2 Samuel 23:24-24:25
24 Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty; then Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25 Shammah of Harod, Elika of Harod, 26 Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh of Tekoa, 27 Abiezer of Anathoth, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28 Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai of Netophah, 29 Heleb the son of Baanah of Netophah, Ittai the son of Ribai of Gibeah of the Benjamites, 30 Benaiah of Pirathon, Hiddai of the brooks of Gaash, 31 Abi-albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, 32 Eliahba of Shaalbon, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, 33 Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Ararite, 34 Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai the son of Maacah, Eliam the son of Ahithophel of Giloh, 35 Hezro (Hezrai) of Carmel, Paarai the Arbite, 36 Igal the son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai of Beeroth, armor bearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah, 38 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 39 Uriah the Hittite—thirty-seven in all.
The Census Taken
24 Now again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and [a]He incited David against them to say, “Go, [b]count [the people of] Israel and Judah.” 2 So the king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, “Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan [in the north] to Beersheba [in the south], and conduct a census of the people, so that I may know the number of the people.” 3 But Joab said to the king, “May the Lord your God add to the people a hundred times as many as there are, and let the eyes of my lord the king see it; but why does my lord the king [c]want to do this thing?” 4 Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab and the commanders of the army. So they went from the king’s presence to take a census of the people of Israel. 5 They crossed over the Jordan and camped in Aroer, on the south side of the city which is in the middle of the river valley [of the Arnon] toward Gad, and on toward Jazer. 6 Then they came to Gilead and to the land of Tahtim-hodshi, and they came to Dan-jaan and around to Sidon, 7 and they came to the stronghold of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivites and Canaanites, and they went out to the south of Judah, to Beersheba. 8 So when they had gone about through all the land [taking the census], they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9 And Joab gave the sum of the census of the people to the king. In Israel there were 800,000 valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were 500,000.
10 But David’s heart (conscience) troubled him after he had counted the people. David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the sin of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” 11 When David got up in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, 12 “Go and say to David, ‘Thus says the Lord, “I am giving you three choices; select one of them for yourself, and I will do it to you.”’” 13 So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your enemies as they pursue you? Or shall there be three days of pestilence (plague) in your land? Now consider this and decide what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.” 14 Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for His mercies are great, but do not let me fall into the hands of man.”
15 So the Lord sent a pestilence (plague) [lasting three days] upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and seventy thousand men of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. 16 When the [avenging] angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord relented from the disaster and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough! Now relax your hand.” And the angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17 When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he spoke to the Lord and said, “Behold, I [alone] am the one who has sinned and done wrong; but these sheep (people of Israel), what have they done [to deserve this]? Please let Your hand be [only] against me and my father’s house (family).”
David Builds an Altar
18 Then Gad [the prophet] came to David that day and said to him, “Go up, set up an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite [where you saw the angel].” 19 So David went up according to Gad’s word, as the Lord commanded. 20 Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants crossing over toward him; and he went out and bowed before the king with his face toward the ground. 21 Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, to build an altar to the Lord, so that the plague may be held back from the people.” 22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up whatever seems good to him. Look, here are oxen for the burnt offering, and threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23 All of this, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God be favorable to you.” 24 But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will certainly buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing.” So David purchased the [d]threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 David built an altar to the Lord there, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord was moved [to compassion] by [David’s] prayer for the land, and the plague was held back from Israel.
- 2 Samuel 24:1 See 1 Chr 21:1. As in the case of Paul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Cor 12:7; cf 1 Cor 5:5), God sometimes accomplishes His purposes by allowing Satan to inflict injury or cause trouble.
- 2 Samuel 24:1 Ordinarily taking a census would have been a routine procedure for a nation as a way of assessing taxes or conscripting and assigning men to an army. But in Israel none of this was necessary unless it was commanded by God, and David’s action was the product of ego and an uncharacteristic shift of trust and dependence from God to human resources (as Joab suspected, v 3). To his credit, David eventually realized this and came to God in repentance.
- 2 Samuel 24:3 Lit delight in.
- 2 Samuel 24:24 Later Solomon would build his temple on this site.
Healing the Lame Beggar
3 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour (3:00 p.m.), 2 and a man who had been unable to walk from birth was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at that gate of the temple which is called [a]Beautiful, so that he could beg alms from those entering the temple. 3 So when he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking [them] for coins. 4 But Peter, along with John, stared at him intently and said, “Look at us!” 5 And the man began to pay attention to them, eagerly expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have; but what I do have I give to you: In the name (authority, power) of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—[begin now to] walk and go on walking!” 7 Then he seized the man’s right hand with a firm grip and raised him up. And at once his feet and ankles became strong and steady, 8 and with a leap he stood up and began to walk; and he went into the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 All the people saw him walking and praising God; 10 and they recognized him as the very man who usually sat begging for coins at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with wonder and amazement and were mystified at what had happened to him.
Peter’s Second Sermon
11 Now while he was still holding on to Peter and John, all the people, utterly amazed, ran together and crowded around them at the covered porch called Solomon’s portico. 12 And Peter, seeing this, said to the people, “You men of Israel, why are you amazed at this? Why are you staring at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Servant and Son Jesus [doing Him this honor], the One whom you handed over and disowned and rejected before Pilate, when he had decided to release Him.(A) 14 But you disowned and denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked for [the pardon of] a murderer to be granted to you. 15 But you killed the Prince (Author, Originator, Source) of life, whom God raised [bodily] from the dead. To this [fact] we are witnesses [for we have seen the risen Christ]. 16 And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health and complete wholeness in your presence.
17 “Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance [not fully aware of what you were doing], just as your rulers did also. 18 And so God has fulfilled what He foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ (Messiah, Anointed) would suffer. 19 So repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins] and return [to God—seek His purpose for your life], so that your sins may be wiped away [blotted out, completely erased], so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord [restoring you like a cool wind on a hot day]; 20 and that He may send [to you] Jesus, the Christ, who has been appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must keep until the time for the [complete] restoration of all things about which God promised through the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a Prophet [b]like me from your countrymen; you shall listen to Him and obey everything He tells you. 23 And it will be that every person that does not listen to and heed that Prophet will be utterly destroyed from among the people.’(B) 24 Indeed, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also announced these days. 25 You are the sons (descendants) of the prophets and [heirs] of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed (descendant) all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’(C) 26 It was for you first of all that God raised up His Servant and Son [Jesus], and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.”(D)
Prayer for the Lord’s Help.
A Song of [a]Ascents.
123 Unto you I lift up my eyes,
O You who are enthroned in the heavens!
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master,
And as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes look to the Lord our God,
Until He is gracious and favorable toward us.
Be gracious to us, O Lord, be gracious and favorable toward us,
For we are greatly filled with contempt.
Our soul is greatly filled
With the scoffing of those who are at ease,
And with the contempt of the proud [who disregard God’s law].
- Psalm 123:1 See Psalm 120 title note.
The wise in heart will be called understanding,
And sweet speech increases persuasiveness and learning [in both speaker and listener].
Understanding (spiritual insight) is a [refreshing and boundless] wellspring of life to those who have it,
But to give instruction and correction to fools is foolishness.
The heart of the wise instructs his mouth [in wisdom]
And adds persuasiveness to his lips.