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The "strait" was either three years of famine, three months of military defeat or three days of pestilence (1 Chronicles 21:12), and David chose the latter. The parallel account (2 Samuel 24:13) says the first option was seven years of famine, but this most likely was a scribal error in copying. Hebrew numbers are notoriously easy to misread, and most of the probable copyist errors in the Old Testament have to do with numbers.
KJV Defenders Study Bible, by Dr. Henry Morris, Ph.D.
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
DEF 10 ISBN 0-529-10444-x
DEF 10-1 ISBN 0-529-10445-8