The Bible in Its Traditions

1 Chronicles 21:1–30

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And Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.

And the devil stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.

Now Satan rose up against Israel, and he incited David so that he would number Israel.

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And David said to Joab and to the princes of the people: 'Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring me word, that I may know the sum of them.'

And king David said to Joab and to the captains of the forces, Go, number Israel from Bersabee even to Dan, and bring me the account, and I shall know their number.

So David said to Joab the son of Zuriah and to the princes of the people, Go, number the people of Israel from Beersheba even to Dan, and come back to me, that I may know the number of the people.

And Joab said: 'YHWH make His people a hundred times so many more as they are; but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants? why doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of guilt unto Israel?'

And Joab said, May the Lord add to his people, a hundred-fold as many as they are, and let the eyes of my lord the king see it: all are the servants of my lord. Why does my lord seek this thing? do it not, lest it become a sin to Israel.

And Joab said to King David, May the LORD make his people a hundred times so many more as they are, and let the eyes of my lord the king see it, for they are all his servants; why then should our lord the king require this thing?

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Nevertheless the king's word prevailed against Joab. Wherefore Joab departed and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem.

But the word of the king prevailed instead. And Joab went away, and he traveled around, through all of Israel. And he returned to Jerusalem.

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And Joab gave up the sum of the numbering of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and a hundred thousand men that drew sword; and Judah was four hundred three-score and ten thousand men that drew sword.

And he gave to David the number of those whom he had surveyed. And the entire number of Israel was found to be one million and one hundred thousand men who could draw the sword; but from Judah, there were four hundred and seventy thousand men of war.

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But Levi and Benjamin he did not number among them; for the king's word was abominable to Joab.

But he numbered not Levi and Benjamin among them; for the word of the king was painful to Joab.

But the Levites, the priests, and the tribe of Benjamin were not counted among them; for the king's word was abominable to Joab, and Joab was unwilling to number them.

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And God was displeased with this thing; therefore He smote Israel.

And there was evil in the sight of the Lord respecting this thing; and he smote Israel.

Then God was displeased with what had been ordered, and so he struck Israel.

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And David said unto God: 'I have sinned greatly, in that I have done this thing; but now, put away, I beseech Thee, the iniquity of Thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.'

And David said to God: “I have sinned exceedingly in doing this. I beg you take away the iniquity of your servant. For I have acted unwisely.”

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And YHWH spoke unto Gad, David's seer, saying

And the Lord spoke to Gad the seer, saying,

And David arose early in the morning, and the word of the LORD came to Gad, the prophet, saying,

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10  'Go and speak unto David, saying: Thus saith YHWH: I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.'

10  “Go, and speak to David, and tell him: Thus says the Lord: I give to you the option of three things. Choose the one that you will want, and I will do it to you.”

10  Go and tell David, saying, Thus says the LORD: I offer you three disasters; choose one of them, that I may do it to you.

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11  So Gad came to David, and said unto him: 'Thus saith YHWH: Take which thou wilt

11  And Gad came to David, and said to him, Thus saith the Lord, Choose for thyself,

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12  either three years of famine; or three months to be swept away before thy foes, while the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of YHWH, even pestilence in the land, and the angel of the YHWH destroying throughout all the borders of Israel. Now therefore consider what answer I shall return to Him that sent me.'

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13  And David said unto Gad: 'I am in a great strait; let me fall now into the hand of YHWH, for very great are His mercies; and let me not fall into the hand of man.'

13  And David said to Gad, They are very hard for me, even all the three: let me fall now into the hands of the Lord, for his mercies are very abundant, and let me not fall by any means into the hands of man.

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14  So YHWH sent a pestilence upon Israel; and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.

14  So the Lord brought pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.

14  Therefore, the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel. And there fell from Israel seventy thousand men.

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15  And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it; and as he was about to destroy, YHWH beheld, and He repented Him of the evil, and said to the destroying angel: 'It is enough; now stay thy hand.' And the angel of the YHWH was standing by the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

15  Also, he sent an Angel to Jerusalem, so that he might strike it. And while he was striking, the Lord saw and took pity over the magnitude of the harm. And he commanded the Angel who was striking: “It is enough. Now let your hand cease.” And the Angel of the Lord was standing beside the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

15  And the LORD sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; and as he was destroying it, the LORD saw and considered it and averted the disaster, and said to the angel that destroyed, You have destroyed a great many, stay now your hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshing floor of Aran the Jebusite.

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16  And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of YHWH standing between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.

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 toward Jerusalem. And both he and those greater by birth, being clothed in haircloth, fell prone upon the ground.

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17  And David said unto God: 'Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done very wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done? let Thy hand, I pray Thee, O YHWH my God, be against me, and against my father's house; but not against Thy people, that they should be plagued.'

