2 Samuel 24:24
And the king said to Araunah, No; but I will surely buy it of you at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God of that which does cost me nothing. So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(24) Of that which cost me nothing.—The principle on which David acted is that which essentially underlies all true sacrifice and all real giving to God.

For fifty shekels of silver.—This sum is expressly said to cover the cost both of the ground and of the oxen, and seems very small. In 1Chronicles 21:25, it reads “six hundred shekels of gold by weight.” One of the most ingenious propositions for the reconciliation of the two statements is that our text speaks of fifty shekels, not of silver but of money, and that Chronicles means that these were of gold, in value equal to 600 shekels of silver. But the explanation is quite inconsistent with the text in both places. In one of them the statement of price must have been altered in transcription. In the entire uncertainty as to the extent of the purchase of Araunah (the whole hill of Moriah, or only a part), and of the value of land in the locality and at the time, it is impossible to decide between the two.

2 Samuel 24:24. Neither will I offer that which doth cost me nothing — For this would be both dishonourable to God, as if I thought him not worthy of a costly sacrifice, and a disparagement to myself, as if I were unable or unwilling to offer a sacrifice of my own goods. David bought the thrashing-floor, &c., for fifty shekels of silver — In 1 Chronicles 21:25, he is said to give for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight. Probably here he speaks of the price paid for the thrashing-floor, oxen, and instruments; and there for the whole place adjoining, on which the temple and its courts were built, which certainly was very much larger than this thrashing-floor, and probably had Araunah’s house, if not some other buildings, upon it.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.Fifty shekels of silver - In Chronicles, "six hundred shekels of gold by weight." In explanation, it is supposed - that the fifty shekels here mentioned were gold shekels, each worth twelve silver shekels, so that the fifty gold shekels are equal to the 600 silver; that our text should be rendered, "David bought the threshing-floor and the oxen for money," namely, "fifty shekels;" and that the passage in Chronicles should be rendered, "David qave to Ornan gold shekels of the value" (or weight) "of 600 shekels." What is certain is that our text represents the fifty shekels as the price of the threshing-floor and the oxen.24. Nay; … I will … buy it of thee at a price—The sum mentioned here, namely, fifty shekels of silver, equal £6 sterling, was paid for the floor, oxen and wood instruments only, whereas the large sum (1Ch 21:25) was paid afterwards for the whole hill, on which David made preparations for building the temple. Of that which doth cost me nothing; for this would be both dishonourable to God, as if I thought him not worthy of a costly sacrifice; and a disparagement to myself, as if I were unable and unwilling to offer a sacrifice of my own goods; and unsatisfactory to the command of God, which obligeth all offenders, and me in a particular manner, to offer sacrifice of their own estate.

For fifty shekels of silver.

Object. In 1 Chronicles 21:25, he is said to give for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.

Answ. These two places may be fairly reconciled divers ways. First, Here he speaks of the price paid for the threshing-floor, and oxen, and instruments; and there for the whole place adjoining, on which the temple and its courts were built, which certainly was very much larger than this threshing-floor, and probably had Araunah’s house, if not some others, now built upon it. Secondly, The shekels here may be of gold, and in 1Ch 21 of silver; and so the proportion of gold to silver being that of twelve to one, fifty shekels of gold make six hundred shekels of silver. And whereas it may be objected, that on the contrary these fifty shekels are said to be of silver, and the six hundred of gold, this they answer by another translation of the words. For they render this place thus, agreeably enough to the words and the order of the Hebrew text, he bought them for silver, (or, for money, as the Hebrew word chesoph oft signifies, and particularly in this very history in the parallel place, 1 Chronicles 21:24, where David desires to buy it for the full price, or for full money, where in the Hebrew it is for full silver,) even for fifty shekels, to wit, of gold, as it is expressed 1 Chronicles 21:25; which place they render thus, and that consonantly to the Hebrew, he gave shekels of gold of the value (for the Hebrew word mishkal signifies value as well as weight, as was before noted on 2 Samuel 12:30) of six hundred shekels, to wit, of silver. And this may seem added in the Book of the Chronicles, lest it should be thought that the fifty shekels here mentioned were but common and silver shekels. Thirdly, There is a considerable difference in the phrase in these two places: here he mentions for what David

bought it, or what he was obliged to give for it; and in Chronicles what he actually gave for it, to wit, of his royal bounty, over and besides the full price of it; which was decent and convenient for so great a king, and especially upon so great an occasion, and to him who had given him such a noble example. And the king said unto Araunah, nay, but I will surely buy it of thee at a price,.... And a full price too, 1 Chronicles 21:24; that is, give him as much for it as it was worth:

