The Lord punishes David
10 David had counted the men who were able to fight in his army. But now he was sorry that he had done it. He said to the Lord, ‘What I have done was a bad sin. Please forgive me, Lord. I have done a foolish thing.’
11 While David slept that night, the Lord gave a message to Gad, David's prophet. 12 The Lord told him, ‘Go and give my message to David: “There are three ways that I could punish you. You must choose one of them, and that is what I will do to punish you.” ’
13 So when David woke up, Gad went to him and he said, ‘You may choose to have three years when there will be a famine in the whole country. Or you may choose to have three months when your enemies are chasing after you. Or you may choose to have three days of very bad illness in the whole country. Now think carefully and decide. I will take your answer to God, who sent me with this message.’
14 David said to Gad, ‘I am very upset. I do not want men to punish me. The Lord is kind and he forgives people. So it would be better for him to punish me.’
15 So, from that morning, the Lord caused a bad illness to kill people in Israel. It continued for three days, as the Lord had said. 70,000 Israelite men died in that time, in the whole country, from Dan to Beersheba. 16 The Lord's angel was ready to destroy Jerusalem. But the Lord decided to stop the trouble that he was causing for the people. He said to the angel who was killing the people, ‘That is enough. Stop what you are doing!’ When the Lord said that, his angel was standing near threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
17 David saw the angel who was killing the people. So he said to the Lord, ‘I am the person who has done an evil thing. These people have followed me like sheep that follow a shepherd. They have not done anything wrong. You should only punish me and my family.’