1During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the Lord. The Lord said, ‘It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death.’2The king summoned the Gibeonites and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not a part of Israel but were survivors of the Amorites; the Israelites had sworn to spare them, but Saul in his zeal for Israel and Judah had tried to annihilate them.)3David asked the Gibeonites, ‘What shall I do for you? How shall I make atonement so that you will bless the Lord’s inheritance?’4The Gibeonites answered him, ‘We have no right to demand silver or gold from Saul or his family, nor do we have the right to put anyone in Israel to death.’ ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ David asked.5They answered the king, ‘As for the man who destroyed us and plotted against us so that we have been decimated and have no place anywhere in Israel,6let seven of his male descendants be given to us to be killed and their bodies exposed before the Lord at Gibeah of Saul – the Lord’s chosen one.’ So the king said, ‘I will give them to you.’7The king spared Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the oath before the Lord between David and Jonathan son of Saul.8But the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Aiah’s daughter Rizpah, whom she had borne to Saul, together with the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab, whom she had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite. (1Sa 18:19)9He handed them over to the Gibeonites, who killed them and exposed their bodies on a hill before the Lord. All seven of them fell together; they were put to death during the first days of harvest, just as the barley harvest was beginning.10Rizpah daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on a rock. From the beginning of the harvest till the rain poured down from the heavens on the bodies, she did not let the birds touch them by day or the wild animals by night.11When David was told what Aiah’s daughter Rizpah, Saul’s concubine, had done,12he went and took the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from the citizens of Jabesh Gilead. (They had stolen their bodies from the public square at Beth Shan, where the Philistines had hung them after they struck Saul down on Gilboa.)13David brought the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from there, and the bones of those who had been killed and exposed were gathered up.14They buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the tomb of Saul’s father Kish, at Zela in Benjamin, and did everything the king commanded. After that, God answered prayer on behalf of 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, and he became exhausted.16And Ishbi-Benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, whose bronze spearhead weighed three hundred shekels and who was armed with a new sword, said he would kill David.17But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue; he struck the Philistine down and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, saying, ‘Never again will you go out with us to battle, so that the lamp of Israel will not be extinguished.’18In the course of time, there was another battle with the Philistines, at Gob. At that time Sibbekai the Hushathite killed Saph, one of the descendants of Rapha.19In another battle with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan son of Jair the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver’s rod. (1Ch 20:5)20In still another battle, which took place at Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot – twenty-four in all. He also was descended from Rapha.21When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimeah, David’s brother, killed him.22These four were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men.
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)