And David spake unto the Lord
In prayer; he and the elders of Israel being clothed in sackcloth, and fallen on their faces, he prayed, not unto the angel, but to Jehovah that sent him; see ( 1 Chronicles 21:16 1 Chronicles 21:17 ) ;
when he saw the angel that smote the people;
in the air over Jerusalem, with a drawn sword in his hand, which made him appear terrible:
and said, lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly;
in numbering the people:
but these sheep, what have they done?
he looked upon himself as the only transgressor, and his people as innocent, and as harmless as sheep; he thought of no sins but his own; these were uppermost in his mind, and lay heavy on his conscience; and it grieved him extremely the his people should suffer on his account: but they were not so innocent as he thought and suggests; and it was not only for his, but their sins, this evil came; he was suffered to do what he did, to bring upon them deserved punishment for their rebellion against him, and other sins; however, this shows the high opinion he had of them, the great affection he had for them, and his sympathy with them in this time of distress:
let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father's
let me and mine die, and not they; a type of Christ, the good Shepherd, willing to lay down his life for the sheep, and suffer in their stead, that they might go free.