1For three years in a row there wasn’t enough food in the land. That was while David was king. So David asked the LORD why he wasn’t blessing his people. The LORD said, ‘It is because Saul and his family committed murder. He put the people of Gibeon to death.’2The people of Gibeon weren’t a part of Israel. Instead, they were some of the Amorites who were still left alive. The Israelites had promised to spare them. But Saul had tried to put an end to them. That’s because he wanted to make Israel and Judah strong. So now King David sent for the people of Gibeon and spoke to them.3He asked them, ‘What would you like me to do for you? How can I make up for the wrong things that were done to you? I want you to be able to pray that the LORD will once again bless his land.’4The people of Gibeon answered him. They said, ‘No amount of silver or gold can make up for what Saul and his family did to us. And we can’t put anyone in Israel to death.’ ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ David asked.5They answered the king, ‘Saul nearly destroyed us. He made plans to wipe us out. We don’t have anywhere to live in Israel.6So let seven of the males in his family line be given to us. We’ll kill them. We’ll put their dead bodies out in the open in the sight of the LORD. We’ll do it at Gibeah of Saul. Saul was the LORD’s chosen king.’ So King David said, ‘I’ll give seven males to you.’7The king spared Mephibosheth. He was the son of Jonathan and the grandson of Saul. David had made a promise in front of the LORD. He had promised to be kind to Jonathan and the family line of his father Saul.8But the king chose Armoni and another Mephibosheth. They were the two sons of Aiah’s daughter Rizpah. Saul was their father. The king also chose the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab. Adriel, the son of Barzillai, was their father. Adriel was from Meholah.9King David handed them over to the people of Gibeon. They killed them. They put their dead bodies out in the open on a hill in the sight of the LORD. All seven of them died together. They were put to death during the first days of the harvest. It happened just when people were beginning to harvest the barley.10Aiah’s daughter Rizpah took some rough cloth people wear when they’re sad. She spread it out for herself on a rock. She stayed there from the beginning of the harvest until it rained. The rain poured down from the sky on the dead bodies of the seven males. She didn’t let the birds touch them by day. She didn’t let the wild animals touch them at night.11Someone told David what Rizpah had done. She was Aiah’s daughter and Saul’s concubine.12David went and got the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan. He got them from the citizens of Jabesh Gilead. They had stolen their bodies from the main street in Beth Shan. That’s where the Philistines had hung their bodies up on the city wall. They had done it after they struck Saul down on Mount Gilboa.13David brought the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from Jabesh Gilead. The bones of the seven males who had been killed and put out in the open were also gathered up.14The bones of Saul and his son Jonathan were buried in the tomb of Saul’s father Kish. The tomb was at Zela in the territory of Benjamin. Everything the king commanded was done. After that, God answered prayer and blessed the land.
Wars against the Philistines
15Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines. He became very tired.16Ishbi-Benob belonged to the family line of Rapha. The tip of his bronze spear weighed 3.5 kilograms. He was also armed with a new sword. He said he would kill David.17But Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, came to save David. He struck down the Philistine and killed him. Then David’s men made a promise. They said to David, ‘We never want you to go out with us to battle again. You are the lamp of Israel’s kingdom. We want that lamp to keep on burning brightly.’18There was another battle against the Philistines. It took place at Gob. At that time Sibbekai killed Saph. Sibbekai was a Hushathite. Saph was from the family line of Rapha.19In another battle against the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan killed Goliath’s brother. Elhanan was the son of Jair from Bethlehem. Goliath was from the city of Gath. His spear was as big as a weaver’s rod.20There was still another battle. It took place at Gath. A huge man lived there. He had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. So the total number of his toes and fingers was 24. He was also from the family of Rapha.21He made fun of Israel. So Jonathan killed him. Jonathan was the son of David’s brother Shimeah.22Those four Philistine men lived in Gath. They were from the family line of Rapha. David and his men killed them.
2 Samuel 21
English Standard Version
David Avenges the Gibeonites
1Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David sought the face of the Lord. And the Lord said, “There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.” (Nu 27:21)2So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. Now the Gibeonites were not of the people of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites. Although the people of Israel had sworn to spare them, Saul had sought to strike them down in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah. (Jos 9:3)3And David said to the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? And how shall I make atonement, that you may bless the heritage of the Lord?” (1Sa 26:19)4The Gibeonites said to him, “It is not a matter of silver or gold between us and Saul or his house; neither is it for us to put any man to death in Israel.” And he said, “What do you say that I shall do for you?”5They said to the king, “The man who consumed us and planned to destroy us, so that we should have no place in all the territory of Israel,6let seven of his sons be given to us, so that we may hang them before the Lord at Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of the Lord.” And the king said, “I will give them.” (1Sa 10:24; 1Sa 10:26; 1Sa 11:4)7But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Saul’s son Jonathan, because of the oath of the Lord that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. (1Sa 20:8; 1Sa 20:42; 1Sa 23:18)8The king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Merab the daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite; (Ge 50:23; 1Sa 18:19; 2Sa 3:7)9and he gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them on the mountain before the Lord, and the seven of them perished together. They were put to death in the first days of harvest, at the beginning of barley harvest. (Ru 1:22)10Then Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until rain fell upon them from the heavens. And she did not allow the birds of the air to come upon them by day, or the beasts of the field by night. (De 21:23)11When David was told what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done,12David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan from the men of Jabesh-gilead, who had stolen them from the public square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them, on the day the Philistines killed Saul on Gilboa. (Jos 17:11; 1Sa 31:10; 2Sa 2:4)13And he brought up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan; and they gathered the bones of those who were hanged.14And they buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the land of Benjamin in Zela, in the tomb of Kish his father. And they did all that the king commanded. And after that God responded to the plea for the land. (Jos 18:28; 2Sa 24:25)
War with the Philistines
15There was war again between the Philistines and Israel, and David went down together with his servants, and they fought against the Philistines. And David grew weary.16And Ishbi-benob, one of the descendants of the giants, whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of bronze, and who was armed with a new sword, thought to kill David. (2Sa 21:18; 2Sa 21:20; 2Sa 21:22)17But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid and attacked the Philistine and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, “You shall no longer go out with us to battle, lest you quench the lamp of Israel.” (2Sa 18:3; 2Sa 22:29; 1Ki 11:36; 1Ki 15:4; 2Ki 8:19; 2Ch 21:7; Ps 132:17)18After this there was again war with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Saph, who was one of the descendants of the giants. (2Sa 21:16; 2Sa 21:20; 2Sa 21:22; 2Sa 23:27; 1Ch 11:29; 1Ch 20:4; 1Ch 27:11)19And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, struck down Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. (1Sa 17:7; 2Sa 23:24; 1Ch 20:5)20And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and he also was descended from the giants. (2Sa 21:16; 2Sa 21:18)21And when he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, struck him down. (1Sa 17:10; 1Sa 17:25; 1Sa 17:36; 1Sa 17:45)22These four were descended from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants. (2Sa 21:20)