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Chapter 24

1Again the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them, saying, Go, number Israel and Judah. 2The king said to Joab the captain of the army, who was with him, Go now back and forth through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number you the people, that I may know the sum of the people. 3Joab said to the king, Now Yahweh your God add to the people, however many they may be, one hundred times; and may the eyes of my lord the king see it: but why does my lord the king delight in this thing? 4Notwithstanding, the king’s word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the army. Joab and the captains of the army went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel. 5They passed over the Jordan, and encamped in Aroer, on the right side of the city that is in the middle of the valley of Gad, and to Jazer: 6then they came to Gilead, and to the land of Tahtim Hodshi; and they came to Dan Jaan, and round about to Sidon, 7and came to the stronghold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and of the Canaanites; and they went out to the south of Judah, at Beersheba. 8So when they had gone back and forth through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9Joab gave up the sum of the numbering of the people to the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men who drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men. 10David’s heart struck him after that he had numbered the people. David said to Yahweh, I have sinned greatly in that which I have done: but now, Yahweh, put away, I beg you, the iniquity of your servant; for I have done very foolishly. 11When David rose up in the morning, the word of Yahweh came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, 12Go and speak to David, Thus says Yahweh, I offer you three things: choose you one of them, that I may do it to you. 13So Gad came to David, and told him, and said to him, Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? or shall there be three days’ pestilence in your land? now advise you, and consider what answer I shall return to him who sent me. 14David said to Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of Yahweh; for his mercies are great; and let me not fall into the hand of man. 15So Yahweh sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning even to the time appointed; and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. 16When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, Yahweh repented him of the evil, and said to the angel who destroyed the people, It is enough; now stay your hand. The angel of Yahweh was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17David spoke to Yahweh when he saw the angel who struck the people, and said, Behold, I have sinned, and I have done perversely; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me, and against my father’s house. 18Gad came that day to David, and said to him, Go up, rear an altar to Yahweh in the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 19David went up according to the saying of Gad, as Yahweh commanded. 20Araunah looked forth, and saw the king and his servants coming on toward him: and Araunah went out, and bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground. 21Araunah said, Why is my lord the king come to his servant? David said, To buy the threshing floor of you, to build an altar to Yahweh, that the plague may be stayed from the people. 22Araunah said to David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him: behold, the oxen for the burnt offering, and the threshing instruments and the yokes of the oxen for the wood: 23all this, king, does Araunah give to the king. Araunah said to the king, Yahweh your God accept you. 24The king said to Araunah, No; but I will most assuredly buy it of you at a price. Neither will I offer burnt offerings to Yahweh my God which cost me nothing. So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25David built there an altar to Yahweh, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So Yahweh was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.

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