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1 Chronicles 21:15-30


21:15 God sent an angel 1  to ravage 2  Jerusalem. As he was doing so, 3  the Lord watched 4  and relented from 5  his judgment. 6  He told the angel who was destroying, “That’s enough! 7  Stop now!” 8 

Now the Lord’s angel was standing near the threshing floor of Ornan 9  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. 10  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! 11  As for these sheep – what have they done? O Lord my God, attack me and my family, 12  but remove the plague from your people!” 13 

21:18 So the Lord’s messenger told Gad to instruct David to go up and build 14  an altar for the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 21:19 So David went up as Gad instructed him to do in the name of the Lord. 15  21:20 While Ornan was threshing wheat, he turned and saw the messenger, and he and his four sons hid themselves. 21:21 When David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David; he came out from the threshing floor and bowed to David with his face 16  to the ground. 21:22 David said to Ornan, “Sell me the threshing floor 17  so I can build 18  on it an altar for the Lord – I’ll pay top price 19  – so that the plague may be removed 20  from the people.” 21:23 Ornan told David, “You can have it! 21  My master, the king, may do what he wants. 22  Look, I am giving you the oxen for burnt sacrifices, the threshing sledges for wood, and the wheat for an offering. I give it all to you.” 21:24 King David replied to Ornan, “No, I insist on buying it for top price. 23  I will not offer to the Lord what belongs to you or offer a burnt sacrifice 24  that cost me nothing. 25  21:25 So David bought the place from Ornan for 600 pieces of gold. 26  21:26 David built there an altar to the Lord and offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings. 27  He called out to the Lord, and the Lord 28  responded by sending fire from the sky and consuming the burnt sacrifice on the altar. 21:27 The Lord ordered the messenger 29  to put his sword back into its sheath.

21:28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord responded to him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. 21:29 Now the Lord’s tabernacle (which Moses had made in the wilderness) and the altar for burnt sacrifices were at that time at the worship center 30  in Gibeon. 21:30 But David could not go before it to seek God’s will, for he was afraid of the sword of the Lord’s messenger.

1 tn The parallel text of 2 Sam 24:15 reports that God sent a plague, while 24:16-17 attributes this to the instrumentality of an angel.

2 tn Or “destroy.”

3 tn Heb “while he was destroying.”

4 tn Or “saw.”

5 tn Or “was grieved because of.”

6 tn Heb “concerning the calamity.”

7 tn For this nuance of the Hebrew word רַב (rav), see BDB 913 s.v. 1.f.

8 tn Heb “Now, drop your hand.”

9 tn In the parallel text in 2 Sam 24:16 this individual is called אֲרַוְנָא (’aravna’, “Aravna”), traditionally “Araunah.” The form of the name found here also occurs in vv. 18-28.

10 tn Heb “and David and the elders, covered with sackcloth, fell on their faces.”

11 tn “and doing evil I did evil.” The infinitive absolute precedes the finite form of the verb for emphasis.

12 tn Heb “let your hand be on me and on the house of my father.”

13 tn Heb “but on your people not for a plague.”

14 tn Heb “that he should go up to raise up.”

15 tn Heb “and David went up by the word of Gad which he spoke in the name of the Lord.”

16 tn Heb “nostrils.”

17 tn Heb “the place of the threshing floor.”

18 tn Following the imperative, the prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive here indicates the immediate purpose/result: “so I can build.”

19 tn Heb “For full silver sell to me.”

20 tn Following the imperative and first person prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive, this third person prefixed verbal form with vav conjunctive introduces the ultimate purpose/result: “so the plague may be removed.” Another option is subordinate this form to the preceding imperative, but the latter may be taken as a parenthetical expansion of the initial request.

21 tn Heb “take for yourself.”

22 tn Heb “what is good in his eyes.”

23 tn Heb “No, for buying I will buy for full silver.” The infinitive absolute precedes the finite verb for emphasis.

24 tc The parallel text in 2 Sam 24:24 has the plural “burnt sacrifices.”

25 tn Or “without [paying] compensation.”

26 tc The parallel text of 2 Sam 24:24 says David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for “fifty pieces of silver.” This would have been about 20 ounces (568 grams) of silver by weight.

tn Heb “six hundred shekels of gold.” This would have been about 15 lbs. (6.8 kg) of gold by weight.

27 tn Or “tokens of peace.”

28 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

29 tn Heb “spoke to the messenger.”

30 tn Or “high place.”

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