2 Samuel 24:1-25

2 Samuel 24:1-2-24-25 The Message (MSG)

Once again GOD’s anger blazed out against Israel. He tested David by telling him, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.” So David gave orders to Joab and the army officers under him, “Canvass all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and get a count of the population. I want to know the number.” But Joab resisted the king: “May your GOD multiply people by the hundreds right before the eyes of my master the king, but why on earth would you do a thing like this?” Nevertheless, the king insisted, and so Joab and the army officers left the king to take a census of Israel. They crossed the Jordan and began with Aroer and the town in the canyon of the Gadites near Jazer, proceeded through Gilead, passed Hermon, then on to Dan, but detoured Sidon. They covered Fort Tyre and all the Hivite and Canaanite cities, and finally reached the Negev of Judah at Beersheba. They canvassed the whole country and after nine months and twenty days arrived back in Jerusalem. Joab gave the results of the census to the king: 800,000 able-bodied fighting men in Israel; in Judah 500,000. But when it was all done, David was overwhelmed with guilt because he had counted the people, replacing trust with statistics. And David prayed to GOD, “I have sinned badly in what I have just done. But now GOD forgive my guilt—I’ve been really stupid.” When David got up the next morning, the word of GOD had already come to Gad the prophet, David’s spiritual advisor, “Go and give David this message: ‘GOD has spoken thus: There are three things I can do to you; choose one out of the three and I’ll see that it’s done.’” Gad came to deliver the message: “Do you want three years of famine in the land, or three months of running from your enemies while they chase you down, or three days of an epidemic on the country? Think it over and make up your mind. What shall I tell the one who sent me?” David told Gad, “They’re all terrible! But I’d rather be punished by GOD, whose mercy is great, than fall into human hands.” So GOD let loose an epidemic from morning until suppertime. From Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand people died. But when the angel reached out over Jerusalem to destroy it, GOD felt the pain of the terror and told the angel who was spreading death among the people, “Enough’s enough! Pull back!” The angel of GOD had just reached the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David looked up and saw the angel hovering between earth and sky, sword drawn and about to strike Jerusalem. David and the elders bowed in prayer and covered themselves with rough burlap. When David saw the angel about to destroy the people, he prayed, “Please! I’m the one who sinned; I, the shepherd, did the wrong. But these sheep, what did they do wrong? Punish me and my family, not them.” That same day Gad came to David and said, “Go and build an altar on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” David did what Gad told him, what GOD commanded. Araunah looked up and saw David and his men coming his way; he met them, bowing deeply, honoring the king and saying, “Why has my master the king come to see me?” “To buy your threshing floor,” said David, “so I can build an altar to GOD here and put an end to this disaster.” “Oh,” said Araunah, “let my master the king take and sacrifice whatever he wants. Look, here’s an ox for the burnt offering and threshing paddles and ox-yokes for fuel—Araunah gives it all to the king! And may GOD, your God, act in your favor.” But the king said to Araunah, “No. I’ve got to buy it from you for a good price; I’m not going to offer GOD, my God, sacrifices that are no sacrifice.” So David bought the threshing floor and the ox, paying out fifty shekels of silver. He built an altar to GOD there and sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. GOD was moved by the prayers and that was the end of the disaster.

2 Samuel 24:1-25 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Now again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and it incited David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” The king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, “Go about now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and register the people, that I may know the number of the people.” But Joab said to the king, “Now may the LORD your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see; but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?” Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab and against the commanders of the army. So Joab and the commanders of the army went out from the presence of the king to register the people of Israel. They crossed the Jordan and camped in Aroer, on the right side of the city that is in the middle of the valley of Gad and toward Jazer. Then they came to Gilead and to the land of Tahtim-hodshi, and they came to Dan-jaan and around to Sidon, and came to the fortress of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivites and of the Canaanites, and they went out to the south of Judah, to Beersheba. So when they had gone about through the whole land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. And Joab gave the number of the registration 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. Now David’s heart troubled him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O LORD, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” When David arose in the morning, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, “Go and speak to David, ‘Thus the LORD says, “I am offering you three things; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you.” ’ ” So 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 consider and see what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.” Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us now fall into the hand of the LORD for His mercies are great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.” So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and seventy thousand men of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the calamity and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough! Now relax your hand!” And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. Then David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, “Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me and against my father’s house.” So Gad came to David that day and said to him, “Go up, erect an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” David went up according to the word of Gad, just as the LORD had commanded. Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants crossing over toward him; and Araunah went out and bowed his face to the ground before the king. Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the LORD, that the plague may be held back from the people.” Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what is good in his sight. Look, the oxen for the burnt offering, the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. Everything, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the LORD your God accept you.” However, the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. David built there an altar to the LORD and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. Thus the LORD was moved by prayer for the land, and the plague was held back from Israel.

