Darby Bible Translation
David Forces a Census
1And Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel. 2And David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, Go, number Israel from Beer-sheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it. 3And Joab said, Jehovah add to his people, how many soever they be, a hundredfold: are they not all, my lord O king, my lord's servants? why does my lord require this thing? why should he become a trespass to Israel? 4But the king's word prevailed against Joab; and Joab departed, and went through all Israel, and came [again] to Jerusalem. 5And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people to David. And all they of Israel were eleven hundred thousand men that drew sword; and of Judah, four hundred and seventy thousand men that drew sword. 6But Levi and Benjamin he did not count among them; for the king's word was abominable to Joab.
Judgment for David's Sin
7And God was displeased on account of this thing, and he smote Israel. 8And David said to God, I have sinned greatly, in that I have done this thing; and now, I beseech thee, put away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.
9And Jehovah spoke to Gad, David's seer, saying, 10Go and speak to David saying, Thus saith Jehovah: I offer thee three [things]; choose one of them, that I may do it unto thee. 11And Gad came to David, and said to him, Thus saith Jehovah: 12Choose thee, either three years of famine, or three months to be destroyed before thine adversaries while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee, or three days the sword of Jehovah and the pestilence in the land, and the angel of Jehovah destroying through all the borders of Israel. And now consider what word I shall bring again to him that sent me. 13And David said to Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall, I pray thee, into the hand of Jehovah, for his mercies are very great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.
David's Repentance Spares Jerusalem
14And Jehovah sent a pestilence upon Israel; and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men. 15And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; and as he was destroying, Jehovah beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough; withdraw now thine hand. And the angel of Jehovah stood by the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of Jehovah stand between the earth and the heavens, and his sword drawn in his hand, stretched out over Jerusalem. And David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces. 17And David said to God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? It is I that have sinned and done evil; but these sheep, what have they done? Let thy hand, I pray thee, Jehovah my God, be on me and on my father's house; but not on thy people, that they should be smitten.
David Builds an Altar
18And the angel of Jehovah commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up and rear an altar to Jehovah in the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he had spoken in the name of Jehovah. 20And Ornan turned back and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat. 21And David came to Ornan, and Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshing-floor, and bowed himself to David with [his] face to the ground. 22And David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of the threshing-floor, that I may build an altar in it to Jehovah: grant it to me for the full money, that the plague may be stayed from the people. 23And Ornan said to David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his sight: see, I give the oxen for the burnt-offering, and the threshing-sledges for wood, and the wheat for the oblation; I give it all. 24And king David said to Ornan, No; but I will in any case buy [them] for the full money; for I will not take that which is thine for Jehovah, to offer up a burnt-offering without cost. 25And David gave to Ornan for the place in shekels of gold the weight of six hundred [shekels]. 26And David built there an altar to Jehovah, and offered up burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, and called upon Jehovah; and he answered him from the heavens by fire upon the altar of burnt-offering. 27And Jehovah spoke to the angel; and he put up his sword again into its sheath.
28At that time when David saw that Jehovah had answered him in the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there. 29And the tabernacle of Jehovah, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt-offering, were at that time in the high place at Gibeon. 30But David could not go before it to inquire of God; for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of Jehovah.