David Avenges the Gibeonites

21 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David (A)sought the face of the Lord. And the Lord said, “There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his 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 people of Israel but (B)of the remnant of the Amorites. Although the people of Israel had sworn to spare them, Saul had sought to strike them down in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah. And David said to the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? And how shall I make atonement, that you may bless (C)the heritage of the Lord?” The Gibeonites 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?” 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, let seven of his sons be given to us, so that we may hang them before the Lord at (D)Gibeah of Saul, (E)the chosen of the Lord.” And the king said, “I will give them.”

But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Saul's son Jonathan, because of (F)the oath of the Lord that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. The king took the two sons of (G)Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Merab[a] the daughter of Saul, whom (H)she bore to (I)Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite; and he gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites, 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, (J)at the beginning of barley harvest.

10 (K)Then Rizpah the daughter of Aiah 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 Aiah, 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 Jabesh-gilead, (L)who had stolen them from the public square of (M)Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them, on the day the Philistines killed Saul on Gilboa. 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 (N)Zela, in the tomb of Kish his father. And they did all that the king commanded. And after that (O)God responded to the plea for the land.

War with the Philistines

15 There was war again between the Philistines and Israel, and David went down together with his servants, and they fought against the Philistines. And David grew weary. 16 And Ishbi-benob, one of the descendants (P)of the giants, whose spear weighed three hundred shekels[b] of bronze, and who was armed with a new sword, thought to kill David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid and attacked the Philistine and killed him. Then David's men swore to him, (Q)“You shall no longer go out with us to battle, lest you quench (R)the lamp of Israel.”

18 (S)After this there was again war with the Philistines at Gob. Then (T)Sibbecai (U)the Hushathite struck down Saph, who was one of the descendants (V)of the giants. 19 And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob, and (W)Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, struck down Goliath the Gittite, (X)the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam.[c] 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 (Y)from the giants. 21 And when (Z)he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David's brother, struck him down. 22 These four were descended (AA)from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

David's Song of Deliverance

22 And David spoke (AB)to the Lord the words of this song on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. (AC)He said,

(AD)“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
    (AE)my[d] God, my rock, (AF)in whom I take refuge,
(AG)my shield, and (AH)the horn of my salvation,
    (AI)my stronghold and (AJ)my refuge,
    my savior; you save me from violence.
I call upon the Lord, who is (AK)worthy to be praised,
    and I am saved from my enemies.

(AL)“For the waves of death encompassed me,
    the torrents of destruction assailed me;[e]
(AM)the cords of Sheol entangled me;
    the snares of death confronted me.

(AN)“In my distress I called upon the Lord;
    to my God I called.
From his temple he heard my voice,
    and my cry (AO)came to his ears.

“Then (AP)the earth reeled and rocked;
    (AQ)the foundations of the heavens trembled
    and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,[f]
    and devouring fire from his mouth;
    (AR)glowing coals flamed forth from him.
10 (AS)He bowed the heavens and (AT)came down;
    (AU)thick darkness was under his feet.
11 He rode on a cherub and flew;
    he was seen on (AV)the wings of the wind.
12 He made (AW)darkness around him (AX)his canopy,
    thick clouds, a gathering of water.
13 Out of the brightness before him
    (AY)coals of fire flamed forth.
14 (AZ)The Lord thundered from heaven,
    and the Most High uttered his voice.
15 And he sent out (BA)arrows and scattered them;
    lightning, and routed them.
16 Then the channels of the sea were seen;
    the foundations of the world were laid bare,
at the rebuke of the Lord,
    at the (BB)blast of the breath of his nostrils.

17 (BC)“He sent from on high, he took me;
    he drew me out of many waters.
18 He rescued me from my strong enemy,
    from those who hated me,
    for they were too mighty for me.
19 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
    but the Lord was my support.
20 (BD)He brought me out into a broad place;
    he rescued me, because (BE)he delighted in me.

21 “The Lord (BF)dealt with me according to my righteousness;
    according to the (BG)cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.
22 (BH)For I have kept the ways of the Lord
    and have not wickedly departed from my God.
23 (BI)For all his rules were before me,
    and from his statutes I did not turn aside.
24 I was (BJ)blameless before him,
    and I kept myself from guilt.
25 (BK)And the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
    according to my cleanness in his sight.