2 Samuel 24:1-25 New Living Translation (NLT)

Once again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he caused David to harm them by taking a census. “Go and count the people of Israel and Judah,” the LORD told him. So the king said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Take a census of all the tribes of Israel—from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south—so I may know how many people there are.” But Joab replied to the king, “May the LORD your God let you live to see a hundred times as many people as there are now! But why, my lord the king, do you want to do this?” But the king insisted that they take the census, so Joab and the commanders of the army went out to count the people of Israel. First they crossed the Jordan and camped at Aroer, south of the town in the valley, in the direction of Gad. Then they went on to Jazer, then to Gilead in the land of Tahtim-hodshi and to Dan-jaan and around to Sidon. Then they came to the fortress of Tyre, and all the towns of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went south to Judah as far as Beersheba. Having gone through the entire land for nine months and twenty days, they returned to Jerusalem. Joab reported the number of people to the king. There were 800,000 capable warriors in Israel who could handle a sword, and 500,000 in Judah. But after he had taken the census, David’s conscience began to bother him. And he said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt, LORD, for doing this foolish thing.” The next morning the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, who was David’s seer. This was the message: “Go and say to David, ‘This is what the LORD says: I will give you three choices. Choose one of these punishments, and I will inflict it on you.’” So Gad came to David and asked him, “Will you choose three years of famine throughout your land, three months of fleeing from your enemies, or three days of severe plague throughout your land? Think this over and decide what answer I should give the LORD who sent me.” “I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is great. Do not let me fall into human hands.” So the LORD sent a plague upon Israel that morning, and it lasted for three days. A total of 70,000 people died throughout the nation, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south. But as the angel was preparing to destroy Jerusalem, the LORD relented and said to the death angel, “Stop! That is enough!” At that moment the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. When David saw the angel, he said to the LORD, “I am the one who has sinned and done wrong! But these people are as innocent as sheep—what have they done? Let your anger fall against me and my family.” That day Gad came to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” So David went up to do what the LORD had commanded him. When Araunah saw the king and his men coming toward him, he came and bowed before the king with his face to the ground. “Why have you come, my lord the king?” Araunah asked. David replied, “I have come to buy your threshing floor and to build an altar to the LORD there, so that he will stop the plague.” “Take it, my lord the king, and use it as you wish,” Araunah said to David. “Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and you can use the threshing boards and ox yokes for wood to build a fire on the altar. I will give it all to you, Your Majesty, and may the LORD your God accept your sacrifice.” But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it, for I will not present burnt offerings to the LORD my God that have cost me nothing.” So David paid him fifty pieces of silver for the threshing floor and the oxen. David built an altar there to the LORD and sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. And the LORD answered his prayer for the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.

2 Samuel 24:1-25 King James Version (KJV)

And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. For the king said to Joab the captain of the host, which was with him, Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beer–sheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people. And Joab said unto the king, Now the LORD thy God add unto the people, how many soever they be, an hundredfold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing? Notwithstanding the king's word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the host. And Joab and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel. And they passed over Jordan, and pitched in Aroer, on the right side of the city that lieth in the midst of the river of Gad, and toward Jazer: Then they came to Gilead, and to the land of Tahtim–hodshi; and they came to Dan–jaan, and about to Zidon, And came to the strong hold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and of the Canaanites: and they went out to the south of Judah, even to Beer–sheba. So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men. And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying, Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beer–sheba seventy thousand men. And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite. And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father's house. And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite. And David, according to the saying of Gad, went up as the LORD commanded. And Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants coming on toward him: and Araunah went out, and bowed himself before the king on his face upon the ground. And Araunah said, Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar unto the LORD, that the plague may be stayed from the people. And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood. All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The LORD thy God accept thee. And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.

