2Samuel 21

 

2Samuel 21:1–22

The Gibeonites and the Giants


These studies are designed for believers in Jesus Christ only. If you have exercised faith in Christ, then you are in the right place. If you have not, then you need to heed the words of our Lord, Who said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son, so that every [one] believing [or, trusting] in Him shall not perish, but shall be have eternal life! For God did not send His Son into the world so that He should judge the world, but so that the world shall be saved through Him. The one believing [or, trusting] in Him is not judged, but the one not believing has already been judged, because he has not believed in the Name of the only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son of God.” (John 3:16–18). “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life! No one comes to the Father except through [or, by means of] Me!” (John 14:6).


Every study of the Word of God ought to be preceded by a naming of your sins to God. This restores you to fellowship with God (1John 1:8–10). If there are people around, you would name these sins silently. If there is no one around, then it does not matter if you name them silently or whether you speak aloud.


These exegetical studies are not designed for you to read each and every word. For instance, the Hebrew exegesis is put into greyish tables, so that if you want to skip over them, that is fine. If you question a translation, you can always refer back to the appropriate Hebrew tables to sort it all out.

 

The intent is to make this particular study the most complete and most accurate examination of 2Samuel 21 which is available in writing. The idea is to make every phrase, verse and passage understandable; and to make application of all that is studied.

 

Besides teaching you the doctrinal principles related to this chapter, this commentary is also to help bring this narrative to life, so that you can understand the various characters, their motivations, and the choices that they make. Ideally, you will be able to visualize the peoples and armies as they move across the landscape of the Land of Promise.


Kukis: Israel, as a representative of God on earth, cannot do whatever it wants when it comes to making treaties with other people. Any treaty made by Israel must be kept by Israel forever, just as God’s covenants are forever. They cannot unilaterally change their minds about a covenant which they make. Otherwise, if the covenants made by Israel mean little or nothing, and are simply contracts of expediency, then that implies that the promises of their God are just as empty.

 

J. Vernon McGee: A treaty in that day (which some folk consider "uncivilized") was inviolate. When a treaty was made, the terms of the treaty were kept. Treaties were more than a scrap of paper. They were not made to be broken. In our day this matter of nations sitting around the conference table trying to make a treaty is almost laughable, because who will keep it? The average person has a right to be cynical about the way nations attempt to get along with each other. But when a nation is obeying God, its word is as good as its bond. Joshua made a treaty with the Gibeonites; but Saul came along and broke it. David attempted to make amends for Saul's actions, and he succeeded. Footnote


Outline of Chapter 21:

 

Introduction

 

         vv.     1–9           David Provides Justice for the Gibeonites

         vv.    10–14         David and the Mourning of Rizpah

         vv.    15–22         The Killing of the Other Four Philistine Giants

 

Addendum


Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines:

 

         Introduction         Outline of the Final Four Chapters of 2Samuel

         Introduction         2Samuel 21–24 as a Chiasmos

         Introduction         The Principals of 2Samuel 21

         Introduction         The Prequel of 2Samuel 21

         Introduction         The Abbreviated Davidic Timeline

         Introduction         Clarke’s Synopsis of 2Samuel 21

         Introduction         Gill’s Alternative Outline of 2Samuel 21

 

         v.       1              J. Vernon McGee on Applications of 2Samuel 21

         v.       1              The King and Israel in the Age of Israel

         v.       2              The Gibeonites

         v.       2              God and Nationalism

         v.       3              One Solution to America’s Welfare Programs

         v.       3              What Problem is David Solving with the Gibeonites?

         v.       4              Bad Translations of 2Samuel 21:4

         v.       8              The House of Saul, a graphic

         v.       9              What 2Samuel 21:1–9 Illustrates

         v.       9              Justice and the Execution of the 7 Sons of Saul

         v.      10              Scriptural Objections to 2Samuel 21:1–10

         v.      10              “Rizpah’s Kindness Unto the Dead” by Gustave Doré (graphic)

         v.      14              The Logical Timetable of Rizpah’s Vigil

         v.      14              Pett Reveals the Chiasmos Character of 2Samuel 21:1–14

         v.      14              Adam Clarke’s Objections to 2Samuel 20:1–14

         v.      14              Answering the Objections of Adam Clarke

         v.      15              The Downward Spiral of Man

         v.      16              Did Goliath’s Spearhead Weight 20 Pounds?

         v.      17              “Abishai Saves the Life of David” by Gustave Doré (graphic)

         v.      19              When Critics Ask, Who Killed Goliath?

         v.      22              Peter Pett’s Chiasmos of 2Samuel 21:15–22

 

         Addendum          Why 2Samuel 21 is in the Word of God

         Addendum          What We Learn from 2Samuel 21

         Addendum          Josephus’ History of this Time Period

         Addendum          Edersheim Summarizes 2Samuel 21

         Addendum          A Complete Translation of 2Samuel 21

         Addendum          Word Cloud from a Reasonably Literal Paraphrase of 2Samuel 21

         Addendum          Word Cloud from Exegesis of 2Samuel 21



Chapter Outline

 

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines

Beginning of Document

Doctrines Covered and Alluded to

Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Definition of Terms

Introduction

 

Addendum

www.kukis.org

 

Exegetical Studies in Samuel


Pre-Introduction Links

Doctrines Covered and Alluded To

Chapters of the Bible Alluded To or Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Definition of Terms


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

 

City of Gath

Gibeon, Geba and Gibeah

Liberalism, Conservatism and Christianity


Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Joshua 9

 

 

1Chron. 18


Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 


Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 


Many who read and study this chapter are 1st or 2nd generation students of R. B. Thieme, Jr., so that much of this vocabulary is second nature. One of Bob’s contributions to theology is a fresh vocabulary along with a number of concepts which are theologically new or reworked, yet still orthodox. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with his work, the definitions below will help you to fully understand all that is being said. In addition to this, I will use a number of other more traditional technical theological terms which will be used and therefore defined as well.

Definition of Terms

Chiasmos

A chiasmos (also spelled chiasmus) is the way that some portions of the Bible are organized. It takes its name from the Greek letter chi (χ). The first section matches with the last, the second with the second-to-the-last, etc. It is called a chiasmos, because the inverted parallelism looks like a chi (actually, half a chi) when one looks at it from its organizational standpoint.

Client Nation

Client-Nation, is a national entity in which a certain number of spiritually mature Christians (the salt of the earth) have formed a pivot sufficient to sustain the nation and through which God specifically protects this nation so that believers can fulfill the divine mandates of evangelism, communication and custodianship of Bible doctrine, providing a haven for Jews, and sending missionaries abroad. The United States is a client-nation to God. A client nation must have freedom: Freedom to seek God, freedom to use one’s own volition and self-determination to succeed or fail, freedom from anarchy and tyranny, freedom for evangelism, freedom for believers to hear Bible teaching without government interference and, therefore, to grow spiritually, and freedom to send missionaries to other nations.

Divine institutions

A divine institution speaks of the absolute social structures that have been instituted by God for the entire human race—for believers and unbelievers alike. The term divine emphasizes the fact that they have their origin in God. These are social structures that have been built into creation and into the nature of man by God. These divine institutions provide protection, perpetuation, orderly function, survival and blessing of the human race, and allow for the teaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Footnote For more information, see Divine Institutions (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

Interlocking Systems of Arrogance

Also known as the arrogance complex. The interlocking systems of arrogance refers to many clusters of sins which have a tendency to interlock with one another. Entering into this complex is more than carnality and it is different from reversionism. This doctrine is covered in much greater detail in 2Sam. 11 (HTML) (PDF).

Some of these definitions are taken from

http://gracebiblechurchwichita.org/?page_id=1556

http://www.bibledoctrinechurch.org/?subpages/GLOSSARY.shtml

http://rickhughesministries.org/content/Biblical-Terms.pdf

http://www.gbible.org/index.php?proc=d4d

http://www.wordoftruthministries.org/termsanddefs.htm

http://www.realtime.net/~wdoud/topics.html

http://www.theopedia.com/


——————————


An Introduction to 2Samuel 21


I ntroduction: The final few chapters appears to be an appendix to the book of Samuel. For the most part, for most chapters, there does not appear to be a dramatic shift in focus, vocabulary or writing style. One of the few odd chapters that we have covered is when Jonathan is by himself with Saul; or Abner is facing off the remaining sons of Zeruiah. Apart from that, most of Samuel, from 1Sam. 16 and forward, is related to young David and, eventually, to King David. Generally speaking, most of the book of Samuel, up to this point, has been in chronological order. However, at this point, we will go back and cover 2 or 3 incidents all of which took place between 2Samuel chapters 1 and 20 (actually, there are 6 sections which remain in this appendix to the Life of David). Some later editor—and we have no idea how much later—came to this history of David, and thought, we cannot leave this out; we should mention this about King David and his reign. These final 4 chapters appear to be appendices just thrown in there, not in any particular order, and possibly by more than one editor. For all intents and purposes, the narrative of 2Sam. 1–20 is picked up again in 1Kings 1, which takes place perhaps 7 years after 2Sam. 20.


Some of you may find this a little frustrating. You might even feel a little cheated. David has nearly 10 years left of his life and reign, and yet, there appears to be nothing written of those years. And now, your curiosity is piqued. What did David do and why don’t we know about it? What David did during this time period was teach Solomon and (most likely) his other 3 children by Bathsheba. Solomon did not just suddenly become wise; he was taught by his father, probably from his young age on up. David began to given his second family the attention that he had never given his first sons. As a result, we have the book of Proverbs, which, although attributed to Solomon, were the things which Solomon learned from his father David.


Application: This is something that you need to be aware of, if you are an aging believer. You will die. Age only goes in one direction. Your legacy in this world will be your children or whatever children you might mentor. For many people, this is a natural, organic process. You have children, and you pour your life into them. Others are quite selfish, and do not realize that it is their responsibility to raise up the next generation. David failed with his first set of sons; Solomon will stand as a testimony that David did not fail with his second set of sons.


2Sam. 21 is a very odd appendix, added by someone at a later date. These events came from early on in David’s reign, and do not follow the chronology of the previous chapters. Furthermore, the writing style of this chapter is very different from previous chapters and all those that came previously. It is difficult to determine why these were added. There are, however, lessons which we can take from David’s honest and straightforward. dealings with the Gibeonites. In the second half of this chapter, we deal with the various giants which were dispatched by David’s men, as well as the reason why David no longer went out with his troops to war.


I must admit that I had my own misgivings about this chapter. Although from the viewpoint of a human author, I could see why this was included in the history of David, I did struggle at first to see the divine reason (s) for its inclusion in the Word of God. However, I did discover a parallel which is quite fascinating. However, I am certainly not the only person to have some hesitation in embracing this chapter—Adam Clarke, who is an excellent commentator, appears to object to this even being a part of the Word of God. What he writes is persuasive enough to include and to answer.


We can place the events of the first half of this chapter after King David made provision for Mephibosheth (2Sam. 9) and before the Absalom revolution, where Shimei cursed him for being a man of blood. This is because David looks out for Mephibosheth in this chapter, and it also explains why Shimei was so adamant about cursing David out as a man of blood (2Sam. 16:5–7). There are two excellent commentators are did not put this together. Barnes said Footnote that there is no way to tell when these events took place; and another commentator said that these events simply continue the chronology of the book of Samuel.


We can place the events of the final section of this chapter mostly before 2Sam. 11. The final section of 2Sam. 21 is not really an event, but 4 separate events, which theoretically could have occurred even during the same year; but could also have been strung out over a period of, say, 10 years. The background for this chapter are the wars with the Philistines, most of which took place in 2Sam. 5 and 8. However, given the close proximity of the Jews and the Philistines, these particular battles could have, theoretically, taken place at nearly any time. Although, theoretically, we might even be able to place some of these incidents in the second half of 1Samuel, my guess is that most or all of them took place within the chronological confines of 2Sam. 5–8. Surely, the killing of the first giant, where David is told not to go to war with his men any more, took place prior to 2Sam. 11, where he remains in Jerusalem, but his soldiers go to war.


Now, what about 2Sam. 10, where David does go to war against the Aramæans? Let me remind you of the first half of 2Sam. 10, where the Ammonites piss David off, and David sends Joab to beat down the Ammonites. The Ammonites recognize that they are in a serious jam, and they ally themselves with the Aramæans. The Aramæans were in a whole different league from the Ammonites. They were the dominant power of that region of the world. When Joab beat them in the battle of Rabbah, Joab and David together had to take quick action to stave off an attack by the Aramæan army. So, in general, David could have been retired from going to war by this time; but yet, under these unusual circumstances of warring with the Aramæans, had to join with Joab and lead another company of men. My point is, given the size of the Aramæan empire, David going to war with them would have been special circumstances.


Although I call this an outline, an outline suggests organization, and these chapters, taken as a whole, do not appear to have been organized. They seem to have been simply added to the end of 2Samuel—possibly after the death of King David (1Kings 2:10).

