1 Satan rose up toward Israel and he

Spurred David to enumerate the people

Of Israel. 2 So David said to Joab

And troop commanders, “Go count Israelites

From Beersheba down to Dan. Then come

Report to me so that I may know how

Many there are,” 3 but Joab answered, “May

God multiply his troops a hundred times

Over. My lord the king, aren’t they all my

Lord’s subjects? Why does my lord want to do

This? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?”

4 But the king’s order overruled what Joab

Had said, so Joab left and went throughout

The land of Israel, then came back to

Jerusalem, 5 and he reported to

David the number of the fighting men:

In Israel there were one million and

One hundred thousand men who could engage

In swordfights, and of these four hundred and

Seventy thousand were in Judah, 6 but

Joab omitted Benjamin and Levi

While numbering, because the king’s command

Repulsed him. 7 This command was evil too

In God’s sight; so he punished Israel.

8 Then David said to God, “I’ve greatly sinned

By doing this. I beg you, take away

Your servant’s guilt. I’ve done a foolish thing.”

9 The LORD told David’s seer named Gad, 10 “Go tell

               David, ‘The LORD says this: I’m giving you

Three options. Choose one option that I will

Work out against you.’” 11 Therefore Gad went to

See David and told him, “The LORD says: ‘Take

Your choice: 12 three years of famine, three months of

Being swept offbefore your enemies,

With their swords overtaking you, or else

Three days of God’s sword—days of plague within

The land, with the LORD’s angel ravaging

Each part of Israel.’ Now then, decide

How I should answer to the one who sent

Me.” 13 David said to Gad, “I am distressed.

               Let me fall in God’s hands, because his mercy

Is great; but do not let me fall into

Some human hands.” 14 God therefore sent a plague

On Israel, and seventy thousand

Men out of Israel fell dead, 15 and God

Sent down an angel to annihilate

Jerusalem, but as the angel was

Acting, the LORD saw it and he relented

Concerning the disaster and he told

The angel who was wiping people out,

“Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of

The LORD was standing at the threshing floor

Of Araunahthe Jebusite, 16 and David

Looked up and saw the angel of the LORD

Standing between the heavens and the earth,

With a drawn sword in hand stretched out above

Jerusalem. Then David and the elders,

Death Angel Over Jerusalem

Clothed in sackcloth, fell facedown. 17 David said

To God, “Was it not I who ordered that

The fighting men be counted? I, the shepherd,

Have sinned and done wrong. These are but the sheep.

What have they done? O LORD my God, let your

Hand fall on me and my own family,

But do not let this plague remain upon

Your people.” 18 Then God’s angel ordered Gad

To counsel David to go up and build

The LORD an altar on the threshing floor

Of Araunah the Jebusite. 19 So David

Obeyed the word that Gad had spoken in

God’s name, and went, 20 and while Araunah was

Threshing his wheat, he turned and saw the angel;

His four sons who were with him hid themselves.

21 Then David came, and when Araunah looked

And saw the king, he left the threshing floor

And bowed before him with his face to ground.

22 David said to him, “Let me have the site

               Here of your threshing floor so I can build

An altar to the LORD, so that the plague

That’s on the people may be stopped. Sell it

To me at the full price.” 23 Araunah said

To David, “Take it! Let my lord the king

Do what will please him. Look, I will give oxen

For the burnt offerings, the threshing sledges

For wood, and wheat for the grain offering.

I will give all this.” 24 But King David told

               Araunah, “No, I must insist I pay

The full price. I will not take for the LORD

That which is yours, or sacrifice a burnt

Offering that does not cost me a thing.”

25 So David paid Araunah gold, six hundred

Shekels’ worth, for the site, 26 and David built

An altar to the LORD there and there he

Sacrificed his burnt offerings and his

Fellowship offerings. He called upon

The LORD, who answered him with fire from heaven

Upon the altar of burnt offering.

27 The LORD spoke to the angel, and he sheathed

His sword. 28 When David saw the LORD had answered

Him on the Jebusite Araunah’s floor,

His threshing floor, he offered sacrifices

Right there. 29 The tabernacle of the LORD,

Which Moses built in desert, and the altar

Of the burnt offering were at that time

On the high place at Gibeon. 30 But David

Could not go there before it to inquire

Of God, because the angel of the LORD

Scared him, as he might smite him with his sword.