2 Samuel 24:1-25 New Century Version (NCV)

The LORD was angry with Israel again, and he caused David to turn against the Israelites. He said, “Go, count the people of Israel and Judah.” So King David said to Joab, the commander of the army, “Go through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and count the people. Then I will know how many there are.” But Joab said to the king, “May the LORD your God give you a hundred times more people, and may my master the king live to see this happen. Why do you want to do this?” But the king commanded Joab and the commanders of the army, so they left the king to count the Israelites. After crossing the Jordan River, they camped near Aroer on the south side of the city in the ravine. They went through Gad and on to Jazer. Then they went to Gilead and the land of Tahtim Hodshi and to Dan Jaan and around to Sidon. They went to the strong, walled city of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went to southern Judah, to Beersheba. After nine months and twenty days, they had gone through all the land. Then they came back to Jerusalem. Joab gave the list of the people to the king. There were eight hundred thousand men in Israel who could use the sword and five hundred thousand men in Judah. David felt ashamed after he had counted the people. He said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly by what I have done. LORD, I beg you to forgive me, your servant, because I have been very foolish.” When David got up in the morning, the LORD spoke his word to Gad, who was a prophet and David’s seer. The LORD told Gad, “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the LORD says: I offer you three choices. Choose one of them and I will do it to you.’ ” So Gad went to David and said to him, “Should three years of hunger come to you and your land? Or should your enemies chase you for three months? Or should there be three days of disease in your land? Think about it. Then decide which of these things I should tell the LORD who sent me.” David said to Gad, “I am in great trouble. Let the LORD punish us, because the LORD is very merciful. Don’t let my punishment come from human beings!” So the LORD sent a terrible disease on Israel. It began in the morning and continued until the chosen time to stop. From Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand people died. When the angel raised his arm toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD felt very sorry about the terrible things that had happened. He said to the angel who was destroying the people, “That is enough! Put down your arm!” The angel of the LORD was then by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. When David saw the angel that killed the people, he said to the LORD, “I am the one who sinned and did wrong. These people only followed me like sheep. They did nothing wrong. Please punish me and my family.” That day Gad came to David and said, “Go and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” So David did what Gad told him to do, just as the LORD commanded. Araunah looked and saw the king and his servants coming to him. So he went out and bowed facedown on the ground before the king. He said, “Why has my master the king come to me?” David answered, “To buy the threshing floor from you so I can build an altar to the LORD. Then the terrible disease will stop.” Araunah said to David, “My master and king, you may take anything you want for a sacrifice. Here are some oxen for the whole burnt offering and the threshing boards and the yokes for the wood. My king, I give everything to you.” Araunah also said to the king, “May the LORD your God be pleased with you.” But the king answered Araunah, “No, I will pay you for the land. I won’t offer to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for one and one-fourth pounds of silver. He built an altar to the LORD there and offered whole burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the LORD answered his prayer for the country, and the disease in Israel stopped.

2 Samuel 24:1-25 American Standard Version (ASV)

And again the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them, saying, Go, number Israel and Judah. And the king said to Joab the captain of the host, who was with him, Go now to and fro through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the sum of the people. And Joab said unto the king, Now Jehovah thy God add unto the people, how many soever they may be, a hundredfold; and may the eyes of my lord the king see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing? Notwithstanding, the king’s word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the host. And Joab and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel. And they 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 unto Jazer: then they came to Gilead, and to the land of Tahtim-hodshi; and they came to Dan-jaan, and round about to Sidon, and 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 Beer-sheba. So when they had gone to and fro through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. And Joab gave up the sum of the numbering of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men. And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto Jehovah, I have sinned greatly in that which I have done: but now, O Jehovah, put away, I beseech thee, the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. And when David rose up in the morning, the word of Jehovah came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, Go and speak unto David, Thus saith Jehovah, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thy foes while they pursue thee? or shall there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise thee, and consider what answer I shall return to him that sent me. And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of Jehovah; for his mercies are great; and let me not fall into the hand of man. So Jehovah sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed; and there died of the people from Dan even to Beer-sheba seventy thousand men. And when the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, Jehovah repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough; now stay thy hand. And the angel of Jehovah was by the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite. And David spake unto Jehovah when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done perversely; but these sheep, what have they done? let thy hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house. And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto Jehovah in the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite. And David went up according to the saying of Gad, as Jehovah commanded. And Araunah 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. And Araunah said, Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the threshing-floor of thee, to build an altar unto Jehovah, that the plague may be stayed from the people. And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, the oxen for the burnt-offering, and the threshing instruments and the yokes of the oxen for the wood: all this, O king, doth Araunah give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, Jehovah thy God accept thee. And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will verily buy it of thee at a price; neither will I offer burnt-offerings unto Jehovah my God which cost me nothing. So David bought the threshing-floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar unto Jehovah, and offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings. So Jehovah was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.

2 Samuel 24:1-25 New International Version (NIV)

Again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.” So the king said to Joab and the army commanders with him, “Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and enroll the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are.” But Joab replied to the king, “May the LORD your God multiply the troops a hundred times over, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?” The king’s word, however, overruled Joab and the army commanders; so they left the presence of the king to enroll the fighting men of Israel. After crossing the Jordan, they camped near Aroer, south of the town in the gorge, and then went through Gad and on to Jazer. They went to Gilead and the region of Tahtim Hodshi, and on to Dan Jaan and around toward Sidon. Then they went toward the fortress of Tyre and all the towns of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went on to Beersheba in the Negev of Judah. After they had gone through the entire land, they came back to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. Joab reported the number of the fighting men to the king: In Israel there were eight hundred thousand able-bodied men who could handle a sword, and in Judah five hundred thousand. David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, LORD, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.” Before David got up the next morning, the word of the LORD had come to Gad the prophet, David’s seer: “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the LORD says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’ ” So Gad went to David and said to him, “Shall there come on you three years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me.” David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.” So the LORD sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the LORD relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the LORD was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the LORD, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd, have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family.” On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” So David went up, as the LORD had commanded through Gad. When Araunah looked and saw the king and his officials coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground. Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” “To buy your threshing floor,” David answered, “so I can build an altar to the LORD, that the plague on the people may be stopped.” Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever he wishes and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. Your Majesty, Araunah gives all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May the LORD your God accept you.” But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them. David built an altar to the LORD there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the LORD answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.

