2 Samuel 21 Modern English Version (MEV)
David Avenges the Gibeonites
21 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David called upon the Lord. The Lord said, “There is blood guilt upon Saul and upon his house because he put the Gibeonites to death.”
2 So the king summoned the Gibeonites and spoke to them. Now the Gibeonites were not from the children of Israel. Instead they were a remnant of the Amorites. Although the children of Israel had made a pact with them, Saul attempted to destroy them in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah. 3 David said to the Gibeonites, “What must I do for you, and with what may I appease you that you may bless the inheritance of the Lord?”
4 The Gibeonites said to him, “We have no concern for silver or gold from Saul or his household, nor is it for us to put any man in Israel to death.”
He said to them, “What are you saying I should do for you?”
5 They said to the king, “Regarding the man who put an end to us and planned to exterminate us from the entire territory of Israel, 6 let seven of his male descendants be handed over to us, and we will hang them before the Lord at Gibeah of Saul, the chosen one of the Lord.”
The king said, “I will hand them over.”
7 But the king spared Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul on account of the oath of the Lord that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. 8 So the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, Armoni and Mephibosheth, whom she had born to Saul, and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she had born to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite. 9 He delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them on the mountain before the Lord; the seven of them fell together. They were put to death in the first days of harvest, in the beginning of the barley harvest.
10 Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock, from the beginning of the harvest until the rains poured on them from heaven. She did not allow the birds of the air to rest on them by day nor the animals of the field by night. 11 When it was reported to David that which Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done, 12 David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabesh Gilead who had secretly taken them from the plaza in Beth Shan, where the Philistines had hung them the day the Philistines struck down Saul on Gilboa. 13 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 hanged.
14 They interred the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son in the land of Benjamin at Zela, in the tomb of Kish, his father. They did everything that the king commanded. After that God was entreated regarding the land.
Wars With the Philistines
15 Now once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. So David went down and his servants with him to fight the Philistines, and David grew weary. 16 Now Ishbi-Benob, who was among the descendants of the giant and was girded with new weaponry, had a spear weighing three hundred bronze shekels and had said that he would strike David down. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid. He struck down the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David made an oath with him, saying, “You shall no longer come out with us to battle, so that you do not extinguish the lamp of Israel.”
18 Now afterwards there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbekai the Hushathite struck down Saph, who was among the descendants of the giant.
19 Once again, there was a battle with the Philistines at Gob. On this occasion, Elhanan the son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite struck down Goliath the Gittite, whose spear shaft was like a weaver’s beam.
20 Once again, there was war at Gath. There was a man of stature who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number. Now he also was born to the giant. 21 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimeah, the brother of David, struck him down.
22 Now these four were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.