neither will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing; which shows an ingenuous spirit, and contrary to the temper of many, who like to serve the Lord in the cheapest manner, or with little cost to themselves:

so David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver; which, reckoning a shekel at two shillings and sixpence, made but just six pounds five shillings of our money; though its value is but about two shillings and four pence farthing, which reduces the sum; in 1 Chronicles 21:25, David is said to give six hundred shekels of gold by weight; two ways are proposed by the Jews (i) for the reconciling of the difficulty; the one is, that fifty shekels were collected out of every tribe, and twelve times fifty make six hundred shekels, and these were of the value or weight of gold; but this seems not likely, that it should be collected out of all the tribes, and since it appears plainly to be the king's purchase, and with his money: the other is, that there were two purchases, the first was of the threshingfloor, oxen, and instruments, which were bought for fifty shekels of silver, as here, and the other was a purchase of the place, as it is called in the book of Chronicles; that large space of ground on which afterwards the temple, and all the courts adjoining to it, were built, and which was now Araunah's farm, and on which were his dwelling house, and other buildings; and for all this David gave him six hundred shekels of gold, which made three hundred ounces (k) and reckoning gold as twelve times the value of silver, according to Brerewood (l), it amounted to four hundred fifty pounds of our money; and learned men have not been able to give a better solution of this difficulty; and with this Montanus (m) agrees. Bochart and Noldius have taken another way, but not so clear and satisfactory; the Septuagint of 1 Chronicles 21:25 has fifty shekels, as here.

(i) T. Bab. Zebachim, fol. 116. 2.((k) Vid. Gronov. de Pecunia Vet. l. 3. c. 7. p. 369. (l) De Ponder. & Pretiis, c. 5. (m) Tubal-Cain, p. 15. So Hieron. Trad. Heb. fol. 80. F.

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 {n} fifty shekels of silver.

(n) Some write that every tribe gave 50 which makes 600, or that afterward he bought as much as came to 550 shekels.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
24. neither will I offer … of that which doth cost me nothing] For that would contradict the essential idea of sacrifice. “It is an heartless piety of those base-minded Christians that care only to serve God good cheap.” Bp. Hall. Cp. Malachi 1:13-14.

David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver] The corresponding statement in 1 Chronicles 21:25 is that “David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.” If this refers to the same purchase, we can only suppose that the numbers in one or both of the passages are corrupt: but it is possible that the immediate purchase of the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver was a distinct transaction from the subsequent purchase of “the place,” that is, the whole area upon which the Temple was erected, for six hundred shekels of gold.Verses 24, 25. - David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. In 1 Chronicles 21:25, "So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight." There is a superficial, but no real discrepancy between these two narratives. David gave the fifty shekels for the immediate use of the place, and for the oxen and implements. He had no idea at the time of permanently occupying it, and probably the note in the LXX., interpolated by scribes from the margin into the text, is true, "And Solomon added to the altar afterwards, for it was small at the first." It was a small altar hurriedly put together for the purpose of offering one sacrifice; and fifty shekels would be full compensation. But the sacrifice had hallowed the spot, and, when finally it was selected as the site for the temple, David bought the whole area and all that Araunah possessed there. Fifty shekels of silver would be about £9; six hundred shekels of gold would be about £1500; so that there is no comparison between the two sums. But the precious metals were worth very much more in David's time than in ours, so that the smaller sum was adequate compensation for David's first acquisition, while the larger implies the purchase of an extensive and valuable estate. Substantially the fuller narrative in Chronicles agrees with this. David refuses to sacrifice of that which cost him nothing, and must therefore have at once paid for what he took. But When God accepted his offering, and answered him by fire from heaven, then David said, "This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar of the burnt offering for Israel." And as the Chronicler has in view throughout the selection of the site for the temple, he naturally mentions its full cost. In the Book of Samuel this purpose is not expressly mentioned, and the narrative closes with the forgiveness of the sin both of David and his people. Jehovah was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed. But this sudden smiting down of so large a host humbled both king and people, and their eagerness for war and their lust of empire ceased. ? DEO GLORIA.



David's prayer was heard. The prophet Gad came and said to him by command of Jehovah, "Go up, and erect an altar to the Lord upon the floor of Aravnah the Jebusite." This is all that is communicated here of the word of Jehovah which Gad was to convey to the king; the rest is given afterwards, as is frequently the case, in the course of the subsequent account of the fulfilment of the divine command (2 Samuel 24:21). David was to build the altar and offer burnt-offerings and supplicatory-offerings upon it, to appease the wrath of Jehovah. The plague would then be averted from Israel.
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