Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.
So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, "Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so that I may know how many there are."
But Joab replied, "May the LORD multiply his troops a hundred times over. My lord the king, are they not all my lord's subjects? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?"
The king's word, however, overruled Joab; so Joab left and went throughout Israel and then came back to Jerusalem.
Joab reported the number of the fighting men to David: In all Israel there were one million one hundred thousand men who could handle a sword, including four hundred and seventy thousand in Judah.
But Joab did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, because the king's command was repulsive to him.
This command was also evil in the sight of God; so he punished Israel.
Then David said to God, "I have sinned greatly by doing this. Now, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing."
The LORD said to Gad, David's seer,
"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, three months of being swept away before your enemies, with their swords overtaking you, or three days of the sword of the LORD --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 mercy 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.
And God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem. But as the angel was doing so, the LORD saw it and was grieved because of the calamity and said to the angel who was destroying the people, "Enough! Withdraw your hand." The angel of the LORD was then standing at the threshing floor of Araunah 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.
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. What have they done? O LORD my God, let your hand fall upon me and my family, 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 floor 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, 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 shekels of gold for the site.
David built an altar to the LORD there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. He called on the LORD, and the LORD answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.
Then the LORD spoke to the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath.
At that time, when David saw that the LORD had answered him on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, he offered sacrifices there.
The tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses had made in the desert, and the altar of burnt offering were at that time on the high place at Gibeon.
But David could not go before it to inquire of God, because he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the LORD.
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.
A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.
He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today."6
So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.' "
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."
Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.
He said: "A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return.13So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. 'Put this money to work,' he said, 'until I come back.'14"But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, 'We don't want this man to be our king.'15"He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.16"The first one came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned ten more.'17" 'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.'18"The second came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned five more.'19"His master answered, 'You take charge of five cities.'20"Then another servant came and said, 'Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth.21I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.'22"His master replied, 'I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow?23Why then didn't you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?'24"Then he said to those standing by, 'Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.'25" 'Sir,' they said, 'he already has ten!'26"He replied, 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.27But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them--bring them here and kill them in front of me.' "
After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them,
30"Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.31If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it.' "32
Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them.
As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?"
They replied, "The Lord needs it."
They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it.
As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"
40"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."41
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it
and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes.43The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.44They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."
Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling.
46"It is written," he said to them, " 'My house will be a house of prayer'; but you have made it 'a den of robbers.' "47
Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him.
Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.