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Ancient Words: The Threshing Floor

January 8, 2022 at 12:00 a.m.

By Scott Johnson

....And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite (2nd Samuel 24.16).....

The threshing floor was a large stone or rock area where harvested grain could be brought to, deposited on the stone surface, and then broken down with mallets to separate the chaff from the kernel. The wind would then blow away the unusable hull or chaff and leave the good kernel for the making of bread. The threshing floor here in 2 Samuel is pivotal in the story of King David and his decision to go against God's will and count his fighting men. It is pivotal in that, looking back, the floor area is thought to be the place where Abraham offered his son Isaac. Looking forward, this same stone floor becomes the place where Jesus faces his trial, punishment and death.

A man named Arunah is the owner of this threshing floor in 2nd Samuel: And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto the LORD in the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. And David, according to the saying of Gad, went up as the LORD commanded. And Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants coming on toward him: and Araunah went out, and bowed himself before the king on his face upon the ground. And Araunah said, Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the threshing floor of thee, to build an altar unto the LORD, that the plague may be stayed from the people. And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood. All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The LORD thy God accept thee. And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.

(2Sa 24:18-25 KJV-BRG)

David suffered greatly watching 70,000 of his army die suddenly from the arm of the destroying angel sent to administer the chosen punishment for David's disobedience. But God was also grieved in what he saw and relented: 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. 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. 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 Beer-sheba seventy thousand men. And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing place of Araunah the Jebusite. And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father's house. And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto the LORD in the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

(2Sa 24:13-18 KJV-BRG)

God relented with Abraham and provided a sacrifice..... then 1,000 years later God relented with David and provided a sacrifice, which would occur 1,000 years later, on the threshing floor, at the Temple, in Jerusalem, on a wooden cross: And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. (Mat 21:44 KJV-BRG)

Scott and Jane Johnson minister with East Faulkner Church of Christ and BRG Bible. Bible questions can be sent to [email protected]

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