2 Samuel 24:10-17

The Lord's Judgment of David's Sin

10 But 1David's heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the LORD, 2"I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O LORD, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done 3very foolishly."
11 And when David arose in the morning, the word of the LORD came to 4the prophet Gad, David's 5seer, saying,
12 "Go and say to David, 'Thus says the LORD, Three things I offer[a] you. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you.'"
13 So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, "Shall 6three[b] years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days' pestilence in your land? Now consider, and decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me."
14 Then David said to Gad, "I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the LORD, 7for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man."
15 8So the LORD sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning until the appointed time. And there died of the people from 9Dan to Beersheba 70,000 men.
16 And when 10the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem 11to destroy it, 12the LORD relented from the calamity and said to the angel 13who was working destruction among the people, "It is enough; now stay your hand." And 14the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of 15Araunah the Jebusite.
17 Then David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who was striking the people, and said, "Behold, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and against my father's house."

2 Samuel 24:10-17 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO SECOND SAMUEL 24

In this chapter an account is given of David's numbering of the people, 2Sa 24:1-9; of the sense he had of his sin, and of his acknowledgment of it; and of the Lord's displeasure at it, who sent the prophet Gad to him, to propose three things to him, one of which he was to choose as a punishment for it, 2Sa 24:10-13; when he chose the pestilence, which carried off a great number of the people, 2Sa 24:14-17; and David was directed to build an altar to the Lord in the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite, with whom he agreed for it, and built one on it, and offered upon it, and so the plague was stayed, 2Sa 24:18-25.

2 Samuel 24:10-17 In-Context

8 So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.
9 And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to the king: in Israel there were 800,000 valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were 500,000.
10 But David's heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the LORD, "I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O LORD, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done very foolishly."
11 And when David arose in the morning, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying,
12 "Go and say to David, 'Thus says the LORD, Three things I offer you. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you.'"
13 So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, "Shall three years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days' pestilence in your land? Now consider, and decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me."
14 Then David said to Gad, "I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man."
15 So the LORD sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning until the appointed time. And there died of the people from Dan to Beersheba 70,000 men.
16 And when the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the calamity and said to the angel who was working destruction among the people, "It is enough; now stay your hand." And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
17 Then David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who was striking the people, and said, "Behold, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and against my father's house."
18 And Gad came that day to David and said to him, "Go up, raise an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite."
19 So David went up at Gad's word, as the LORD commanded.

Cross References 15

  • 1. 1 Samuel 24:5
  • 2. 2 Samuel 12:13
  • 3. See 1 Samuel 13:13
  • 4. See 1 Samuel 22:5
  • 5. See 1 Samuel 9:9
  • 6. [1 Chronicles 21:12]
  • 7. Psalms 119:156
  • 8. 1 Chronicles 27:24
  • 9. ver. 2
  • 10. 2 Kings 19:35; 2 Chronicles 32:21; Isaiah 37:36; Acts 12:23
  • 11. Exodus 12:13, 23
  • 12. Genesis 6:6; 1 Samuel 15:11; Joel 2:13, 14; Jonah 3:10
  • 13. Exodus 12:13, 23
  • 14. 2 Kings 19:35; 2 Chronicles 32:21; Isaiah 37:36; Acts 12:23
  • 15. [2 Chronicles 3:1]

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or hold over
  • [b]. Compare 1 Chronicles 21:12, Septuagint; Hebrew seven
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.