17  And David said to God, Was it not I that gave orders to number the people? and I am the guilty one; I have greatly sinned: but these sheep, what have they done? O Lord God, let thy hand be upon me, and upon my father’s house, and not on thy people for destruction, O Lord!

17  And David said to God: “Am I not the one who ordered that the people be numbered? It is I who sinned; it is I who did evil. This flock, what does it deserve? O Lord my God, I beg you to let your hand be turned against me and against the house of my father. But let not your people be struck down.”

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18  Then the angel of YHWH commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and rear an altar unto the YHWH in the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

18  And the angel of the Lord told Gad to tell David, that he should go up to erect and altar to the Lord, in the threshing-floor of Orna the Jebusite.

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19  And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spoke in the name of YHWH.

19  Therefore, David ascended, in accord with the word of Gad, which he had spoken to him in the name of the Lord.

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20  And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons that were with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat.

20  Now when Ornan had looked up and seen the Angel, he and his four sons hid themselves. For at that time, he was threshing wheat upon the floor.

20  And David saw the angel who was destroying the people, that he had stayed his hand and was destroying no more.

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21  And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshing-floor, and bowed down to David with his face to the ground.

21  And David came to Orna; and Orna came forth from the threshing-floor, and did obeisance to David with his face to the ground.

21  Then, as David was approaching Ornan, Ornan saw him, and he went out from the threshing floor to meet him. And he reverenced him prone on the ground.

22  Then David said to Ornan: 'Give me the place of this threshing-floor, that I may build thereon an altar unto YHWH; for the full price shalt thou give it me; that the plague may be stayed from the people.'

22  And David said to Orna, Give me thy place of the threshing-floor, and I will build upon it an altar to the Lord: give it me for its worth in money, and the plague shall cease from among the people.

22  And David said to him: “Give this place of your threshing floor to me, so that I may build an altar to the Lord upon it. And you shall accept from me as much money as it is worth, so that the plague may cease from the people.”

23  And Ornan said unto David: 'Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes; lo, I give thee the oxen for burnt-offerings, and the threshing-instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meal-offering; I give it all'

23  And Orna said to David, Take it to thyself, and let my lord the king do what is right in his eyes: see, I have given the calves for a whole-burnt-offering, and the plough for wood, and the corn for a meat-offering; I have given all.

23  But Ornan said to David: “Take it, and may my lord the king do whatever pleases him. Moreover, I give the oxen also as a holocaust, and the plow for wood, and the wheat for a sacrifice. I will offer all freely.”

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24  And king David said to Ornan: 'Nay, but I will verily buy it for the full price; for I will not take that which is thine for YHWH, nor offer a burnt-offering without cost.'

24  And king David said to him: “By no means shall it be so. Instead, I will give money to you, as much as it is worth. For I must not take it from you, and thereby offer to the Lord holocausts that cost nothing.”

24  But King David said to Aran, Far be it, but I will surely buy it with money for the full price; for I will not take that which is yours and offer a burnt offering to the LORD without cost.

25  So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.

25  Therefore, David gave Ornan, for the place, the very just weight of six hundred shekels of gold.

25  So David bought from Aran that place of the threshing floor for fifty shekels.

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26  And David built there an altar unto YHWH, and offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, and called upon the YHWH; and He answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt-offering.

26  And David built there an altar to the Lord, and offered up whole-burnt-offerings and peace-offerings: and he cried to the Lord, and he answered him by fire out of heaven on the altar of whole-burnt-offerings, and it consumed the whole-burnt-offering.

26  And he built an altar to the Lord there. And he offered holocausts and peace offerings, and he called upon the Lord. And he heeded him by sending fire from heaven upon the altar of the holocaust.

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27  And YHWH commanded the angel; and he put up his sword back into the sheath thereof.

27  And the Lord spoke to the angel; and he put up the sword into its sheath.

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28  At that time, when David saw that YHWH had answered him in the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there.

28  Then, seeing that the Lord had heeded him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, David immediately immolated victims there.

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29  For the tabernacle of YHWH, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt-offering, were at that time in the high place at Gibeon.

29  But the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses had made in the desert, and the altar of holocausts, were at that time on the high place of Gibeon.

29  And he pitched there before the LORD the tabernacle which Moses had made in the wilderness when the children of Israel went forth out of Egypt.

30  But David could not go before it to inquire of God; for he was terrified because of the sword of the angel of YHWH.

30  And David was unable to go to the altar, so that he might pray to God there. For he had been struck with an exceedingly great fear, seeing the sword of the Angel of the Lord.

30  At that time David was exceedingly afraid, and could not go to pray before the LORD for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD.