But after he had taken the census, David’s conscience began to bother him. And he said to the Lord , “I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt, Lord , for doing this foolish thing.”
11 The next morning the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, who was David’s seer. This was the message: 12 “Go and say to David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will give you three choices. Choose one of these punishments, and I will inflict it on you.’” 13 So Gad came to David and asked him, “Will you choose three 1 years of famine throughout your land, three months of fleeing from your enemies, or three days of severe plague throughout your land? Think this over and decide what answer I should give the Lord who sent me.”
14 “I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let us fall into the hands of the Lord , for his mercy is great. Do not let me fall into human hands.”
So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel that morning, and it lasted for three days. 2 A total of 70,000 people died throughout the nation, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south.
But as the angel was preparing to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented and said to the death angel, “Stop! That is enough!” At that moment the angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
When David saw the angel, he said to the Lord , “I am the one who has sinned and done wrong! But these people are as innocent as sheep - what have they done? Let your anger fall against me and my family.”