24:18 So Gad went to David that day and told him, “Go up and build an altar for the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 24:19 So David went up as Gad instructed him to do, according to the Lord’s instructions.
24:20 When Araunah looked out and saw the king and his servants approaching him, he 1 went out and bowed to the king with his face 2 to the ground. 24:21 Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David replied, “To buy from you the threshing floor so I can build an altar for the Lord, so that the plague may be removed from the people.” 24:22 Araunah told David, “My lord the king may take whatever he wishes 3 and offer it. Look! Here are oxen for burnt offerings, and threshing sledges 4 and harnesses 5 for wood. 24:23 I, the servant of my lord 6 the king, give it all to the king!” Araunah also told the king, “May the Lord your God show you favor!” 24:24 But the king said to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it from you! I will not offer to the Lord my God burnt sacrifices that cost me nothing.”
So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty pieces of silver. 7
1 tn Heb “Araunah.” The name has been replaced in the translation by the pronoun (“he”) for stylistic reasons.
2 tn Heb “nostrils.”
3 tn Heb “what is good in his eyes.”
4 sn Threshing sledges were heavy boards used in ancient times for loosening grain from husks. On the bottom sides of these boards sharp stones were embedded, and the boards were then dragged across the grain on a threshing floor by an ox or donkey.
5 tn Heb “the equipment of the oxen.”
6 tc The Hebrew text is difficult here. The translation reads עֶבֶד אֲדֹנָי (’eved ’adoni, “the servant of my lord”) rather than the MT’s אֲרַוְנָה (’Aravnah). In normal court etiquette a subject would not use his own name in this way, but would more likely refer to himself in the third person. The MT probably first sustained loss of עֶבֶד (’eved, “servant”), leading to confusion of the word for “my lord” with the name of the Jebusite referred to here.
7 tn Heb “fifty shekels of silver.” This would have been about 20 ounces (568 grams) of silver by weight.