21:7 God was also offended by it, 1 so he attacked Israel.
21:8 David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by doing this! Now, please remove the guilt of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” 21:9 The Lord told Gad, David’s prophet, 2 21:10 “Go, tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: “I am offering you three forms of judgment from which to choose. Pick one of them.”’” 3 21:11 Gad went to David and told him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Pick one of these: 21:12 three 4 years of famine, or three months being chased by your enemies and struck down by their swords, 5 or three days being struck down by the Lord, during which a plague will invade the land and the Lord’s messenger will destroy throughout Israel’s territory.’ 6 Now, decide what I should tell the one who sent me.” 21:13 David said to Gad, “I am very upset! I prefer to be attacked by the Lord, for his mercy is very great; I do not want to be attacked by men!” 7 21:14 So the Lord sent a plague through Israel, and 70,000 Israelite men died.
21:15 God sent an angel 8 to ravage 9 Jerusalem. As he was doing so, 10 the Lord watched 11 and relented from 12 his judgment. 13 He told the angel who was destroying, “That’s enough! 14 Stop now!” 15
Now the Lord’s angel was standing near the threshing floor of Ornan 16 the Jebusite. 21:16 David looked up and saw the Lord’s messenger standing between the earth and sky with his sword drawn and in his hand, stretched out over Jerusalem. David and the leaders, covered with sackcloth, threw themselves down with their faces to the ground. 17 21:17 David said to God, “Was I not the one who decided to number the army? I am the one who sinned and committed this awful deed! 18 As for these sheep – what have they done? O Lord my God, attack me and my family, 19 but remove the plague from your people!” 20
1 tn Heb “There was displeasure in the eyes of God concerning this thing.”
2 tn Heb “seer.”
3 tn Heb “Three I am extending to you; choose for yourself one of them and I will do it to you.”
5 tc Heb “or three months being swept away from before your enemies and the sword of your enemies overtaking.” The Hebrew term נִסְפֶּה (nisppeh, Niphal participle from סָפָה, safah) should probably be emended to נֻסְכָה (nusÿkhah, Qal infinitive from נוּס [nus] with second masculine singular suffix). See 2 Sam 24:13.
6 tn Heb “or three days of the sword of the
7 tn Heb “There is great distress to me; let me fall into the hand of the
9 tn Or “destroy.”
10 tn Heb “while he was destroying.”
11 tn Or “saw.”
12 tn Or “was grieved because of.”
13 tn Heb “concerning the calamity.”
15 tn Heb “Now, drop your hand.”
17 tn Heb “and David and the elders, covered with sackcloth, fell on their faces.”
18 tn “and doing evil I did evil.” The infinitive absolute precedes the finite form of the verb for emphasis.
19 tn Heb “let your hand be on me and on the house of my father.”
20 tn Heb “but on your people not for a plague.”