Some time later, King Nahash of the Ammonites died, and his son became king in his place.
Then David said, "I'll show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, because his father showed kindness to me." So David sent messengers to console him concerning his father. However, when David's emissaries arrived in the land of the Ammonites to console him,
the Ammonite leaders said to Hanun, "Just because David has sent men with condolences for you, do you really believe he's showing respect for your father? Instead, hasn't David sent his emissaries in order to scout out, overthrow, and spy on the land?"
So Hanun took David's emissaries, shaved them, cut their clothes in half at the hips, and sent them away.
Someone came and reported to David about his men, so he sent [someone] to meet them, since the men were deeply humiliated. The king said, "Stay in Jericho until your beards grow back; then return."
When the Ammonites realized they had made themselves repulsive to David, Hanun and the Ammonites sent 38 tons of silver to hire chariots and horsemen from Aram-naharaim, Aram-maacah, and Zobah.
They hired 32,000 chariots and the king of Maacah with his army, who came and camped near Medeba. The Ammonites also gathered from their cities and came for the battle.
David heard about this and sent Joab and the entire army of warriors.
The Ammonites marched out and lined up in battle formation at the entrance of the city while the kings who had come were in the field by themselves.
When Joab saw that there was a battle line in front of him and another behind him, he chose some men out of all the elite troops of Israel and lined up in battle formation to engage the Arameans.
He placed the rest of the forces under the command of his brother Abishai, and they lined up in battle formation to engage the Ammonites.
"If the Arameans are too strong for me," Joab said, "then you'll be my help. However, if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I'll help you.
Be strong! We must prove ourselves strong for our people and for the cities of our God. May the LORD's will be done."
Joab and the people with him approached the Arameans for battle, and they fled before him.
When the Ammonites saw that the Arameans had fled, they likewise fled before Joab's brother Abishai and entered the city. Then Joab went to Jerusalem.
When the Arameans realized that they had been defeated by Israel, they sent messengers to bring out the Arameans who were across the Euphrates with Shophach, commander of Hadadezer's army, leading them.
When this was reported to David, he gathered all Israel and crossed the Jordan. He came up to them and lined up in battle formation against them. When David lined up to engage the Arameans in battle, they fought against him.
But the Arameans fled before Israel, and David killed 7,000 of their charioteers and 40,000 foot soldiers. He also killed Shophach, commander of the army.
When Hadadezer's subjects saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with David and became his subjects. After this, the Arameans were never willing to help the Ammonites again.
In the spring when kings march out [to war], Joab led the army and destroyed the Ammonites' land. He came to Rabbah and besieged it, but David remained in Jerusalem. Joab attacked Rabbah and demolished it.
Then David took the crown from the head of their king, and it was [placed] on David's head. He discovered the crown weighed 75 pounds of gold, and there was a precious stone in it. In addition, David took away a large quantity of plunder from the city.
He brought out the people who were in it and put them to work with saws, iron picks, and axes. David did the same to all the Ammonite cities. Then he and all his troops returned to Jerusalem.
After this, a war broke out with the Philistines at Gezer. At that time Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Sippai, a descendant of the giants, and the Philistines were subdued.
Once again there was a battle with the Philistines, and Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam.
There was still another battle at Gath where there was a man of extraordinary stature with six fingers [on each hand] and six toes [on each foot]-- 24 in all. He, too, was descended from the giant.
When he taunted Israel, Jonathan, son of David's brother Shimei, killed him.
These were the descendants of the giant in Gath killed by David and his soldiers.
Satan stood up against Israel and incited David to count [the people of] Israel.
So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, "Go and count Israel from Beer-sheba to Dan and bring [a report] to me so I can know their number."
Joab replied, "May the LORD multiply the number of His people a hundred times over! My lord the king, aren't they all my lord's servants? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?"
Yet the king's order prevailed over Joab. So Joab left and traveled throughout Israel and then returned to Jerusalem.
Joab gave David the total of the registration of the troops. In all Israel there were 1,100,000 swordsmen and in Judah itself 470,000 swordsmen.
But he did not include Levi and Benjamin in the count because the king's command was detestable to him.
This command was also evil in God's sight, so He afflicted Israel.
David said to God, "I have sinned greatly because I have done this thing. Now, because I've been very foolish, please take away your servant's guilt."
Then the LORD instructed Gad, David's seer,
"Go and say to David, 'This is what the LORD says: I am offering you three [choices]. Choose one of them for yourself, and I will do it to you.'"
So Gad went to David and said to him, "This is what the LORD says: 'Take your [choice]--
either three years of famine, three months of devastation by your foes with the sword of your enemy overtaking you, or three days of the sword of the LORD-- a plague on the land, the angel of the LORD bringing destruction to the whole territory of Israel.' Now decide what answer I should take back to the One who sent me."
David answered Gad, "I have great anxiety. Please, let me fall into the LORD's hands because His mercies are very great, but don't let me fall into human hands."
So the LORD sent a plague on Israel, and 70,000 Israelite men died.
Then God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but when the angel was about to destroy the city, the LORD looked, relented concerning the destruction, and said to the angel who was destroying [the people], "Enough, withdraw your hand now!" The angel of the LORD was then standing at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
When David looked up and saw the angel of the LORD standing between earth and heaven, with his drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem, David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell down with their faces [to the ground].
David said to God, "Wasn't I the one who gave the order to count the people? I am the one who has sinned and acted very wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? My LORD God, please let Your hand be against me and against my father's family, but don't let the plague be against Your people."
So the angel of the LORD ordered Gad to tell David to go and set up an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
David went up at Gad's command spoken in the name of the LORD.
Ornan was threshing wheat when he turned and saw the angel. His four sons, who were with him, hid themselves.
David came to Ornan, and when Ornan looked and saw David, he left the threshing floor and bowed to David with his face to the ground.
Then David said to Ornan, "Give me this threshing-floor plot so that I may build an altar to the LORD on it. Give it to me for the full price, so the plague on the people may be halted."
Ornan said to David, "Take it! My lord the king may do whatever he wants. See, I give the oxen for the burnt offerings, the threshing sledges for the wood, and the wheat for the grain offering-- I give it all."
King David answered Ornan, "No, I insist on paying the full price, for I will not take for the LORD what belongs to you or offer burnt offerings that cost [me] nothing."
So David gave Ornan 15 pounds of gold for the plot.
He built an altar to the LORD there and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. He called on the LORD, and He answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.
Then the LORD spoke to the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath.
At that time, when David saw that the LORD answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he offered sacrifices there.
At that time the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the desert, and the altar of burnt offering were at the high place in Gibeon,
but David could not go before it to inquire of God, because he was terrified of the sword of the LORD's angel.