1 Chronicles 21:1-14 (RSV)
- Satan stood up against Israel, and incited David to
- So David said to Jo'ab and the
commanders of the army, "Go, number Israel, from Beer-sheba to Dan,
and bring me a report, that I may know their number."
- But Jo'ab said, "May the LORD add to his people a hundred times
as many as they are! Are they not, my lord the king, all of them my lord's
servants? Why then should my lord require this? Why should he bring guilt
- But the king's word prevailed against Jo'ab. So Jo'ab departed
and went throughout all Israel, and came back to Jerusalem.
- And Jo'ab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to
David. In all Israel there were one million one hundred thousand men
who drew the sword, and in Judah four hundred and seventy thousand who
drew the sword.
- But he did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, for
the king's command was abhorrent to Jo'ab.
- But God was displeased with this thing, and he smote Israel.
- And David said to God, "I have sinned greatly in that I have done
this thing. But now, I pray thee, take away the iniquity of thy servant;
for I have done very foolishly."
- And the LORD spoke to Gad, David's seer, saying,
- "Go and say to David, 'Thus says the LORD, Three things I offer
you; choose one of them, that I may do it to you.'"
- So Gad came to David and said to him, "Thus says the LORD, 'Take
which you will:
- either three years of famine; or three months of devastation by
your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you; or else three
days of the sword of the LORD, pestilence upon the land, and the angel of
the LORD destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.' Now decide
what answer I shall return to him who sent me."
- Then David said to Gad, "I am in great distress; let me fall
into the hand of the LORD, for his mercy is very great; but let me not
fall into the hand of man."
- So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel; and there fell
seventy thousand men of Israel.