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The Bible in Living English
24 And Jehovah was again angry with Israel, and instigated David against them, prompting him to go and count Israel and Judah. 2 And the king said to Joab and the captains of the army “Canvass all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beer-Shebaʽ, and list the people, so that I may know the number of the people.” 3 And Joab said to the king “Jehovah your God make the people as many again and a hundred times as many again, while your majesty’s eyes see it; but why does your majesty have this desire?” 4 But David’s word overbore Joab and the captains of the army; and Joab and the captains of the army went out from the king’s presence to list the people, Israel. 5 And they crossed the Jordan and started at ʽAroʽer and the city in the middle of the arroyo, the Gadites on to Jaʽzer, 6 and came to Gilead and on to the Hittite cities at Kadesh, and came to Dan and ʽIjon, and went around great Sidon 7 and came to Tyre Fortress, and all the Hivvite and Canaanite cities, and came out in the Judahite South at Beer-Shebaʽ; 8 and they canvassed all the country, and at the end of nine months and twenty days they came to Jerusalem 9 and Joab gave the count of the census to the king. And of Israel there were eight hundred thousand stalwart fighting men, and of the men of Judah there were five hundred thousand. 10 And David’s conscience pricked him after the enumeration of the people; and David said to Jehovah “I was very wrong in what I did; now, Jehovah, set your servant’s offense aside, for I did very foolishly.” 11* And when David rose in the morning, Jehovah’s word had come to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying 12 “Go tell David ‘Says Jehovah, I make you three propositions: choose one of them and have me do it to you.’” 13 And Gad came to David and told him, and said to him “Shall there come to you three years of famine in your country, or three months of flying before your foe, he pursuing you, or three days of pestilence in your country? now see and make up your mind what answer I shall return to the one who sent me.” 14 And David said to Gad “It is a very hard case; let us fall into Jehovah’s hands, because he has great kindliness; let me not fall into men’s hands”; 15* and David chose the pestilence. And the season was that of wheat-harvest. And the deaths had been among the people, and there had died of the people from Dan to Beer-Shebaʽ seventy thousand men, 16 and the angel had put out his hand to Jerusalem to ravage it, and Jehovah took the evil to heart and said to the ravaging angel “That will do; now hold your hand.” And the Angel of Jehovah was by Ornah the Jebusite’s threshing-floor. 17 And David said to Jehovah, when he saw the angel that was striking among the people, “Here it is I who have sinned, I who am guilty, and these are the sheep; what have they done? let your hand be on me and my family.” 18 And Gad came to David that day and said to him “Go up and erect an altar to Jehovah on Ornah the Jebusite’s threshing-floor”; 19 and David went up in accordance with Gad’s words as directed by Jehovah. 20 And Ornah the Jebusite looked over and saw the king and his officers coming across to him, and Ornah went out and did reverence to David with his face to the ground. 21 And Ornah said “How is it your majesty comes to your servant?” and David said “To buy the threshing-floor from you, to build an altar to Jehovah and have the deaths among the people shut off.” 22 And Ornah said to David “Your majesty may take and offer what you think best: see here the cattle for the offering, and the threshing-boards and the woodwork of the team for fuel; 23* your majesty’s servant Ornah gives your majesty all.” And Ornah said to the king “May your God Jehovah give you a favorable hearing.” 24 But the king said to Ornah “No, I will buy it of you at a price, and not offer my God Jehovah burnt-offerings that cost nothing”; and David bought the threshingfloor and the cattle for cash, fifty shekels. 25 And David built an altar to Jehovah there, and offered burnt-offerings and welfare-sacrifices, and Jehovah let himself be invoked for the country, and the deaths among Israel were shut off.