With the purpose of securing a suitable site on the Mount Moriah, David bought an existing threshing field from a local farmer for 50 Shekels of silver (just under one pound in weight). In those days threshing fields tended to be sited on top of hills to catch the breeze in order to blow away the chaff.
After having been safeguarded for the previous 20 years in its tented Tabernacle at Kiriath, David, as a first step, decided to move the Ark temporarily up to Mount Zion. Thereafter, Jerusalem became known as the City of David.
In order to determine the available labour force, David ordered his army to carry out the first-ever population census. His troops did this by concentrating the citizens into compact districts for the purpose of rapid numbering (12). Unfortunately, due to the consequential lack of hygiene and sanitation from severe overcrowding, there arose widespread discontent, disease and bloodshed, resulting in the loss of about 20,000 lives.
To ameliorate the effects of this epidemic, David decided to make a sacrifice on mount Moriah. (13) This was his first religious act there. He was then obliged to restart the census under more tolerable conditions. It disclosed that there were 153,300 foreign workers upon which he could draw.
Although the First Temple at Jerusalem has always borne King Solomon's name, it was really his father, David, who conceived the idea and who became the moving force. For instance, it was he who defined the general layout and planned all the logistic complexities that led to its eventual construction. Nor did David's vision stop there. He also specified in considerable detail the attendant buildings, including palaces for himself and his wife.