Young's Literal Translation
David Forces a Census
1And there standeth up an adversary against Israel, and persuadeth David to number Israel, 2And David saith unto Joab, and unto the heads of the people, ‘Go, number Israel from Beer-Sheba even unto Dan, and bring unto me, and I know their number.’ 3And Joab saith, ‘Jehovah doth add to His people as they are a hundred times; are they not, my lord, O king, all of them to my lord for servants? why doth my lord seek this? why is he for a cause of guilt to Israel?’ 4And the word of the king [is] severe against Joab, and Joab goeth out, and goeth up and down in all Israel, and cometh in to Jerusalem. 5And Joab giveth the account of the numbering of the people unto David, and all Israel is a thousand thousand and a hundred thousand, each drawing sword, and Judah [is] four hundred and seventy thousand, each drawing sword. 6And Levi and Benjamin he hath not numbered in their midst, for the word of the king was abominable with Joab.
Judgment for David's Sin
7And it is evil in the eyes of God concerning this thing, and He smiteth Israel, 8and David saith unto God, ‘I have sinned exceedingly, in that I have done this thing; and now, cause to pass away, I pray Thee, the iniquity of Thy servant, for I have acted very foolishly.’
9And Jehovah speaketh unto Gad, seer of David, saying: 10‘Go, and thou hast spoken unto David, saying, Thus said Jehovah, Three — I am stretching out unto thee; choose for thee one of these, and I do [it] to thee.’ 11And Gad cometh in unto David, and saith to him, ‘Thus said Jehovah, Take for thee — 12either for three years — famine, or three months to be consumed from the face of thine adversaries, even the sword of thine enemies to overtake, or three days the sword of Jehovah, even pestilence in the land, and a messenger of Jehovah destroying in all the border of Israel; and now, see; what word do I return to Him who is sending me?’ 13And David saith unto Gad, ‘I am greatly distressed, let me fall, I pray thee, into the hand of Jehovah, for very many [are] His mercies, and into the hand of man let me not fall.’
David's Repentance Spares Jerusalem
14And Jehovah giveth a pestilence in Israel, and there fall of Israel seventy thousand men, 15and God sendeth a messenger to Jerusalem to destroy it, and as he is destroying Jehovah hath seen, and is comforted concerning the evil, and saith to the messenger who [is] destroying, ‘Enough, now, cease thy hand.’ And the messenger of Jehovah is standing by the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, 16and David lifteth up his eyes, and seeth the messenger of Jehovah standing between the earth and the heavens, and his sword drawn in his hand, stretched out over Jerusalem, and David falleth, and the elders, covered with sackcloth, on their faces. 17And David saith unto God, ‘Did not I — I say to number the people? Yea, I it [is] who have sinned, and done great evil: and these, the flock, what did they? O Jehovah, my God, let, I pray Thee, Thy hand be on me, and on the house of my father, and not on Thy people — to be plagued.’
David Builds an Altar
18And the messenger of Jehovah spake unto Gad, saying for David, ‘Surely David doth go up to raise an altar to Jehovah in the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite.’ 19And David goeth up by the word of Gad, that he spake in the name of Jehovah. 20And Ornan turneth back, and seeth the messenger, and his four sons [are] with him, hiding themselves, and Ornan is threshing wheat. 21And David cometh in unto Ornan, and Ornan looketh attentively, and seeth David, and goeth out from the threshing-floor, and boweth himself to David — face to the earth. 22And David saith unto Ornan, ‘Give to me the place of the threshing-floor, and I build in it an altar to Jehovah; for full silver give it to me, and the plague is restrained from the people.’ 23And Ornan saith unto David, ‘Take to thee — and my lord the king doth that which is good in his eyes: see, I have given the oxen for burnt-offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for a present; the whole I have given.’ 24And king David saith to Ornan, ‘Nay, for I surely buy for full silver; for I do not lift up that which is thine to Jehovah, so as to offer a burnt-offering without cost.’ 25And David giveth to Ornan for the place shekels of gold [in] weight six hundred; 26and David buildeth there an altar to Jehovah, and offereth burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, and calleth unto Jehovah, and He answereth him with fire from the heavens on the altar of the burnt-offering. 27And Jehovah saith to the messenger, and he turneth back his sword unto its sheath.
28At that time when David seeth that Jehovah hath answered him in the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificeth there; 29and the tabernacle of Jehovah that Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt-offering, [are] at that time in a high place, in Gibeon; 30and David is not able to go before it to seek God, for he hath been afraid because of the sword of the messenger of Jehovah.