“On This Day,” King David Purchases Jebusite Threshing Floor

But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I will buy them from you at a price. I cannot sacrifice to Hashem my God burnt offerings that have cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekalim of silver. (II Samuel 24:24)

וַ יֹאמֶ ר הַ ּמֶ לֶ ְך אֶ ל־אֲ רַ וְ נָה לֹא כ ִ י־קָ נֹו אֶ קְ נֶה מֵ אֹותְ ָך ב ִ מְ חִ יר וְ לֹא אַ עֲ לֶ ה לַ י-ה-וָ -האֱ -ֹלהַ י עֹלֹות חִ נָם וַ יִקֶ ן ד ָ וִ ד אֶ ת־הַ ּגֹרֶ ן וְ אֶ ת־הַ בָ קָ ר ב ְ כֶ סֶ ף ׁשְ קָ לִ ים חֲ מִ ּׁשִ ים׃

va-YO-mer ha-ME-lekh el a-RAV-nah LO kee ka-NO ek-NEH may-o-t’-KHA bim-KHEER v’-LO a-a-LEH la-do-NAI e-lo-HAI o-LOT KHI-nam va-YI-ken da-VID et ha-GO-ren v’-et haba-KAR b’-KHE-sef sh’-ka-LEEM kha-mi-SHEEM

 

King David purchases the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite and, according to one classic rabbinic opinion, the entire city of Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). That threshing floor, the place where he intends to offer sacrifices, is now called the Har HaBayit (Temple Mount) in Yerushalayim. As this site would later become the location of the Beit Hamikdash (Temple), David purchases the land publicly, just as Avraham did when he purchased the cave of Machpelah in Chevron for a great sum of money and in front of witnesses (Genesis 23). Although, like Avraham, David was offered the site as a gift, he does not want any future generations to claim that it was stolen by B’nei Yisrael (Children of Israel). Since the sale of each is recorded in the Bible, the Sages of the Midrash (homiletic teachings) teach that Yerushalayim, Chevron and Shechem (which was similarly purchased by Yaakov, see Genesis 33:19) are the three places that indisputably belong to the Jewish people.