17 When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, "I have sinned; I, the shepherd,[1] have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family."

Matthew Henry's Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:17

Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:16-17

(Read 2 Samuel 24:16-17)

Perhaps there was more wickedness, especially more pride, and that was the sin now chastised, in Jerusalem than elsewhere, therefore the hand of the destroyer is stretched out upon that city; but the Lord repented him of the evil, changed not his mind, but his way. In the very place where Abraham was stayed from slaying his son, this angel, by a like countermand, was stayed from destroying Jerusalem. It is for the sake of the great Sacrifice, that our forfeited lives are preserved from the destroying angel. And in David is the spirit of a true shepherd of the people, offering himself as a sacrifice to God, for the salvation of his subjects.