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David Avenges the Gibeonites

21 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year, and David inquired of the Lord. 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 of the remnant of the Amorites; although the people of Israel had sworn to spare them, Saul had tried to wipe them out in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah.)(A) David said to the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? How shall I make expiation, that you may bless the heritage of the Lord?”(B) 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 anyone to death in Israel.” He said, “What do you say that I should do for you?”(C) 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,(D) let seven of his sons be handed over to us, and we will impale them before the Lord at Gibeon on the mountain of the Lord.”[a] The king said, “I will hand them over.”

But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Saul’s son Jonathan, because of the oath of the Lord that was between them, between David and Jonathan son of Saul.(E) The king took the two sons of Rizpah daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Merab[b] daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite;(F) he gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they impaled them on the mountain before the Lord. 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 Aiah took sackcloth and spread it on a rock for herself, from the beginning of harvest until rain fell on them from the heavens; she did not allow the birds of the air to come on the bodies[c] by day or the wild animals by night.(G) 11 When David was told what Rizpah 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 people of Jabesh-gilead, who had stolen them from the public square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hung them up, on the day the Philistines killed Saul on Gilboa.(H) 13 He brought up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan, and they gathered the bones of those who had been impaled. 14 They buried the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan in the land of Benjamin in Zela, in the tomb of his father Kish; they did all that the king commanded. After that, God heeded supplications for the land.(I)

Exploits of David’s Men

15 The Philistines went to war again with Israel, and David went down together with his servants. They fought against the Philistines, and David grew weary. 16 Ishbi-benob, one of the descendants of the giants, whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of bronze and who was fitted out with new weapons,[d] said he would kill David. 17 But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to his aid and attacked the Philistine and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, “You shall not go out with us to battle any longer, so that you do not quench the lamp of Israel.”(J)

18 After this a battle took place with the Philistines at Gob; then Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the descendants of the giants.(K) 19 Then there was another battle with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.(L) 20 There was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great size who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; he, too, was descended from the giants.[e] 21 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of David’s brother Shimei killed him. 22 These four were descended from the giants[f] in Gath; they fell by the hands of David and his servants.

David’s Song of Thanksgiving

22 David spoke 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.(M) He said,

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,(N)
    my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation,
    my stronghold and my refuge,
    my savior; you save me from violence.(O)
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
    and I am saved from my enemies.(P)

For the waves of death encompassed me;
    the torrents of perdition assailed me;(Q)
the cords of Sheol entangled me;
    the snares of death confronted me.(R)

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

Then the earth reeled and rocked;
    the foundations of the heavens trembled
    and reeled because he was angry.(T)
Smoke went up from his nostrils
    and devouring fire from his mouth;
    glowing coals flamed forth from him.(U)
10 He bowed the heavens and came down;
    thick darkness was under his feet.(V)
11 He rode on a cherub and flew;
    he was seen upon the wings of the wind.(W)
12 He made darkness around him a canopy,
    thick clouds, a gathering of water.(X)
13 Out of the brightness before him
    coals of fire flamed forth.
14 The Lord thundered from heaven;
    the Most High uttered his voice.(Y)
15 He sent out 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 blast of the breath of his nostrils.(Z)

17 He reached from on high; he took me;
    he drew me out of mighty waters.(AA)
18 He delivered me from my strong enemy,
    from those who hated me,
    for they were too mighty for me.
19 They came upon me in the day of my calamity,
    but the Lord was my stay.(AB)
20 He brought me out into a broad place;
    he delivered me because he delighted in me.(AC)

21 The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
    according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.(AD)
22 For I have kept the ways of the Lord
    and have not wickedly departed from my God.(AE)
23 For all his ordinances were before me,
    and from his statutes I did not turn aside.(AF)
24 I was blameless before him,
    and I kept myself from guilt.(AG)
25 Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
    according to my cleanness in his sight.(AH)

26 With the loyal you show yourself loyal;
    with the blameless[g] you show yourself blameless;(AI)
27 with the pure you show yourself pure,
    and with the crooked you show yourself shrewd.(AJ)
28 You deliver a humble people,
    but your eyes are upon the haughty to bring them down.(AK)
29 Indeed, you are my lamp, O Lord;
    the Lord lightens my darkness.(AL)
30 By you I can outrun a troop,
    and by my God I can leap over a wall.
31 This God—his way is perfect;
    the promise of the Lord proves true;
    he is a shield for all who take refuge in him.(AM)

32 For who is God but the Lord?
    And who is a rock except our God?(AN)
33 The God who has girded me with strength[h]
    has opened wide my path.[i](AO)
34 He made my feet like the feet of deer
    and set me secure on the heights.(AP)
35 He trains my hands for war,
    so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.(AQ)
36 You have given me the shield of your salvation,
    and your help[j] has made me great.
37 You have made me stride freely,
    and my feet do not slip;(AR)
38 I pursued my enemies and destroyed them
    and did not turn back until they were consumed.
39 I consumed them; I struck them down so that they did not rise;
    they fell under my feet.(AS)
40 For you girded me with strength for the battle;
    you made my assailants sink under me.(AT)
41 You made my enemies turn their backs to me,
    those who hated me, and I destroyed them.(AU)
42 They looked, but there was no one to save them;
    they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.(AV)
43 I beat them fine like the dust of the earth;
    I crushed them and stamped them down like the mire of the streets.(AW)

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

47 The Lord lives! Blessed be my rock,
    and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation,(BA)
48 the God who gave me vengeance
    and brought down peoples under me,(BB)
49 who brought me out from my enemies;
    you exalted me above my adversaries;
    you delivered me from the violent.(BC)

50 For this I will extol you, O Lord, among the nations
    and sing praises to your name.(BD)
51 He is a tower of salvation for his king
    and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
    to David and his descendants forever.”(BE)


  1. 21.6 Cn Compare: Heb at Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of the Lord
  2. 21.8 Heb mss Syr Compare Gk: MT Michal
  3. 21.10 Heb them
  4. 21.16 Heb was belted anew
  5. 21.20 Gk: Heb from the Raphah
  6. 21.22 Gk: Heb from the Raphah
  7. 22.26 Heb mss Gk: MT blameless warrior
  8. 22.33 Q ms Gk Syr Vg: MT God is my strong refuge
  9. 22.33 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  10. 22.36 Q ms: MT your answering
  11. 22.44 Heb mss Q ms Gk: MT my people
  12. 22.46 Meaning of Heb uncertain