Outline of the Final Four Chapters of 2Samuel

I.       Making up for Saul’s behavior toward the Gibeonites.

II.      David’s men kill the other 4 giants of the Philistines.

III.     David’s Psalm of Deliverance.

IV.     David’s Final Words.

V.      David’s Mighty Men.

VI.     Satan tempts David to take a Census.

These last few chapters truly represent an appendix, as the topics of these chapters seem to have simply been thrown in there with little thought given to their order.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


A chiasmos (also spelled chiasmus) is the way that some portions of the Bible are organized. It takes its name from the Greek letter chi (χ). The first section matches with the last, the second with the second-to-the-last, etc. It is called a chiasmos, because the inverted parallelism looks like a chi (actually, half a chi) when one looks at it from its organizational standpoint.

2Samuel 21–24 as a Chiasmos

Brief Description

Scripture

A       God’s wrath against Israel because of Saul and David taking steps to do the right thing.

2Sam. 21:1–14

         B       Military exploits of David’s soldiers against the Philistine giants (short).

2Sam. 21:15–22

                  C      David’s psalm celebrating the victories which God has given him over his enemies (long).

2Sam. 22:1–51

                  C      David’s last words, a celebration of his relationship to the God of the Universe (short).

2Sam. 23:1–7

         B       The great military men in David’s army (long).

2Sam. 23:8–39

A       God’s wrath against Israel because of David and David taking steps to do the right thing.

2Sam. 24:1–24

The organization above is important; it suggests that this entire appendix was added to the book of Samuel as a single unit. That is, someone did not add this portion on at one time; and then someone else came along and appended his own remembrances from the Davidic reign—but that this was all done at one time and added all at once.

At least two sources suggested this. This kind of composition is common throughout Scripture. The NIV Study Bible was so persuasive that I finally included this in the exegesis of this chapter. The NIV Study Bible; ©1995 by The Zondervan Corporation; p. 451 (footnote). Many times, a chiasmos allows a person to remember and memorize a lengthy passage.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


What is yet to be explained is, who appended this and the other chapters of 2Samuel? Up to this point in time, pretty much all of Samuel has been in chronological order. This is the first complete chapter deviation from this. From a human standpoint, did someone read about Shimei in the Absalom revolution and decide, this guy had a reason to curse David out; he was not just some nutcase, as he appears to be. In the second half of this chapter, we have the answer to 2 questions: (1) why did King David not go out to war with his army after some point in time (2Sam. 11:1) and (2) why did a very young David grab 5 stones when he was going to face Goliath?


Like the previous chapter, this will probably not be your favorite chapter from the Bible, and it is unlikely that you will memorize any of the verses from this chapter.


We need to know who the people are who populate this chapter.

The Principals of 2Samuel 21

Characters

Biographical Material

King David

David is king over Israel when these incidents take place. He finds out from God why the land has suffered 3 years of famine. He then contacts the Gibeonites and asks them what it would take solve their wrongs done to them by Saul. David also hears about Rizpah’s great suffering over the loss of her two sons, and tries to do right by her. Finally, at the end of this chapter, David is at war with a Philistine giant and his strength leaves him due to middle age.

(King Saul)

King Saul, probably near the end of his reign, began to severely persecute the Gibeonites. His actions are fundamental to the first part of 2Sam. 21; but viewed retrospectively.

The 7 descendants of Saul

Two sons and 5 grandsons of Saul were given to the Gibeonites for the harm that Saul caused them

(Mephibosheth ben Jonathan)

Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, is not given over to them.

Rizpah

Rizpah is Saul’s mistress who grieves over the loss of her two sons, given over to the Gibeonites.

David’s great warriors

Four of David’s great warriors are named; they kill the 4 giants probably related to Goliath.

The giants of Philistia.

There are 4 giants in Philistia other than Goliath. They may be his sons or closely related to him.

The description of David may seem to jump all over the place; and that is because there are 3 very different sections in this chapter.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


It is important to understand what has gone before. Because this is a part of the appendix to the history of David, we do not look back one or two chapters.

The Prequel of 2Samuel 21

For 2Sam. 21:1–9:


First of all, back in the book of Joshua, Joshua began leading the Jewish people into the Land of Promise, to take it by force. This was God’s plan; this was in accordance with God’s direction. By Joshua 9, they had only conquered a few cities, but the momentum was clear to the peoples of the land, and the Gibeonites recognized that someday soon, the Jews would roll into their town and kill them and take their city. The Gibeonites appear to have done some homework, and they found that the God of the Jews did allow them to make covenants with the people outside of the land. Therefore, Gibeonite leaders made themselves to look as if they had traveled from a far country, and they met with the Israelites and entered into a covenantal agreement with them. Despite the fact that they used duplicity to enter into this contract, because of the Jewish relationship with their righteous God, this treaty must be adhered to.


At some point in time—probably near the end of his reign—Saul attacked the Gibeonites, killing many of them and continued to persecute them in some sort of nationalism fervor. It is very likely that some of his sons and grandsons were a part of this. However, this incident is not recorded in Saul’s history—it is mentioned only here in retrospect; and the culpability of his descendants is only assumed, it is never outright stated (however, it is strongly implied in 2Sam. 21:1).

For 2Sam. 21:10–14:


Saul had both a wife and a mistress. His mistress is Rizpah, and they had two children together (2Sam. 21:8). After Saul died, she had an affair with Abner, which Abner’s commander-in-chief (Ishbaal or Ish-bosheth) objected to, driving Abner to the other side of the conflict, to King David. However, one of David’s nephews subsequently killed Abner shortly after his defection. 2Sam. 3:6–30

For 2Sam. 21:15–22:


David killed Goliath when he was a very young man. However, there are at least 4 other Philistine giants who continue to be at war with Israel. Their deaths are noted at the end of this chapter.

Although the first two sections are related, this final section of 2Sam. 21 could have occurred before, during or after the first section (or any combination of those).


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


This timeline is simply a shortened version of the David Timeline (HTML) (PDF), with a few principle events of David’s life recorded, along with the events of this chapter. Bracketed dates are derived from the Scripture, based upon author’s original premises.

There is a clear problem in this timeline and with all of the dates when it comes to the final portion of this chapter.

The Abbreviated David Timeline

Fenton-Farrar

(F. L. Smith)

Reese’s Chronology Bible

Gerrit Verkuyl

(Bible Truth 4U)

Scripture

Narrative

[1085 b.c.]

[1055 b.c.]

1040 b.c.

Ruth 4:22

David is born.

1062 b.c.

1029 b.c.

 

1Sam. 17

David defeats Goliath.

1055 b.c.

(c. 1010 b.c.)

1025 b.c.

1010 b.c.

2Sam. 2:1–4

David becomes king over Judah (the southern kingdom). David is 30. 2Sam. 5:4 David was 30 years old when he began to reign. He reigned 40 years.

1048 b.c.

(c. 1004 b.c.)

1018 b.c.

1003 b.c.

2Sam. 5:1–3

1Chron. 11:1–3

David becomes king over all Israel. He is still ruling from Hebron. David is approximately 37 years old, according to Bible Truth 4U.

1035 b.c.

 

c. 994 b.c.

2Sam. 11:1

1Chron. 20:1a

Conflict with Ammonites is resumed. 1Chron. 20:1 And it happened after the year had ended, at the time kings go forth, Joab led out the power of the army and wasted the country of the sons of Ammon. And he came and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. And Joab struck Rabbah and destroyed it.

1035 b.c.

1005 b.c.

c. 1016 b.c. (Klassen)

 

2Sam. 11:2–25

David’s sin with Bathsheba. He has her husband, Uriah the Hittite, killed in battle.

1034 b.c.

1004 b.c.

c.1016 b.c. (Klassen)

 

2Sam. 11:26–12:23

Psalm 32 51

David marries Bathsheba. David is rebuked by Nathan. David calls for God’s forgiveness and cleansing.

 

1003 b.c.

c. 1015 b.c. (Klassen)

c. 993 b.c.

(1000 b.c.)

2Sam. 12:24–25

Birth of Solomon. David is approximately 40 years old (BT4U).

 

 

c. 994 b.c.

2Sam. 12:26–31

1Chron. 20:1b–3

Conflict with Ammonites is concluded.

1018 b.c.

988 b.c.

1005–995 b.c.

2Sam. 21:15–22

1Chron. 20:4–8

[Final?] Wars against the Philistines. And it happened after this [after the defeat of the Ammonites at Rabbah], that there stood a battle again with the Philistines in Gezer; then Sibbechai the Hushathite killed Sippai of the children of the giant, and they were humbled. (1Chron. 20:4; Green’s LT)

You will notice several problems with the dates above. The text of 1Chron. 20:4 clearly associates the taking of Rabbah with coming before this battle against the Philistines. F. F. and Reese place 2Sam. 21 as if it is chronological in the book of Samuel, when it is not. Gerrit Verkuyl (the New Berkeley Bible) recognizes that this battle (these battles) occurred much earlier—however, the clear text of the Bible places these battles after the taking of Rabbah (which conflicts with Verkuyl’s dating). I listed this set of events twice in this timeline, because of the disagreement about the dates.

1024 b.c.

994–993 b.c.

979–961 b.c. (?)

2Sam. 15–16

Absalom rebels against David and David goes into exile. 2Sam. 15:6–10 And in this way Absalom did to all Israel that came to the king for judgment. And Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. And it happened at the end of 40 (4?) years, Absalom said to the king, Please let me go and pay my vow which I have vowed to Jehovah in Hebron. For your servant vowed a vow while I lived at Geshur in Syria, saying, If Jehovah will indeed bring me again to Jerusalem, then I will serve Jehovah. And the king said to him, Go in peace. And he arose and went to Hebron. But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as you hear the sound of the ram's horn, then you shall say, Absalom reigns in Hebron! Many have said that this reading is corrupt and ought to be 4 years. Footnote

1023 b.c.

 

c. 979 b.c.

2Sam. 17–20

David defeats Absalom and returns to Jerusalem.

From this point forward, there is a problem. These final chapters of 2Samuel did not occur in this sort of chronological order, and yet, these sources treat them as if they did. These final few chapters form an appendix to 2Samuel, not a continuation of it. Therefore, I have gone back and added Verkuyl, a source who understands this to be the case. The other sources simply treat these final chapters as if they are in chronological order, which they are not.

1021 b.c.

991–989 b.c.

992–900 b.c.

(Klassen)

c. 990 b.c.

(976–964 b.c.) (?)

2Sam. 21:1

Famine in Israel. 2Sam. 21:1 And there was a famine in the days of David 3 years, year after year. And David inquired of Jehovah. And Jehovah answered, For Saul, and for his bloody house, because he killed the Gibeonites.

[1021–1023 b.c.]

 

991–989 b.c.

992–900 b.c.

(Klassen)

c. 990 b.c.

(976–964 b.c.) (?)

2Sam. 21:2–9

Wrongs against Gibeonites corrected.

1018 b.c.

988 b.c.

1005–995 b.c.

2Sam. 21:15–22

1Chron. 20:4–8

[Final?] Wars against the Philistines. And it happened after this [after the defeat of the Ammonites at Rabbah], that there stood a battle again with the Philistines in Gezer; then Sibbechai the Hushathite killed Sippai of the children of the giant, and they were humbled. (1Chron. 20:4; Green’s LT) 4 of the giants are listed in 2Sam. 21 and 3 of them in 1Chron. 20.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Sometimes others do a fine job with summarizing the chapter.

Clarke’s Synopsis of 2Samuel 21

A famine taking place three successive years in Israel, David inquired of the Lord the cause; and was informed that it was on account of Saul and his bloody house, who had slain the Gibeonites, 2Sam. 21:1. David inquires of the Gibeonites what atonement they require, and they answer, seven sons of Saul, that they may hang them up in Gibeah, 2Sam. 21:2–6. Names of the seven sons thus given up, 2Sam. 21:7–9. Affecting account of Rizpah, who watched the bodies through the whole of the time of harvest, to prevent them from being devoured by birds and beasts of prey, 2Sam. 21:10.

David is informed of Rizpah’s conduct, and collects the bones of Saul, Jonathan, and the seven men that were hanged at Gibeah, and buries them; and God is entreated for the land, 2Sam. 21:11–14.

War between the Israelites and Philistines, in which David is in danger of being slain by Ishbi–benob, but is succoured by Abishai, 2Sam. 21:15–17. He, and several gigantic Philistines, are slain by David and his servants, 2Sam. 21:18–22.

From Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Bible; from e-Sword, 2Sam. 21 chapter comments.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


You are going to have some difficulty with the first half of this chapter. David will go to the Gibeonites in order to placate them for the wrongs done to them by Saul, and they will ask for 7 of Saul’s descendants. It is possible that these descendants were, for the most part, fairly young when Saul committed these transgressions. We do not know if they participated in Saul’s evil, if they benefitted from Saul’s evil, or what relationship they had to what Saul did in his persecution of the Gibeonites. However, they are, as relatives of Saul, the most responsible for Saul’s actions, whether they participated in these acts or not. Now, I realize that few people today, apart from Muslims, have standards similar to these. However, this appears to be standard morality for that day and time; and that when blood was shed, it must be paid for with blood. There is also a familial responsibility which will be discussed.


Contrast that to today, where we have great difficulty even putting to death men who have committed heinous crimes of murder.


If I were to speculate, let me suggest that these 7 sons and grandsons now lived on land originally inhabited by Gibeonites. They might even live in homes built by and lived in by Gibeonites. This would be logical. Saul could have had a number of reasons for attacking the Gibeonites, but one thing that people in power often do is, set themselves up and set up those in their own family. In this case, they would do this with property and farms. What a great excuse it would be to rouse the people against the Gibeonites (who lived in Benjamin), and then appropriate their land after they have been driven off of it.


