2 Samuel 24:21
And Araunah said, Why is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the threshing floor of you, to build an altar to the LORD, that the plague may be stayed from the people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2 Samuel 24:21-22. Wherefore is my lord the king come? — Wherefore doth the king do me this honour, and give himself the trouble of coming to me? Behold, here be the oxen — Which were employed by him in his present work of thrashing. And instruments of the oxen — Their yokes, and the instruments which they drew after them, to beat and press out the corn.24:18-25 God's encouraging us to offer to him spiritual sacrifices, is an evidence of his reconciling us to himself. David purchased the ground to build the altar. God hates robbery for burnt-offering. Those know not what religion is, who chiefly care to make it cheap and easy to themselves, and who are best pleased with that which costs them least pains or money. For what have we our substance, but to honour God with it; and how can it be better bestowed? See the building of the altar, and the offering proper sacrifices upon it. Burnt-offerings to the glory of God's justice; peace-offerings to the glory of his mercy. Christ is our Altar, our Sacrifice; in him alone we may expect to escape his wrath, and to find favour with God. Death is destroying all around, in so many forms, and so suddenly, that it is madness not to expect and prepare for the close of life.And his servants - In Chronicles "his four sons," namely, David's. It is very possible that David may have taken his sons with him, as well as his elders, and Gad's original narrative may have mentioned the circumstance, which the compiler of this chapter did not care to specify, and so used the general term "his servants." 21. to build an altar unto the Lord, that the plague may be stayed—It is evident that the plague was not stayed till after the altar was built, and the sacrifice offered, so that what is related (2Sa 24:16) was by anticipation. Previous to the offering of this sacrifice, he had seen the destroying angel as well as offered the intercessory prayer (2Sa 24:17). This was a sacrifice of expiation; and the reason why he was allowed to offer it on Mount Moriah was partly in gracious consideration to his fear of repairing to Gibeon (1Ch 21:29, 30), and partly in anticipation of the removal of the tabernacle and the erection of the temple there (2Ch 3:1). Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? wherefore doth the king do me this honour, and give himself the trouble of coming to me? And Araunah said, wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant?.... Which both implies admiration in him, that so great a person should visit him in his threshingfloor; that a king should come to a subject his servant, who should rather have come to him, and would upon the least intimation; it was a piece of condescension he marvelled at; and it expresses a desire to know his pleasure with him, supposing it must be something very urgent and important, that the king should come himself upon it: and to this David made answer:

and David said, what he was come for:

to buy the threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar to the Lord, that the plague may be stayed from the people; for though David had acknowledged his sin, and God had repented of the evil he inflicted for it, and given orders for stopping it; yet he would have an altar built, and sacrifices offered, to show that the only way to have peace, and pardon, and safety from ruin and destruction, deserved by sin, is through the expiatory sacrifice of Christ, of which fill sacrifices were typical, and were designed to lead the faith of the Lord's people to that.

And {l} 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.

(l) Called also Ornan 1Ch 21:20.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
God then gave (sent) a pestilence into (upon) Israel, "from the morning till the time of the assembly;" and there died of the people in the whole land (from Dan to Beersheba) seventy thousand men. "From the morning:" on which Gad had foretold the punishment. The meaning of מועד ועד־עת is doubtful. The rendering "to the time appointed," i.e., "till the expiration of the three days," in support of which the Vulgate (ad tempus constitutum) is wrongly appealed to, is precluded not only by the circumstance that, according to 2 Samuel 24:16, the plague was stayed earlier because God repented Him of the evil, so that it did not last so long as was at first appointed, but also by the grammatical difficulty that מועד עת has no article, and can only be rendered "for an (not for the) appointed time." We meet with two different explanations in the ancient versions: one in the Septuagint, ἕως ὥρας ἀρίστου, "till the hour of breakfast," i.e., till the sixth hour of the day, which is the rendering also adopted by the Syriac and Arabic as well as by Kimchi and several of the Rabbins; the other in the Chaldee (Jonathan), "from the time at which the sacrifice is commonly slain until it is consumed." Accordingly Bochart explains מועד את as signifying "the time at which the people came together for evening prayers, about the ninth hour of the day, i.e., the third hour in the afternoon" (vid., Acts 3:1). The same view also lies at the foundation of the Vulgate rendering, according to the express statement of Jerome (traditt. Hebr. in 2 libr. Regum): "He calls that the time appointed, in which the evening sacrifice was offered." It is true that this meaning of מועד cannot be established by precisely analogous passages, but it may be very easily deduced from the frequent employment of the word to denote the meetings and festivals connected with the worship of God, when it generally stands without an article, as for example in the perfectly analogous מועד יום (Hosea 9:5; Lamentations 2:7, Lamentations 2:22); whereas it is always written with the article when it is sued in the general sense of a fixed time, and some definite period is referred to.

(Note: The objections brought against this have no force in them, viz., that, according to this view, the section must have been written a long time after the captivity (Clericus and Thenius), and that "the perfectly general expression 'the time of meeting' could not stand for the time of the afternoon or evening meeting" (Thenius): for the former rests upon the assumption that the daily sacrifice was introduced after the captivity, - an assumption quite at variance with the historical facts; and the latter is overthrown by the simple remark, that the indefinite expression derived its more precise meaning from the legal appointment of the morning and evening sacrifice as times of meeting for the worship of God, inasmuch as the evening meeting was the only one that could be placed in contrast with the morning.)

We must therefore decide in favour of the latter. But if the pestilence did not last a whole day, the number of persons carried off by it (70,000 men) exceeded very considerably the number destroyed by the most violent pestilential epidemics on record, although they have not unfrequently swept off hundreds of thousands in a very brief space of time. But the pestilence burst upon the people in this instance with supernatural strength and violence, that it might be seen at once to be a direct judgment from God.

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