God sends a pestilence after David’s census
God gave David three choices of punishment for his census. David chose pestilence for three days, and God sent it.
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Pestilence. Derivation of a Hebrew word referring to a contagious epidemic disease of devastating proportions. Pestilence is never portrayed in the Bible as an aimless, naturally occurring phenomenon. It is always regarded as a judgment or punishment sent by God. Only once is it used to denote a disease
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Murrain mûr̀en [Heb deḇer; Gk thánatos] (Ex. 9:3, AV); RSV PLAGUE; NEB PESTILENCE. A medieval term describing diseases of high morbidity affecting people or animals. The fifth Egyptian plague involved a plague of flies; it was probably epizootic in nature and conveyed by insects. Many writers have
Pestilence [Heb. deḇer; Gk. loimós; also Heb. māweṯ (Job 27:15; Jer. 43:11); Gk. thánatos (Rev. 6:8; 18:8)]; AV also DEATH (Job 27:15; Jer. 43:11; Rev. 6:8; 18:8). A sudden fatal epidemic, generally regarded as a divine visitation. The reference to pestilence in Ps. 91:6, “walking in darkness,”
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
PESTILENCE Derivative of a Hebrew word referring to a contagious epidemic disease of devastating proportions. Pestilence is never portrayed in the Bible as an aimless, naturally occurring phenomenon. It is always regarded as a judgment or punishment sent by God.Pestilence was one form of chastisement
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
PestilenceIn the Bible, pestilence (Heb. deḇer, māweṯ; Gk. loimós; thánatos) usually refers to divine intervention into human history in the form of human sickness in order to punish human misbehavior. Pestilence is often associated with other calamities (e.g., Exod. 9:3–15; Lev. 26:25; Amos 4:10;
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Pestilence (Heb. deḇer; Gk. loimós). A fatal disease sent as punishment by God. It is mentioned with other typical forms of divine punishment, including the sword (e.g., Exod. 5:3; Lev. 26:25), famine (e.g., 2 Sam. 24:13; Jer. 34:17), and various other diseases (1 Kgs. 8:37; Heb. 3:5) and afflictions
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
PESTILENCE (Heb. deber; Gk. loimos). The Heb. term seems to have originally meant “destruction” but is regularly applied to that common oriental epidemic the plague (which see). The prophets usually connect sword, pestilence, and famine (2 Sam. 24:15). See also Disease.
Easton’s Bible Dictionary
MurrainHeb. deber, “destruction,” a “great mortality”, the fifth plague that fell upon the Egyptians (Ex. 9:3). It was some distemper that resulted in the sudden and widespread death of the cattle. It was confined to the cattle of the Egyptians that were in the field (9:6).
Harper’s Bible Dictionary
Murrainmurrain (muhrʹen; kjv; rsv: ‘plague’ in Exod. 9:3), an obsolete term for infectious diseases afflicting animals and plants.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
MURRAIN<mur’-in>, <mur’-en>, <mur’-an] ( דֶּבֶר‎ [debher]): This name is given to a fatal cattle-disease, which was the fifth of the plagues of Egypt (Ex 9:3), and which affected not only the flocks and herds, but also the camels, horses and asses. The record of its onset immediately after the plague
PESTILENCE<pes’-ti-lens> ([דֶּבֶר, debher; [λοιμός, loimos]): Any sudden fatal epidemic is designated by this word, and in its Biblical use it generally indicates that these are divine visitations. The word is most frequently used in the prophetic books, and it occurs 25 times in Jeremiah and Ezekiel,
Compton’s Encyclopedia
epidemicAn outbreak of disease in a significant proportion of a population is called an epidemic. The term comes from a Greek word meaning “prevalent among the people.” When an epidemic afflicts a high proportion of the population over a wide geographic area, it is called a pandemic—literally “all the
The Westminster Bible Dictionary
Murʹrain [destruction, especially by a pestilence], that sudden and terrible mortality among the domestic animals of the Egyptians which constituted the fifth plague (Ex. 9:3).
A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels: Aaron–Zion
PESTILENCE (λοιμός).—The word is found twice in the Gospels, in both cases in the prophecy of Christ regarding the last days (Mt 24:7 [AV; RV, following WH and others, omits], Lk 21:11). In the OT the word is used in a generic sense, and usually indicates a direct Divine visitation (Lv 26:25, Nu 14:12,
Key passages
2 Sa 24:10–17

The heart of David struck him after he had counted the people, and David said to Yahweh, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done! So then, O Yahweh, please forgive the guilt of your servant because I have acted very foolishly.” When David got up in the morning, the word of Yahweh came to …

1 Ch 21:7–17

But this word was displeasing in the eyes of God, and he struck Israel. Then David said to God, “I have sinned severely in that I have done this thing. But now, please forgive the sin of your servant, for I have been very foolish.” Then Yahweh spoke to Gad the seer of David, saying, “Go, …

See also
Important Things
Topics & Themes