The three choices of King David (1 Chr 21:7-21:13)

“But God was displeased with this thing. He struck Israel. King David said to God. ‘I have sinned greatly in that I have done this thing. But now, I pray you to take away the guilt of your servant. I have done very foolishly.’ Yahweh spoke to Gad, King David’s seer. ‘Go and say to King David. Thus says Yahweh. Three things I offer you. Choose one of them, so that I may do it to you.’ So Gad came to David and said to him. ‘Thus says Yahweh. Take your choice. Either three years of famine, or three months of devastation by your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or three days of the sword of Yahweh, pestilence on the land. The angel of Yahweh would destroy throughout all the territory of Israel. Now decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me.’ Then King David said to Gad. ‘I am in great distress. Let me fall into the hand of Yahweh, for his mercy is very great. But let me not fall into human hands.’”

Once again this biblical chronicler follows 2 Samuel, chapter 24. King David was having second thoughts about the census he took. He thought that he sinned in doing it. Although there was no indication of why he thought like this in 2 Samuel, here it is obviously because it was Satan inspired. The prophet of King David, Gad, got a visit from Yahweh. This is not the Gad, the son of Jacob or Israel, whom a tribe and territory were named after. Rather this is a prophet or seer who guides David. Nathan had been the other prophet of King David. Yahweh told Gad to give King David 3 choices. His 3 choices were: 1) a 3 year famine; 2) 3 months fleeing his enemies; 3) 3 day pestilence. David had to choose. Gad had to let Yahweh know. Somehow this was not a direct conversation between Yahweh and King David. King David said fine, since he believed that Yahweh was merciful. He did not want to fall into human hands. In 2 Samuel, David chose the 3 day pestilence, but it is not mentioned here but assumed since the next section continues under that assumption.