2 Samuel 21
Complete Jewish Bible
21 In David’s time there was a famine that lasted three years, and David consulted Adonai. Adonai said, “It is because of Sha’ul and his bloodstained house, because he put to death the people of Giv‘on.” 2 The king summoned the Giv‘onim and said to them — these Giv‘onim were not part of the people of Isra’el but from the remnant of the Emori; and the people of Isra’el had sworn to them; but Sha’ul, in his zeal for the people of Isra’el and Y’hudah, had sought to exterminate them — 3 David said to the Giv‘onim, “What should I do for you? With what should I make atonement, so that you will be able to bless Adonai’s heritage?” 4 The Giv‘onim said to him, “Our dispute with Sha’ul can’t be resolved with silver or gold; and we don’t have the right to put anyone in Isra’el to death.” He said, “So, what do you say that I should do for you?” 5 They answered the king, “The man who ruined us, who schemed against us so that we would cease to exist anywhere in Isra’el’s territory — 6 have seven of his male descendants handed over to us, and we will put them to death by hanging before Adonai in Giv‘ah of Sha’ul, whom Adonai chose.” The king said, “I will hand them over.” 7 But the king spared M’fivoshet, the son of Y’honatan the son of Sha’ul, because of the oath before Adonai between David and Y’honatan the son of Sha’ul. 8 The king took the two sons of Ritzpah the daughter of Ayah, whom she bore to Sha’ul, Armoni and M’fivoshet; and the five sons of Mikhal the daughter of Sha’ul, whom she bore to Adri’el the son of Barzillai the Mecholati; 9 and handed them over to the Giv‘onim, who hanged them on the hill before Adonai. All seven died; they were put to death during the first days of the harvest season, at the beginning of the barley harvest. 10 Ritzpah the daughter of Ayah took sackcloth, spread it out toward a cliff for herself and stayed there from the beginning of the harvest until water was poured out on the bodies from the sky, not letting the birds land on them during the day or the wild animals at night.
11 David was told what Ritzpah the daughter of Ayah, the concubine of Sha’ul, had done. 12 So David went and took the bones of Sha’ul and the bones of Y’honatan his son from the men of Yavesh-Gil‘ad, who had stolen them from the open square of Beit-Sh’an, where the P’lishtim had hanged them at the time the P’lishtim had killed Sha’ul at Gilboa; 13 and he brought up from there the bones of Sha’ul and the bones of Y’honatan his son. They also gathered the bones of those who had been hanged. 14 Then they buried the bones of Sha’ul and Y’honatan his son in the territory of Binyamin in Tzela, in the tomb of Kish his father; they did everything the king ordered. Only after that was God prevailed on to show mercy to the land.
15 Once again the P’lishtim made war on Isra’el. David went down with his servants and fought against the P’lishtim, but David began to get tired. 16 Yishbi-B’nov, one of the sons of the giant, said that he would kill David; his spear weighed seven pounds, and he was wearing new armor. 17 But Avishai the son of Tz’ruyah came to David’s rescue by striking the P’lishti and killing him. Then David’s men swore to him, “You must no longer go out with us to battle, in order not to quench the lamp of Isra’el.” 18 A while after this there was again war with the P’lishtim, at Gov. Sibkhai the Hushati killed Saf, one of the sons of the giant. 19 There was more war with the P’lishtim at Gov; and Elchanan the son of Ya‘arei-Orgim, the Beit-Lachmi, killed Golyat the Gitti, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver’s beam. 20 There was again war at Gat, where there was a belligerent man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot — twenty-four in all — and he too was a son of the giant. 21 When he mocked Isra’el, Y’honatan the son of Shim‘ah David’s brother killed him. 22 These four were sons of the giant in Gat; they fell at the hands of David and his servants.