2 Samuel 21-24
New International Version
The Gibeonites Avenged
21 During the reign of David, there was a famine(A) for three successive years; so David sought(B) 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.”
2 The king summoned the Gibeonites(C) 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.) 3 David asked the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? How shall I make atonement so that you will bless the Lord’s inheritance?”(D)
4 The 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.”(E)
“What do you want me to do for you?” David asked.
5 They 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, 6 let seven of his male descendants be given to us to be killed and their bodies exposed(F) before the Lord at Gibeah of Saul—the Lord’s chosen(G) one.”
So the king said, “I will give them to you.”
7 The king spared Mephibosheth(H) son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the oath(I) before the Lord between David and Jonathan son of Saul. 8 But the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Aiah’s daughter Rizpah,(J) whom she had borne to Saul, together with the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab,[a] whom she had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite.(K) 9 He 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(L) during the first days of the harvest, just as the barley harvest was beginning.(M)
10 Rizpah 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.(N) 11 When David was told what Aiah’s daughter Rizpah, Saul’s concubine, had done, 12 he went and took the bones of Saul(O) and his son Jonathan from the citizens of Jabesh Gilead.(P) (They had stolen their bodies from the public square at Beth Shan,(Q) where the Philistines had hung(R) them after they struck Saul down on Gilboa.)(S) 13 David 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.
14 They buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the tomb of Saul’s father Kish, at Zela(T) in Benjamin, and did everything the king commanded. After that,(U) God answered prayer(V) in behalf of the land.(W)
Wars Against the Philistines(X)
15 Once again there was a battle between the Philistines(Y) and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted. 16 And Ishbi-Benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, whose bronze spearhead weighed three hundred shekels[b] and who was armed with a new sword, said he would kill David. 17 But Abishai(Z) 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(AA) of Israel will not be extinguished.(AB)”
18 In the course of time, there was another battle with the Philistines, at Gob. At that time Sibbekai(AC) the Hushathite killed Saph, one of the descendants of Rapha.
20 In 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. 21 When he taunted(AF) Israel, Jonathan son of Shimeah,(AG) David’s brother, killed him.
22 These four were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men.
David’s Song of Praise(AH)
22 David sang(AI) to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. 2 He said:
“The Lord is my rock,(AJ) my fortress(AK) and my deliverer;(AL)
3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,(AM)
my shield[e](AN) and the horn[f](AO) of my salvation.
He is my stronghold,(AP) my refuge and my savior—
from violent people you save me.
4 “I called to the Lord, who is worthy(AQ) of praise,
and have been saved from my enemies.
5 The waves(AR) of death swirled about me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
6 The cords of the grave(AS) coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
7 “In my distress(AT) I called(AU) to the Lord;
I called out to my God.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came to his ears.
8 The earth(AV) trembled and quaked,(AW)
the foundations(AX) of the heavens[g] shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
9 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire(AY) came from his mouth,
burning coals(AZ) blazed out of it.
10 He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds(BA) were under his feet.
11 He mounted the cherubim(BB) and flew;
he soared[h] on the wings of the wind.(BC)
12 He made darkness(BD) his canopy around him—
the dark[i] rain clouds of the sky.
13 Out of the brightness of his presence
bolts of lightning(BE) blazed forth.
14 The Lord thundered(BF) from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.
15 He shot his arrows(BG) and scattered the enemy,
with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
16 The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at the rebuke(BH) of the Lord,
at the blast(BI) of breath from his nostrils.
17 “He reached down from on high(BJ) and took hold of me;
he drew(BK) me out of deep waters.
18 He rescued(BL) me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
19 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.(BM)
20 He brought me out into a spacious(BN) place;
he rescued(BO) me because he delighted(BP) in me.(BQ)
21 “The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;(BR)
according to the cleanness(BS) of my hands(BT) he has rewarded me.
22 For I have kept(BU) the ways of the Lord;
I am not guilty of turning from my God.
23 All his laws are before me;(BV)
I have not turned(BW) away from his decrees.
24 I have been blameless(BX) before him
and have kept myself from sin.
25 The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,(BY)
according to my cleanness[j] in his sight.
26 “To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
27 to the pure(BZ) you show yourself pure,
but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.(CA)
28 You save the humble,(CB)
but your eyes are on the haughty(CC) to bring them low.(CD)
29 You, Lord, are my lamp;(CE)
the Lord turns my darkness into light.
30 With your help I can advance against a troop[k];
with my God I can scale a wall.
31 “As for God, his way is perfect:(CF)
The Lord’s word is flawless;(CG)
he shields(CH) all who take refuge in him.
32 For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock(CI) except our God?(CJ)
33 It is God who arms me with strength[l]
and keeps my way secure.
34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;(CK)
he causes me to stand on the heights.(CL)
35 He trains my hands(CM) for battle;
my arms can bend a bow(CN) of bronze.