This chapter is fairly straightforward; there is little disagreement on the outline.

Gill’s Alternative Outline of 2Samuel 21

I.       The Gibeonites avenged,

         1.      By a famine in the land (2Sam. 21:1).

         2.      By the putting of seven of Saul's posterity to death (2Sam. 21:2–9).

         3.      Care, however, is taken of their dead bodies, and of the bones of Saul (2Sam. 21:10–14).

II.      The giants of the Philistines slain in several battles (2Sam. 21:15–22).

Dr. John Gill, John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible; from e-Sword, 2Sam. 21 chapter comments.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


One of the things that you might notice is, there is a great deal of background material added into the Biblical text here. That is, this particular narrative seems to be written to stand nearly on its own, apart from the rest of the book of Samuel. It reminds the reader of aspects of the history of Israel which is already contained in the book of Samuel. Therefore, it is reasonable to suppose that this portion was added by a later editor who appended this to the book of Samuel.

 

Ron Daniel: After the revolt of Sheba, the book of 2Samuel leaves the chronological timeline and spends the last four chapters recounting some additional things that happened during David's reign. Footnote


Like 2Sam. 20, this will probably not be your favorite chapter of the Bible. You will be hard-pressed to find an encouraging verse from this chapter to memorize and repeat to yourself from time to time. However, this chapter does help us to answer a few questions and fill in a few gaps. It also ought to cause us to keep from drawing some unwarranted conclusions (as I did when first writing the exegesis of 2Sam. 11).


In fact, what happens at the end of this chapter provides some real texture for 2Sam. 11: David, who had been a warrior for all of his lifetime, suddenly was at a point where his own soldiers told him to stay home from now on. This, if anything, would have precipitated the mid-life crisis, which is what led David into the interlocking systems of arrogance that we find him in 2Sam. 11 and following.


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Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


David Provides Justice for the Gibeonites


Kukis slavishly literal:

 

Kukis moderately literal:

And so is a famine in days of David three of years, year after year. And so seeks David faces of Yehowah and so says Yehowah, “Unto Saul and his house the blood upon which he killed the Gibeonites.”

2Samuel

21:1

[There] was a famine in the days of David [over a period of] 3 years, year after year. Therefore, David sought the presence of Yehowah, and Yehowah said, “Regarding Saul and his house, [there is] bloodguilt because he put the Gibeonites to death.”

Kukis not so literal:

There was a famine in the land for a period of 3 years during the time of King David. Therefore, David sought the presence of Jehovah; and Jehovah said, “There is a demand for justice from the house of Saul because he put many Gibeonites to death.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Ancient texts:                       Note: I compare the Hebrew text to English translations of the Latin, Syriac and Greek texts, using the Douay-Rheims translation Footnote ; George Lamsa’s translation, and Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton’s translation as revised and edited by Paul W. Esposito, respectively. I often update these texts with non-substantive changes (e.g., you for thou, etc.). I often use the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible instead of Brenton’s translation, because it updates the English text.

 

The Septuagint was the earliest known translation of a book (circa 200 b.c.). Since this translation was made before the textual criticism had been developed into a science and because different books appear to be translated by different men, the Greek translation can sometimes be very uneven.

 

When there are serious disparities between my translation and Brenton’s (or the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible), I look at the Greek text of the Septuagint (the LXX) to see if a substantive difference actually exists (and I reflect these changes in the English rendering of the Greek text). I use the Greek LXX with Strong’s numbers and morphology available for e-sword. The only problem with this resource (which is a problem for similar resources) is, there is no way to further explore Greek verbs which are not found in the New Testament. Although I usually quote the Complete Apostles’ Bible here, I have begun to make changes in the translation when their translation conflicts with the Greek and note what those changes are.

 

The Masoretic text is the Hebrew text with all of the vowels (vowel points) inserted (the original Hebrew text lacked vowels). We take the Masoretic text to be the text closest to the original. However, differences between the Masoretic text and the Greek, Latin and Syriac are worth noting and, once in a great while, represent a more accurate text possessed by those other ancient translators.

 

In general, the Latin text is an outstanding translation from the Hebrew text into Latin and very trustworthy (I say this as a non-Catholic). Unfortunately, I do not read Latin—apart from some very obvious words—so I am dependent upon the English translation of the Latin (principally, the Douay-Rheims translation).

 

Underlined words indicate differences in the text.

 

Bracketed portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls are words, letters and phrases lost in the scroll due to various types of damage. Underlined words or phrases are those in the Dead Sea Scrolls but not in the Masoretic text.

 

I will only list the translation from the Dead Sea Scrolls if it exists and if it is different from the Masoretic text.


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And there was a famine in the days of David for three years successively: and David consulted the oracle of the Lord. And the Lord said: It is for Saul, and his bloody house, because he killed the Gabaonites.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so is a famine in days of David three of years, year after year. And so seeks David faces of Yehowah and so says Yehowah, “Unto Saul and his house the blood upon which he killed the Gibeonites.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    THEN there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David inquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered. It is because of Saul and because of his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.

Septuagint (Greek)                And there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David sought the face of the Lord. And the Lord said, There is guilt upon Saul and his house because of his bloody murder, whereby he slew the Gibeonites.

 

Significant differences:           The Latin appears to add the oracle of. No idea what is means to slow, as is found at the end of the Latin text; my guess is, it was some form of slew, so I changed it to kill.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Avenging the Gibeonites

There was a famine for three years in a row during David's rule. David asked the Lord about this, and the Lord said, "It is caused by Saul and his household, who are guilty of bloodshed because he killed the people of Gibeon."

Contemporary English V.       While David was king, there were three years in a row when the nation of Israel could not grow enough food. So David asked the LORD for help, and the LORD answered, "Saul and his family are guilty of murder, because he had the Gibeonites killed."

Easy English                          The *Gibeonites punish Saul's family

For three years while David was king, the people did not have enough to eat. So David prayed to the *Lord. The *Lord said, `This has happened because Saul and his family are murderers. They killed the *Gibeonites.'

Easy-to-Read Version            There 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 [Literally, "house of blood."] are the reason for this time of hunger. This famine came because Saul killed the Gibeonites.”

Good News Bible (TEV)         During David's reign there was a severe famine which lasted for three full years. So David consulted the LORD about it, and the LORD said, "Saul and his family are guilty of murder; he put the people of Gibeon to death."

The Message                         There was a famine in David's time. It went on year after year after year--three years. David went to GOD seeking the reason. GOD said, "This is because there is blood on Saul and his house, from the time he massacred the Gibeonites."

New Berkeley Version           About 900 b.c.

In the days of David there was a famine, year after year for three years [The exact date is not given; but it must have been aftr the coming of Mephibosheth to be with David in 995 b.c. (v. 7). Moreover, trhe deaths of vv. 8–9 seem to have been the subject of Shimea’s cursing of David in 2Sam. 16:7–8, which would put the famine before Absalom’s revolt.]. When David sought the Lord’s presence, the Lord told him: It is because of Saul and his bloody house, for having put the people of Gibeon to death.

New Century Version             The Gibeonites Punish Saul's Family

During the time David was king, there was a shortage of food that lasted for three years. So David prayed to the Lord.

The Lord answered, "Saul and his family of murderers are the reason for this shortage, because he killed the Gibeonites."

New Living Translation           David Avenges the Gibeonites

There was a famine during David's reign that lasted for three years, so David asked the Lord about it. And the Lord said, "The famine has come because Saul and his family are guilty of murdering the Gibeonites."

The Voice                               After the people had suffered from a famine for three successive years, David asked the Eternal One why the famine lingered, and the answer came that the nation was guilty for not making amends for the bloodlust of King Saul, who slaughtered the people of Gibeon.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Well, there were three consecutive years of famine in the days of David, so he asked Jehovah, and the Lord said: 'This has happened because the house of Saul is guilty of shedding [innocent] blood when he killed the GibeOnites.'

Beck’s American Translation A Famine and the Gibeonites

There was a famine in the time of David for three successive years, and David asked the LORD about it. “It is on account of Saul,” the LORD answered, “and his family which is guilty of murder because he killed the Gibeonites.”

Christian Community Bible     The great famine

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.” This episode shows us the most inhuman religious prejudices existing at that time. David consulted Yahweh… The answer was… We have already seen this practice of consulting God by means of the Urim and Thummim, i.e., by casting lots. It is possible that God guided them through these means since they believed that this was authorized by God. This episode also confirms that seeking a response from God can lead to worse deviations: “those responsible for the famine are the descendants of Saul because he killed the Gibeonites…” A disaster occurs and the people say it is God’s punishment and, if it is a punishment, they must find the one responsible. Possibly David himself shares the common belief; except that he uses his authority to save the son of his friend, Jonathan. We cannot say that this mentality has completely disappeared. If something goes wrong in society or in an institution, many search out whom to sacrifice before finding out if they themselves have had a share in the fault.

God’s Word                         In the time of David, there was a famine for three successive years, and David asked the LORD'S advice about it. The LORD answered, "It's because of Saul and his family. They are guilty of murder because they killed the people of Gibeon."

New Advent (Knox)Bible        There was a famine in David's reign that lasted three years continuously; and when David consulted the Lord's oracle he was told, It is because of Saul; he slew the Gabaonites, and the guilt of blood still rests upon his line.

New American Bible (2002)   During David's reign there was a famine for three successive years. David had recourse to the LORD, who said, "There is bloodguilt on Saul and his family because he put the Gibeonites to death."

New American Bible (2011) Footnote    Gibeonite Vengeance.

In David's time there was a famine for three years, year after year. David sought the presence of the LORD, who said: There is bloodguilt on Saul and his family because he put the Gibeonites to death. 2Sam. 24:13.

NIRV                                      David Makes Things Right for the People of Gibeon

For three years in a row there wasn't enough food in the land. That was while David was king. So David asked the Lord why he wasn't showing his favor to his people. The Lord said, "It is because Saul and his family committed murder. He put the people of Gibeon to death."

New Jerusalem Bible             In the days of David there was a famine which lasted for three years on end. David consulted Yahweh, and Yahweh said, 'Saul and his family have incurred blood-guilt, by putting the Gibeonites to death.'


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      A three year famine was in the days of David. Year after year, David sought the face of Yahweh. Yahweh said, "Not for Saul and not for his house, but over the blood of the dying in Gibeon."

Bible in Basic English             In the days of David they were short of food for three years, year after year; and David went before the Lord for directions. And the Lord said, On Saul and on his family there is blood, because he put the Gibeonites to death.

English Jubilee 2000              Then there was a famine in the days of David for three consecutive years, and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is because of Saul and because of his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.

The Expanded Bible              The Gibeonites Punish Saul's Family

During the time David was king, there was a ·shortage of food [famine] that lasted for three years. So David ·prayed to [inquired of; consulted; Lsought the face/presence of] the Lord.

The Lord answered, "Saul and his ·family of murderers [Lbloody house] are the reason for this shortage, because he ·killed [murdered] the Gibeonites."

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 (b.c. 1021.)        Three Year’s Famine, and the Tragedy of Rizpah’s Sons

There was once a famine in the time of David for three years, year after year, so David sought the presence of the Ever-living, and the Ever-living said, `*It is for Saul and his murderous house, because he killed the Gibaonites.'

NET Bible®                             The Gibeonites Demand Revenge

During David's reign there was a famine for three consecutive years. So David inquired of the Lord [Heb "sought the face of the Lord."]. The Lord said, "It is because of Saul and his bloodstained family [Heb "and the house of bloodshed."], because he murdered the Gibeonites." When it comes to making an actual material change to the text, the NET Bible® is pretty good about indicating this. Since most of these corrections will be clear in the more literal translations below and within the Hebrew exegesis itself, I will not continue to list every NET Bible® footnote.

NIV, ©2011                             The Gibeonites avenged

During the reign of David, there was a famine [S Ge 12:10; S Dt 32:24] for three successive years; so David sought [S Ex 32:11] 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.”


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           In David's time there was a famine that lasted three years, and David consulted ADONAI. ADONAI said, "It is because of Sha'ul and his bloodstained house, because he put to death the people of Giv'on."

exeGeses companion Bible   REVENGE OF THE GIBONIY

And there is a famine in the days of David

- three years - year after year;

and David seeks the face of Yah Veh.

And Yah Veh says,

It is for Shaul and for the bloody house,

because he deathified the Giboniy.

Hebrew Names Version         There was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David sought the face of the LORD. The LORD said, It is for Sha'ul, and for his bloody house, because he put to death the Giv`onim.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           Then there was a ra'av (famine) in the days of Dovid shalosh shanim, shanah after shanah; and Dovid inquired of Hashem. And Hashem answered, It is on account of Sha'ul, and for his bais hadamim, because he slaughtered the Giveonim.

The Scriptures 1998              And there was a scarcity of food in the days of Dawi for three years, year after year. And Dawi sought the face of יהוה, and יהוה answered, “Because of Shaʼul and his bloodthirsty house, because he killed the Giʽonites.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David sought the face of the LORD. And the LORD said, "There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death."

English Standard V. – UK       David Avenges the Gibeonites

Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David [Num. 27:21] sought the face of the Lord. And the Lord said, "There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death."