26 (BL)“With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
    with the (BM)blameless man you show yourself blameless;
27 with the purified you deal purely,
    and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
28 (BN)You save a humble people,
    (BO)but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down.
29 (BP)For you are my lamp, O Lord,
    and my God lightens my darkness.
30 For by you I can run against a troop,
    and by my God I can leap over a wall.
31 This God—(BQ)his way is perfect;
    the (BR)word of the Lord proves true;
    he is (BS)a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

32 “For who is God, but the Lord?
    (BT)And who is a rock, except our God?
33 This God is my (BU)strong refuge
    and has made my[g] way blameless.[h]
34 (BV)He made my feet like the feet of a deer
    and set me secure (BW)on the heights.
35 (BX)He trains my hands for war,
    so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
36 You have given me the shield of your salvation,
    and your gentleness made me great.
37 (BY)You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
    and my feet[i] did not slip;
38 I pursued my enemies and destroyed them,
    and did not turn back until they were consumed.
39 I consumed them; I thrust them through, so that they did not rise;
    they fell (BZ)under my feet.
40 For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
    you made (CA)those who rise against me sink under me.
41 You (CB)made my enemies turn their backs to me,[j]
    those who hated me, and I destroyed them.
42 They looked, but there was none to save;
    they cried to the Lord, but (CC)he did not answer them.
43 I beat them fine (CD)as the dust of the earth;
    I crushed them and stamped them down (CE)like the mire of the streets.

44 “You delivered me from strife with my people;[k]
    you kept me as the head of (CF)the nations;
    (CG)people whom I had not known served me.
45 Foreigners came cringing to me;
    as soon as they heard of me, they obeyed me.
46 Foreigners lost heart
    and came trembling[l] (CH)out of their fortresses.

47 “The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock,
    and exalted be (CI)my God, (CJ)the rock of my salvation,
48 the God who gave me vengeance
    and (CK)brought down peoples under me,
49 who brought me out from my enemies;
    you exalted me above (CL)those who rose against me;
    you delivered me from (CM)men of violence.

50 (CN)“For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations,
    and sing praises to your name.
51 (CO)Great salvation he brings[m] to his king,
    and shows steadfast love to (CP)his anointed,
    to David and his offspring (CQ)forever.”


  1. 2 Samuel 21:8 Two Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts Michal
  2. 2 Samuel 21:16 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams
  3. 2 Samuel 21:19 Contrast 1 Chronicles 20:5, which may preserve the original reading
  4. 2 Samuel 22:3 Septuagint (compare Psalm 18:2); Hebrew lacks my
  5. 2 Samuel 22:5 Or terrified me
  6. 2 Samuel 22:9 Or in his wrath
  7. 2 Samuel 22:33 Or his; also verse 34
  8. 2 Samuel 22:33 Compare Psalm 18:32; Hebrew he has blamelessly set my way free, or he has made my way spring up blamelessly
  9. 2 Samuel 22:37 Hebrew ankles
  10. 2 Samuel 22:41 Or You gave me my enemies' necks
  11. 2 Samuel 22:44 Septuagint with the peoples
  12. 2 Samuel 22:46 Compare Psalm 18:45; Hebrew equipped themselves
  13. 2 Samuel 22:51 Or He is a tower of salvation

Bible Gateway Recommends

ESV Large-Print Personal-Size Bible--buffalo leather, deep brown
ESV Large-Print Personal-Size Bible--buffalo leather, deep brown
Retail: $89.99
Our Price: $57.99
Save: $32.00 (36%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
ESV Economy Bible, Giant Print Softcover
ESV Economy Bible, Giant Print Softcover
Retail: $8.99
Our Price: $6.49
Save: $2.50 (28%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
ESV Study Bible--soft leather-look, olive with branch design
ESV Study Bible--soft leather-look, olive with branch design
Retail: $79.99
Our Price: $39.99
Save: $40.00 (50%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
ESV Church Bible (Value Pew Bible) Black
ESV Church Bible (Value Pew Bible) Black
Retail: $9.99
Our Price: $5.00
Save: $4.99 (50%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
ESV My Creative Bible for Girls, Hardcover, Purple Glitter
ESV My Creative Bible for Girls, Hardcover, Purple Glitter
Retail: $39.99
Our Price: $25.49
Save: $14.50 (36%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars