2 Samuel 21 New Life Version (NLV)
The Gibeonites Kill Seven of Saul’s Grandsons
21 While David was king there was a time without food for three years. David went to the Lord. The Lord said, “It is because of Saul and his house of blood, for he put the Gibeonites to death.” 2 So the king called the Gibeonites. (Now the Gibeonites were not of the sons of Israel, but of the people who were left of the Amorites. The sons of Israel had made an agreement with them. But Saul had wanted to kill them because he thought so much of the sons of Israel and Judah.) 3 David said to the Gibeonites, “What should I do for you? How can I pay for the sin, so you may bring good to the land of the Lord?” 4 The Gibeonites said to him, “We will take no silver or gold from Saul or his family. And it is not for us to put any man to death in Israel.” David said, “I will do for you whatever you say.” 5 So they said to the king, “Saul destroyed us and planned to keep us from staying in any land of Israel. 6 Let seven men from his sons be given to us. We will hang them before the Lord at Gibeon on the Lord’s mountain.” And the king said, “I will give them.”
7 But the king kept alive Mephibosheth, the son of Saul’s son Jonathan, because David had made a promise to Saul’s son Jonathan before the Lord. 8 The king took the two sons of Aiah’s daughter Rizpah, Armoni and Mephibosheth, whom she had born to Saul. And he took the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab, whom she had born to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite. 9 He gave them to the Gibeonites, and they hanged them on the mountain before the Lord. The seven of them died together. They were put to death in the first days of gathering time, when the barley was ready to gather.
10 Aiah’s daughter Rizpah spread cloth made from hair on the rock for herself to lie upon, from the beginning of gathering time until the rain fell from the sky upon the bodies. She would not let the birds of the sky rest on them during the day, or the animals of the field during the night. 11 David was told what Aiah’s daughter Rizpah, Saul’s woman, had done. 12 Then he went and took the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from the men of Jabesh-gilead. They had stolen them from the open space in the center of Bethshan. That was where the Philistines had hanged them on the day they killed Saul in Gilboa. 13 David brought the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan. They gathered the bones of those who had been hanged. 14 And they buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the country of Benjamin in Zela, in the grave of Kish his father. They did all that the king told them to do. After that, God heard and answered when they prayed for the land.
15 The Philistines were at war again with Israel. David went down with his servants and they fought the Philistines. And David became tired. 16 Then Ishbi-benob wanted to kill David. He was one of the sons of the very tall and strong people. His spear weighed as much as 300 pieces of brass, and he had a new sword. 17 But Zeruiah’s son Abishai helped David and killed the Philistine. Then David’s men promised him, “You will not go out again with us to battle. You might put out the lamp of Israel.”
18 After this there was war again with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the sons of the very tall and strong people. 19 There was war with the Philistines again at Gob. And Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite. Goliath’s spear was like the heavy piece of wood used by a cloth-maker. 20 There was war at Gath again. There was a very tall man there who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number. He was one of the sons of the very tall and strong people also. 21 When he spoke against Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, killed him. 22 These four were sons of the very tall and strong people in Gath. They were killed by David and his servants.
2 Samuel 21 New International Version (NIV)
The Gibeonites Avenged
21 During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the Lord. The Lord said, “It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death.”
2 The king summoned the Gibeonites and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not a part of Israel but were survivors of the Amorites; the Israelites had sworn to spare them, but Saul in his zeal for Israel and Judah had tried to annihilate them.) 3 David asked the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? How shall I make atonement so that you will bless the Lord’s inheritance?”
4 The Gibeonites answered him, “We have no right to demand silver or gold from Saul or his family, nor do we have the right to put anyone in Israel to death.”
“What do you want me to do for you?” David asked.
5 They answered the king, “As for the man who destroyed us and plotted against us so that we have been decimated and have no place anywhere in Israel, 6 let seven of his male descendants be given to us to be killed and their bodies exposed before the Lord at Gibeah of Saul—the Lord’s chosen one.”
So the king said, “I will give them to you.”
7 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. 8 But the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Aiah’s daughter Rizpah, whom she had borne to Saul, together with the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab,[a] whom she had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite. 9 He handed them over to the Gibeonites, who killed them and exposed their bodies on a hill before the Lord. All seven of them fell together; they were put to death during the first days of the harvest, just as the barley harvest was beginning.
10 Rizpah daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on a rock. From the beginning of the harvest till the rain poured down from the heavens on the bodies, she did not let the birds touch them by day or the wild animals by night. 11 When David was told what Aiah’s daughter Rizpah, Saul’s concubine, had done, 12 he went and took the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from the citizens of Jabesh Gilead. (They had stolen their bodies from the public square at Beth Shan, where the Philistines had hung them after they struck Saul down on Gilboa.) 13 David brought the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from there, and the bones of those who had been killed and exposed were gathered up.
14 They buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the tomb of Saul’s father Kish, at Zela in Benjamin, and did everything the king commanded. After that, God answered prayer in behalf of the land.
Wars Against the Philistines
15 Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted. 16 And Ishbi-Benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, whose bronze spearhead weighed three hundred shekels[b] and who was armed with a new sword, said he would kill David. 17 But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue; he struck the Philistine down and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, saying, “Never again will you go out with us to battle, so that the lamp of Israel will not be extinguished.”
18 In the course of time, there was another battle with the Philistines, at Gob. At that time Sibbekai the Hushathite killed Saph, one of the descendants of Rapha.
20 In still another battle, which took place at Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot—twenty-four in all. He also was descended from Rapha. 21 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimeah, David’s brother, killed him.
22 These four were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men.