The Geneva Bible                  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 Gibeonites. [Saul was] Thinking to gratify the people, because these were not of the seed of Abraham.

Green’s Literal Translation    And there was a famine in the days of David, three years, year after year. And David sought the face of Jehovah. And Jehovah said, It is for Saul and for his bloody house, because he killed the Gibeonites.

Kretzmann’s Commentary    The Difficulty with the Gibeonites Adjusted

Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year, three successive years, a fact which made the visitation seem a special punishment; and David enquired of the Lord, he sought the face of the Lord, by consulting with the high priest, after earnest prayer. And the Lord answered, It is for Saul and for his bloody house, the house upon which blood-guiltiness rested, because he slew the Gibeonites, he had put to death a number of those people to whom Joshua and the princes of Israel had sworn immunity, Joshua 9:15.

NASB                                     Gibeonite Revenge

Now there was a famine [Gen 12:10; 26:1; 42:5] in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David [Num 27:21] sought the presence of the Lord. And the Lord said, "It is for Saul and his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death."

New King James Version       David Avenges the Gibeonites

Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David inquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, "It is because of Saul and his bloodthirsty house, because he killed the Gibeonites."

Syndein/Thieme                     Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year {three consecutive years}; and David inquired of Jehovah/God. And the Jehovah/God answered, "It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites." {Note: In Exodus 23:32 the Jews were told to make NO treaties with the Hivites (Gibeonites were Hivites) or their gods and Deuteronomy 20:17 they are to destroy all the Hivites utterly. But in Joshua 9, the Gibeonites tricked Joshua into making a treaty with them. He did so in error, but did not go back on his word (two wrongs do not make a right). But when King Saul killed them, that broke the treaty and now God is punishing Israel for Saul doing so.}.

Young’s Updated LT             And there is a famine in the days of David three years, year after year, and David seeks the face of Jehovah, and Jehovah says, “For Saul and for the bloody house, because that he put to death the Gibeonites.”

 

The gist of this verse:          There is a famine of 3 years which takes place during the reign of David. David asks God why this is occurring, and God tells him that it is because of the Gibeonites slaughtered by Saul.


2Samuel 21:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

Without a specific subject and object, the verb hâyâh often means and it will come to be, and it will come to pass, then it came to pass (with the wâw consecutive). It may be more idiomatically rendered subsequently, afterwards, later on, in the course of time, after which. Generally, the verb does not match the gender whatever nearby noun could be the subject (and, as often, there is no noun nearby which would fulfill the conditions of being a subject).

râʿâb (רָעָב) [pronounced raw-ĢAWBV]

famine, hunger; scarcity of grain; used figuratively for a lack of God’s Word

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7458 BDB #944

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

yâmîym (יָמִים) [pronounced yaw-MEEM]

days, a set of days; time of life, lifetime; a specific time period, a year

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

shelôshâh (שְלֹשָה) [pronounced shiloh-SHAW]

a three, a trio, a triad, a threesome

feminine numeral construct

Strong’s #7969 BDB #1025

shânîym (שָנִים) [pronounced shaw-NEEM]

years

feminine plural noun

Strong’s #8141 BDB #1040

shânâh (שָנָה) [pronounced shaw-NAW]

year

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #8141 BDB #1040

ʾachărêy (אַחֲרֵי) [pronounced ah-kuh-RAY]

behind, after; following; after that, afterwards; hinder parts

preposition; plural form

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

The plural form of this preposition occurs more often than the singular, although I am uncertain as to any difference in meaning when used as a preposition.

shânâh (שָנָה) [pronounced shaw-NAW]

year

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #8141 BDB #1040


Translation: [There] was a famine in the days of David [over a period of] 3 years, year after year. At this point, we have left the generally chronological portion of 2Samuel, and we are covering a few miscellaneous incidents which took place in the time of David. There are ways to connect the previous chapter with this chapter, but those ways were not used. The final few verses of the previous chapter did not have a set of wâw consecutives followed by imperfect verbs, so this wâw consecutive with an imperfect verb does not pick up where the previous chapter left off.


There is a famine which is occurring, and it is not clear if David is king over all Israel or just over Judah at this time. However, the fact that a famine continues over a period of 3 years causes David some serious concern. Given the nature of the problem which God will present to King David, in the days of David probably represents a time when David is king over the northern and southern kingdoms.

 

Dr. Thomas Constable writes: Internal references in 2Samuel enable us to date this incident early in David's reign between Mephibosheth's arrival in Jerusalem and the beginning of the Ammonite wars. Probably God sent judgment on Israel for Saul's action soon after he died. Saul's concubine watched over the bodies of her slain sons until the famine ended. If this took place later in David's reign, she would have been very old, which is possible but unlikely. Also, David buried the bodies of Saul and Jonathan at this time. He would hardly have done this years later. The fact that David did not execute Mephibosheth suggests that this son of Jonathan had come under David's protection by this time. That took place after David moved his capital to Jerusalem. After the Ammonite wars began, David might not have had time for what the writer described here. Consequently a date within 996-993 B.C. for this famine seems reasonable. Footnote


Furthermore, placing a later date on this section of 2Sam. 21 would not work, as a new generation of Israelites had been raised up since the days of Saul, and few if any of them would know much about Saul or what he did. This is a problem which God put David to work on as soon as possible in his reign over Israel.


Because of the wâw consecutive which follows, year after year belongs with the first phrase. However, at least one translation placed it with the following phrase:


2Samuel 21:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bâqash (בָּקַש) [pronounced baw-KAHSH]

to seek, to search, to desire, to strive after, to attempt to get, to require, to demand, to ask, to seek with desire and diligence

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #1245 BDB #134

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

pânîym (פָּנִים) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces, countenance; presence; person; surface

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular)

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: Therefore, David sought the presence of Yehowah,... Now, I do not recall a single instance of God speaking directly to David. A logical place for this to have occurred is where God gives the Davidic Covenant, back in 2Sam. 7, but that appears to be delivered through an intermediary, Nathan. Therefore, seeking the presence of God does not mean that David is before some physical manifestation of God, and God is speaking directly to him. This likely means that David has sought out a prophet and receives this information from that prophet; or he has sought out one of the priests with the Ephod.


2Samuel 21:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend; to decide; to answer

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Shâʾûwl (שָאוּל) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

dâm (דָּם) [pronounced dawm]

blood, often visible blood; bloodshed, slaughter; bloodguilt; blood of the grape [wine]

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #1818 BDB #196

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

Literally, these translate to mean upon which. This combination of ʿal and ʾăsher mean because, because that, in that.

mûwth (מוּת) [pronounced mooth]

to kill, to cause to die, to put to death, to execute

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil perfect

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Gibeʿînîy (גִּבְעִנִי) [pronounced gibv-ģoh-NEE]

(little) hill, hilly, hill-city; transliterated Gibeonite

masculine plural, gentilic adjective with the definite article

Strong's #1393 BDB #149


Translation: ...and Yehowah said, “Regarding Saul and his house, [there is] bloodguilt because he put the Gibeonites to death.” God informs David that there is bloodguilt on the house of Saul—he is said to have put to death some Gibeonites and the definite article suggests that this was a very specific incident. So, what we have here is an abuse of power. Although he says that he put to death the Gibeonites; this could refer to Saul or to his house (i.e., his family).

 

Poole: The Israelites might sundry ways make themselves guilty of Saul’s sin, though it be not particularly mentioned in Scripture; advising or encouraging him to it; or by assisting him in the execution of it; or by conniving at it; or by rejoicing in it for some worldly advantage which they received or expected from it; or by not repairing the injuries which Saul had done them as far as they might. Footnote


McGee went on a tear at this point, so I figured I should include it all. Some of the Biblical text has been updated (that is the weakest part of McGee’s radio ministry is the use of the KJV Bible).

J. Vernon McGee on Applications of 2Samuel 21

J. Vernon McGee: God did not forget that Saul, representing Israel, had broken the treaty with the Gibeonites. Because the Israelites are His people, they are not going to get by with it. The three years of famine came upon them as a judgment. Now let me make this kind of an application to this incident, which I think is valid. You and I live in a day when it cannot be said that any particular nation is a Christian nation or a nation in obedience to God. But God does deal with nations; he does judge nations. God holds nations responsible - it does not make any difference what nation it is. God judged Egypt. God judged Babylon. God judged Assyria, Greece, and Rome; and God will judge America. I am of the opinion (and will you follow me now very carefully) that we are in the process of dissolution as a nation. There are several evidences of God's judgment upon us. Let me mention several things.


Since World War II it has been our intention to be a peacemaking nation yet to live in sin. Believe me, friend, after World War II Americans started plunging into sin. Also, we could not quit fighting. There has not been a moment since World War II that our troops have not been fighting somewhere. If it isn”t Korea, it is Vietnam. If it isn”t Vietnam, it is in Europe or on some other continent. We are talking peace today as we have never talked it before; yet there is no peace. Isaiah 57:21 says, "There is no peace, says my God, to the wicked."


Another indication of this dissolution is that we have no great statesmen today. I recognize that there are quite a few of our boys in Washington who think that they are clever - and this type of thinking is not confined to any one party. Apparently they all feel that they could solve the problems of the world. Actually, it is rather pitiful to see this nation without great leaders. This is another evidence of God”s judgment. Do you remember what God said in Isaiah 3:12 ? "As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people, they which lead you cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths." We see a continual movement in this direction in our own nation.


Right here in Southern California we have become the center of pornography. Also many of the "cults" and the "isms" originate in Southern California. Not long ago God gave us quite a shaking. I am of the opinion that the earthquake was a judgment of God. Now I know that there is a scientific explanation for the earthquake. Beneath us is the San Andreas fault, and we have several other faults. In fact, we have a whole lot of faults out here! I believe God is beginning to judge America. America is guilty of lawlessness and gross immorality, and God judges nations for that. If there is one thing 2Samuel 21 reveals, it is the fact that God judges nations.

From https://archive.org/stream/10-2Samuel/10-2Samuel_djvu.txt accessed March 6, 2014.


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Notice, this does not read, and Jehovah said to David. It appears as though God always spoke to David through an intermediary.


The harm which Saul caused the Gibeonites is recorded only here in this portion of 2Sam. 21; there is no other historical record of this act or of what David did about it.

 

Although the guilt is put upon Saul’s shoulders, here, his entire house is seen as guilty. Peter Pett: This caused David as the intercessor for Israel, to earnestly seek the face of YHWH in order to discover the reason for the famine. YHWH's reply was that what was in His mind was Saul and his `bloody house', because he (or `they', but expressed in the singular in Hebrew because `house' is singular. Compare the use of `I' in 2Samuel 21:4 speaking of the Gibeonites) had slaughtered the Gibeonites. The description of Saul's house as a `bloody house' would suggest that it was not only Saul himself who had slaughtered the Gibeonites, but that his house had continued to treat them in the same way, for many of the Gibeonites would be in Benjaminite territory (compare Joshua 18:25; Joshua 21:17) and would therefore still be on the lands of Saulides. Saul's `bloody house' would thus appear to have been continuing what Saul had begun. That would explain why they were seen as equally guilty with Saul, and why the famine came this late, God having given the family time for repentance. It was probably not just a case of the sons bearing the iniquity of their fathers, except in the sense that they were themselves being punished for doing what their fathers had taught them. Footnote What we have here is the implication that Saul is not solely responsible; and that this persecution might be ongoing.


This is in keeping with the actions that Saul took which are recorded. We studied many times when he tried to have David killed, even though David was loyal to him. When Saul believed that the priests of Nob had betrayed him, he wiped them all out without mercy. So, killing and persecuting Gibeonites is certainly something that Saul is able to do.


One of the keys to David’s greatness is, he did not view himself as the ultimate authority. God was the ultimate authority, and God communicated to David chiefly through prophets and priests (1Sam. 30:7 2Sam. 12:1). This is how David chiefly differed from King Saul. King Saul became a law unto himself, often doing things which were in opposition to the counsel of prophet/priest Samuel.


V. 1 reads: [There] was a famine in the days of David [over a period of] 3 years, year after year. Therefore, David sought the presence of Yehowah, and Yehowah said, “Regarding Saul and his house, [there is] bloodguilt because he put the Gibeonites to death.” A famine affects most people in the land; it is like a recession or a depression here in the United States. Suddenly, they are not producing enough food to sustain themselves. This leads to a downward spiral in the rest of the economy. In the ancient world, the bulk of the economy was driven by food production. A lack of rain at critical times would result in little or no crop production; which could then lead to the starving and diminishing of the herds which the Israelites had. Here, God ties this to the guilt of Saul, and not to global warming.


Application: We had a dramatic drop in the market in 2008 and a recession, as a result of the policies of our government. However, these policies could not have been put into effect unless the people acted upon them. People purchased houses that they could not afford, taking out loans that they were unable to pay back. The government made enough changes to the regulations concerning loans, so that those who normally would not qualify for a home loan were being offered home loans. This suddenly added millions of people into the housing market, which took a relatively fixed number of houses, and drove their prices skyward. It created what is called the housing bubble, where it was only a matter of time before the housing prices had to fall, the loan money dried up, and the loans taken out were not being paid back. This involved sinfulness throughout our economy—people would lie about their assets and ability to pay, and about their past credit problems (through rapid re-score); loan officers made millions giving out loans that they knew could not be repaid; government agencies tinkered with the market and the regulations to make all of this possible; and government officials refused to examine all that was happening, because the economy was booming because of this. My point in all of this is, everyone played a part in this evil—therefore, we should expect, as has happened, that there would be no true economic recovery. The recovery is dependent upon more than curing the evil economic policies, because the same people who went along with these—in the private sector and in government—are all still there. And huge numbers of people are standing there with their hands out, for more “government” money.


Application: A good leader ought to provide leadership and guidance when it comes to correcting past wrongs. David is not dealing with anything which he or his administration has done wrong; he is dealing with the sins of Saul against a sizable subset of the population in Israel.


Saul did this evil and Saul is dead. So, why is David responsible to deal with this problem?

The King and Israel in the Age of Israel

1.      God primarily worked through nation Israel, and through His kings, priests and prophets in Israel during the Age of Israel.

2.      This meant that God worked with those people through whom He could work. Near the end of Saul’s life, God could no longer influence Saul. In the time of Jesus, the priesthood of Israel had become completely corrupt.

3.      When the king and priests go too far astray, then God will tap certain men on the shoulder, and they will go as prophets to the king with God’s message.

4.      In this dispensation, those in nation Israel are responsible to write and assemble the Word of God; and then to preserve it and to make it available to as many as possible.

5.      Ideally speaking, the Word of God was to guide the king of Israel; and through the Levites and priests, it was to guide the people of Israel as well.

6.      The king represented God on earth; nation Israel represented God to the other nations.

7.      Other nations were to look to Israel and to recognize that theirs was the True God.

8.      When someone outside of Israel was positive to God at God consciousness, then quite often they would be put into contact with Israel or a representative of God’s in some way (like with Jonah, who was a missionary).

9.      If Israel behaved only with self-interest as the motivation; if the king only appeared to be interested in himself and his own welfare, then Israel became a weak witness to the world.

10.    God has with David a man who is desirous of doing the right thing as the king of Israel. So, when God puts this thing before David, David will work to find a solution for all those involved.

11.    Just as God has integrity, and stands by His Word; so David, as king of Israel, must show Israel, as God’s representative on earth, to have integrity and to stand by its treaties and agreements.

12.    Therefore, it does not matter that it was Saul who did wrong to the Gibeonites. David, now knowing of it, must do what is right by the Gibeonites.

As an end result, we can reasonably suppose that many Gibeonites believed in the God of David; the God of Israel.

I understand that many believers are primarily concerned, well, this was all a long time ago; what has this to do with me? You as an individual represent God to others; and what you do—throughout your life ought to reflect God’s integrity. You should not cheat others in business, as a tenant or as a landlord, when it comes to loans you have taken out or television dish or cell phones. It does not matter if you are dealing with another individual, or whether you are dealing with a business so huge, you could not determine who was in charge if your life depended upon it. When you sign a contract, then you need to adhere to the terms of that contract. Let me add to this, you are only responsible for one side of the contract—you are not responsible for the integrity of those on the other side of the contract—you are only responsible for your own integrity. As a believer in Jesus Christ, you represent God on earth, and when you make a deal with someone, they should be able to depend upon you to fulfill your obligations in that deal.

You also need to be reasonable to those with whom you have a contract. There are situations that they themselves sometimes find themselves in, making it very difficult and sometimes impossible to fulfill their responsibilities to you. That has to be taken into consideration. Again, you are responsible for your half of the contract—and once and a while, that has to be tempered with mercy.


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Guzik Footnote gives us these principles:

 

       God expects us to keep our promises

       God expects nations to keep their promises

       Time does not diminish our obligation to promises

       God's correction may come a long time after the offense


Kretzmann’s Commentary is an excellent commentary, which a phrase here or there is inserted into the King James’ translation; and it gives a good sense of the meaning of each verse. The only thing that would make this better is to replace the KJV text Footnote with the NKJV or the NASB text.

 

Kretzmann’s Commentary    The Difficulty with the Gibeonites Adjusted

Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year, three successive years, a fact which made the visitation seem a special punishment; and David enquired of the Lord, he sought the face of the Lord, by consulting with the high priest, after earnest prayer. And the Lord answered, It is for Saul and for his bloody house, the house upon which blood-guiltiness rested, because he slew the Gibeonites, he had put to death a number of those people to whom Joshua and the princes of Israel had sworn immunity, Joshua 9:15.


Why is this such a big deal to God? The Gibeonites are lying heathen. Why can’t Saul, if it is in the national interest, break the treaty which the Gibeonites initiated under false pretenses? If the Israelites, as representatives of God, make a treaty; then that treaty must hold up. They represent God. It would be as if we died, stood before Jesus, and He said, “Look, about this dying for your sins—I have changed My mind about that.” So, when the Israelites break a treaty—even one obtained under false pretenses—they are still representatives of God in all this—and this reflects badly on God and on His integrity.


Application: Your actions as a believer reflect upon God. When people know that you are a Christian, and you do thus and so, they notice; and some of them impute this to God or they say to themselves, “Another Christian hypocrite? I’m not surprised.”


Both sides of a treaty or a covenant ought to hold up their side of the agreement. A government highly influenced by Christianity ought to be absolutely honest and forthright in all agreements.


By the way, this is not unknown to the people up in Benjamin, as well as other northern tribes. When Saul began killing and causing great pain to the Gibeonites, all of his soldiers and most of the people in central Israel were aware of this. As believers, we do bear a corporate responsibility—particularly regarding the actions of our country and our government. There is a shared responsibility. A great many liberals believe this, but they are wrong about everything that our government does. What they want and like the government to do is generally wrong (waste more money; spend money on global warming projects); and what they think is terrible for our government to do (protect freedom around the world) is generally right.


One of the things which I have further suggested is, Saul took away home and lands from the Gibeonites; and he probably distributed this to his sons, making them culpable as well.


Who the Gibeonites are will be discussed in greater detail in the next verse.


——————————


And so calls the king to the Gibeonites and so he says unto them—and the Gibeonites [are] not from sons of Israel; they [were] that only from a remnant of the Amorite and sons of Israel had sworn to them. And so seeks Saul to strike them in his zeal for sons of Israel and Judah—...

2Samuel

21:2

So, the king called to the Gibeonites and he spoke to them. (Now, the Gibeonites were not from the sons of Israel; they were only from the remnant of the Amorites—but the sons of Israel has sworn peace and safety to them. But Saul sought to strike them down in his zeal for the sons of Israel and Judah.)

The king therefore summoned the Gibeonites to sort this out. Now, the Gibeonites were not from the sons of Israel; they were a remnant of the Amorites. However, the sons of Israel had sworn peace and safety to them. But Saul decided to attack them in order to curry favor with the sons of Israel and Judah.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          Then the king, calling for the Gabaonites, said to them: (Now the Gabaonites were not of the children of Israel, but the remains of the Amorrhites: and the children of Israel had sworn to them, and Saul sought to slay them out of zeal, as it were for the children of Israel and Juda:)

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so calls the king to the Gibeonites and so he says unto them—and the Gibeonites [are] not from sons of Israel; they [were] that only from a remnant of the Amorite and sons of Israel had sworn to them. And so seeks Saul to strike them in his zeal for sons of Israel and Judah—...

Peshitta (Syriac)                    So the king called the Gibeonites and said to them (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn to them, and Saul had sought to slay them in his zeal to cause the children of Israel and Judah to sin).

Septuagint (Greek)                So King David called the Gibeonites, and said to them (now the Gibeonites are not the children of Israel, but are of the remnant of the Amorite, and the children of Israel had sworn to them; but Saul sought to smite them in his zeal for the children of Israel and Judah).

 

Significant differences:           The Syriac adds the words to sin.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           So the king called for the Gibeonites and spoke to them.

(Now the Gibeonites weren't Israelites but were survivors of the Amorites. The Israelites had sworn a solemn pledge to spare them, but Saul tried to eliminate them in his enthusiasm for the people of Israel and Judah.)

Contemporary English V.       The Gibeonites were not Israelites; they were descendants of the Amorites. The people of Israel had promised not to kill them, but Saul had tried to kill them because he wanted Israel and Judah to control all the land. David had the Gibeonites come, and he talked with them.

Easy English                          (The *Gibeonites were not *Israelites. The *Gibeonites were a small group that remained from the people called Amorites. The *Israelites had promised to protect them but Saul tried to destroy them. Saul had been too eager to help the people of *Israel and *Judah.) So, the king called the *Gibeonites together and he spoke to them.

Easy–to–Read Version           The Gibeonites were not Israelites. They were a group of Amorites. The Israelites had promised them {that they would not hurt the Gibeonites} [This happened in Joshua’s time when the Gibeonites tricked the Israelites. See Joshua 9:3–15.]. But Saul tried to kill the Gibeonites. He did this because of his strong feelings for the people of Israel and Judah.)

Good News Bible (TEV)         (The people of Gibeon were not Israelites; they were a small group of Amorites whom the Israelites had promised to protect, but Saul had tried to destroy them because of his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah.)

The Message                         So the king called the Gibeonites together for consultation. (The Gibeonites were not part of Israel; they were what was left of the Amorites, and protected by a treaty with Israel. But Saul, a fanatic for the honor of Israel and Judah, tried to kill them off.)

New Century Version             (Now the Gibeonites were not Israelites; they were a group of Amorites who were left alive. The Israelites had promised not to hurt the Gibeonites, but Saul had tried to kill them, because he was eager to help the people of Israel and Judah.)

King David called the Gibeonites together and spoke to them.

The Voice                               (The Gibeonites were not from Israel-they were related to the Amorites. Saul tried to annihilate them in his zeal for Israel and Judah, although the people of Israel had promised to spare them during the days of Joshua.) So David called for the leaders of Gibeon.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          So, the king called the GibeOnites, and he said: 'Why, the GibeOnites aren't [really] IsraElites; they're just what is left of the Amorites. However, although the sons of IsraEl had sworn an oath to them, Saul attacked them in his zeal for the sons of IsraEl and Judah.'

Christian Community Bible     The Gibeonites were not of the people 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.

God’s Word                         (The Gibeonites were not a part of Israel but were left over from the Amorites. Although the Israelites had sworn to spare them, Saul, in his eagerness, tried to destroy them for Israel and Judah.) The king called the Gibeonites...

New Advent (Knox) Bible       The Gabaonites did not belong to Israel; they were of the old Amorrhite stock, and their lives had been spared in fulfilment of an oath, but Saul, jealous for the honour of Israel and of Juda, had tried to exterminate them. So king David summoned them, and asked what he could do to content them; what amends he could make, to recover their good will for the Lord's chosen people. V. 3 is included for context.

New American Bible (2011)   So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not Israelites, but survivors of the Amorites; and although the Israelites had given them their oath, Saul had sought to kill them off in his zeal for the Israelites and for Judah.) Jos 9:3-27.

NIRV                                      The people of Gibeon weren't a part of Israel. Instead, they were some of the Amorites who were still left alive. The people of Israel had promised with an oath to spare them. But Saul had tried to put an end to them. That's because he wanted to make Israel and Judah strong.

So now King David sent for the people of Gibeon and spoke to them.

New Simplified Bible              The Gibeonites were not a part of Israel but were left over from the Amorites. The Israelites swore to spare them. Saul, in his eagerness, tried to destroy them for Israel and Judah. The king called the Gibeonites.

Revised English Bible            (The Gibeonites were not of Israelite descent; they were a remnant of Amorite stock whom the Israelites had sworn that they would spare. Saul, however, in his zeal for Israel and Judah had sought to exterminate them.) King David summoned the Gibeonites, therefore, and said to them, ‘What can be done for you? How can I make expiation, so that you may have cause to bless the Lord’s own people?’ V. 3 is included for context.

Today’s NIV                          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.)


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      The king called the Gibeonites, and said to them, "The Gibeonites, they were not sons of Israel, but when the balance of the North-Jordanians swore to the sons of Israel, Saul sought to smite them in his jealousy for the sons of Israel and Judah."

Bible in Basic English             Then the king sent for the Gibeonites; now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but were the last of the Amorites, to whom the children of Israel had given an oath; but Saul, in his passion for the children of Israel and Judah, had made an attempt on their lives:...

The Expanded Bible              (Now the Gibeonites were not Israelites; they were ·a group of Amorites who were left alive [Lthe remnant of the Amorites]. The Israelites had ·promised [sworn; vowed; Josh. 9:14-15] not to hurt the Gibeonites, but Saul had tried to ·kill [annihilate; exterminate] them, because ·he was eager to help [of his zeal for] the people of Israel and Judah.)

King David called the Gibeonites together and spoke to them.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 The king consequently sent for the Gibaonites, and asked them ger the Gibaonites were not of the Children of Israel, but a remnant of the Amorites, to whom the Children of Israel had sworn, but Saul wished to exterminate them in his zeal for the Children of Israel and the Ever-living).

HCSB                                     The Gibeonites were not Israelites but rather a remnant of the Amorites. The Israelites had taken an oath concerning them, but Saul had tried to kill them in his zeal for the Israelites and Judah. So David summoned the Gibeonites and spoke to them.

NET Bible®                             So the king summoned the Gibeonites and spoke with them. (Now the Gibeonites were not descendants of Israel; they were a remnant of the Amorites. The Israelites had made a promise to [Heb "swore an oath to."] them, but Saul tried to kill them because of his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah.)

NIV, ©2011                             The king summoned the Gibeonites [S Jos 9:15] 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.)


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           The king summoned the Giv'onim and said to them - these Giv'onim were not part of the people of Isra'el but from the remnant of the Emori; and the people of Isra'el had sworn to them; but Sha'ul, in his zeal for the people of Isra'el and Y'hudah, had sought to exterminate them -...

exeGeses companion Bible   And the sovereign calls the Giboniy

and says to them

- now the Giboniy are not of the sons of Yisra El

but of the remnant of the Emoriy

- and the sons of Yisra El oathed to them:

- and Shaul sought to smite them in his jealousy

toward the sons of Yisra El and Yah Hudah:...

Hebrew Names Version         The king called the Giv`onim, and said to them (now the Giv`onim were not of the children of Yisra'el, but of the remnant of the Amori; and the children of Yisra'el had sworn to them: and Sha'ul sought to kill them in his zeal for the children of Yisra'el and Yehudah);...

Judaica Press Complete T.    And the king called the Gibeonites and said to them-now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn to them; but Saul (nevertheless) sought to slay them in his zeal for the sake of the children of Israel and Judah.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And HaMelech called the Giveonim, and said unto them; (now the Giveonim were not of the Bnei Yisroel, but of the remnant of the Emori; and the Bnei Yisroel had sworn unto them; and Sha'ul sought to annihilate them in his kinot (zeal) for the Bnei Yisroel and Yehudah.)

The Scriptures 1998              The sovereign therefore called the Giʽonites and spoke to them. Now the Giʽonites were not of the children of Yisraʼĕl, but of the remnant of the Amorites. And the children of Yisraʼĕl had sworn protection to them, but Shaʼul had sought to kill them in his ardour for the children of Yisraʼĕl and Yehuah.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Darby Translation                  And the king called the Gibeonites, and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remainder of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn to them; and Saul sought to smite them in his zeal for the children of Israel and Judah.)

English Standard Version      So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. Now the Gibeonites were not of the people of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites. Although the people of Israel had sworn to spare them, Saul had sought to strike them down in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah.

Kretzmann’s Commentary    And the king called the Gibeonites and said unto them; (now the Gibeonites, as the author here inserts for the sake of the people of his time, were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites, this name here designating the heathen nations of Canaan in general; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them; and Saul, disregarding the oath and the covenant, sought to slay, to exterminate, them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah;)

NASB                                     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 [Josh 9:3, 15-20] made a covenant [Lit had sworn to] with them, but Saul had sought to kill [Lit smite] them in his zeal for the sons of Israel and Judah).

New King James Version       So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. Now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; the children of Israel had sworn protection to them, but Saul had sought to kill them in his zeal for the children of Israel and Judah.

Syndein/Thieme                     And the king {David} called the Gibeonites, and said unto them (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites {now we learn the Hivites were remnants of the Amorites}; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal {the worst curse among believers is the stupid and zealous believer} to the children of Israel and Judah.)

Third Millennium Bible            And the king called the Gibeonites and said unto them (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them, but Saul sought to slay them in his zeal for the children of Israel and Judah)"

World English Bible                The king called the Gibeonites, and said to them (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn to them: and Saul sought to kill them in his zeal for the children of Israel and Judah);...

Young’s Updated LT             And the king calls for the Gibeonites, and says unto them—as to the Gibeonites, they are not of the sons of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorite, and the sons of Israel had sworn to them, and Saul seeks to strike them in his zeal for the sons of Israel and Judah.

 

The gist of this verse:          The Gibeonites had a non-aggression treaty with Israel, but Saul violated that treaty in his nationalistic zeal. King David calls them in to resolve the matter.


2Samuel 21:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qârâʾ (קָרָא) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to call, to proclaim, to read, to call to, to call out to, to assemble, to summon; to call, to name [when followed by a lâmed]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7121 BDB #894

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Gibeʿînîy (גִּבְעִנִי) [pronounced gibv-ģoh-NEE]

(little) hill, hilly, hill-city; transliterated Gibeonite

masculine plural, gentilic adjective with the definite article

Strong's #1393 BDB #149


Translation: So, the king called to the Gibeonites... David is familiar with the relationship between Israel and the Gibeonites. He has studied the Scriptures as they existed in his time, which included how the Gibeonites became a part of Israel back in the book of Joshua.


David does not go off half-cocked. He brings in witnesses to make a just decision.


2Samuel 21:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend; to decide; to answer

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39


Translation: ...and he spoke to them. It says that David said unto them; but then what follows is not a quotation, but a parenthetical section to tell the reader about the Gibeonites, in case they were not familiar with them.


The author leaves in the midst of David about to say something to the Gibeonites, and gives some background information on the Gibeonites. Then it will for a second time tell us that and so David says to the Gibeonites. This is not something I recall seeing anywhere else in the writing of the book of Samuel. This suggests to me that someone, with his own style, believed that this and a few other pieces of history ought to be recalled; and so he relayed these things here.


2Samuel 21:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Gibeʿînîy (גִּבְעִנִי) [pronounced gibv-ģoh-NEE]

(little) hill, hilly, hill-city; transliterated Gibeonite

masculine plural, gentilic adjective with the definite article

Strong's #1393 BDB #149

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

bânîym (בָּנִים) [pronounced baw-NEEM]

sons, descendants; children; people; sometimes rendered men

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Yiserâʾêl (יִשְׂרַאֵל) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

God prevails; contender; soldier of God; transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 & #3479 BDB #975


Translation: (Now, the Gibeonites were not from the sons of Israel;... At this point, we go into a parenthetical section. The author thinks about this and realizes that maybe the average reader does not know who the Gibeonites are. He is not going to go into great detail. He is simply going to say that this are not blood Israelites. So, first thing he says, The Gibeonites are not from the sons of Israel.


2Samuel 21:2d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hêmmâh (הֵמָּה) [pronounced haym-mawh]

they, those; themselves; these [with the definite article]

3rd person masculine plural personal pronoun

Strong’s #1992 BDB #241

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

ʾîm (אִם) [pronounced eem]

if, though; lo, behold; oh that, if only; when, since, though

primarily an hypothetical particle

Strong's #518 BDB #49

Together, kîy ʾîm (אִם כִּי) [pronounced kee-eem] act as a limitation on the preceding thought, and therefore should be rendered but, except, except that, unless and possibly only. However, these particles are not used in a limiting way if they follow an oath, a question or a negative. Then they can be rendered that if, for if, for though, that since, for if, but if, indeed if, even if; except for, but.

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

yether (יֶתֶר) [pronounced YEH-ther]

residue, remainder, [the] rest [of]

masculine singular construct

#3499 (#3498) BDB #451

ʾĔmôrîy (אֱמֹרִי) [pronounced eh-moh-REE]

mountaineer (possibly); and is transliterated Amorite

masculine singular, gentilic adjective; with the definite article

Strong’s #567 BDB #57


Translation: ...they were only from the remnant of the Amorites—... To be very specific, the Gibeonites were actually Hivites (Joshua 9:7 11:19), who are to be distinguished from the Amorites (Num. 13:29).


This is a good example where the term Amorite is used somewhat generically to describe the original population of the Land of Promise. The term Amorite is used elsewhere in a similar fashion where God does not permit Israel to take the land yet, because the iniquity (degeneracy) of the Amorite is not yet full (Gen. 15:16). In both cases, clearly Amorite is used as a generic term referring to all the indigenous peoples of the land before Israel moved in to take it. The term Amorite is also used in a general sense in Amos 2:9.


2Samuel 21:2e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bânîym (בָּנִים) [pronounced baw-NEEM]

sons, descendants; children; people; sometimes rendered men

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Yiserâʾêl (יִשְׂרַאֵל) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

God prevails; contender; soldier of God; transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 & #3479 BDB #975

shâbaʿ (שָבַע) [pronounced shawb-VAHĢ]

to swear, to imprecate, to curse, to swear an oath, to take a solemn oath, to swear allegiance

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal perfect

Strong's #7650 BDB #989

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: ...but the sons of Israel has sworn peace and safety to them. What had happened was, Joshua was invading the land, city after city. Knowing that their doom was nigh, the Gibeonites approached the sons of Israel as if they had come from some far country, far away; and they asked to make a treaty with the Israelites. Joshua agreed to this. However, it turned out that they were one of the next cities that Joshua would have attacked. However, Joshua could not go back on this treaty. This all takes place in Joshua 9 (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).


The Gibeonites believed in the power of the God of the Israelites so much that they decided amongst themselves to set up this deception in order to gain a treaty with the Israelites. This meant that most of the Gibeonites at that time were saved. Furthermore, there appears to have been a sustained peace between the Israelites and the Gibeonites for a long period of time. This incident which is being discussed occurred about 300 years after the treaty.

 

J. Vernon McGee: A treaty in that day (which some folk consider "uncivilized") was inviolate. When a treaty was made, the terms of the treaty were kept. Treaties were more than a scrap of paper. They were not made to be broken. In our day this matter of nations sitting around the conference table trying to make a treaty is almost laughable, because who will keep it? The average person has a right to be cynical about the way nations attempt to get along with each other. But when a nation is obeying God, its word is as good as its bond. Joshua made a treaty with the Gibeonites; but Saul came along and broke it. David attempted to make amends for Saul's actions, and he succeeded. Footnote


2Samuel 21:2f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bâqash (בָּקַש) [pronounced baw-KAHSH]

to seek, to search, to desire, to strive after, to attempt to get, to require, to demand, to ask, to seek with desire and diligence

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #1245 BDB #134

Shâʾûwl (שָאוּל) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

nâkâh (נָכָה) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat, to conquer, to subjugate

Hiphil infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong #5221 BDB #645

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

qânâʾ (קָנָא) [pronounced kaw-NAW]

to be jealous, to be envious; to be zealous for; to excite jealous anger; to become intensely red or black from dye

Piel infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #7065 BDB #888

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bânîym (בָּנִים) [pronounced baw-NEEM]

sons, descendants; children; people; sometimes rendered men

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Yiserâʾêl (יִשְׂרַאֵל) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

God prevails; contender; soldier of God; transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 & #3479 BDB #975

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Yehûwdâh (יְהוּדָה) [pronounced yehoo-DAW]

possibly means to praise, to be praised; and is transliterated Judah

masculine proper noun/location

Strong’s #3063 BDB #397


Translation: But Saul sought to strike them down in his zeal for the sons of Israel and Judah.) King Saul, who began as a wonderful king, went off the deep end on several occasions, going into an insanity which seemed to continue for longer, and longer periods of time. His thinking and what he did was quite irrational. Here, apparently without cause (and this is not recorded in Scripture, except here), Saul went after the Gibeonites and killed a great many of them; and restricted where they could live. This was completely outside of the plan of God.


Interestingly enough, Saul was not simply a man who liked bloodshed. He was told to wipe out all of the Amalekites—including their animal population—but he instead kept their king alive and the choicest of their animals (1Sam. 15:1–9). God gave very clear directives to Saul, and Saul often did exactly the opposite.

 

Peter Pett: From Saul’s narrow religious viewpoint, and in his varying moods, he wanted to be rid of the Gibeonites forever, because he saw them as a blot on his people. With that in view he had carried out a mass slaughter among them, and by doing so he and his followers had ignored Israel's permanently sacred oath, made in the sight of YHWH, with regard to them. His actions were thus themselves a blot on the whole of Israel, and we must remember in this regard that many Israelites must have assisted him in the venture, while most of them must have gone along with him in it. There is certainly no evidence at any time of any major objections. Thus this must not be seen as just the sin of one man. It was a sin in which all partook. All knew that the Gibeonites were under YHWH's direct protection, and must not be touched, and yet no one had seemingly lifted a finger to help them. Most probably felt that they had had it coming to them, and mention of his house as `his bloody house' almost certainly suggests that his family had continued the work that he had begun. Footnote


Peter Pett goes on to say that oaths were considered to be very serious matters in those days. This is because this was an oath made by Joshua of Israel to the Gibeonites. An oath which Joshua (or any leader made) was serious because Israel represents God on earth. Therefore, all oaths and treaties must be as if God made that oath or treaty.


Application: People are often confused about what is happening with our country, with gay marriage and with the attacks upon free speech on the college campuses. All of the degeneracy in our land is based upon a hatred for the Word of God. So, if the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin, our society wants to recognize that as a treasure. If someone says that homosexuality is a sin, that is classified as hate speech, and forbidden on some college campuses. A little further down, we will study the God and Nationalism. God is for nations; and Satan is for internationalism. Therefore, those who are opposed to Scripture will be in favor of internationalism and international solutions.


As a point of interest, God held Saul responsible for his actions, despite Saul’s mental illness.


Let’s take a quick look at the Gibeonites. Still to edit

The Gibeonites

The Gib'eonites. Under the leadership of Joshua, the Israelites had just crossed the Jordan River (Joshua 3) and captured the city of Jericho (chapter 6), and then Ai (chapters 7 and 8). The next city to come under attack by Israel almost certainly would be Gibeon, and the Gibeonites knew it.


