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The Bible in Living English
21 And a Satan stood up against Israel and instigated David to count Israel. 2* And David said to Joab and the captains of the people “Go enumerate Israel from Dan to Beer-Shebaʽ and bring me the result, so that I may know the number of them.” 3 And Joab said “Jehovah make the people a hundred times as many again! is my lord not the king? my lord has all of them for subjects—why should my lord call for this? why should it bring guilt on Israel?” 4 But David’s word overbore Joab, and Joab went out and went back and forth throughout Israel, and came in to Jerusalem. 5 And Joab gave the count of the census to the king; and all Israel came to eleven hundred thousand fighting men, and Judah to four hundred and seventy thousand fighting men. 6 But Levi and Benjamin he did not count in among them, because the king’s word was abhorrent to Joab. 7 And God disliked this thing, and struck at Israel. 8 And David said to God “I was very wrong in doing this thing; now set your servant’s offense aside, for I did very foolishly.” 9 And Jehovah spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying 10 “Go and speak to David, telling him ‘Says Jehovah, I make you three offers; choose one of these and have me do it to you.’” 11 And Gad came to David and said to him “Says Jehovah, Take your option, 12 either three years of famine or three months of being in flight before your foes, your enemy’s sword coming up with you, or three days of Jehovah’s sword and pestilence in the country and Jehovah’s angel ravaging throughout Israel’s territory. Now see what answer I shall return to the one who sent me.” 13 And David said to Gad “It is a very hard case; let me fall into Jehovah’s hands, because he has very great kindliness; let me not fall into men’s hands.” 14 And Jehovah gave a pestilence in Israel, and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men. 15 And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to ravage it; but when he was ravaging Jehovah saw and took the evil to heart and said to the ravaging angel “That will do; now hold your hand.” And the angel of Jehovah was standing by Ornan the Jebusite’s threshing-floor; 16 and David raised his eyes and saw the angel of Jehovah standing between the earth and the sky with his drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem, and David and the elders, with sackcloths for covering, threw themselves down on their faces. 17 And David said to God “It was I, was it not, that ordered the people counted, and I was the one who sinned and did evil, and these are the sheep; what have they done? my God Jehovah, let your hand be on me and my family, but on your people not for havoc.” 18 And Jehovah’s angel told Gad to tell David that David should go up to erect an altar to Jehovah on Ornan the Jebusite’s threshing-floor; 19 and David went up at Gad’s word which he spoke in Jehovah’s name. 20 And Ornan turned back and saw the angel, and his four sons with him were hiding themselves, but Ornan was threshing wheat. 21 And David came where Ornan was; and Ornan looked and saw David, and came out from the threshing-floor and did reverence to David with his face to the ground. 22 And David said to Ornan “Give me the site of the threshing-floor to build an altar to Jehovah on—give it to me for full money—to have the deaths among the people shut off.” 23 And Ornan said to David “Take it, and your majesty may do what you think best; see, I give you the cattle for the offerings and the threshing-boards for fuel and the wheat for the meal-offering; I give you all.” 24 But King David said to Ornan “No, I will buy it for full money, and not pick up what is yours for Jehovah and offer a burnt-offering that costs nothing”; 25 and David gave Ornan for the site six hundred shekels of gold by weight. 26* And David built an altar to Jehovah there, and offered burnt-offerings and welfare-sacrifices, and called to Jehovah, and he answered him with fire out of the sky upon the altar of burnt-offering, and it consumed the burnt-offering. 27 And Jehovah gave the angel word, and he sheathed his sword. 28 At that time, when David saw that Jehovah had answered him on Ornan the Jebusite’s threshing-floor, he sacrificed there 29 (though Jehovah’s tabernacle which Moses made was at that time at the height in Gibeon; 30 but David could not go before it to invoke God because he was terrorized by the sword of Jehovah’s angel);