Justice for the Gibeonites

21 During David’s reign there was a famine for three successive years, so David inquired[a] of the Lord. The Lord answered, “It is due to Saul and to his bloody family, because he killed the Gibeonites.”

The Gibeonites were not Israelites but rather a remnant of the Amorites. The Israelites had taken an oath concerning them,(A) but Saul had tried to kill them in his zeal for the Israelites and Judah. So David summoned the Gibeonites and spoke to them. He asked the Gibeonites, “What should I do for you? How can I make atonement so that you will bring a blessing on[b] the Lord’s inheritance?”

The Gibeonites said to him, “We are not asking for silver and gold from Saul or his family,(B) and we cannot put anyone to death in Israel.”(C)

“Whatever you say, I will do for you,” he said.

They replied to the king, “As for the man who annihilated us and plotted to destroy us so we would not exist within the whole territory of Israel, let seven of his male descendants be handed over to us so we may hang[c] them in the presence of the Lord(D) at Gibeah of Saul,(E) the Lord’s chosen.”(F)

The king answered, “I will hand them over.”

David spared Mephibosheth, the son of Saul’s son Jonathan, because of the oath of the Lord that was between David and Jonathan, Saul’s son.(G) But the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, who were the two sons whom Rizpah(H) daughter of Aiah had borne to Saul, and the five sons whom Merab[d](I) daughter of Saul had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite and handed them over to the Gibeonites. They hanged[e] them on the hill in the presence of the Lord; the seven of them died together. They were executed in the first days of the harvest at the beginning of the barley harvest.[f]

The Burial of Saul’s Family

10 Rizpah, Aiah’s daughter, took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on the rock from the beginning of the harvest[g] until the rain poured down from heaven on the bodies. She kept the birds of the sky from them by day and the wild animals by night.

11 When it was reported to David what Saul’s concubine Rizpah daughter of Aiah had done, 12 he went and got the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from the citizens of Jabesh-gilead. They had stolen them from the public square of Beth-shan where the Philistines had hung the bodies the day the Philistines killed Saul at Gilboa.(J) 13 David had the bones brought from there. They gathered up the bones of Saul’s family who had been hanged 14 and buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan at Zela in the land of Benjamin in the tomb of Saul’s father Kish. They did everything the king commanded. After this, God was receptive to prayer for the land.(K)

The Philistine Giants

15 The Philistines again waged war against Israel. David went down with his soldiers, and they fought the Philistines, but David became exhausted. 16 Then Ishbi-benob, one of the descendants of the giant,[h] whose bronze spear weighed about eight pounds[i] and who wore new armor, intended to kill David. 17 But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to his aid, struck the Philistine, and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, “You must never again go out with us to battle. You must not extinguish the lamp of Israel.”(L)

18 After this,(M) there was another battle with the Philistines at Gob. At that time Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the descendants of the giant.

19 Once again there was a battle with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite killed[j] Goliath of Gath. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam.(N)

20 At Gath there was still another battle. A huge man was there with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot—twenty-four in all. He, too, was descended from the giant. 21 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan, son of David’s brother Shimei, killed him.

22 These four were descended from the giant in Gath and were killed by David and his soldiers.

David’s Song of Thanksgiving

22 David spoke the words of this song to the Lord on the day the Lord rescued him from the grasp of all his enemies and from the grasp of Saul. He said:(O)

The Lord is my rock, my fortress,(P) and my deliverer,
my God,[k] my rock where I seek refuge.
My shield, the horn of my salvation,(Q) my stronghold,(R) my refuge,(S)
and my Savior, you save me from violence.
I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,(T)
and I was saved from my enemies.
For the waves of death engulfed me;(U)
the torrents of destruction terrified me.
The ropes of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.(V)

I called to the Lord in my distress;
I called to my God.(W)
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry for help reached his ears.
Then the earth shook and quaked;
the foundations of the heavens[l] trembled;(X)
they shook because he burned with anger.(Y)
Smoke rose from his nostrils,
and consuming fire came from his mouth;
coals were set ablaze by it.[m]
10 He bent the heavens and came down,(Z)
total darkness beneath his feet.
11 He rode on a cherub and flew,
soaring[n] on the wings of the wind.
12 He made darkness a canopy around him,
a gathering[o] of water and thick clouds.(AA)
13 From the radiance of his presence,
blazing coals were ignited.
14 The Lord thundered from heaven;
the Most High made his voice heard.(AB)
15 He shot arrows and scattered them;(AC)
he hurled lightning bolts and routed them.(AD)
16 The depths of the sea became visible,
the foundations of the world were exposed
at the rebuke of the Lord,
at the blast of the breath(AE) of his nostrils.(AF)

