21:1 Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.
21:2 David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring me word, that I may know the sum of them.
21:3 Joab said, Yahweh make his people a hundred times as many as they are: but, my lord the king, aren't they all my lord's servants? why does my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of guilt to Israel?
21:4 Nevertheless the king's word prevailed against Joab. Therefore Joab departed, and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem.
21:5 Joab gave up the sum of the numbering of the people to David. All those of Israel were one million one hundred thousand men who drew sword: and in Judah were four hundred seventy thousand men who drew sword.
21:6 But he didn't count Levi and Benjamin among them; for the king's word was abominable to Joab.
21:7 God was displeased with this thing; therefore he struck Israel.
21:8 David said to God, I have sinned greatly, in that I have done this thing: but now, put away, I beg you, the iniquity of your servant; for I have done very foolishly.
21:9 Yahweh spoke to Gad, David's seer, saying,
21:10 Go and speak to David, saying, Thus says Yahweh, I offer you three things: choose you one of them, that I may do it to you.
21:11 So Gad came to David, and said to him, Thus says Yahweh, Take which you will:
21:12 either three years of famine; or three months to be consumed before your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you; or else three days the sword of Yahweh, even pestilence in the land, and the angel of Yahweh destroying throughout all the borders of Israel. Now therefore consider what answer I shall return to him who sent me.
21:13 David said to Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall, I pray, into the hand of Yahweh; for very great are his mercies: and let me not fall into the hand of man.
21:14 So Yahweh sent a pestilence on Israel; and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.
21:15 God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was about to destroy, Yahweh saw, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the destroying angel, It is enough; now stay your hand. The angel of Yahweh was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
21:16 David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of Yahweh standing between earth and the sky, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces.
21:17 David said to God, Isn't it I who commanded the people to be numbered? It is even I who have sinned and done very wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand, O Yahweh my God, be against me, and against my father's house; but not against your people, that they should be plagued.
21:18 Then the angel of Yahweh commanded Gad to tell David, that David should go up, and raise an altar to Yahweh in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
21:19 David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spoke in the name of Yahweh.
21:20 Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat.
21:21 As David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshing floor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground.
21:22 Then David said to Ornan, Give me the place of this threshing floor, that I may build thereon an altar to Yahweh: for the full price shall you give it me, that the plague may be stayed from the people.
21:23 Ornan said to David, Take it to you, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: behold, I give [you] the oxen for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meal-offering; I give it all.
21:24 King David said to Ornan, No; but I will most assuredly buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is your for Yahweh, nor offer a burnt-offering without cost.
21:25 So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.
21:26 David built there an altar to Yahweh, and offered burnt offerings and peace-offerings, and called on Yahweh; and he answered him from the sky by fire on the altar of burnt offering.
21:27 Yahweh commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath of it.
21:28 At that time, when David saw that Yahweh had answered him in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there.
21:29 For the tent of Yahweh, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering, were at that time in the high place at Gibeon.
21:30 But David couldn't go before it to inquire of God; for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of Yahweh.