The LORD said to Gad,1 David's seer,210
"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, "This is what the LORD says: 'Take your choice:
three years of famine,3 three months of being swept awaya before your enemies, with their swords overtaking you, or three days of the sword4 of the LORD5--days of plague in the land, with the angel of the LORD ravaging every part of Israel.' Now then, decide how I should answer the one who sent me."
David said to Gad, "I am in deep distress. Let me fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy6 is very great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men."
So the LORD sent a plague on Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell dead.715
And God sent an angel8 to destroy Jerusalem.9 But as the angel was doing so, the LORD saw it and was grieved10 because of the calamity and said to the angel who was destroying11 the people, "Enough! Withdraw your hand." The angel of the LORD was then standing at the threshing floor of Araunahb the Jebusite.
David looked up and saw the angel of the LORD standing between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand extended over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell facedown.1217
David said to God, "Was it not I who ordered the fighting men to be counted? I am the one who has sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep.13 What have they done? O LORD my God, let your hand fall upon me and my family,14 but do not let this plague remain on your people."
Then the angel of the LORD ordered Gad to tell David to go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor15 of Araunah the Jebusite.
So David went up in obedience to the word that Gad had spoken in the name of the LORD.
While Araunah was threshing wheat,16 he turned and saw the angel; his four sons who were with him hid themselves.
Then David approached, and when Araunah looked and saw him, he left the threshing floor and bowed down before David with his face to the ground.
David said to him, "Let me have the site of your threshing floor so I can build an altar to the LORD, that the plague on the people may be stopped. Sell it to me at the full price."
Araunah said to David, "Take it! Let my lord the king do whatever pleases him. Look, I will give the oxen for the burnt offerings, the threshing sledges for the wood, and the wheat for the grain offering. I will give all this."
But King David replied to Araunah, "No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing."
So David paid Araunah six hundred shekelsc of gold for the site.
David built an altar to the LORD there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings.d He called on the LORD, and the LORD answered him with fire17 from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.
Then the LORD spoke to the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath.