I Chronicles 21
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1  Satan arose against Yisrael and incited David to number Yisrael.

א  וַיַּעֲמֹד שָׂטָן עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיָּסֶת אֶת־דָּוִיד לִמְנוֹת אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

2  David said to Yoav and to the commanders of the army, “Go and count Yisrael from Be’er Sheva to Dan and bring me information as to their number.”

ב  וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִיד אֶל־יוֹאָב וְאֶל־שָׂרֵי הָעָם לְכוּ סִפְרוּ אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל מִבְּאֵר שֶׁבַע וְעַד־דָּן וְהָבִיאוּ אֵלַי וְאֵדְעָה אֶת־מִסְפָּרָם׃

3  Yoav answered, “May Hashem increase His people a hundredfold; my lord king, are they not all subjects of my lord? Why should my lord require this? Why should it be a cause of guilt for Yisrael?”

ג  וַיֹּאמֶר יוֹאָב יוֹסֵף יְהֹוָה עַל־עַמּוֹ כָּהֵם מֵאָה פְעָמִים הֲלֹא אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ כֻּלָּם לַאדֹנִי לַעֲבָדִים לָמָּה יְבַקֵּשׁ זֹאת אֲדֹנִי לָמָּה יִהְיֶה לְאַשְׁמָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל׃

4  However, the king’s command to Yoav remained firm, so Yoav set out and traversed all Yisrael; he then came to Yerushalayim.

ד  וּדְבַר־הַמֶּלֶךְ חָזַק עַל־יוֹאָב וַיֵּצֵא יוֹאָב וַיִּתְהַלֵּךְ בְּכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיָּבֹא יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם׃

5  Yoav reported to David the number of the people that had been recorded. All Yisrael comprised 1,100,000 ready to draw the sword, while in Yehuda there were 470,000 men ready to draw the sword.

ה  וַיִּתֵּן יוֹאָב אֶת־מִסְפַּר מִפְקַד־הָעָם אֶל־דָּוִיד וַיְהִי כָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶלֶף אֲלָפִים וּמֵאָה אֶלֶף אִישׁ שֹׁלֵף חֶרֶב וִיהוּדָה אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת וְשִׁבְעִים אֶלֶף אִישׁ שֹׁלֵף חָרֶב׃

6  He did not record among them Levi and Binyamin, because the king’s command had become repugnant to Yoav.

ו  וְלֵוִי וּבִנְיָמִן לֹא פָקַד בְּתוֹכָם כִּי־נִתְעַב דְּבַר־הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־יוֹאָב׃

7  Hashem was displeased about this matter and He struck Yisrael.

ז  וַיֵּרַע בְּעֵינֵי הָאֱלֹהִים עַל־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וַיַּךְ אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

8  David said to Hashem, “I have sinned grievously in having done this thing; please remit the guilt of Your servant, for I have acted foolishly.”

ח  וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִיד אֶל־הָאֱלֹהִים חָטָאתִי מְאֹד אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וְעַתָּה הַעֲבֶר־נָא אֶת־עֲווֹן עַבְדְּךָ כִּי נִסְכַּלְתִּי מְאֹד׃

9  Hashem ordered Gad, David‘s seer:

ט  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־גָּד חֹזֵה דָוִיד לֵאמֹר׃

10  “Go and tell David: Thus said Hashem: I offer you three things; choose one of them and I will bring it upon you.”

י  לֵךְ וְדִבַּרְתָּ אֶל־דָּוִיד לֵאמֹר כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה שָׁלוֹשׁ אֲנִי נֹטֶה עָלֶיךָ בְּחַר־לְךָ אַחַת מֵהֵנָּה וְאֶעֱשֶׂה־לָּךְ׃

11  Gad came to David and told him, “Thus said Hashem: Select for yourself

יא  וַיָּבֹא גָד אֶל־דָּוִיד וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ כֹּה־אָמַר יְהֹוָה קַבֶּל־לָךְ׃

12  a three-year famine; or that you be swept away three months before your adversaries with the sword of your enemies overtaking you; or three days of the sword of Hashem, pestilence in the land, the angel of Hashem wreaking destruction throughout the territory of Yisrael. Now consider what reply I shall take back to Him who sent me.”

יב  אִם־שָׁלוֹשׁ שָׁנִים רָעָב וְאִם־שְׁלֹשָׁה חֳדָשִׁים נִסְפֶּה מִפְּנֵי־צָרֶיךָ וְחֶרֶב אוֹיְבֶךָ לְמַשֶּׂגֶת וְאִם־שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים חֶרֶב יְהֹוָה וְדֶבֶר בָּאָרֶץ וּמַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה מַשְׁחִית בְּכָל־גְּבוּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַתָּה רְאֵה מָה־אָשִׁיב אֶת־שֹׁלְחִי דָּבָר׃

13  David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let me fall into the hands of Hashem, for His compassion is very great; and let me not fall into the hands of men.”

יג  וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִיד אֶל־גָּד צַר־לִי מְאֹד אֶפְּלָה־נָּא בְיַד־יְהֹוָה כִּי־רַבִּים רַחֲמָיו מְאֹד וּבְיַד־אָדָם אַל־אֶפֹּל׃

14  Hashem sent a pestilence upon Yisrael, and 70,000 men fell in Yisrael.

יד  וַיִּתֵּן יְהֹוָה דֶּבֶר בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּפֹּל מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל שִׁבְעִים אֶלֶף אִישׁ׃

15  Hashem sent an angel to Yerushalayim to destroy it, but as he was about to wreak destruction, Hashem saw and renounced further punishment and said to the destroying angel, “Enough! Stay your hand!” The angel of Hashem was then standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

טו  וַיִּשְׁלַח הָאֱלֹהִים מַלְאָךְ לִירוּשָׁלַ ִם לְהַשְׁחִיתָהּ וּכְהַשְׁחִית רָאָה יְהֹוָה וַיִּנָּחֶם עַל־הָרָעָה וַיֹּאמֶר לַמַּלְאָךְ הַמַּשְׁחִית רַב עַתָּה הֶרֶף יָדֶךָ וּמַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה עֹמֵד עִם־גֹּרֶן אָרְנָן הַיְבוּסִי׃

16  David looked up and saw the angel of Hashem standing between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand directed against Yerushalayim. David and the elders, covered in sackcloth, threw themselves on their faces.

טז  וַיִּשָּׂא דָוִיד אֶת־עֵינָיו וַיַּרְא אֶת־מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה עֹמֵד בֵּין הָאָרֶץ וּבֵין הַשָּׁמַיִם וְחַרְבּוֹ שְׁלוּפָה בְּיָדוֹ נְטוּיָה עַל־יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם וַיִּפֹּל דָּוִיד וְהַזְּקֵנִים מְכֻסִּים בַּשַּׂקִּים עַל־פְּנֵיהֶם׃

17  David said to Hashem, “Was it not I alone who ordered the numbering of the people? I alone am guilty, and have caused severe harm; but these sheep, what have they done? Hashem my God, let Your hand fall upon me and my father’s house, and let not Your people be plagued!”

יז  וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִיד אֶל־הָאֱלֹהִים הֲלֹא אֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי לִמְנוֹת בָּעָם וַאֲנִי־הוּא אֲשֶׁר־חָטָאתִי וְהָרֵעַ הֲרֵעוֹתִי וְאֵלֶּה הַצֹּאן מֶה עָשׂוּ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהַי תְּהִי נָא יָדְךָ בִּי וּבְבֵית אָבִי וּבְעַמְּךָ לֹא לְמַגֵּפָה׃

18  The angel of Hashem told Gad to inform David that David should go and set up a mizbayach to Hashem on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

יח  וּמַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה אָמַר אֶל־גָּד לֵאמֹר לְדָוִיד כִּי יַעֲלֶה דָוִיד לְהָקִים מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהֹוָה בְּגֹרֶן אָרְנָן הַיְבֻסִי׃

19  David went up, following Gad‘s instructions, which he had delivered in the name of Hashem.

יט  וַיַּעַל דָּוִיד בִּדְבַר־גָּד אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה׃

20  Ornan too saw the angel; his four sons who were with him hid themselves while Ornan kept on threshing wheat.

כ  וַיָּשָׁב אָרְנָן וַיַּרְא אֶת־הַמַּלְאָךְ וְאַרְבַּעַת בָּנָיו עִמּוֹ מִתְחַבְּאִים וְאָרְנָן דָּשׁ חִטִּים׃

21  David came to Ornan; when Ornan looked up, he saw David and came off the threshing floor and bowed low to David, with his face to the ground.

כא  וַיָּבֹא דָוִיד עַד־אָרְנָן וַיַּבֵּט אָרְנָן וַיַּרְא אֶת־דָּוִיד וַיֵּצֵא מִן־הַגֹּרֶן וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ לְדָוִיד אַפַּיִם אָרְצָה׃

22  David said to Ornan, “Sell me the site of the threshing floor, that I may build on it a mizbayach to Hashem. Sell it to me at the full price, that the plague against the people will be checked.”

כב  וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִיד אֶל־אָרְנָן תְּנָה־לִּי מְקוֹם הַגֹּרֶן וְאֶבְנֶה־בּוֹ מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהֹוָה בְּכֶסֶף מָלֵא תְּנֵהוּ לִי וְתֵעָצַר הַמַּגֵּפָה מֵעַל הָעָם׃

23  Ornan said to David, “Take it and let my lord the king do whatever he sees fit. See, I donate oxen for burnt offerings, and the threshing boards for wood, as well as wheat for a meal offering—I donate all of it.”

כג  וַיֹּאמֶר אָרְנָן אֶל־דָּוִיד קַח־לָךְ וְיַעַשׂ אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ הַטּוֹב בְּעֵינָיו רְאֵה נָתַתִּי הַבָּקָר לָעֹלוֹת וְהַמּוֹרִגִּים לָעֵצִים וְהַחִטִּים לַמִּנְחָה הַכֹּל נָתָתִּי׃

24  But King David replied to Ornan, “No, I will buy them at the full price. I cannot make a present to God of what belongs to you, or sacrifice a burnt offering that has cost me nothing.”

va-YO-mer ha-ME-lekh da-VEED l’-or-NAN LO kee ka-NOH ek-NEH b’-KHE-sef ma-LAY KEE lo e-SA a-sher l-KHA la-do-NAI v’-ha-a-LOT o-LAH khi-NAM

כד  וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ דָּוִיד לְאָרְנָן לֹא כִּי־קָנֹה אֶקְנֶה בְּכֶסֶף מָלֵא כִּי לֹא־אֶשָּׂא אֲשֶׁר־לְךָ לַיהֹוָה וְהַעֲלוֹת עוֹלָה חִנָּם׃

 21:24   I will buy them at the full price

King David refuses to receive the land upon which he would build the altar as a gift. Instead, he insists on paying full price for it. The first verse of the next chapter reveals that this land David purchased would become the permanent location of the Beit Hamikdash, the spiritual center of the Jewish people. As such, the ownership of the land must be beyond dispute. When something is given as a gift, the previous owner maintains some small moral claim to it, as he gave it without recompense. By buying the land, as Avraham had bought the Cave of Machpelah, David guarantees that the Jewish people’s claim to the Temple Mount in Yerushalayim would be indisputable for all time.1 comment

25  So David paid Ornan for the site 600 shekalim worth of gold.

כה  וַיִּתֵּן דָּוִיד לְאָרְנָן בַּמָּקוֹם שִׁקְלֵי זָהָב מִשְׁקָל שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת׃

26  And David built there a mizbayach to Hashem and sacrificed burnt offerings and offerings of well-being. He invoked Hashem, who answered him with fire from heaven on the mizbayach of burnt offerings.

כו  וַיִּבֶן שָׁם דָּוִיד מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהֹוָה וַיַּעַל עֹלוֹת וּשְׁלָמִים וַיִּקְרָא אֶל־יְהֹוָה וַיַּעֲנֵהוּ בָאֵשׁ מִן־הַשָּׁמַיִם עַל מִזְבַּח הָעֹלָה׃

27  Hashem ordered the angel to return his sword to its sheath.

כז  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה לַמַּלְאָךְ וַיָּשֶׁב חַרְבּוֹ אֶל־נְדָנָהּ׃

28  At that time, when David saw that Hashem answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there—

כח  בָּעֵת הַהִיא בִּרְאוֹת דָּוִיד כִּי־עָנָהוּ יְהֹוָה בְּגֹרֶן אָרְנָן הַיְבוּסִי וַיִּזְבַּח שָׁם׃

29  for the Mishkan of Hashem, which Moshe had made in the wilderness, and the mizbayach of burnt offerings, were at that time in the shrine at Givon,

כט  וּמִשְׁכַּן יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂה מֹשֶׁה בַמִּדְבָּר וּמִזְבַּח הָעוֹלָה בָּעֵת הַהִיא בַּבָּמָה בְּגִבְעוֹן׃

30  and David was unable to go to it to worship Hashem because he was terrified by the sword of the angel of Hashem.

ל  וְלֹא־יָכֹל דָּוִיד לָלֶכֶת לְפָנָיו לִדְרֹשׁ אֱלֹהִים כִּי נִבְעַת מִפְּנֵי חֶרֶב מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה׃

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I Chronicles 20
I Chronicles 22

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I Chronicles 21

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