2 Samuel - Chapter 24
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2 The king said to Joab and the senior army officers who were with him, 'Now, go through all the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba, and take a census of the people; I wish to know the size of the population.'
3 Joab said to the king, 'May Yahweh your God multiply the people a hundred times -- however many there are -- while my lord the king still has eyes to see it, but why should my lord the king be set on this?'
4 The king nonetheless enforced his order on Joab and the senior officers, and Joab and the senior officers left the king's presence, to take a census of the people of Israel.
5 They crossed the Jordan and made a start with Aroer and the town in the middle of the valley, then moved on to the Gadites and to Jazer.
9 Joab gave the king the census results for the people; Israel had eight hundred thousand fighting men who could wield a sword, and Judah five hundred thousand.
10 But afterwards David's heart misgave him for having taken a census of the people. David then said to Yahweh, 'I have committed a grave sin by doing this. But now, Yahweh, I beg you to forgive your servant for this fault, for I have acted very foolishly.'
13 So Gad went to David and said, 'Which do you prefer: to have three years of famine befall your country; to flee for three months before a pursuing army; or to have three days of epidemic in your country? Now think, and decide how I am to answer him who sends me.'
15 So David chose the epidemic. It was the time of the wheat harvest. So Yahweh unleashed an epidemic on Israel from that morning until the time determined; plague ravaged the people and, of the people from Dan to Beersheba, seventy thousand died.
16 But when the angel stretched his hand towards Jerusalem to destroy it, Yahweh felt sorry about the calamity and said to the angel who was destroying the people, 'Enough now! Hold your hand!' The angel of Yahweh was standing by the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
17 When David saw the angel who was ravaging the people, he said to Yahweh, 'I was the one who sinned. I was the one who acted wrongly. But these, the flock, what have they done? Let your hand lie heavy on me and on my family!'
18 Gad went to David that day and said, 'Go up and raise an altar to Yahweh on the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite.'
19 So, at Gad's bidding, David went up, as Yahweh had ordered.
21 'Why has my lord the king come to his servant?' Araunah asked. David replied, 'To buy the threshing-floor from you, to build an altar to Yahweh, so that the plague may be lifted from the people.'
24 'No,' said the king to Araunah, 'I shall give you a price for it; I will not offer Yahweh my God burnt offerings which have cost me nothing.' David bought the threshing-floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.
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Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25
Gospel, John 18:1--19:42
Reading 2, Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
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