Numerous reasons have been given for the cause of the plague that resulted from David's census in 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21: (1) David's pride in military strength; (2) David's neglect to secure the half-shekel kōper, as prescribed in Exodus 30; (3) the ancient Near Eastern notion that head-counting was taboo; (4) the process of gathering the census resulted in a health epidemic; and (5) David's failure to capture Mount Moriah, the future home of Israel's temple. This article presents another interpretive option for the basis of the plague that resulted from David's census. Here, I attempt to demonstrate that the essence of David's sin was premature planning and preparation for the construction of the temple, a task that had been divinely reserved for his son and successor, Solomon.

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