1There was a famine while David was king. This time of hunger continued for three years. David prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered. The Lord said, “Saul and his family of murderers are the reason for this time of hunger. This famine came because Saul killed the Gibeonites.” ( 2The Gibeonites were not Israelites. They were a group of Amorites. The Israelites had promised them ˻that they would not hurt the Gibeonites˼. But Saul tried to kill the Gibeonites. He did this because of his strong feelings for the people of Israel and Judah.) King David called the Gibeonites together and talked to them. 3David said to the Gibeonites, “What can I do for you? What can I do to take away Israel’s sin, so you can bless the Lord’s people?” 4The Gibeonites said to David, “There isn’t enough gold and silver for Saul’s family to pay for what they did. But we don’t have the right to kill any person in Israel.” David said, “Well, what can I do for you?” 5The Gibeonites said to King David, “Saul made plans against us. He tried to destroy all our people living in the land of Israel. 6Give us seven of Saul’s sons. Saul was the Lord’s chosen king. So we will hang his sons in front of the Lord on Mount Gibeah of Saul.” King David said, “Fine, I will give them to you.” 7But the king protected Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth. Jonathan was Saul’s son, but David had made a promise in the Lord’s name to Jonathan. So the king did not let them hurt Mephibosheth. 8David gave them Armoni and Mephibosheth. These were the sons of Saul and his wife Rizpah. Saul also had a daughter named Merab. She was married to a man named Adriel son of Barzillai from Meholah. So David took the five sons of Merab and Adriel. 9David gave these seven men to the Gibeonites. The Gibeonites brought them to Mount Gibeah and hanged them in front of the Lord. Those seven men died together. They were put to death during the first days of harvest. This was ˻in the spring˼ at the beginning of the barley harvest. 10Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took the cloth of sadness and put it on the rock. That cloth stayed on the rock from the time the harvest began until the rains came. Rizpah watched the bodies day and night. She did not let the wild birds get the bodies during the day. And she did not let the wild animals get them at night. 11People told David what Saul’s woman servant Rizpah was doing. 12Then David took the bones of Saul and Jonathan from the men of Jabesh Gilead. (The men of Jabesh Gilead got these bones after Saul and Jonathan were killed at Gilboa. The Philistines had hanged the bodies of Saul and Jonathan on a wall in Beth Shan. But the men of Beth Shan went there and stole the bodies out of that public area.) 13David brought the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from Jabesh Gilead. They also got the bodies of the seven men who were hanged. 14They buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the area of Benjamin. They buried them in one of the tunnels in the grave of Saul’s father Kish. God listened to the prayers of the people in that land because they did everything the king commanded. 15The Philistines started another war with Israel. David and his men went out to fight the Philistines. But David became very tired and weak. 16Ishbi Benob was one of the giants. Ishbi Benob’s spear weighed about 7,1/2 pounds. Ishbi Benob had a new sword. He tried to kill David. 17But Abishai son of Zeruiah killed the Philistine and saved David’s life. Then David’s men made a special promise to David. They said to him, “You can’t go out with us to battle any more. If you do, Israel might lose its greatest leader.” 18Later, there was another war with the Philistines at Gob. Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, another one of the giants. 19Later, there was another war at Gob against the Philistines. Elhanan the son of Jaare Oregim from Bethlehem killed ˻Lahmi, the brother of˼ Goliath from Gath. His spear was as big as a post. 20There was another war at Gath. There was a very large man. This man had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. He had 24 fingers and toes in all. This man was also one of the giants. 21This man challenged Israel and made fun of them. But Jonathan killed this man. (This was Jonathan, the son of David’s brother Shimei.) 22All four of these men were giants from Gath. They were killed by David and his men.
2 Samuel 21