1Again, Yahweh's anger was aroused against Israel, and he incited David against them. 'Go,' he said,'take a census of Israel and Judah.' 2The king said to Joab and the senior army officers who were with him, 'Now, go through al the tribesof Israel from Dan to Beersheba, and take a census of the people; I wish to know the size of the population.' 3Joab said to the king, 'May Yahweh your God multiply the people a hundred times -- however manythere are -- while my lord the king stil has eyes to see it, but why should my lord the king be set on this?' 4The king nonetheless enforced his order on Joab and the senior officers, and Joab and the seniorofficers left the king's presence, to take a census of the people of Israel. 5They crossed the Jordan and made a start with Aroer and the town in the middle of the valley, thenmoved on to the Gadites and to Jazer. 6They then went to Gilead and the territory of the Hittites, to Kadesh; they then went to Dan and fromDan cut across to Sidon. 7They then went to the fortress of Tyre and to al the towns of the Hittites and Canaanites ending up inthe Negeb of Judah at Beersheba. 8Having travel ed throughout the country, after nine months and twenty days they returned toJerusalem. 9Joab gave the king the census results for the people; Israel had eight hundred thousand fighting menwho could wield a sword, and Judah five hundred thousand. 10But afterwards David's heart misgave him for having taken a census of the people. David then said toYahweh, 'I have committed a grave sin by doing this. But now, Yahweh, I beg you to forgive your servant for thisfault, for I have acted very foolishly.' 11When, however, David got up next morning, the fol owing message had come from Yahweh to theprophet Gad, David's seer, 12'Go and say to David, "Yahweh says this: I offer you three things; choose which one of them I am toinflict on you." ' 13So Gad went to David and said, 'Which do you prefer: to have three years of famine befal yourcountry; to flee for three months before a pursuing army; or to have three days of epidemic in your country? Nowthink, and decide how I am to answer him who sends me.' 14David said to Gad, 'I am very apprehensive . . . Better to fal into Yahweh's hands, since his merciesare great, than to fal into the hands of men!' 15So David chose the epidemic. It was the time of the wheat harvest. So Yahweh unleashed anepidemic on Israel from that morning until the time determined; plague ravaged the people and, of the peoplefrom Dan to Beersheba, seventy thousand died. 16But when the angel stretched his hand towards Jerusalem to destroy it, Yahweh felt sorry about thecalamity and said to the angel who was destroying the people, 'Enough now! Hold your hand!' The angel ofYahweh was standing by the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17When David saw the angel who was ravaging the people, he said to Yahweh, 'I was the one whosinned. I was the one who acted wrongly. But these, the flock, what have they done? Let your hand lie heavy onme and on my family!' 18Gad went to David that day and said, 'Go up and raise an altar to Yahweh on the threshing-floor ofAraunah the Jebusite.' 19So, at Gad's bidding, David went up, as Yahweh had ordered. 20When Araunah looked up and saw the king and his retinue advancing towards him-Araunah wasthreshing the wheat -- Araunah came forward and prostrated himself on the ground at the king's feet. 21'Why has my lord the king come to his servant?' Araunah asked. David replied, 'To buy the threshing-floor from you, to build an altar to Yahweh, so that the plague may be lifted from the people.' 22Araunah said to David, 'Let my lord the king take it and make what offerings he thinks fit. Here arethe oxen for the burnt offering, the threshing-sleds and the oxen's yokes for the wood. 23My lord the king's servant wil give the king everything. And', Araunah said to the king, 'may Yahwehyour God accept what you offer!' 24'No,' said the king to Araunah, 'I shal give you a price for it; I will not offer Yahweh my God burntofferings which have cost me nothing.' David bought the threshing-floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25David built an altar to Yahweh and offered burnt offerings and communion sacrifices. Yahweh thentook pity on the country and the plague was lifted from Israel.
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