Bible Text & Cross-references:
David's sin, in numbering the people, is punished by a
pestilence: which ceaseth upon his offering sacrifice in the threshing-floor of Ornan.
1 And *satan rose up against Israel: and moved David to number Israel.
2 And David said to Joab, and to the rulers of the people: Go, and number
Israel from Bersabee even unto Dan, and bring me the number of them, that I may know it.
3 And Joab answered: The Lord make his people a hundred times more than
they are: but, my lord the king, are they not all thy servants? why doth my lord seek this thing, which may be imputed as
a sin to Israel?
4 But the king's word rather prevailed: and Joab departed, and went through
all Israel: and returned to Jerusalem.
5 And he gave David the number of them, whom he had surveyed: and all
the number of Israel, was found to be eleven hundred thousand men that drew the sword: and of Juda, four hundred and seventy
thousand fighting men.
6 But Levi and Benjamin he did not number: for Joab unwillingly executed
the king's orders.
7 And God was displeased with this thing that was commanded: and he struck
8 And David said to God: I have sinned exceedingly in doing this: I beseech
thee, take away the iniquity of thy servant, for I have done foolishly.
9 And the Lord spoke to Gad, the seer of David, saying:
10 Go, and speak to David, and tell him: Thus saith the Lord: I give
thee the choice of three things: choose one which thou wilt, and I will do it to thee.
11 And when Gad was come to David, he said to him: Thus saith the Lord:
Choose which thou wilt:
12 Either three years' famine: or three months to flee from thy enemies,
and not to be able to escape their sword: or three days to have the sword of the Lord, and pestilence in the land, and the
angel of the Lord destroying in all the coasts of Israel: now, therefore, see what I shall answer him who sent me.
13 And David said to Gad: I am on every side in a great strait: but it
is better for me to fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercies are many, than into the hands of men.
14 So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel. And there fell of Israel
seventy thousand men.
15 And he sent an angel to Jerusalem, to strike it: and as he was striking
it, the Lord beheld, and took pity for the greatness of the evil: and said to the angel that destroyed: It is enough; now
stop thy hand. And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshing-floor of Ornan, the Jebusite.
16 And David, lifting up his eyes, saw the angel of the Lord standing
between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand, turned against Jerusalem: and both he, and the ancients, clothed
in hair-cloth, fell down flat on the ground.
17 And David said to God: Am not I he that commanded the people to be
numbered? It is I that have sinned: it is I that have done the evil: but as for this flock, what hath it deserved? O Lord,
my God, let thy hand be turned, I beseech thee, upon me, and upon my father's house: and let not thy people be destroyed.
18 And the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to tell David, to go up, and
build an altar to the Lord God, in the threshing-floor of Ornan, the Jebusite.
19 And David went up, according to the word of Gad, which he spoke to
him in the name of the Lord.
20 Now when Ornan looked up, and saw the angel, he and his four sons
hid themselves: for at that time he was threshing wheat in the floor.
21 And as David was coming to Ornan, Ornan saw him, and went out of the
threshing-floor to meet him, and bowed down to him, with his face to the ground.
22 And David said to him: Give me this place of thy threshing-floor,
that I may build therein an altar to the Lord: but thou shalt take of me as much money as it is worth, that the plague may
cease from the people.
23 And Ornan said to David: Take it, and let my lord the king do all
that pleaseth him: and moreover, the oxen also I give for a holocaust, and the drays for wood, and the wheat for the sacrifice:
I will give it all willingly.
24 And king David said to him: It shall not be so: but I will give thee
money as much as it is worth: for I must not take it from thee, and so offer to the Lord holocausts free-cost.
25 So David gave to Ornan for the place, six hundred sicles of gold of
26 *And he built there an altar to the Lord: and he offered holocausts,
and peace-offerings, and he called upon the Lord, and he heard him, by sending fire from heaven upon the altar of the holocaust.
27 And the Lord commanded the angel: and he put up his sword again into
28 And David seeing that the Lord had heard him, in the threshing-floor
of Ornan, the Jebusite, forthwith offered victims there.
29 But the tabernacle of the Lord, *which Moses made in the desert, and
the altar of holocausts, was at that time in the high place of Gabaon.
30 And David could not go to the altar, there to pray to God: for he
was seized with an exceedingly great fear, seeing the sword of the angel of the Lord.
1: Year of the World 2987.; 2 Kings xxiv. 1.; 1 Paralipomenon
26: 2 Paralipomenon iii. 1.
29: Exodus xxxvi. 2.