21:1 Then there was a famine in the days of David three years,
year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the
LORD answered, [It is] for Saul, and for [his] bloody
house, because he slew the a Gibeonites.
(a) Thinking to gratify the people, because these were not
of the seed of Abraham.
21:3 Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, b What shall I
do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement, that
ye may bless the inheritance of the LORD?
(b) With what may your wrath be appeased, that you may pray
to God to remove this plague from his people.
21:4 And the Gibeonites said unto him, We will have no silver
nor gold of Saul, nor of his house; neither for us shalt
thou kill c any man in Israel. And he said, What ye shall
say, [that] will I do for you.
(c) Save only of Saul's stock.
21:6 Let seven men of his d sons be delivered unto us, and we
will hang them up e unto the LORD in Gibeah of Saul,
[whom] the LORD did choose. And the king said, I will give
(d) Of Saul's kinsmen.
(e) To pacify the Lord.
21:8 But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of
Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and
the five sons of f Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she
brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite:
(f) Here Michal is named for Merab Adriel's wife, as it
appears in (1Sa 18:19) for Michal was the wife of
Paltiel, (1Sa 25:44) and never had a child
21:9 And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and
they hanged them in the hill before the LORD: and they fell
[all] seven together, and were put to death in the days of
harvest, in the g first [days], in the beginning of
(g) Which was in the month Abib or Nisan which contained
part of March and part of April.
21:10 And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took h sackcloth, and
spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of
harvest until i water dropped upon them out of heaven,
and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them
by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.
(h) To make her a tent in which she prayed to God to turn
away his wrath.
(i) Because drought was the cause of this famine, God by
sending rain showed that he was pacified.
21:14 And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in
the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulchre of Kish
his father: and they performed all that the king
commanded. And after that God was k intreated for the
(k) For where the government permits faults to go
unpunished, there the plague of God lies on the land.
21:16 And Ishbibenob, which [was] of the sons of l the giant,
the weight of whose spear [weighed] three hundred m
[shekels] of brass in weight, he being girded with a new
[sword], thought to have slain David.
(l) Or, of Haraphah, the race of giants.
(m) Which amounts to 9 3/4 pounds.
21:17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah succoured him, and smote
the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David
sware unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us
to battle, that thou quench not the n light of Israel.
(n) For the glory and wealth of the country stands in the
preservation of the godly magistrate.
21:18 And it came to pass after this, that there was again a
battle with the Philistines at o Gob: then Sibbechai the
Hushathite slew Saph, which [was] of the sons of the
(o) Called Gezer, and Saph is called Sippai,
21:19 And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines,
where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew
[the brother of] p Goliath the Gittite, the staff of
whose spear [was] like a weaver's beam.
(p) That is, Lahmi the brother of Goliath, whom David
slew, (1Ch 20:5).