1 Now a Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to 1 number Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and to the leaders of the people, "Go, number Israel from Beersheba to Dan, b and bring the number of them to me that I may know it." 3 And Joab answered, "May the LORD make His people a hundred times more than they are. But, my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants? Why then does my lord require this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt in Israel?" 4 Nevertheless the king's word prevailed against Joab. Therefore Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and came to Jerusalem. 5 Then Joab gave the sum of the number of the people to David. All Israel had one million one hundred thousand men who drew the sword, and Judah had four hundred and seventy thousand men who drew the sword. 6 c But he did not count Levi and Benjamin among them, for the king's 2 word was abominable to Joab.
7 And 3 God was displeased with this thing; therefore He struck Israel. 8 So David said to God, d "I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing; e but now, I pray, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly." 9 Then the LORD spoke to Gad, David's f seer, saying, 10 "Go and tell David, g saying, 'Thus says the LORD: "I offer you three things; choose one of them for yourself, that I may do it to you." ' " 11 So Gad came to David and said to him, "Thus says the LORD: 'Choose for yourself, 12 h 'either 4 three 5 years of famine, or three months to be defeated by your foes with the sword of your enemies overtaking you, or else for three days the sword of the LORD - the plague in the land, with the 6 angel 7 of the LORD destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.' Now consider what answer I should take back to Him who sent me." 13 And David said to Gad, "I am in great distress. Please let me fall into the hand of the LORD, for His i mercies are very great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man."
14 So the LORD sent a j plague upon Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell. 15 And God sent 8 an k angel to Jerusalem to destroy it. As 9 he 9 was destroying, the LORD looked and l relented of the disaster, and said to the angel who was destroying, "It is enough; now restrain 11 your 11 hand." And the angel of the LORD stood by the m threshing floor of 13 Ornan the Jebusite. 16 Then David lifted his eyes and n saw the angel of the LORD standing between earth and heaven, having in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem. So David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces. 17 And David said to God, "Was it not I who commanded the people to be numbered? I am the one who has sinned and done evil indeed; but these o sheep, what have they done? Let Your hand, I pray, O LORD my God, be against me and my father's house, but not against Your people that they should be plagued."New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.