17 He reached down from on high
and took hold of me;
he pulled me out of deep water.(AG)
18 He rescued me from my powerful enemy
and from those who hated me,
for they were too strong for me.
19 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
but the Lord was my support.
20 He brought me out to a spacious place;(AH)
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

21 The Lord rewarded me
according to my righteousness;(AI)
he repaid me
according to the cleanness of my hands.(AJ)
22 For I have kept the ways of the Lord(AK)
and have not turned from my God to wickedness.
23 Indeed, I let all his ordinances(AL) guide me[p]
and have not disregarded his statutes.
24 I was blameless before him
and kept myself from my iniquity.
25 So the Lord repaid me
according to my righteousness,
according to my cleanness[q] in his sight.

26 With the faithful
you prove yourself faithful,
with the blameless
you prove yourself blameless,
27 with the pure
you prove yourself pure,
but with the crooked
you prove yourself shrewd.
28 You rescue an oppressed people,(AM)
but your eyes are set against the proud—
you humble them.(AN)
29 Lord, you are my lamp;
the Lord illuminates my darkness.(AO)
30 With you I can attack a barricade,[r]
and with my God I can leap over a wall.(AP)
31 God—his way is perfect;(AQ)
the word of the Lord is pure.(AR)
He is a shield to all who take refuge in him.

32 For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is a rock? Only our God.
33 God is my strong refuge;[s]
he makes my way perfect.[t]
34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer
and sets me securely on the[u] heights.[v]
35 He trains my hands for war;(AS)
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
36 You have given me the shield of your salvation;(AT)
your help[w] exalts me.
37 You make a spacious place beneath me for my steps,
and my ankles do not give way.
38 I pursue my enemies and destroy them;
I do not turn back until they are wiped out.
39 I wipe them out and crush them,
and they do not rise;
they fall beneath my feet.
40 You have clothed me with strength for battle;
you subdue my adversaries beneath me.(AU)
41 You have made my enemies retreat before me;[x]
I annihilate those who hate me.
42 They look, but there is no one to save them—
they look to the Lord, but he does not answer them.(AV)
43 I pulverize them like dust of the earth;
I crush them and trample them like mud in the streets.(AW)

44 You have freed me from the feuds among my people;(AX)
you have preserved me as head of nations;
a people I had not known serve me.(AY)
45 Foreigners submit to me cringing;
as soon as they hear, they obey me.
46 Foreigners lose heart
and come trembling from their fortifications.(AZ)

47 The Lord lives—blessed be my rock!
God, the rock of my salvation,(BA) is exalted.
48 God—he grants me vengeance
and casts down peoples under me.(BB)
49 He frees me from my enemies.
You exalt me above my adversaries;
you rescue me from violent men.(BC)

50 Therefore I will give thanks to you among the nations, Lord;
I will sing praises about your name.(BD)
51 He is a tower of salvation for[y] his king;
he shows loyalty to his anointed,
to David and his descendants forever.(BE)


  1. 21:1 Lit sought the face of
  2. 21:3 Lit will bless
  3. 21:6 Or impale, or expose
  4. 21:8 Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Tg; other Hb mss read Michal
  5. 21:9 Or impaled, or exposed, also in v. 13
  6. 21:9 = March–April
  7. 21:10 = April to October
  8. 21:16 Or Raphah, also in vv. 18,20,22
  9. 21:16 Lit 300 (shekels)
  10. 21:19 1Ch 20:5 adds the brother of
  11. 22:3 LXX, Ps 18:2 read my God; MT reads God of
  12. 22:8 Some Hb mss, Syr, Vg read mountains; Ps 18:7
  13. 22:9 Or him
  14. 22:11 Some Hb mss; other Hb mss, Syr, Tg read he was seen
  15. 22:12 Or sieve, or mass; Hb obscure
  16. 22:23 Lit Indeed, all his ordinances have been in front of me
  17. 22:25 LXX, Syr, Vg read to the cleanness of my hands; Ps 18:24
  18. 22:30 Or a ridge, or raiders
  19. 22:33 DSS, some LXX mss, Syr, Vg read God clothes me with strength; Ps 18:32
  20. 22:33 Some LXX mss, Syr; MT reads he sets free the blameless his way; Hb obscure
  21. 22:34 LXX; some Hb mss read my; other Hb mss read his
  22. 22:34 Or on my high places
  23. 22:36 LXX reads humility; Ps 18:35
  24. 22:41 Lit you gave me the neck of my enemies
  25. 22:51 DSS read he gives great victory to

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