2 Samuel 24:16
And when the angel stretched out his hand on 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 your hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing place of Araunah the Jebusite.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2 Samuel 24:16. The angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem — Which he had begun to smite, and in which he was proceeding to make a far greater slaughter. This angel appeared in the shape of a man, with a sword drawn in his hand, to convince the people more fully that this was no natural plague, but one inflicted by the immediate hand of God. The Lord repented him of the evil — That is, he in part recalled his sentence of the plague’s continuance for three whole days; and this he did upon David’s prayers and sacrifices, as appears from 2 Samuel 24:25, though these be mentioned afterward. This was on mount Moriah; in the very same place where Abraham, by a countermand from heaven, was stayed from slaying his son, this angel, by a like countermand, was stayed from destroying Jerusalem. It is for the sake of the great sacrifice, that our forfeited lives are preserved from the destroying angel.24:16,17 Perhaps there was more wickedness, especially more pride, and that was the sin now chastised, in Jerusalem than elsewhere, therefore the hand of the destroyer is stretched out upon that city; but the Lord repented him of the evil, changed not his mind, but his way. In the very place where Abraham was stayed from slaying his son, this angel, by a like countermand, was stayed from destroying Jerusalem. It is for the sake of the great Sacrifice, that our forfeited lives are preserved from the destroying angel. And in David is the spirit of a true shepherd of the people, offering himself as a sacrifice to God, for the salvation of his subjects.The time appointed - Perhaps "the time of the assembly," meaning the time of the evening sacrifice, at three o'clock, when the people assembled for prayer, more commonly described as "the time of the evening oblation" Daniel 9:21; 1 Kings 18:29, 1 Kings 18:36; Acts 3:1; Luke 1:10.

Seventy thousand - It is the most destructive plague recorded as having fallen upon the Israelites. In the plague that followed the rebellion of Korah there died 14,700 Numbers 16:49; in the plague, on account of Baal-Peor, 24,000 Numbers 25:9; 1 Corinthians 10:8.

16. the Lord repented him of the evil—God is often described in Scripture as repenting when He ceased to pursue a course He had begun. The angel appeared in the shape of a man with a sword in his hand, 1 Chronicles 21:16, to convince them more fully that this was no natural nor common plague, but inflicted immediately by the hand of God.

Upon Jerusalem; which he had begun to smite, and was proceeding to make a far greater slaughter.

The Lord repented him of the evil, i.e. he moderated, and in part recalled, his sentence of the plague’s continuance for three whole days, and this he did upon David’s prayers and sacrifices, as appears from 2 Samuel 24:25, though these be mentioned afterward.

Araunah, called also Araniah in the Hebrew of 2 Samuel 24:18, and Ornan, 1 Chronicles 21:22; such changes in the pronunciation of the names being usual in Scripture. And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it,.... Which, as it was perhaps the last place where the people were numbered, it was the last to which the plague came: this angel appeared in an human form, standing "between the earth and the heaven"; in the midst of the heaven, in the air, right over Jerusalem: "having a drawn sword in his hand stretched over the city"; as is said in 1 Chronicles 21:16; which was done as a menace, and to inject terror into David and the inhabitants of the city, and to give them notice of what they must expect:

the Lord repented him of the evil; he was inflicting, and now threatened Jerusalem with; having compassion on the place where the ark, the symbol of his presence, was, where a temple was to be built to the honour of his name, and where he should be worshipped; and therefore stopped proceeding; as men, when they repent of anything done by them, cease from it, so did the Lord now; otherwise repentance, properly speaking, falls not on him, and so it is next explained:

and said to the angel that destroyed the people; not the angel of death, the devil, but a good angel, who had a commission from God for this business:

it is enough: stay now thine hand: there is a sufficient number slay no more:

and the angel of the Lord was by the threshing place of Araunah the Jebusite; that is, he was in the air, right over the spot, or near it, where was this man's threshingfloor; and was seen by Araunah and his four sons, who upon it hid themselves, perhaps among the sheaves they were threshing, 1 Chronicles 21:20; and this threshingfloor was on Mount Moriah, 2 Chronicles 3:1; as threshingfloors commonly were on mountains for the sake of winnowing the corn when threshed; See Gill on Ruth 3:2; who, according to Ben Gersom, though he was by birth a Jebusite, was proselyted to the Jewish religion.

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: {i} stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite.