Gibeon was a great city, and its warriors were among the best (10:2). We would have expected them to put up a fight, but these people chose to take a different approach. Like Rahab in Jericho, these Gibeonites believed that God had given the land of Canaan to Israel. They knew they did not have a chance if they waged war against Israel. They sent a delegation to the Israelites' camp, pretending to have made a long journey from a distant place. These envoys had placed old sacks and wineskins on their donkeys, and they wore old, tattered clothing, and brought along moldy bread and provisions. All of this gave a kind of credence to their claim that they had come from afar. The Israelites made a covenant of peace with this "distant" people. When the Israelites learned that they had been deceived, they wanted to kill the Gibeonites, but their recent covenant prevented them from doing so. And so the Israelites made the Gibeonites their slaves, using them to chop wood and to draw water, especially for the house of God (Joshua 9:16-17).


The Gibeonites' treaty with the Israelites saved them from death by the Israelites, but it also put them in danger with their fellow-Amorites. When five Amorite kings learned of the defection of the Gibeonites and their alliance with Israel, they viewed the Gibeonites as their enemies. These five kings banned together and set out to attack and destroy the Gibeonites (10:1-5). When the Gibeonites saw that they were under attack, they sent word to Joshua at Gilgal, asking for his help, which they got. (The treaty the Israelites made with the Gibeonites also assured these people of Israel's protection.) Joshua was assured by God that He would give them the victory: "Not a man of them shall stand before you" (10:8). Marching all night from Gilgal, Joshua routed the five Amorite kings with a great slaughter at Gibeon. As they fled from before Joshua, God brought down great hailstones on them, killing more with the hail than with the sword (10:11). Even so, the victory was not complete, and so Joshua prayed that God would cause the sun to stand still, giving the Israelites more time to destroy the Amorites. The sun stood still over Gibeon, so that there has never been a day of battle like it before or since. One can only wonder what these Gibeonites thought as they beheld the hand of God, and as they partook of God's blessings on His people, the Israelites.


The people of Gibeon, and perhaps also of the three cities associated with Gibeon, Joshua 9:17, –– Hivites; and who, on the discover of the stratagem by which they had obtained the protection of the Israelites, were condemned to be perpetual bondmen, hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation and for the house of God and altar of Jehovah. Joshua 9:23, 27.


Saul appears to have broken this covenant, and in a fit of enthusiasm or patriotism, to have killed some and devised a general massacre of the rest. 2Sam. 21:1–2, 5. This was expiated many years after, by giving up seven men of Saul's descendants to the Gibeonites, who hung them or crucified them "before Jehovah" –– as a kind of sacrifice –– in Gibeah, Saul's own town. 2Sam. 21:4, 6, 9.


In Exodus 23:32 the Jews were told not to make any treaties with the Hivites (Gibeonites were Hivites) or their gods and Deuteronomy 20:17, but that they were to destroy all the Hivites utterly. But in Joshua 9, the Gibeonites tricked Joshua into making a treaty with them. He did so in error, but did not go back on his word (two wrongs do not make a right). But when King Saul killed them, that broke the treaty and now God is punishing Israel for Saul doing so.


Their safety was covenanted by Israel (Joshua 9), even though obtained by a deceit, their ambassadors having taken old sacks and mended wineskins (the tear being tied up like a bag) and old mended sandals ("clouted," i.e. mended coarsely); but they were made "hewers of wood and drawers of water." Israel's error was in making the treaty without inquiring of the Lord; a warning to the church of all ages against the dissimulation of the world, which seeks admission and union with the kingdom of God without real conversion, faith, and sanctification, when it suits its own carnal advantage.


Saul in his zeal for Israel where God sanctioned it not, though wanting in zeal against Israel's foe Amalek (1Sam. 15:18–20) where God commanded Saul to slay him. However, in 2Samuel 21, in the dark closing period of his reign, Saul, seeking to atone for his deficiency as to Amalek and to win the divine favor and popularity with his people by this mis–timed and misplaced zeal, attacked the Gibeonites.


God remembers the sins of the fathers upon the children, and vindicates His righteousness as Ruler of the nations by making an entail of curse go down from one generation to another for the unexpiated guilt of bloodshed and violation of covenants. The three years' famine, the Lord's answer when consulted as to the cause, that it was "for Saul and his bloody house because he slew the Gibeonites." The execution of Saul's seven (seven, the sacred number, denotes the performance of a work of God) sons was not a contrivance by David to rid himself of the remainder of Saul's royal line. In fact, he showed by the honorable burial he gave their remains, and by sparing Mephibosheth, that he entertained no such feeling, nor had he by this time anything to fear from Saul's family.


The whole matter was divinely ordered to teach solemn moral lessons of God's government to the king and the nation (Ex. 20:5 34:7 Lev. 26:34–40 Num. 14:18–34 35:33, "blood it defileth the land, and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein but by the blood of him that shed it"; Isa. 14:20–21 65:6–7 Jer. 2:9 32:18). The "water dropping upon them (the hanged or crucified seven) out of heaven" marked the cessation of the heaven sent drought and the point of time when the bodies might be taken down from the stakes and buried. Ordinarily bodies were taken down for burial before night (Deut. 21:22–23); but in this case guilt rested on the whole land, and therefore the expiatory sacrifice was to remain exposed to birds of prey (the greatest ignominy, 1Sam. 17:44) before Jehovah, until the cessation of the drought showed that His wrath was appeased.

From Andrew Robert Fausset, Fausset’s Bible Dictionary; from e-Sword, topic: Gibeonites (edited).

Dr. William Smith, Smith’s Bible Dictionary; 1894; from e-Sword, topic: Gibeonites (edited).

From https://bible.org/seriespage/promise-breakers-and-promise-keepers-2-samuel-21 accessed March 4, 2014.

From http://syndein.com/ii_samuel_21.html accessed February 21, 2014.

Check my own references

Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Now might be a good time to review The Doctrine of Gibeon, Geba and Gibeah (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

 

Peter Pett: The thoroughness with which Saul had in fact carried out his task comes out in the extreme bitterness still prevalent among the Gibeonites these many years afterwards, although reference to his `bloody house' suggests that Saul's descendants had continued the action that he had begun, thus stoking up the bitterness (21:4-6). The Gibeonites may well have been driven into the hills and have consequently been living in appalling conditions. Consequently when YHWH was consulted about the severe famine, which must have occurred some way into David's reign (certainly after Mephibosheth had been drawn to his attention in chapter 9 but probably before Shimei's accusation that he had spilt the blood of the house of Saul), He chose to use the occasion in order to draw attention to the plight of the Gibeonites. Footnote


Saul apparently had some xenophobic, nationalistic fervor going; and he believed it would make him more popular to take down the foreigners which lived among them. Today, that would be like us turned against the Indians on the reservations and going in and killing them.


This is not the same as, however, supporting legislation to deal with illegal immigration in the United States and to enforce statues related to such immigration. Now, if we simply began executing illegal aliens, that would be similar to what Saul has done—except that we do not have any sort of treaty with aliens who come into the United States and overstay their VISA.


This is not an anti-immigration rant. We ought to have a sensible immigration system which works for business and betters our country. At this point, we have people being brought into the country who have no means of support except from the government. In my work, I have met several people—in their 30's—who are supported by taxpayer dollars with no expectation of that ever changing. I found out the hard way that, the worst tenant is often the tenant who has a lot of time on their hands because they are not working. You would think that they would spend all of their time keeping their house neat; this is not the case.


Believers should be squared away on the concept of nationalism. Nationalism is of God; internationalism if of Satan.

God and Nationalism

1.      There are five divine institutions; these are societal structures which apply to all societies over all periods of time.

         1)      The freedom of the human soul. God wants unbelievers to have the chance to believe in Jesus Christ; and for all believers in Jesus Christ to have the chance to learn Bible doctrine.

         2)      Fundamental to the human condition, whether fallen or in a pristine state, is work. Man was designed to work to provide for himself. Man worked in the garden before the fall; and man worked outside of the garden after the fall. There is no justification given for sloth in the Bible.

         3)      Marriage. God designed the male and female souls; and the male and female bodies to coalesce into an exclusive relationship between one man and one woman.

         4)      Family. God has designed the union of one man and one woman as the ideal structure within which to bring children into the world. They take the responsibility to raise these children to become responsible adults and growing Christians.

         5)      Each nation is designed for the autonomy of its citizens. They determine, through their relationship to God and their adherence to the laws of divine establishment the sort of nation, the direction of their nation. The national entity serves to perpetuate spiritual growth as well as to isolate national degeneracy.

2.      The principle of the national entity is given in Acts 17:26–27a “And God made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him.” We find a similar passage in Deut. 32:8 The Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, When He separated the children of men, He set the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel.

         1)      National entities continue for a period of time in a geographic location.

         2)      The idea is to provide law and order for a population so that they are able to seek God.

         3)      During the time of Israel, many would look to Israel for a revelation of the truth.

3.      There are certainly times when there are peoples within a national entity which retain some of their previous national identity—the example here is the Gibeonites, who remained not integrated into Israel, but who were subject to the national laws of Israel. They were also given protection under these same laws. That was the problem here. Saul did not afford them natural protection.

4.      God originally told men to spread out over the land. Instead, they congregation at the Tower of Babel. God gave them different languages in order to facilitate their being spread out over the earth. Gen. 9–10

5.      Divine institutions balance volition and authority. Rom.13:1–7 tells us the importance of the authority of the national entity (and other authorities within the entity): Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

6.      Obviously, nations can turn evil. Nationalism often contains that evil to one geographical place, and God will often judge that nation.

7.      To perpetuate the human race and bring history to its logical conclusion, God has designed the nation to protect the freedom and rights of the people within this nation and to protect the other people on this planet.

         1)      This does not mean that all nations are free.

         2)      Under the concept, a people get the government that they deserve, some governments are going to be oppressive, intrusive and over-bearing.

         3)      However, there will be freedom in some nations, which is often where the gospel and Bible doctrine spring from.

         4)      Furthermore, people from the outside will be drawn to a nation where there are many believers. Furthermore, it will be drawn to its customs and culture (often, what they are expressing is positive volition toward the gospel). This is why some foreigners move to the United States and become Christians and that nation’s greatest patriots.

8.      Ideally speaking, a nation provides equality under the law and a maximum amount of economic freedom for its citizens. Both of these ideals will result in an inequality of outcomes.

         1)      There must be a system of common law which prohibits crime and thereby protects the freedom, rights, life, and property of individuals. It must be a system of law which does not overstep the law by using the law to try to solve social problems. Law, therefore, must always be objective. Subjective distortion of the law uses legislation to invade individual rights, to steal personal property, and to erode human freedom; all in the name of the common good.

         2)      A government should not try to favor one sort of people over another (although, a government can show preference to divine institutions over human institutions, to the point of even outlawing the latter).

         3)      People are not born equal, and it is not up to the government to try to make them equal.

         4)      People use their unequal abilities to work. It is not the government’s job to look at me and Donald Trump, who are in similar businesses, and take from Donald Trump and give to me, because he is slightly better off than I am, as a result of our work.

         5)      A government should protect the freedom of its citizens; and therefore, it should not take money or opportunity from citizen A and given that to citizen B.

         6)      When a government, political candidate or political party encourages us to disobey the 10th commandment (we are not to covet the possessions of anyone else, even if they are rich), then we know that person or entity is wrong and they will lead our nation astray.

9.      There ought to be a common culture which reflects the spiritual life, morality, esprit de corps, nobility, patriotism, and integrity of a nation through its literature, art, music, and drama. One of the present weaknesses of the United States is, illegal aliens moving into the states and then maintaining their own national identity. Because of their illegal status, they make no attempt to enter into the American society. The same is true of Muslims in European society.

10.    There should be a system of government which functions under its power without abusing its power to destroy freedom and establishment. There should be an administrative body to represent the functions of taxation, law enforcement, honorable jurisprudence, maintenance of the military, and enforcement of law and order without the destruction of human freedom.

11.    Ideally speaking, the economy ought to be based on free enterprise and capitalism. Labor has no right to dictate the policy of management. Smart management always takes good care of its workers. Government, labor, or criminals do not have the right to superimpose their policy on management. The separation of business and state is an important distinction.

12.    Government ought not to disparage the divine institutions.

         1)      Democrats often talk about people working hard and yet not advancing in society as much as they think they ought to. Hard work is a good thing, and people who work hard, over time, will generally be successful in a free society.

         2)      Proposition 8, in California, was a definition of marriage as being the union of one man and one woman. The arrogant Judge Walker overturned this decision of the people. It is up to society to determine, under our form of government, what constitutes marriage and what does not. This judge created a right (the right for homosexuals to get married) out of whole cloth (which actually was not forbidden—no one was ever arrested for holding a “gay” wedding). Studies have shown that there are a variety of factors involved in people choosing to engage in homosexual activity, many of which have nothing to do with genetics (although genetics is a factor, but not a determining factor).

         3)      When government shows a preference to single motherhood by providing a myriad of benefits to single mothers (with a threat to permanently remove such benefits if that mother marries), the government is deciding against the institutions of marriage and family. We have studies which show that single parent homes produce far more criminals than do traditional family homes. By encouraging single-motherhood, a society destroys itself from the inside (by encouraging criminality).

