21 1SATAN [an adversary] stood up against Israel and stirred up David to number Israel. 2David said to Joab and the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me the total, that I may know it. 3And Joab answered, May the Lord multiply His people a hundred times! But, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? Why then does my lord require this? Why will he bring guilt upon Israel? 4But the king’s word prevailed against Joab. So Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and came to Jerusalem. 5Joab gave the total number of the people to David. And all of Israel were 1,100,000 who drew the sword, and of Judah 470,000 who drew the sword. 6But Levi and Benjamin he did not include among them, for the king’s order was detestable to Joab. 7And God was displeased with this [reliance on human resources], and He smote Israel. 8And David said to God, I have sinned greatly because I have done this thing. But now, I beseech You, take away the hateful wickedness of Your servant; for I have done very foolishly. 9And the Lord said to Gad, David’s seer, 10Go and tell David, Thus says the Lord: I offer you three things; choose one of them, that I may do it to you. 11So Gad came to David and said to him, Thus says the Lord: Take which one you will: 12Either three years of famine, or three months of devastation before your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of the Lord and pestilence in the land, and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the borders of Israel. Now therefore, consider what answer I shall return to Him Who sent me. 13And David said to Gad, I am in great and distressing perplexity; let me fall, I pray you, into the hands of the Lord, for very great and many are His mercies; but let me not fall into the hands of man. 14So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel, and there fell of Israel 70,000 men. 15God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, and as he was destroying, the Lord beheld, and He regretted and relented of the evil and said to the destroying angel, It is enough; now stay your hand. And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and the heavens, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces. 17And David said to God, Is it not I who commanded the people to be numbered? It is I who has sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? Let Your hand, I pray You, O Lord my God, be on me and on my father’s house, but not on Your people, that they should be plagued. 18Then the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David that David should go up and set up an altar to the Lord in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19So David went up at Gad’s word, which he spoke in the name of the Lord. 20Now Ornan was threshing wheat, and he turned back and saw the angel; and his four sons hid themselves. 21And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw him, and went out from the threshing floor and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground. 22Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the site of this threshing floor, that I may build an altar on it to the Lord. You shall charge me the full price for it, that the plague may be averted from the people. 23Ornan said to David, Take it; and let my lord the king do what is good in his eyes. I give you the oxen also for burnt offerings and the threshing sledges for wood and the wheat for the meal offering. I give it all. 24And King David said to Ornan, No, but I will pay the full price. I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings which cost me nothing. 25So David gave to Ornan for the site 600 shekels of gold by weight. 26And David built there an altar to the Lord and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings and called upon the Lord; and He answered him by fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering. 27Then the Lord commanded the [avenging] angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath. 28When David saw that the Lord had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. 29For the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were at that time in the high place at Gibeon. 30But David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the Lord.
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