36 You make your saving help my shield;(CO)
your help has made[m] me great.
37 You provide a broad path(CP) for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way.
38 “I pursued my enemies and crushed them;
I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
39 I crushed(CQ) them completely, and they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.
40 You armed me with strength for battle;
you humbled my adversaries before me.(CR)
41 You made my enemies turn their backs(CS) in flight,
and I destroyed my foes.
42 They cried for help,(CT) but there was no one to save them—(CU)
to the Lord, but he did not answer.(CV)
43 I beat them as fine as the dust(CW) of the earth;
I pounded and trampled(CX) them like mud(CY) in the streets.
44 “You have delivered(CZ) me from the attacks of the peoples;
you have preserved(DA) me as the head of nations.
People(DB) I did not know now serve me,
45 foreigners cower(DC) before me;
as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.(DD)
46 They all lose heart;
they come trembling[n](DE) from their strongholds.
47 “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted(DF) be my God, the Rock, my Savior!(DG)
48 He is the God who avenges(DH) me,(DI)
who puts the nations under me,
49 who sets me free from my enemies.(DJ)
You exalted me(DK) above my foes;
from a violent man you rescued me.
50 Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing the praises(DL) of your name.(DM)
David’s Last Words
23 These are the last words of David:
2 “The Spirit(DT) of the Lord spoke through me;
his word was on my tongue.
3 The God of Israel spoke,
the Rock(DU) of Israel said to me:
‘When one rules over people in righteousness,(DV)
when he rules in the fear(DW) of God,(DX)
4 he is like the light(DY) of morning(DZ) at sunrise(EA)
on a cloudless morning,
like the brightness after rain(EB)
that brings grass from the earth.’
5 “If my house were not right with God,
surely he would not have made with me an everlasting covenant,(EC)
arranged and secured in every part;
surely he would not bring to fruition my salvation
and grant me my every desire.
6 But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns,(ED)
which are not gathered with the hand.
7 Whoever touches thorns
uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear;
they are burned up where they lie.”
David’s Mighty Warriors(EE)
8 These are the names of David’s mighty warriors:(EF)
9 Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai(EH) the Ahohite.(EI) As one of the three mighty warriors, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim[r] for battle. Then the Israelites retreated, 10 but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.
11 Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them. 12 But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory.
13 During harvest time, three of the thirty chief warriors came down to David at the cave of Adullam,(EJ) while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim.(EK) 14 At that time David was in the stronghold,(EL) and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem.(EM) 15 David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” 16 So the three mighty warriors broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured(EN) it out before the Lord. 17 “Far be it from me, Lord, to do this!” he said. “Is it not the blood(EO) of men who went at the risk of their lives?” And David would not drink it.
Such were the exploits of the three mighty warriors.
18 Abishai(EP) the brother of Joab son of Zeruiah was chief of the Three.[s] He raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed, and so he became as famous as the Three. 19 Was he not held in greater honor than the Three? He became their commander, even though he was not included among them.
20 Benaiah(EQ) son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel,(ER) performed great exploits. He struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. 21 And he struck down a huge Egyptian. Although the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 22 Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty warriors. 23 He was held in greater honor than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard.
24 Among the Thirty were:
Asahel(ES) the brother of Joab,
Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem,
25 Shammah the Harodite,(ET)
Elika the Harodite,
26 Helez(EU) the Paltite,
Ira(EV) son of Ikkesh from Tekoa,
Sibbekai[t] the Hushathite,
28 Zalmon the Ahohite,
Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah(FB) in Benjamin,
30 Benaiah the Pirathonite,(FC)
31 Abi-Albon the Arbathite,
Azmaveth the Barhumite,(FE)
32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite,
the sons of Jashen,
Jonathan 33 son of[w] Shammah the Hararite,
Ahiam son of Sharar[x] the Hararite,
34 Eliphelet son of Ahasbai the Maakathite,(FF)
35 Hezro the Carmelite,(FI)
Paarai the Arbite,
36 Igal son of Nathan from Zobah,(FJ)
the son of Hagri,[y]
37 Zelek the Ammonite,
Naharai the Beerothite,(FK) the armor-bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah,
38 Ira the Ithrite,(FL)
Gareb the Ithrite
39 and Uriah(FM) the Hittite.
There were thirty-seven in all.
David Enrolls the Fighting Men(FN)
2 So the king said to Joab(FR) and the army commanders[z] with him, “Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba(FS) and enroll(FT) the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are.”
3 But Joab(FU) replied to the king, “May the Lord your God multiply the troops a hundred times over,(FV) and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?”
4 The king’s word, however, overruled Joab and the army commanders; so they left the presence of the king to enroll the fighting men of Israel.
