1 Satan took his stand against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.
2 David said to Joab and the people's princes, 'Go, and take a census of Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, then bring it back to me and let me know the total.'
3 Joab replied, 'May Yahweh multiply his people to a hundred times what they are today! But my lord king, are they not all my lord's servants in any case? Why should my lord insist on this? Why should he involve Israel in guilt?'
5 Joab gave David the census results for the people: all Israel had eleven hundred thousand men who could wield a sword; Judah had four hundred and seventy thousand men who could wield a sword.
8 David then said to God, 'I have committed a grave sin by doing this. But now I beg you to forgive your servant for this fault, for I have acted very foolishly.'
11 So Gad went to David and said, 'Yahweh says this,
12 "Take your choice between three years of famine; or three months of disaster at the hands of your enemies, with your enemies' sword overtaking you; or three days of Yahweh's sword, an epidemic in the country, while the angel of Yahweh wreaks havoc throughout the territory of Israel."
15 Next, God sent the angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but as he was about to destroy it, Yahweh looked down and felt sorry about the calamity; and he said to the destroying angel, 'Enough now! Hold your hand!' The angel of Yahweh was standing by the thresh-floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
16 David, raising his eyes, saw the angel of Yahweh standing between earth and heaven, a drawn sword in his hand stretched out towards Jerusalem. David and the elders then put on sackcloth and fell on their faces,
17 and David said to God, 'Did I not order the people to be counted? I was the one who sinned and actually committed the wrong. But these, the flock, what have they done? Yahweh my God, let your hand lie heavy on me and on my family; but spare your people from the plague!'
22 David then said to Ornan, 'Let me have the site of the threshing-floor, so that I can build an altar to Yahweh on it; let me have it at the full price -- so that the plague may be lifted from the people.' Ornan said to David,
23 'Take it, and let my lord the king do what he thinks fit. Look, I shall give you the oxen for burnt offerings, the threshing-sleds for the wood and the wheat for the oblation. I shall give everything.'
30 but David could not go there to consult God because he was terrified of the angel's sword.
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The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Catholic translation of the Bible published in 1985. The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) has become the most widely used Roman Catholic Bible outside of the United States. It has the imprimatur of Cardinal George Basil Hume.
Like its predecessor, the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) version is translated "directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic." The 1973 French translation, the Bible de Jerusalem, is followed only "where the text admits to more than one interpretation." Introductions and notes, with some modifications, are taken from the Bible de Jerusalem.
Source: The Very Reverend Dom (Joseph) Henry Wansbrough, OSB, MA (Oxon), STL (Fribourg), LSS (Rome), a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and a biblical scholar. He was General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible. "New Jerusalem Bible, Regular Edition", pg. v.