The Threshing Floor of Ornan
(Act 7:44)MKJV The tabernacle of witness was among our fathers in the wilderness, as commanded by God, speaking to Moses to make it according to the pattern that he had seen.
(Act 7:45) Which also having received it by inheritance with Joshua, our fathers, with Joshua, in taking possession of the nations whom God drove out before the face of our fathers until the days of David,
(Act 7:46) who found favor with God and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob;
(Act 7:47) but Solomon built Him a house.
David was not allowed to build the temple. Thus, all he could do was to prepare the construction of the temple. The circumstances in which he determined where the temple should be built were as follows.
(1Ch 21:1) And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
(1Ch 21:2) And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it.
(2Sa 24:8) So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.
The numbers were as follows. Israel had 1,100,000 "men that drew sword" (1Ch 21:5) out of which 800,000 were valiant (2Sa 24:9). Moreover, Judah had 500,000 men (2Sa 24:9) out of which 470,000 were "men that drew sword" (1Ch 21:5). These numbers do not include the men who were very young, for "David took not the number of them from twenty years old and under" (1Ch 27:23). The young men were not considered also when the Lord commanded Moses to number the people. Moses was told "Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel ... From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel ... " (Num 1:2-3). The rule "twenty years old and upward" appears also in the subsequent census taken at the end of the forty years in the desert (Num 26:2). Unlike to previous occasions in which the Lord commanded a census to be taken (Num 1, Num 26), the census that David took was not commanded by the Lord.
(2Sa 24:10) And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.
(2Sa 24:11) For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying,
(2Sa 24:12) Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.
(2Sa 24:13) So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me.
(2Sa 24:14) And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.
(2Sa 24:15) So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.
At the time when David began the census "the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel" (2Sa 24:1). Two possible reasons might have been the participation of the people in the rebellion of Absalom (2Sa 15:6) and in the rebellion of Sheba, the son of Bichri (2Sa 20).
(1Ch 21:15) And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
(1Ch 21:16) And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.
(1Ch 21:17) And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father's house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.
(1Ch 21:18) Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
David bought that place from Ornan. "So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight" (1Ch 21:25).
(1Ch 21:26) And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering.
(1Ch 21:27) And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.
(1Ch 21:28) At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there.
After David died, "Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite" (2Ch 3:1).
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