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David Gives Saul’s Sons to the Gibeonites

21 And there was (A)a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and (B)David sought the presence of Yahweh. And Yahweh said, “It is for Saul and his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.” So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them (now the Gibeonites were not of the sons of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites, and (C)the sons of Israel [a]made a covenant with them, but Saul had sought to strike them down in his zeal for the sons of Israel and Judah). Thus David said to the Gibeonites, “What should I do for you? And how can I make atonement that you may bless (D)the inheritance of Yahweh?” Then the Gibeonites said to him, “(E)We have no concern of silver or gold with Saul or his house, nor is it for us to put any man to death in Israel.” And he said, “I will do for you whatever you say.” So they said to the king, “(F)The man who consumed us and who planned [b]to eradicate us from standing within any border of Israel, let seven men from his sons be given to us, and we will [c]hang them (G)before Yahweh in Gibeah of Saul, (H)the chosen of Yahweh.” And the king said, “I will give them.”

But the king spared (I)Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, (J)because of the oath of Yahweh which was between them, between David and Saul’s son Jonathan. So the king took the two sons of (K)Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, Armoni and Mephibosheth whom she had borne to Saul, and the five sons of [d](L)Merab the daughter of Saul, whom she had borne to Adriel the son of Barzillai the (M)Meholathite. Then he gave them into the hand of the Gibeonites, and they [e]hanged them in the mountain before Yahweh, so that the seven of them fell together; and they were put to death in the first days of harvest at (N)the beginning of barley harvest.

10 (O)And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until [f]it rained on them from the sky; and (P)she [g]allowed neither the birds of the sky to rest on them by day nor the beasts of the field by night. 11 Then it was told to David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done. 12 So David went and took (Q)the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabesh-gilead, who had stolen them from the open square of (R)Beth-shan, (S)where the Philistines had hanged them on the day (T)the Philistines struck down Saul in Gilboa. 13 And he brought up the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from there, and they gathered the bones of those who had been [h]hanged. 14 Then they buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son in the land of Benjamin in (U)Zela, in the grave of Kish his father; thus they did all that the king commanded, and afterwards (V)God was moved by the entreaty for the land.

War with the Philistines

15 And (W)the Philistines were at war again with Israel, so David went down and his servants with him; and as they fought against the Philistines, David became weary. 16 Then Ishbi-benob, who was (X)among those born to the [i]giants, the weight of whose spear was [j]three hundred shekels of bronze in weight, [k]was girded with a new sword, and he [l]intended to strike down David. 17 But (Y)Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine and put him to death. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, “(Z)You shall not go out again with us to battle, so that you do not extinguish (AA)the lamp of Israel.”

18 (AB)Now it happened afterwards that there was war again with the Philistines at Gob; then (AC)Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Saph, who was among those born to the [m]giants. 19 There was war with the Philistines again at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite struck down [n]Goliath the Gittite, (AD)the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 20 Then there was war at Gath again, and 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 had been born (AE)to the [o]giants. 21 And he [p]reproached Israel, so Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, struck him down. 22 (AF)These four were born to the [q]giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.


  1. 2 Samuel 21:2 Lit had sworn to
  2. 2 Samuel 21:5 Lit against us that we should be eradicated
  3. 2 Samuel 21:6 Lit expose them
  4. 2 Samuel 21:8 As in Gr and Heb mss; M.T. Michal
  5. 2 Samuel 21:9 Lit exposed them
  6. 2 Samuel 21:10 Lit water was poured
  7. 2 Samuel 21:10 Lit gave
  8. 2 Samuel 21:13 Lit exposed
  9. 2 Samuel 21:16 Lit giant; Heb Raphah
  10. 2 Samuel 21:16 Approx. 7.5 lb. or 3.3 kg, a shekel was approx. 0.4 oz. or 11 gm
  11. 2 Samuel 21:16 Lit and he was
  12. 2 Samuel 21:16 Lit said
  13. 2 Samuel 21:18 Lit giant; Heb Raphah
  14. 2 Samuel 21:19 In 1 Chr 20:5, Lahmi, the brother of Goliath
  15. 2 Samuel 21:20 Lit giant; Heb Raphah
  16. 2 Samuel 21:21 Or defied
  17. 2 Samuel 21:22 Lit giant; Heb Raphah