Before David got up the next morning, the word of the LORD had come to Gad1 the prophet, David's seer:212
"Go and tell David, 'This is what the LORD says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.' "
So Gad went to David and said to him, "Shall there come upon you threea years of famine3 in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague4 in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me."
David said to Gad, "I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy5 is great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men."
So the LORD sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died.616
When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the LORD was grieved7 because of the calamity and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, "Enough! Withdraw your hand." The angel of the LORD8 was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the LORD, "I am the one who has sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep.9 What have they done?10 Let your hand fall upon me and my family."11
On that day Gad went to David and said to him, "Go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah12 the Jebusite."
So David went up, as the LORD had commanded through Gad.
When Araunah looked and saw the king and his men coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground.
Araunah said, "Why has my lord the king come to his servant?" "To buy your threshing floor," David answered, "so I can build an altar to the LORD, that the plague on the people may be stopped."13