David & Araunah

by Michael English

Summary: This was written for our younger teenagers as a way of presenting 2 Samuel 24.

Bible Reference: 2 Samuel 24

Characters: Narrator, David, Joab, God, Gad, Araunah

Props: Not essential

Setting: King David's Palace and Araunah's mill.

Narrator: King David is at home in his palace. He's feeling a bit bored.

David: I'm bored.

Narrator: Just then Joab the commander of the army arrived.

Joab: G'day, oh King. We've won. No more fighting for a long time.

David: Good, but I'm so bored, I think its bad. A war would have given me something to do.


You know, we must have a really powerful country now. Maybe we're an Empire, not just a kingdom.

Joab: So, I suppose you want to be called Emperor now?

David: That sounds grand. But we need a particularly large army before I can be called Emperor.

(Pause whilst David thinks)

I know. Joab.

Joab: No worries, Oh King.

David: Go and count the number of poor grunts we can draft into the army at a moments notice.

Joab: I hope your majesty has a good reason for doing this, because I think it stinks. You only want to count them to see how you compare to old Hamurabi, Emperor of the Babylonians, or that other guy whose name I can't pronounce who was Emperor of the Hittites.

David: (Flying into a tantrum) I'm king and you're just a general with a fake Australian accent. Just do as your told.

Joab: No worries, mate.

David: And don't call me mate.

Narrator: So Joab started to count all the men in Israel who were capable of military service.

Joab: One, two, three, no, flat feet, four, five.......

Narrator: Joab went all over Israel, he crossed rivers, and climbed mountains. He visited the Babylonian and Hittite borders. Eventually he found his way back to Jerusalem.

Joab: One million two hundred thousand nine hundred and ninety nine, too young, too old, one million three hundred thousand. That's the lot.

Narrator: But David was sad because God had spoken in his heart.

God: David, you have done evil. You've used the resources of your kingdom, not for the good of the people, but to feed your own pride.

David: I admit I've been very foolish.

Narrator: So God spoke to David's prophet Gad. Gad came to see David.

Gad: Wotcha, Oh King.

David: Get on with it. It's bound to be bad news.

Gad: God says that you need to be punished so that you, your people, and all who come after you can know how bad pride is. But you get to choose your punishment:


1. Three years of famine

2. Three months of running from your enemies

3. Three days of pestilence

David: Why do prophets always say pestilence when they could say plague? Look never mind. I'm not going to choose famine because I won't suffer much, only the people and that's not fair. I won't choose number two because I would prefer God to punish us himself and not use my enemies. Anyway, number 3 gets it over quicker, so pestilence it is.

Narrator: So a plague started in Israel. It had killed seventy thousand people and reached the outskirts of Jerusalem. Then David prayed:

David: Lord, this isn't fair. You're punishing all these people, for something that I've done. Please, only punish me and my family.

God: Enough. Many people have suffered because of the king's mistake, but will they learn from it?

Narrator: The plague stopped at a mill which belonged to a foreigner named Araunah. Nobody else became sick. Gad the prophet brought the news to David.

Gad: God has stopped the plague at Araunah's mill. Go and build an altar to the Lord there and make sacrifices.

Narrator: So the king and the court went to Araunah's mill. When the king arrived, Araunah greeted him.

Araunah: Greetings, oh king, what mighty task can your boot-licking servant perform for you?

David: I've come to buy your mill and build an altar here. Hopefully, then the plague will not reappear.

Araunah: Well here is my mill. Break it up and use the wood for fuel; sacrifice the oxen that turn the mill. Its all yours with my thanks.

David: No, I will buy your mill for fifty buckets of silver. I will not offer to God worship that has cost me nothing.

This script is Copyright 1998 Michael English, All Saints Milton. Permission is given to use this drama in non-profit making church events provided the source is acknowledged. Some editing may be required to suit local conditions. Please let us know if you have any comments.

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