The great famine
1 There was famine during the reign of David for three consecutive years and David consulted Yahweh. The answer was, “There is bloodguilt on Saul and his family be cause he put the Gibeonites to death.”
2 The Gibeonites were not of the peo ple of Israel but descendants of the Amorites. Although the Israelites had sworn to spare them, Saul had attempted to wipe them out on behalf of the people of Israel and Judah. 3 So David called the Gibeonites and asked them, “What shall I do for you? And how shall I repay you that you may bless the people of Yah weh?” 4 The Gibeonites answered him, “Our quarrel with Saul and his family is not over silver or gold, nor is it our task to put any Israelite to death.” The king asked again, “Tell me then what I shall do for you”; 5 and they replied,“That man slaughtered us and planned our destruction so that we would no longer occupy any place in Israel. 6 Surrender seven of his sons to us so that we may hang them up before Yahweh at Gibeon on the mountain of Yahweh.” To this, the king said, “I will surrender them.”
7 David spared Mepibaal, son of Jona than, Saul’s son, because of the oath David and Jonathan took before Yahweh. 8 But he took the two sons of Rizpah, daughter of Aiah whom she bore to Saul – Armoni and Mepibaal; and the five sons of Merab, daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adriel, son of Barzillai the Meho lathite. 9 He delivered them into the hands of the Gibeon ites who hanged them on the mountain of Yahweh where all seven perished together. They were put to death in the first days of harvest at the beginning of the barley harvest.
10 Then Rizpah, daughter of Aiah, took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until rain fell on them from the heavens. She did not allow the birds of the air to come on them by day or the beasts of the field by night. 11 When David was told what Rizpah, Aiah’s daughter and Saul’s concubine, had done, 12 he asked the men of Jabesh-gilead for the bones of Saul and those of his son Jonathan. (They had taken them from the wall of Bethshan where the Philistines had nailed them when they killed Saul on Gilboa.) 13 So David had brought up from there the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan, and the bones of those who had been hanged were gathered. 14 All of them were buried in the land of Benjamin in Zela, in the tomb of Kish their father. When all that the king had commanded was done, God had pity on the land.
15 The Philistines waged war again with Israel, and David went down together with his ser vants to fight against them. When David was already tired, 16 Ishbibenob, one of the descendants of the giants whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of bronze and who had put on a new sword, thought of killing David. 17 But Abishai, son of Zeruiah, came to his help, at tack ing and killing the Phi listine. Then David’s men urged him, “You shall not join us anymore in battle lest the lamp of Israel be extinguished.”
18 After this, there was more fighting with the Philistines at Gob; there Sibbecai the Hush athite, slew Saph, one of the descendants of the giants. 19 There was another battle with the Phil is tines at Gob where Elhanan, son of Jaareoregim, the Bethle hemite, slew Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was the size of a weaver’s beam. 20 In another encounter at Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, numbering twenty-four in all. He too was a descendant of the giants. 21 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan, son of Shimei, David’s brother, slew him. 22 All four descendants of the giants fell by the hand of David and his guards.