2 Samuel 21

Gibeonite’s Revenge

21 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the presence of the Lord. And the Lord said, “It is because of Saul and his bloody 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 sons of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites, and the sons of Israel had [a]made a covenant with them, but Saul had sought to [b]kill them in his zeal for the sons of Israel and Judah). David said to the Gibeonites, “What should I do for you? And how can I make amends, so that you will bless the inheritance of the Lord?” Then the Gibeonites said to him, “For us it is not a matter of silver or gold with Saul or his house, nor is it for us to put anyone to death in Israel.” Nevertheless David said, “I will do for you whatever you say.” So they said to the king, “The man who destroyed us and who planned [c]to eliminate us so that we would not exist within any border of Israel— let seven men from his sons be given to us, and we will [d]hang them before the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of the Lord.” And the king said, “I will give them.”

But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the oath of the Lord which was between them, between David and Saul’s son Jonathan. So the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, Armoni and Mephibosheth whom she had borne to Saul, and the five sons of [e]Merab the daughter of Saul, whom she had borne to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite. Then he handed them over to the Gibeonites, and they [f]hanged them on the mountain before the Lord, so that the seven of them fell together; and they were put to death in the first days of harvest at the beginning of barley harvest.

10 And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until [g]it rained on them from the sky; and she [h]allowed neither the birds of the sky to rest on them by day nor the wild animals by night. 11 When it was reported to David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done, 12 then David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan from the citizens of Jabesh-gilead, who had stolen them from the public square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them on the day the Philistines struck and killed Saul in Gilboa. 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 [i]hanged. 14 Then they buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the country of Benjamin in Zela, in the grave of his father Kish; So they did everything that the king commanded, and after that God responded to prayer for the land.

15 Now when the Philistines were at war with Israel again, David went down, and his servants with him; and when they fought against the Philistines, David became weary. 16 Then Ishbi-benob, who was among the descendants of the [j]giant, the weight of whose spear was [k]three hundred shekels of bronze in weight, [l]had strapped on a new sword, and he [m]intended to kill David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, saying, “You shall not go out again with us to battle, so that you do not extinguish the lamp of Israel.”

18 Now it came about after this that there was war again with the Philistines at Gob; then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck and killed Saph, who was among the descendants of the [n]giant. 19 And there was war with the Philistines again at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite [o]killed [p]Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 20 And there was war at Gath again, 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 had been born to the [q]giant. 21 When he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, struck and killed him. 22 These four were born to the [r]giant at Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.


  1. 2 Samuel 21:2 Lit sworn to
  2. 2 Samuel 21:2 Lit strike
  3. 2 Samuel 21:5 Lit against us that we are eliminated from
  4. 2 Samuel 21:6 Or expose them
  5. 2 Samuel 21:8 As in some ancient versions and two Heb mss; MT Michal
  6. 2 Samuel 21:9 Or exposed them
  7. 2 Samuel 21:10 Lit water gushed forth
  8. 2 Samuel 21:10 Lit gave
  9. 2 Samuel 21:13 Or exposed
  10. 2 Samuel 21:16 Heb Raphah
  11. 2 Samuel 21:16 About 9 lb. or 4 kg
  12. 2 Samuel 21:16 Lit and he had strapped
  13. 2 Samuel 21:16 Lit said
  14. 2 Samuel 21:18 Heb Raphah
  15. 2 Samuel 21:19 Lit struck
  16. 2 Samuel 21:19 In 1 Chr 20:5, Lahmi, the brother of Goliath
  17. 2 Samuel 21:20 Heb Raphah
  18. 2 Samuel 21:22 Heb Raphah