5 After crossing the Jordan, they camped near Aroer,(FW) south of the town in the gorge, and then went through Gad and on to Jazer.(FX) 6 They went to Gilead and the region of Tahtim Hodshi, and on to Dan Jaan and around toward Sidon.(FY) 7 Then they went toward the fortress of Tyre(FZ) and all the towns of the Hivites(GA) and Canaanites. Finally, they went on to Beersheba(GB) in the Negev(GC) of Judah.
8 After they had gone through the entire land, they came back to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.
9 Joab reported the number of the fighting men to the king: In Israel there were eight hundred thousand able-bodied men who could handle a sword, and in Judah five hundred thousand.(GD)
10 David was conscience-stricken(GE) after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, “I have sinned(GF) greatly in what I have done. Now, Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.(GG)”
11 Before David got up the next morning, the word of the Lord had come to Gad(GH) the prophet, David’s seer:(GI) 12 “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’”
13 So Gad went to David and said to him, “Shall there come on you three[aa] years of famine(GJ) in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague(GK) in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me.”
14 David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy(GL) is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.”
15 So the Lord sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died.(GM) 16 When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented(GN) concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord(GO) was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
17 When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd,[ab] have done wrong. These are but sheep.(GP) What have they done?(GQ) Let your hand fall on me and my family.”(GR)
David Builds an Altar(GS)
18 On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah(GT) the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up, as the Lord had commanded through Gad. 20 When Araunah looked and saw the king and his officials coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground.
21 Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”
“To buy your threshing floor,” David answered, “so I can build an altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped.”(GU)
22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever he wishes and offer it up. Here are oxen(GV) for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23 Your Majesty, Araunah[ac] gives(GW) all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May the Lord your God accept you.”
24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”(GX)
So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels[ad](GY) of silver for them. 25 David built an altar(GZ) to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered his prayer(HA) in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.
- 2 Samuel 21:8 Two Hebrew manuscripts, some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac (see also 1 Samuel 18:19); most Hebrew and Septuagint manuscripts Michal
- 2 Samuel 21:16 That is, about 7 1/2 pounds or about 3.5 kilograms
- 2 Samuel 21:19 See 1 Chron. 20:5; Hebrew Jaare-Oregim.
- 2 Samuel 21:19 See 1 Chron. 20:5; Hebrew does not have the brother of.
- 2 Samuel 22:3 Or sovereign
- 2 Samuel 22:3 Horn here symbolizes strength.
- 2 Samuel 22:8 Hebrew; Vulgate and Syriac (see also Psalm 18:7) mountains
- 2 Samuel 22:11 Many Hebrew manuscripts (see also Psalm 18:10); most Hebrew manuscripts appeared
- 2 Samuel 22:12 Septuagint (see also Psalm 18:11); Hebrew massed
- 2 Samuel 22:25 Hebrew; Septuagint and Vulgate (see also Psalm 18:24) to the cleanness of my hands
- 2 Samuel 22:30 Or can run through a barricade
- 2 Samuel 22:33 Dead Sea Scrolls, some Septuagint manuscripts, Vulgate and Syriac (see also Psalm 18:32); Masoretic Text who is my strong refuge
- 2 Samuel 22:36 Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text shield; / you stoop down to make
- 2 Samuel 22:46 Some Septuagint manuscripts and Vulgate (see also Psalm 18:45); Masoretic Text they arm themselves
- 2 Samuel 23:8 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts suggest Ish-Bosheth, that is, Esh-Baal (see also 1 Chron. 11:11 Jashobeam).
- 2 Samuel 23:8 Probably a variant of Hakmonite (see 1 Chron. 11:11)
- 2 Samuel 23:8 Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:11); Hebrew and other Septuagint manuscripts Three; it was Adino the Eznite who killed eight hundred men
- 2 Samuel 23:9 See 1 Chron. 11:13; Hebrew gathered there.
- 2 Samuel 23:18 Most Hebrew manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:20); two Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac Thirty
- 2 Samuel 23:27 Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 21:18; 1 Chron. 11:29); Hebrew Mebunnai
- 2 Samuel 23:29 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Vulgate (see also 1 Chron. 11:30); most Hebrew manuscripts Heleb
- 2 Samuel 23:30 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:32) Hurai
- 2 Samuel 23:33 Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:34); Hebrew does not have son of.
- 2 Samuel 23:33 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:35) Sakar
- 2 Samuel 23:36 Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:38); Hebrew Haggadi
- 2 Samuel 24:2 Septuagint (see also verse 4 and 1 Chron. 21:2); Hebrew Joab the army commander
- 2 Samuel 24:13 Septuagint (see also 1 Chron. 21:12); Hebrew seven
- 2 Samuel 24:17 Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint; Masoretic Text does not have the shepherd.
- 2 Samuel 24:23 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts King Araunah
- 2 Samuel 24:24 That is, about 1 1/4 pounds or about 575 grams