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2 Samuel 24:2-15

Context
24:2 The king told Joab, the general in command of his army, “Go through all the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beer Sheba and muster the army, so I may know the size of the army.”

24:3 Joab replied to the king, “May the Lord your God make the army a hundred times larger right before the eyes of my lord the king! But why does my master the king want to do this?”

24:4 But the king’s edict stood, despite the objections of 1  Joab and the leaders of the army. So Joab and the leaders of the army left the king’s presence in order to muster the Israelite army.

24:5 They crossed the Jordan and camped at Aroer, on the south side of the city, at 2  the wadi of Gad, near Jazer. 24:6 Then they went on to Gilead and to the region of Tahtim Hodshi, coming to Dan Jaan and on around to Sidon. 3  24:7 Then they went to the fortress of Tyre 4  and all the cities of the Hivites and the Canaanites. Then they went on to the Negev of Judah, to Beer Sheba. 24:8 They went through all the land and after nine months and twenty days came back to Jerusalem. 5 

24:9 Joab reported the number of warriors 6  to the king. In Israel there were 800,000 sword-wielding warriors, and in Judah there were 500,000 soldiers.

24:10 David felt guilty 7  after he had numbered the army. David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly by doing this! Now, O Lord, please remove the guilt of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.”

24:11 When David got up the next morning, the Lord had already spoken 8  to Gad the prophet, David’s seer: 24:12 “Go, tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am offering you three forms of judgment. Pick one of them and I will carry it out against you.’”

24:13 Gad went to David and told him, “Shall seven 9  years of famine come upon your land? Or shall you flee for three months from your enemy with him in hot pursuit? Or shall there be three days of plague in your land? Now decide 10  what I should tell the one who sent me.” 24:14 David said to Gad, “I am very upset! I prefer that we be attacked by the Lord, for his mercy is great; I do not want to be attacked by men!” 11 

24:15 So the Lord sent a plague through Israel from the morning until the completion of the appointed time. Seventy thousand men died from Dan to Beer Sheba.

1 tn Heb “and the word of the king was stronger than.”

2 tn Heb “in the middle of.”

3 map For location see Map1 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

4 map For location see Map1 A2; Map2 G2; Map4 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

5 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

6 tn Heb “and Joab gave the number of the numbering of the people.”

7 tn Heb “and the heart of David struck him.”

8 tn Heb “and the word of the Lord came.”

9 tc The LXX has here “three” rather than “seven,” and is followed by NAB, NIV, NCV, NRSV, TEV, NLT. See 1 Chr 21:12.

10 tn Heb “now know and see.”

11 tn Heb “There is great distress to me. Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for great is his mercy, but into the hand of man let me not fall.”



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