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2 Samuel - Chapter 21

2 Samuel Chapters

1 In the days of David there was a famine which lasted for three years on end. David consulted Yahweh, and Yahweh said, 'Saul and his family have incurred blood-guilt, by putting the Gibeonites to death.'

2 Then the king summoned the Gibeonites and said-now, the Gibeonites were not Israelites, but were a remnant of the Amorites, to whom the Israelites had bound themselves by oath; Saul, however, in his zeal for the Israelites and for Judah, had done his best to exterminate them- hence David said to the Gibeonites,

3 'What can I do for you? How can I make amends, so that you will call a blessing down on Yahweh's heritage?'

4 The Gibeonites replied, 'Our quarrel with Saul and his family cannot be settled for silver or gold, nor by putting to death one man in Israel.' David said, 'Say what you want and I will do it for you.'

5 Then they replied to the king, 'The man who dismembered us and planned to annihilate us, so that we should not exist anywhere in Israelite territory-

6 we want seven of his descendants handed over to us; and we shall dismember them before Yahweh at Gibeon on Yahweh's hill.' 'I shall hand them over,' said the king.

7 The king, however, spared Meribbaal son of Jonathan, son of Saul, on account of the oath by Yahweh binding them together, binding David and Jonathan son of Saul.

8 The king took the two sons born to Saul by Rizpah daughter of Aiah: Armoni and Meribbaal; and the five sons borne by Merab daughter of Saul to Adriel son of Barzillai, of Meholah.

9 He handed these over to the Gibeonites who dismembered them before Yahweh on the hill. The seven of them perished together; they were put to death in the first days of the harvest, at the beginning of the barley harvest.

10 Rizpah daughter of Aiah, wearing sacking and spreading some out for herself on the rock, from the beginning of the barley harvest until the rain fell on them from heaven, kept the birds of the sky away from them in the daytime, and the wild animals away at night.

11 David was told of what Saul's concubine, Rizpah daughter of Aiah, had done.

12 David went and recovered the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from the notables of Jabesh in Gilead. The latter had stolen them from the square in Beth-Shean, where the Philistines had hung them, when the Philistines had defeated Saul at Gilboa.

13 David fetched the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan. The bones of the men who had been dismembered were collected

14 and these, with the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan, were buried in the territory of Benjamin, at Zela, in the tomb of Saul's father, Kish. The king's orders were carried out to the letter and after that, God took pity on the country.

15 Once again the Philistines made war on Israel. David went down with his retainers; they fought the Philistines and David began to tire.

16 There was a champion, one of the sons of Rapha. His spear weighed three hundred shekels of bronze; he was wearing a new sword and was confident of killing David.

17 Abishai son of Zeruiah came to his rescue, however, attacking the Philistine and killing him. Then it was that David's men swore the following oath to him, 'You are never to go into battle with us again, in case you should extinguish the lamp of Israel!'

18 After this, war with the Philistines broke out again at Gob. This was when Sibbecai of Hushah killed Saph, one of the sons of Rapha.

19 Again, war with the Philistines broke out at Gob, and Elhanan son of Jair, of Bethlehem, killed Goliath of Gath, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam.

20 There was further warfare at Gath, where there was a man of huge stature with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in all. He too was a son of Rapha.

21 When he defied Israel, Jonathan son of Shimea, brother of David cut him down.

22 These four were sons of Rapha in Gath and fell at the hands of David and his retainers.


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