And David said unto Gad, I am in a great distress: 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.
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Ambrose of Milan
Again, when David had ordered the people to be numbered, he was deeply afflicted in heart and said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in the command I have made, and now, O Lord, take away the iniquity of your servant, because I have sinned exceedingly.” And the prophet Nathan was sent again to him to offer him the choice of three things, that he might select what he chose: a famine in the land for three years, flight from the face of his enemies for three months, or pestilence in the land for three days. And David answered, “These three things are a great distress to me, yet I shall fall into the hand of the Lord since his mercies are exceedingly great, and I shall not fall into the hands of men.” David’s fault was that he desired to know the number of all the people who were with him, and the knowledge of this he should have left to God alone.
And it is said that when the pestilence came upon the people on the first day at dinner time, when David saw the angel striking the people, h...
Lord, and be exposed to the violence of pestilence, which attacks both rich and poor; whereas the rich can frequently escape the dangers of war, or of famine. (Calmet)
David knew that he had sinned, and he did not wish to screen himself from suffering the temporal punishment due to sin. (Haydock)
God punishes us equally by the hand of men, as by other means; but the king thus intimates, that he looks upon Him as an indulgent father, who is less severe than the ministers of justice. (Menochius) ...