David Avenges the Gibeonites
During the reign of David there was a famine for three successive years, and David sought the face of the LORD.
And the LORD said, “It is because of the blood shed by Saul and his family, because he killed the Gibeonites.”
At this, David summoned the Gibeonites and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not Israelites, but a remnant of the Amorites. The Israelites had taken an oath concerning them, but in his zeal for Israel and Judah, Saul had sought to kill them.)
So David asked the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? How can I make amends so that you may bless the inheritance of the LORD?”
The Gibeonites said to him, “We need no silver or gold from Saul or his house, nor should you put to death anyone in Israel for us.”
Whatever you ask, I will do for you,” he replied.
And they answered the king, “As for the man who consumed us and plotted against us to exterminate us from existing within any border of Israel, let seven of his male descendants be delivered to us so that we may hang them * before the LORD at Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of the LORD.”
I will give them to you,” said the king.
Now the king spared Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the oath before the LORD between David and Jonathan son of Saul. But the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons whom Rizpah daughter of Aiah had borne to Saul, as well as the five sons whom Merab daughter of Saul had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite. And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them on the hill before the LORD. So all seven of them fell together; they were put to death in the first days of the harvest, at the beginning of the barley harvest.
10 And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on a rock. From the beginning of the harvest until the rain from heaven poured down on the bodies, she did not allow the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.
11 When David was told what Saul’s concubine Rizpah, daughter of Aiah, had done, 12 he went and took the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from the men of Jabesh-gilead, who had stolen them from the public square of Beth-shan where the Philistines had hung the bodies after they had struck down Saul at Gilboa.
13 So David had the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan brought from there, along with the bones of those who had been hanged. 14 And they buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in Zela in the land of Benjamin, in the tomb of Saul’s father Kish.
After they had done everything the king had commanded, God answered their prayers for the land.
Four Battles against the Philistines
(1 Chronicles 20:4–8)
15 Once again the Philistines waged war against Israel, and David and his servants went down and fought against the Philistines; but David became exhausted.
16 Then Ishbi-benob, a descendant of Rapha, whose bronze spear weighed three hundred shekels § and who was bearing a new sword, resolved 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, so that the lamp of Israel may not be extinguished.”
18 Some time later at Gob, there was another battle with the Philistines. At that time Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph,* one of the descendants of Rapha.
19 Once again there was a battle with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan son of Jair the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.
20 And there was still another battle at Gath, where there was a man of great stature with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foottwenty-four in all. He too was descended from Rapha, 21 and when he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of David’s brother Shimei § killed him.
22 So these four descendants of Rapha in Gath fell at the hands of David and his servants.
* 21:6 Or expose them or execute them; similarly in verse 9 21:8 Two Hebrew manuscripts, some LXX manuscripts, and Syriac (see also 1 Samuel 18:19); most Hebrew and LXX manuscripts Michal 21:16 Or the giant; also in verses 18, 20, and 22 § 21:16 300 shekels is approximately 7.5 pounds or 3.4 kilograms. * 21:18 Saph is a variant of Sippai; see 1 Chronicles 20:4. 21:19 See 1 Chronicles 20:5; Hebrew Jaare-oregim 21:19 See 1 Chronicles 20:5; Hebrew does not include the brother of. § 21:21 Shimei is a variant of Shammah, Shimeah, and Shimea; see 1 Samuel 16:9, 2 Samuel 13:3, and 1 Chronicles 2:13.