1 Chronicles 21:1-9 (The Message)

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1 Now Satan entered the scene and seduced David into taking a census of Israel. 2 David gave orders to Joab and the army officers under him, "Canvass all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and get a count of the population. I want to know the number." 3 Joab resisted: "May God multiply his people by hundreds! Don't they all belong to my master the king? But why on earth would you do a thing like this - why risk getting Israel into trouble with God?" 4 But David wouldn't take no for an answer, so Joab went off and did it - canvassed the country and then came back to Jerusalem 5 and reported the results of the census: There were 1,100,000 fighting men; of that total, Judah accounted for 470,000. 6 Joab, disgusted by the command - it, in fact, turned his stomach! - protested by leaving Levi and Benjamin out of the census-taking. 7 And God, offended by the whole thing, punished Israel. 8 Then David prayed, "I have sinned badly in what I have just done, substituting statistics for trust; forgive my sin - I've been really stupid." 9 God answered by speaking to Gad, David's pastor:
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