Your Majesty! Why have you come to see me?”
David answered, “I’ve come to buy your threshing place. I have to build the Lord an altar here, so this disease will stop killing the people.”
22 Araunah said, “Take whatever you want and offer your sacrifice. Here are some oxen for the sacrifice. You can use the threshing-boards[g] and the wooden yokes for the fire. 23 Take them—they’re yours! I hope the Lord your God will be pleased with you.”
24 But David answered, “No! I have to pay you what they’re worth. I can’t offer the Lord my God a sacrifice that I got for nothing.” So David bought the threshing place and the oxen for fifty pieces of silver. 25 Then he built an altar for the Lord. He sacrificed animals and burned them on the altar.
The Lord answered the prayers of the people, and no one else died from the terrible disease.
1 Chronicles 21-22 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
David Counts the People
21 Satan decided to cause trouble for Israel by making David think it was a good idea to find out how many people there were in Israel and Judah. 2 David told Joab and the army commanders, “Count everyone in Israel, from the town of Beersheba in the south all the way north to Dan. Then I will know how many people can serve in my army.”
3 Joab answered, “Your Majesty, even if the Lord made your kingdom a hundred times larger, you would still rule everyone in it. Why do you need to know how many soldiers there are? Don’t you think that would make the whole nation angry?”
4 But David would not change his mind. And so Joab went everywhere in Israel and Judah and counted the people. He returned to Jerusalem 5 and told David that the total number of men who could serve in the army was one million one hundred thousand in Israel and four hundred seventy thousand in Judah. 6 Joab refused to include anyone from the tribes of Levi and Benjamin, because he still disagreed with David’s orders.
God Punishes Israel
7 David’s order to count the people made God angry, and he punished Israel. 8 David prayed, “I am your servant. But what I did was stupid and terribly wrong. Please forgive me.”
9 The Lord said to Gad, one of David’s prophets, 10 “Tell David that I will punish him in one of three ways. But he will have to choose which one it will be.”
11 Gad went to David and told him:
You must choose how the Lord will punish you: 12 Will there be three years when the land won’t grow enough food for its people? Or will your enemies constantly defeat you for three months? Or will the Lord send a horrible disease to strike your land for three days? Think about it and decide, because I have to give your answer to God who sent me.
13 David was miserable and said, “It’s a terrible choice to make! But the Lord is kind, and I’d rather have him punish me than for anyone else to do it.”
14 So the Lord sent a horrible disease on Israel, and seventy thousand Israelites died. 15 Then he sent an angel to destroy the city of Jerusalem. But just as the angel was about to do that, the Lord felt sorry for all the suffering he had caused the people, and he told the angel, “Stop! They have suffered enough.” This happened at the threshing place that belonged to Araunah[a] the Jebusite.
16 David saw the Lord’s angel in the air, holding a sword over Jerusalem. He and the leaders of Israel, who were all wearing sackcloth,[b] bowed with their faces to the ground, 17 and David prayed, “It’s my fault! I sinned by ordering the people to be counted. They have done nothing wrong—they are innocent sheep. Lord God, please punish me and my family. Don’t let the disease wipe out your people.”
David Buys Araunah’s Threshing Place
18 The Lord’s angel told the prophet Gad to tell David that he must go to Araunah’s threshing place and build an altar in honor of the Lord. 19 David followed the Lord’s instructions.
20 Araunah and his four sons were threshing wheat at the time, and when they saw the angel, the four sons ran to hide. 21 Just then, David arrived, and when Araunah saw him, he stopped his work and bowed down.
22 David said, “Would you sell me your threshing place, so I can build an altar on it to the Lord? Then this disease will stop killing the people. I’m willing to pay whatever you say it’s worth.”
23 Araunah answered, “Take it, Your Majesty, and do whatever you want with it. I’ll even give you the oxen for the sacrifice and the wheat for the grain sacrifice. And you can use the threshing-boards[c] for the fire. It’s all yours!”
24 But David replied, “No! I want to pay you what they’re worth. I can’t just take something from you and then offer the Lord a sacrifice that cost me nothing.”
25 So David paid Araunah six hundred gold coins for his threshing place. 26 David built an altar and offered sacrifices to please the Lord[d] and sacrifices to ask his blessing.[e] David prayed, and the Lord answered him by sending fire down on the altar. 27 Then the Lord commanded the angel to put the sword away.[f]
28 When David saw that the Lord had answered his prayer, he offered more sacrifices there at the threshing place, 29-30 because he was afraid of the angel’s sword and did not want to go all the way to Gibeon. That’s where the sacred tent that Moses had made in the desert was kept, as well as the altar where sacrifices were offered to the Lord.
22 David said, “The temple of the Lord God must be built right here at this threshing place. And the altar for offering sacrifices will also be here.”
David Prepares To Build the Temple
2 David ordered the foreigners living in Israel to come to Jerusalem. Then he assigned some to cut blocks of stone for building the temple. 3 He got a large supply of iron to make into nails and hinges for the doors, and he provided so much bronze that it could not be weighed. 4 He also had cedar logs brought in from the cities of Sidon and Tyre.
5 He said, “The temple for the Lord must be great, so that everyone in the world will know about it. But since my son Solomon is young and has no experience, I will make sure that everything is ready for the temple to be built.”
That’s why David did all these things before he died.
David Instructs Solomon To Build the Temple
6 David sent for his son Solomon and told him to build a temple for the Lord God of Israel. 7 He said:
My son, I wanted to build a temple where the Lord my God would be worshiped. 8 But some time ago, he told me, “David, you have killed too many people and have fought too many battles. That’s why you are not the one to build my temple. 9 But when your son becomes king, I will give him peace throughout his kingdom. His name will be Solomon, because during his rule I will keep Israel safe and peaceful.[g] 10 Solomon will build my temple. He will be like a son to me, and I will be like a father to him. In fact, one of his descendants will always rule in Israel.”
11 Solomon, my son, I now pray that the Lord your God will be with you and keep his promise to help you build a temple for him. 12 May he give you wisdom and knowledge, so that you can rule Israel according to his Law. 13 If you obey the laws and teachings that the Lord gave Moses, you will be successful. Be strong and brave and don’t get discouraged or be afraid of anything.
14 I have all the supplies you’ll need to build the temple: You have four thousand tons of gold and forty thousand tons of silver. There’s also plenty of wood, stone, and more bronze and iron than I could weigh. Ask for anything else you need. 15 I have also assigned men who will cut and lay the stone. And there are carpenters and people who are experts in working with 16 gold, silver, bronze, and iron. You have plenty of workers to do the job. Now get started, and I pray that the Lord will be with you in your work.
17 David then gave orders for the leaders of Israel to help Solomon. 18 David said:
The Lord our God has helped me defeat all the people who lived here before us, and he has given you peace from all your enemies. Now this land belongs to the Lord and his people. 19 Obey the Lord your God with your heart and soul. Begin work on the temple to honor him, so that the sacred chest and the things used for worship can be kept there.
Psalm 30 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
(A psalm by David for the dedication of the temple.)
A Prayer of Thanks
30 I will praise you, Lord!
4 Your faithful people, Lord,
6 I was carefree and thought,
8 I prayed to you, Lord,
11 You have turned my sorrow
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