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to David, that David should go up and set up an altar unto the LORD, in the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the LORD.

And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat.

And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshing-floor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground.

Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshing-floor, that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD; thou shalt grant it me for the full price, that the plague may be stayed from the people..

And Ornan said unto David, take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo I give thee the oxen also for burnt-offerings, and the threshing-instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat-offering, I give it all..

And king David said to Ornan, Nay, but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt-offerings without


So David gave to Ornan for the place, six hundred shekels of gold, by weight.

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.

And the LORD commanded the angel, and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.

At that time, when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there.


For the tabernacle of the LORD which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt-offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon.

But David could not go before it to enquire of God, for he was afraid, because of the sword of the angel of the LORD.

Then David said, This is the house of the LORD GOD, and this is the altar of burnt-offering for Israel.


This section contains a most melancholy relation, and great difficulties attend the explanation of it. The sin which David committed was a breach of the law of Moses

It is supposed, that, in the pride of his heart, David numbered the people, and that the Israelites wilfully neglected to pay the tribute which the LORD enjoined as an acknowledgment that their lives, which were justly forfeited to him by their sins, were redeemed by his mercy. We may be sure they were guilty of presumptuous sin, and that David's conscience accused him of having committed it. I think we may likewise conclude, from the nature of the punishments proposed, that the Israelites were partakers in the offence; for pestilence, war, and famine, were appointed by the ALMIGHTY for the chastisement of national sins; and what can be more likely to awaken the consciences of a people, who are forgetful of their duty to GoD, than a sudden calamity, which sweeps off thousands in a day.

It is impossible to describe, or even to imagine, the horror of such a scene: and we have reason to pray, that such a dreadful judgment may never fall upon this land in our days; but, if the increasing impiety of the nation

* Exodus xxx. 11, and sequel.


should provoke the LORD to afflict us with pestilence, we may learn, from David's example, to humble ourselves before God, with sincere resolutions of obeying his holy will, and then we may hope to be preserved, as he was, through Divine mercy.

Then we need not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noon day: a thousand shall fall beside us, and ten thousand at our right hand, but it shall not come near us. We shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty, and He shall deliver us*.

It is a happy thing to reflect, that in all dangers, how great soever, those who are religious may confide in GOD for protection. In this world, good persons are safe under his shadow, as the psalmist expresses it; but if it is the Divine pleasure to permit them to fall among sinners in a time of public calamity, it is but to remove them into the light of HIS GLORIOUS PRESENCE.

We find that Satan was the first instigator to David's crime; but David was equally guilty in the sight of GOD, as if it had proceeded originally from his own wicked inclination; from whence we learn, that it is no excuse for sin, to say we are tempted, as the LORD will certainly enable every one to resist temptation who will seek for Divine assistance.




From 1 Chronicles, Chap. xxii.

AND David commanded to gather together the stran

* Psalm xci.


gers that were in the land of Israel, and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God.

And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the joinings; and brass in abundance without weight: Also cedar-trees in abundance; for the Zidonians, and they of Tyre, brought much cedar-wood to David.

And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for the LORD must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death. Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build an house for the LORD GOD of Israel. And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was mind to build an Kouse unto the name of the LORD my GoD: but the word of the LORD came to me saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.

in my

Behold a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, aud I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.

He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.

Now my son, the LORD be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the LORD thy God, as he hath said of thee.

Only the LORD give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the LORD thy GOD.

Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the LORD charged Moses with concerning Israel. Be strong and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.

Now behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, ́and a thousand thousand talents of silver: and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto.

Moreover, there are workmen with thee in abundance, hewers, and workers of stone and timber, and all manner of cunning men for every manner of work.

Of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron there is no number. Arise therefore, and be doing, and the LORD be with thee.

David also commanded all the princes of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying, Is not the LORD your GoD with you? and hath he not given you rest on every side? for he hath given the inhabitants of the land into mine hand; and the land is subdued before the LORD, and before his people.

Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your GoD: arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the LORD GOD, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and the holy vessels of GoD, into the house that is to be built to the name of the LORD,


We read in the last section, that David purchased the threshing-floor of Ornan for a considerable sum of money, and that he determined to build the Temple on that spot; he had received instructions from the LORD concerning the form of the Temple and its furniture, G



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