2 Samuel 21 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
David Avenges the Gibeonites
21 Now 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 Gib′eonites to death.” 2 So the king called the Gib′eonites.[a] Now the Gib′eonites 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 slay them in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah. 3 And David said to the Gib′eonites, “What shall I do for you? And how shall I make expiation, that you may bless the heritage of the Lord?” 4 The Gib′eonites 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?” 5 They 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, 6 let seven of his sons be given to us, so that we may hang them up before the Lord at Gibeon on the mountain of the Lord.”[b] And the king said, “I will give them.”
7 But the king spared Mephib′osheth, the son of Saul’s son Jonathan, because of the oath of the Lord which was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. 8 The king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Ai′ah, whom she bore to Saul, Armo′ni and Mephib′osheth; and the five sons of Merab[c] the daughter of Saul, whom she bore to A′dri-el the son of Barzil′lai the Meho′lathite; 9 and he gave them into the hands of the Gib′eonites, 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.
10 Then Rizpah the daughter of Ai′ah 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. 11 When David was told what Rizpah the daughter of Ai′ah, the concubine of Saul, had done, 12 David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan from the men of Ja′besh-gil′ead, 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 Gilbo′a; 13 and 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. 14 And 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 heeded supplications for the land.
Exploits of David’s Men
15 The Philistines had war again with Israel, and David went down together with his servants, and they fought against the Philistines; and David grew weary. 16 And Ish′bi-be′nob, one of the descendants of the giants, whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of bronze, and who was girded with a new sword, thought to kill David. 17 But Abi′shai the son of Zeru′iah came to his aid, and attacked the Philistine and killed him. Then David’s men adjured him, “You shall no more go out with us to battle, lest you quench the lamp of Israel.”
18 After this there was again war with the Philistines at Gob; then Sib′becai the Hu′shathite slew Saph, who was one of the descendants of the giants. 19 And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob; and Elha′nan the son of Ja′are-or′egim, the Bethlehemite, slew Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 20 And 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. 21 And when he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shim′e-i, David’s brother, slew him. 22 These four were descended from the giants in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.