2 Samuel 24:1-25 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Now again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and He incited David against them to say, “Go, count [the people of] Israel and Judah.” So the king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, “Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan [in the north] to Beersheba [in the south], and conduct a census of the people, so that I may know the number of the people.” But Joab said to the king, “May the LORD your God add to the people a hundred times as many as there are, and let the eyes of my lord the king see it; but why does my lord the king want to do this thing?” Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab and the commanders of the army. So they went from the king’s presence to take a census of the people of Israel. They crossed over the Jordan and camped in Aroer, on the south side of the city which is in the middle of the river valley [of the Arnon] toward Gad, and on toward Jazer. Then they came to Gilead and to the land of Tahtim-hodshi, and they came to Dan-jaan and around to Sidon, and they came to the stronghold of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivites and Canaanites, and they went out to the south of Judah, to Beersheba. So when they had gone about through all the land [taking the census], they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. And Joab gave the sum of the census of the people to the king. In Israel there were 800,000 valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were 500,000. But David’s heart (conscience) troubled him after he had counted the people. David said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O LORD, please take away the sin of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” When David got up in the morning, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, “Go and say to David, ‘Thus says the LORD, “I am giving you three choices; select one of them for yourself, and I will do it to you.” ’ ” So 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 enemies as they pursue you? Or shall there be three days of pestilence (plague) in your land? Now consider this and decide what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.” Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for His mercies are great, but do not let me fall into the hands of man.” So the LORD sent a pestilence (plague) [lasting three days] upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and seventy thousand men of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. When the [avenging] angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the disaster and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough! Now relax your hand.” And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he spoke to the LORD and said, “Behold, I [alone] am the one who has sinned and done wrong; but these sheep (people of Israel), what have they done [to deserve this]? Please let Your hand be [only] against me and my father’s house (family).” Then Gad [the prophet] came to David that day and said to him, “Go up, set up an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite [where you saw the angel].” So David went up according to Gad’s word, as the LORD commanded. Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants crossing over toward him; and he went out and bowed before the king with his face toward the ground. Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, to build an altar to the LORD, so that the plague may be held back from the people.” Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up whatever seems good to him. Look, here are oxen for the burnt offering, and threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. All of this, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the LORD your God be favorable to you.” But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will certainly buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing.” So David purchased the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. David built an altar to the LORD there, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was moved [to compassion] by [David’s] prayer for the land, and the plague was held back from Israel.

2 Samuel 24:1-25 English Standard Version 2016 (ESV)

Again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” So the king said to Joab, the commander of the army, who was with him, “Go through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, that I may know the number of the people.” But Joab said to the king, “May the LORD your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see it, but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?” But the king’s word prevailed against Joab and the commanders of the army. So Joab and the commanders of the army went out from the presence of the king to number the people of Israel. They crossed the Jordan and began from Aroer, and from the city that is in the middle of the valley, toward Gad and on to Jazer. Then they came to Gilead, and to Kadesh in the land of the Hittites; and they came to Dan, and from Dan they went around to Sidon, and came to the fortress of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivites and Canaanites; and they went out to the Negeb of Judah at Beersheba. So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to the king: in Israel there were 800,000 valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were 500,000. LORD But David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O LORD, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done very foolishly.” And when David arose in the morning, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, “Go and say to David, ‘Thus says the LORD, Three things I offer you. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you.’” So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall three 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 consider, and decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me.” Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.” So the LORD sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning until the appointed time. And there died of the people from Dan to Beersheba 70,000 men. And when the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the calamity and said to the angel who was working destruction among the people, “It is enough; now stay your hand.” And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. Then David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who was striking the people, and said, “Behold, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and against my father’s house.” And Gad came that day to David and said to him, “Go up, raise an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” So David went up at Gad’s word, as the LORD commanded. And when Araunah looked down, he saw the king and his servants coming on toward him. And Araunah went out and paid homage to the king with his face to the ground. And Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the LORD, that the plague may be averted from the people.” Then Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him. Here are the oxen for the burnt offering and the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the LORD your God accept you.” But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar to the LORD and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD responded to the plea for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel.