II Samuel 24
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1  And again the anger of Hashem was kindled against Israel, and He moved David against them, saying: ‘Go, number Israel and Yehuda.’

א  וַיֹּסֶף אַף יְהוָה לַחֲרוֹת בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וַיָּסֶת אֶת דָּוִד בָּהֶם לֵאמֹר לֵךְ מְנֵה אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֶת יְהוּדָה.

2  And the king said to Yoav the captain of the host that was with him: ‘Go now to and fro through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beer Sheva, and number ye the people, that I may know the sum of the people.’

ב  וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל יוֹאָב שַׂר הַחַיִל אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ שׁוּט נָא בְּכָל שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִדָּן וְעַד בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע וּפִקְדוּ אֶת הָעָם וְיָדַעְתִּי אֵת מִסְפַּר הָעָם.

3  And Yoav said unto the king: ‘Now Hashem thy God add unto the people, how many soever they may be, a hundredfold, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it; but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing?’

ג  וַיֹּאמֶר יוֹאָב אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ וְיוֹסֵף יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶל הָעָם כָּהֵם וְכָהֵם מֵאָה פְעָמִים וְעֵינֵי אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ רֹאוֹת וַאדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ לָמָּה חָפֵץ בַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה.

4  Notwithstanding the king’s word prevailed against Yoav, and against the captains of the host. And Yoav and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel.

ד  וַיֶּחֱזַק דְּבַר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל יוֹאָב וְעַל שָׂרֵי הֶחָיִל וַיֵּצֵא יוֹאָב וְשָׂרֵי הַחַיִל לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ לִפְקֹד אֶת הָעָם אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל.

5  And they passed over the Yarden, and pitched in Aroer, on the right side of the city that is in the middle of the valley of Gad, and unto Jazer;

ה  וַיַּעַבְרוּ אֶת הַיַּרְדֵּן וַיַּחֲנוּ בַעֲרוֹעֵר יְמִין הָעִיר אֲשֶׁר בְּתוֹךְ הַנַּחַל הַגָּד וְאֶל יַעְזֵר.

6  then they came to Gilead, and to the land of Tahtim-hodshi; and they came to Dan-jaan, and round about to Zidon,

ו  וַיָּבֹאוּ הַגִּלְעָדָה וְאֶל אֶרֶץ תַּחְתִּים חָדְשִׁי וַיָּבֹאוּ דָּנָה יַּעַן וְסָבִיב אֶל צִידוֹן.

7  and came to the stronghold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and of the Canaanites; and they went out to the south of Yehuda, at Beer Sheva.

ז  וַיָּבֹאוּ מִבְצַר צֹר וְכָל עָרֵי הַחִוִּי וְהַכְּנַעֲנִי וַיֵּצְאוּ אֶל נֶגֶב יְהוּדָה בְּאֵר שָׁבַע.

8  So when they had gone to and fro through all the land, they came to Yerushalayim at the end of nine months and twenty days.

ח  וַיָּשֻׁטוּ בְּכָל הָאָרֶץ וַיָּבֹאוּ מִקְצֵה תִשְׁעָה חֳדָשִׁים וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם יְרוּשָׁלִָם.

9  And Yoav gave up the sum of the numbering of the people unto the king; and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Yehuda were five hundred thousand men.

ט  וַיִּתֵּן יוֹאָב אֶת מִסְפַּר מִפְקַד הָעָם אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ וַתְּהִי יִשְׂרָאֵל שְׁמֹנֶה מֵאוֹת אֶלֶף אִישׁ חַיִל שֹׁלֵף חֶרֶב וְאִישׁ יְהוּדָה חֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת אֶלֶף אִישׁ.

10  And Davids heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto Hashem: ‘I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, O Hashem, put away, I beseech Thee, the iniquity of Thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.’

י  וַיַּךְ לֵב דָּוִד אֹתוֹ אַחֲרֵי כֵן סָפַר אֶת הָעָם וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל יְהוָה חָטָאתִי מְאֹד אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי וְעַתָּה יְהוָה הַעֲבֶר נָא אֶת עֲו‍ֹן עַבְדְּךָ כִּי נִסְכַּלְתִּי מְאֹד.

11  And when David rose up in the morning, the word of Hashem came unto the prophet Gad, Davids seer, saying:

יא  וַיָּקָם דָּוִד בַּבֹּקֶר וּדְבַר יְהוָה הָיָה אֶל גָּד הַנָּבִיא חֹזֵה דָוִד לֵאמֹר.

12  ‘Go and speak unto David: Thus saith Hashem: I lay upon thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.’

יב  הָלוֹךְ וְדִבַּרְתָּ אֶל דָּוִד כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה שָׁלֹשׁ אָנֹכִי נוֹטֵל עָלֶיךָ בְּחַר לְךָ אַחַת מֵהֶם וְאֶעֱשֶׂה לָּךְ.

13  So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him: ‘Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thy foes while they pursue thee? or shall there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise thee, and consider what answer I shall return to Him that sent Me.’

יג  וַיָּבֹא גָד אֶל דָּוִד וַיַּגֶּד לוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ הֲתָבוֹא לְךָ שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים רָעָב בְּאַרְצֶךָ אִם שְׁלֹשָׁה חֳדָשִׁים נֻסְךָ לִפְנֵי צָרֶיךָ וְהוּא רֹדְפֶךָ וְאִם הֱיוֹת שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים דֶּבֶר בְּאַרְצֶךָ עַתָּה דַּע וּרְאֵה מָה אָשִׁיב שֹׁלְחִי דָּבָר.

14  And David said unto Gad: ‘I am in a great strait; let us fall now into the hand of Hashem; for His mercies are great; and let me not fall into the hand of man.’

יד  וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל גָּד צַר לִי מְאֹד נִפְּלָה נָּא בְיַד יְהוָה כִּי רַבִּים רַחֲמָו וּבְיַד אָדָם אַל אֶפֹּלָה.

15  So Hashem sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed; and there died of the people from Dan even to Beer Sheva seventy thousand men.

טו  וַיִּתֵּן יְהוָה דֶּבֶר בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל מֵהַבֹּקֶר וְעַד עֵת מוֹעֵד וַיָּמָת מִן הָעָם מִדָּן וְעַד בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע שִׁבְעִים אֶלֶף אִישׁ.

16  And when the angel stretched out his hand toward Yerushalayim to destroy it, Hashem repented Him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people: ‘It is enough; now stay thy hand.’ And the angel of Hashem was by the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

טז  וַיִּשְׁלַח יָדוֹ הַמַּלְאָךְ יְרוּשָׁלִַם לְשַׁחֲתָהּ וַיִּנָּחֶם יְהוָה אֶל הָרָעָה וַיֹּאמֶר לַמַּלְאָךְ הַמַּשְׁחִית בָּעָם רַב עַתָּה הֶרֶף יָדֶךָ וּמַלְאַךְ יְהוָה הָיָה עִם גֹּרֶן האורנה (הָאֲרַוְנָה) הַיְבֻסִי.

17  And David spoke unto Hashem when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said: ‘Lo, I have sinned, and I have done iniquitously; but these sheep, what have they done? let Thy hand, I pray Thee, be against me, and against my father’s house.’

יז  וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל יְהוָה בִּרְאֹתוֹ אֶת הַמַּלְאָךְ הַמַּכֶּה בָעָם וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי חָטָאתִי וְאָנֹכִי הֶעֱוֵיתִי וְאֵלֶּה הַצֹּאן מֶה עָשׂוּ תְּהִי נָא יָדְךָ בִּי וּבְבֵית אָבִי.

18  And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him: ‘Go up, rear an altar unto Hashem in the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite.’

יח  וַיָּבֹא גָד אֶל דָּוִד בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ עֲלֵה הָקֵם לַיהוָה מִזְבֵּחַ בְּגֹרֶן ארניה (אֲרַוְנָה) הַיְבֻסִי.

19  And David went up according to the saying of Gad, as Hashem commanded.

יט  וַיַּעַל דָּוִד כִּדְבַר גָּד כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָה.

20  And Araunah looked forth, and saw the king and his servants coming on toward him; and Araunah went out, and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground.

כ  וַיַּשְׁקֵף אֲרַוְנָה וַיַּרְא אֶת הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאֶת עֲבָדָיו עֹבְרִים עָלָיו וַיֵּצֵא אֲרַוְנָה וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ לַמֶּלֶךְ אַפָּיו אָרְצָה.

21  And Araunah said: ‘Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant?’ And David said: ‘To buy the threshing-floor of thee, to build an altar unto Hashem, that the plague may be stayed from the people.’

כא  וַיֹּאמֶר אֲרַוְנָה מַדּוּעַ בָּא אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל עַבְדּוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד לִקְנוֹת מֵעִמְּךָ אֶת הַגֹּרֶן לִבְנוֹת מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהוָה וְתֵעָצַר הַמַּגֵּפָה מֵעַל הָעָם.

22  And Araunah said unto David: ‘Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him; behold the oxen for the burnt-offering, and the threshing-instruments and the furniture of the oxen for the wood.’

כב  וַיֹּאמֶר אֲרַוְנָה אֶל דָּוִד יִקַּח וְיַעַל אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ הַטּוֹב בְּעֵינָו רְאֵה הַבָּקָר לָעֹלָה וְהַמֹּרִגִּים וּכְלֵי הַבָּקָר לָעֵצִים.

23  All this did Araunah the king give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king: ‘Hashem thy God accept thee.’

כג  הַכֹּל נָתַן אֲרַוְנָה הַמֶּלֶךְ לַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲרַוְנָה אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ יִרְצֶךָ.

24  And the king said unto Araunah: ‘Nay; but I will verily buy it of thee at a price; neither will I offer burnt-offerings unto Hashem my God which cost me nothing.’ So David bought the threshing-floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

va-YO-mer ha-ME-lekh el a-RAV-nah lo kee ka-NO ek-NEH may-o-t’-KHA bim-KHEER v’-LO a-a-LEH la-do-NAI e-lo-HAI o-LOT KHI-nam va-YI-ken da-VID et ha-GO-ren v’-ET ha-ba-KAR b’-KHE-sef sh’-ka-LEEM kha-mi-SHEEM

כד  וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל אֲרַוְנָה לֹא כִּי קָנוֹ אֶקְנֶה מֵאוֹתְךָ בִּמְחִיר וְלֹא אַעֲלֶה לַיהוָה אֱלֹהַי עֹלוֹת חִנָּם וַיִּקֶן דָּוִד אֶת הַגֹּרֶן וְאֶת הַבָּקָר בְּכֶסֶף שְׁקָלִים חֲמִשִּׁים.

24:24   And the king said unto Araunah: ‘Nay; but I will verily buy it of thee at a price

King David purchases the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite and – according to one classical rabbinic opinion- the entire city of Jerusalem. That threshing floor is the place where King David intends to offer sacrifices, the place that is now called the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. As this site would later become the location of the Holy Temple, David purchases this holy land publicly, just like Abraham did when he purchased the Cave of Machpela in Hebron for a great sum of money and in front of witnesses (Genesis 23). Although, like Abraham, David was offered the site as a gift, David does not want any future generations to claim that it was stolen by the People of Israel. Since the sale of each is recorded in the Bible, the Sages teach that Jerusalem, Hebron and Shechem are the three places that belong to the Jewish People indisputably.

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25  And David built there an altar unto Hashem, and offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings. So Hashem was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.

כה  וַיִּבֶן שָׁם דָּוִד מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהוָה וַיַּעַל עֹלוֹת וּשְׁלָמִים וַיֵּעָתֵר יְהוָה לָאָרֶץ וַתֵּעָצַר הַמַּגֵּפָה מֵעַל יִשְׂרָאֵל.

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II Samuel 23

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II Samuel 24