(i) The Lord spared this place, because he had chosen it to build his temple there.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. the angel] Angels are God’s ministers in temporal judgment now, as well as in the final judgment hereafter. Cp. Exodus 12:23; Psalm 78:49; 2 Kings 19:35; Acts 12:23; Matthew 13:41.

the Lord repented him of the evil] Cp. Exodus 32:14; Jeremiah 26:13; Jeremiah 26:19; Jonah 3:10. On the one hand Scripture teaches us that “God is not a man that he should repent” (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29); on the other hand it does not shrink from saying that God repents (a) when, as here, upon man’s penitence He withdraws or mitigates a punishment: (b) when, upon man’s faithlessness or disobedience, He cancels a promise or revokes a blessing which He had given. God’s repentance does not mean that He who foreknows all things regrets His action, nor is it a sign of mutability. Scripture boldly states the two apparently contradictory truths, and leaves conscience to harmonize them. See notes on 1 Samuel 15:11; 1 Samuel 15:29.

the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite] The threshingfloor: precisely the same word as in 2 Samuel 24:18; 2 Samuel 24:21; 2 Samuel 24:24. Threshingfloors were constructed on eminences, to catch the wind for winnowing the grain. Araunah’s threshingfloor was on Mount Moriah, the hill to the eastward of Jerusalem, and was the site upon which the Temple was afterwards built (2 Chronicles 3:1). See Additional Note VI. p. 240. This Mount Moriah was identified by Jewish tradition (e.g. Josephus Ant. VII. 13. 4) with the mountain in the land of Moriah which was the scene of the sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22:2 ff.), but the identification has been questioned. See Sinai and Pal. p. 251.

It has been supposed by some that the sacred rock of the Moslems, which is the highest point of the Temple hill, and is now covered by the Kubbet es Sakhrah or “Dome of the Rock,” marks the actual site of Araunah’s threshing-floor. See Sinai and Pal. p. 178 ff.

Araunah] The name is variously spelt Aravnah (2 Samuel 24:16 Qrî), Avarnah (2 Samuel 24:16 Kthîbh), Aranyah (2 Samuel 24:18 Kthîbh); in Chron. it is written Ornan; and in the Sept. in both books “Ὄρνα (Orna). This variety of form is probably due to different attempts to represent a non-Hebraic name. There is no ground for the popular belief (based on a misunderstanding of 2 Samuel 24:23) that Araunah was the old king of Jebus before its conquest by David, and had been permitted by David to reside on his estate just outside Jerusalem. But his presence there is an evidence that the old inhabitants had been allowed to remain, and even to retain their property. Cp. 1 Kings 9:20.Verse 16. - The angel. In the next verse we are told that David saw the angel, and more fully in 1 Chronicles 21:16 that he beheld him "standing between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand." The pestilence plainly was not a natural visitation; though possibly the means used was a simoom, or poisonous wind, advancing with terrible rapidity throughout Israel. The Lord repented. In all the dealings of God's providence, his actions are made to depend upon human conduct. Looked at from above, from God's side, all things are foreknown and immutably fixed; looked at from man's side, all is perpetually changing as man changes. The rescue of Jerusalem as the result of David's penitence and prayers, is thus to human view a change in the counsels and even in the feelings of him who changeth not. The threshing place. "The threshing floor," as rightly translated in vers. 18, 21, 24. Threshing floors were constructed, whenever possible, on eminences, that the wind might drive the chaff and dust away. Araunah's was on the east of Jerusalem, outside the walls, upon Mount Moriah, and was the site on which the temple was built (see 2 Chronicles 3:1). Araunah. The name is so spelt seven times in vers. 20-24, for which reason the Massorites have substituted it for Avarnah, found in this verse in the Hebrew text, and for Aranyah in ver. 18. In 1 Chronicles 21 the name is spelt Ornan; in the Septuagint in all places, Ὀρνά, Orna, and in the Syriac, Oron. The name is, of course, a Jebusite word, and the variation arises from the narrators having written down the sound as it caught their ears. In this, as in many other particulars, it is clear that the chronicler derived his account from independent Sources. David's heart, i.e., his conscience, smote him, after he had numbered the people, or had given orders for the census to be taken. Having now come to a knowledge of his sin, he prayed to the Lord for forgiveness, because he had acted foolishly. The sin consisted chiefly in the self-exaltation which had led to this step (see the introductory remarks).
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