13.    The national entity and the military:

         1)      The exterior protection of freedom comes through a strong, well-prepared military. Although the Bible does not give us a list of the great pacifists from this or that era, or the great businessmen; it does give us a list of the great soldiers from David’s time. This is one of the many ways that the Bible indicates great respect for the military. 2Sam. 23 1Chron. 11

         2)      The highest compliment which Jesus paid to a man was a military man because he understood authority and he understood Jesus’ authority. Furthermore, Jesus did not tell this man, “Put down your sword and follow Me.” Matt. 8:5–10

         3)      Wars are a part of human history. There is nothing that we can do to stave off war, apart from having a strong military. Matt 12:29 24:6 Luke 11:21

         4)      God both uses and blesses the military of a client nation. God used the Jews to destroy the great degeneracy of those nations in the land of Canaan. The destruction of all the people in Jericho is one example of many. Joshua 6

         5)      Failure of the military on the battlefield indicates lack of training, lack of self-discipline, poor equipment, but mostly lack of respect for authority and no spiritual motivation or incentive to fight.

         6)      Failure of the military means loss of freedom.

         7)      Therefore, freedom is always related to authority. Freedom without authority is anarchy; authority without freedom is tyranny.

         8)      The military establishment is an index to national character. Successful armies maintain freedom. This is why universal military training is an axiom in the laws of divine establishment, Num 1:2-3 31:3-5; Deut 24:5; Judges 3:1-2; 2 Sam 22:35; Ps 18:34, 144:1.

         9)      Military training is useless when the men of a nation are reversionistic, apostate, and degenerate. Draft dodgers, slackers, and deserters are sinful in the eyes of God, Num 32:6,7,14,20-23.

         10)    Antagonism toward authority destroys the function of the military as the instrument of freedom.

         11)    Military victory is the means of maintaining peace, not the modus operandi of politicians, Josh 11:23; Ps 46:7-9. Politicians generally are divorced from reality, saying "`Peace, Peace,' when there is no peace," Jer 6:13-14, 8:11.

14.    A government is a reflection of the souls of its citizens. The amount of positive or negative volition toward the gospel and toward Bible doctrine determine the direction of a nation.

15.    A client nation will have a significant number of believers with a significant subset of them who are growing spiritually. Their thinking and actions within the nation will determine whether or not that nation is a client nation to God.

16.    Joshua encouraged his own people, the nation Israel: “Be very careful, therefore, to love the LORD your God. For if you turn back and cling to the remnant of these nations remaining among you and make marriages with them, so that you associate with them and they with you, know for certain that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations before you, but they shall be a snare and a trap for you, a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good ground that the LORD your God has given you. And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one word has failed of all the good things that the LORD your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed. But just as all the good things that the LORD your God promised concerning you have been fulfilled for you, so the LORD will bring upon you all the evil things, until he has destroyed you from off this good land that the LORD your God has given you, if you transgress the covenant of the LORD your God, which He commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them. Then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and you shall perish quickly from off the good land that he has given to you.” (Joshua 23:11–16). A nation makes corporate decisions; decisions which are based upon thousands and millions of individual decisions. Quite obviously, these things are said to believers in Jehovah Elohim.

17.    If we reject His Word (negative volition toward Bible doctrine), God will reject us. Hosea 4:6–9 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. The more they increased, the more they sinned against me; I will change their glory into shame. They feed on the sin of my people; they are greedy for their iniquity. And it will be like people, like priest; I will punish them for their ways and repay them for their deeds.

18.    Good decisions of national leadership result in greater options for greater decisions. Bad decisions by the national leadership destroy freedom options and enslave the nation.

19.    The formation of the Jewish nation set up the perfect standard of what a national entity should be. The Biblical proof that nationalism is authorized by God is found in Gen. 10:5 Deut. 32:8 Acts 17:26-28.

         1)      Interior protection of freedom is provided through a proper system of law enforcement, jurisprudence, and a system of law whereby a person is innocent until proved guilty.

         2)      The exterior protection of freedom comes through a strong, well-prepared military.

         3)      A government of whatever category must protect the freedoms and rights of its citizens without interfering with those rights by the illegal use of power.

         4)      An economy must be based on free enterprise and capitalism. Labor has no right to dictate the policy of management.

         5)      There must be a system of common law which prohibits crime and thereby protects the freedom, rights, life, and property of individuals.

         6)      At the same time, the laws from the books of Moses were consistent with the traditions of the time.

20.    Satan is always on the attack against nationalism: Satan attacks with internationalism, which includes, but not limited to, the United Nations, communist movements (true communism, in theory, is a worldwide movement), Islamic terrorist groups, the so-called Green movement, and attempts by members of our own Supreme Court to appeal to or apply international laws or standards.

         1)      Again, in a Satanic attack, dishonesty is key.

         2)      The Green movement involves large amounts of money and socialism. Some proponents of this movement make millions of dollar on the movement (Al Gore, for example).

         3)      However, socialism has made inroads into the green movement as of late, and cap and trade type legislation and Kyoto agreements are means by which huge sums of money are transferred from the United States to poorer countries, with a large percentage of that being taken off the top by sponsors and heads of state.

         4)      You never hear, “Realistically, we have no idea if these billions of dollars in wealth transfer will have any affect upon global warming or not; we just want the money because we cannot run our own countries.” Or, “We just want to skim off our fair share off the top and pass the rest along.”

21.    Islam is an attack against nationalism.

         1)      Islam is an international movement.

         2)      Islam is not simply a religion; it is a universal system of law designed for all mankind.

         3)      Their end game is to establish control over nation after nation, and to destroy all opposition within that nation. However, they start small, establishing small but independent communities within a nation.

         4)      When Muslim population is low (1–2%), they are seen as a peace-loving minority. The United States, Australian, Canada, China, Italy and Norway all have Muslim populations below 2%. These figures are from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNN-K44Qv14 a video posted Aug. 5, 2009.

         5)      At 2–5%, major recruiting occurs within the jails. Denmar, German, the United Kingdom, Spain and Thailand have Muslim populations between 2–5%.

         6)      At 5% and above, Muslims exert an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. France, the Philippines, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Trinidad & Tobago all have Muslim populations between 5–8%.

         7)      When Muslims reach 20%, expect rioting, jihad militia formation, sporadic killings, as well as the burning of churches and synagogues. Ethiopia has a Muslim population of 33%. Bear in mind, there will be some overlapping in these categories, and some behaviors will be manifest if a particular area within a nation has a higher concentration of Muslims.

         8)      At 40%, there are widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks and ongoing militia warfare. Bosnia, Chad and Lebanon have Muslim populations between 40–60% (in my lifetime, Lebanon was once touted as a nation with a great mixing of religious.

         9)      At 60% and above, there will be unfettered persecution of non-believers and other religions, as well as ethnic cleansing. Sharia Law is used as a weapon and Jizya, a tax which is placed upon infidels. Albania, Malaysia, Qatar and the Sudan have Muslim populations between 60–80%.

         10)    At 80% and above, there will be state-sponsored ethnic cleansing and genocide. Bangladesh, Egypt, Ezaz, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Syrian, Tajikistan, Turkey and the U.A.E. have Muslim populations in the 80 and 90% ranges.

         11)    At 100%, there is supposed to be peace, because everyone is a Muslim. Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen are nearly at 100%. However, at this point, they kill one another for being of the wrong faction or not being dedicated enough.

22.    My theory is this: Satan is the great counterfeiter and he understands the Tribulation and the Jewish evangelism in the Tribulation (Jews will be scattered throughout the earth at that time). What he would like is, a counterfeit Tribulation, where Muslims are the evangelists during a time of great terror and suffering. This will be a world war, possibly called the Great American-Muslim (or Christian-Muslim) war in the 21st century. I am not the only person who sees this as inevitable. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvGe6VmYo7g is one of many videos with this same theme.

23.    When R. B. Thieme, Jr. used to speak of the Great Tribulation with the Revived Roman Empire attacking Israel, that made no sense to me. However, as an Islamic empire, such a thing makes perfect sense.

24.    Revolution is also anti-God and anti-establishment.

         1)      We have the example of Absalom’s revolution against his father David (2Sam. 15).

         2)      Of course, we have the examples of Dathan and Abiram revolting against Moses in Num. 16.

         3)      More importantly, we have the example of the Jews resisting Roman authority and revolting as Rome; and God allowed them to be put down in a.d. 70. Paul wrote to the believers in Rome: Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience (Rom. 13:1–5). This was written at a time when Rome was not too friendly to Christians.

         4)      The results of the French and Russian revolutions argue against revolution; despite the problems with existing governance.

         5)      The American Revolution was not a true revolution. Our founding fathers did not want to destroy the governing authorities of Britain and take control of Great Britain. They sought first representation in government; and secondly, when no such representation was forthcoming, independence from Britain. Quite obviously, all of our founding fathers had sin natures, so that some of the things which were said and done were wrong. However, our founding fathers sought not to depose the British government, but to become independent of it. Therefore, the American Revolution is a misnomer and the American War for Independence is more accurate of a designation.

Some of these points come from The Fifth Divine Institution—Human Government and Nationalism, which is in the appendix of Liberalism, Conservatism and Christianity (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


This phrase: But Saul sought to strike them down in his zeal for the sons of Israel and Judah.) is designed to be in contrast with David, who sought the face of God. This particular writer appears to use several clever literary devices in his writing.


——————————


And so says David unto the Gibeonites, “What should I do to you [all] and in how will I a covering?” And they blessed an inheritance of Yehowah.

2Samuel

21:3

David said to the Gibeonites, “What should I do for you [all] and how could I obtain forgiveness [from you] that you will then bless the inheritance of Yehowah?”

David said to the Gibeonites, “What could I do for you and how may I obtain forgiveness from you, so that you will bless the inheritance of Jehovah?”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          David therefore said to the Gabaonites: What shall I do for you? and what shall be the atonement or you, that you may bless the inheritance of the Lord?

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says David unto the Gibeonites, “What should I do to you [all] and in how will I a covering?” And they blessed an inheritance of Yehowah. See the Hebrew exegesis on this.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Wherefore David said to the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? And with what shall I make an atonement to you, that you may bless the heritage of the LORD?

Septuagint (Greek)                And David said to the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? And with what shall I make atonement, that you may bless the inheritance of the Lord?

 

Significant differences:           The final phrase appears to be different in person and mood, but that will be explained in the Hebrew exegesis.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           David said to the Gibeonites, "What can I do for you? How can I fix matters so you can benefit from the Lord's inheritance?"

Contemporary English V.       He said, "What can I do to make up for what Saul did, so that you'll ask the LORD to be kind to his people again?"

Easy English                          He asked, `What can I do for you? I want to make matters right. Then you can *bless the *Lord's people.'

Easy-to-Read Version            David 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?”

New Berkeley Version           David said to the men of Gibeon, “What am I to do in your behalf? By what means can I atone for this, so you will invoke prosperity for the Lord’s inheritance?”

New Century Version             He asked, "What can I do for you? How can I make up for the harm done so you can bless the Lord's people?"

New Life Bible                        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?"

The Voice                               David: What can I do, what can I give you, to lift this guilt from my land so that you will honor the Eternal's chosen people?


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Then David asked the GibeOnites: 'What must I do for you. what must I do to [pay for our sins], and to get you to bless the inheritance of Jehovah?'

Christian Community Bible     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 Yahweh?”

New American Bible (2011)   David said to the Gibeonites, "What must I do for you and how must I make atonement, that you may bless the heritage of the LORD?"

NIRV                                      He asked them, "What would you like me to do for you? How can I make up for the wrong things that were done to you? I want you to be able to pray that the Lord will once again bless his land."

New Jerusalem Bible             'What can I do for you? How can I make amends, so that you will call a blessing down on Yahweh's heritage?'

New Simplified Bible              He asked them: »What can I do for you? What shall I give you to make peace with you so that you will bless what belongs to Jehovah?«


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             So David said to the Gibeonites, What may I do for you? how am I to make up to you for your wrongs, so that you may give a blessing to the heritage of the Lord?

English Jubilee 2000              Therefore, David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? And with what shall I make reconciliation that ye may bless the inheritance of the LORD?

The Expanded Bible              He asked, "What can I do for you? How can I make ·up [amends; expiation; atonement] for the harm done so you can bless the Lord's ·people [Linheritance]?"

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 David asked the Gibaonites `What can I do for you? And by what can I make amends? So that you will bless the inheritance of the Ever-living?”

NET Bible®                             David said to the Gibeonites, "What can I do for you, and how can I make amends so that you will bless [After the preceding imperfect verbal form, the subordinated imperative indicates purpose/result. S. R. Driver comments, ".the imperative is used instead of the more normal voluntative, for the purpose of expressing with somewhat greater force the intention of the previous verb" (S. R. Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Books of Samuel, 350).] the Lord's inheritance?"


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           David said to the Giv'onim, "What should I do for you? With what should I make atonement, so that you will be able to bless ADONAI's heritage?"

exeGeses companion Bible   ...- yes, David says to the Giboniy,

What work I for you?

Wherewith kapar/atone I for you

so that you bless the inheritance of Yah Veh?

Orthodox Jewish Bible           Therefore Dovid said unto the Giveonim, What shall I do for you? And wherewith shall I make the kapporah, that ye may bless the nachalat Hashem?


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Context Group Version          And the king called the Gibeonites, and said 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 sworn to them: and Saul sought to kill them in his zeal for the sons of Israel and Judah ); and David said to the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you { pl } and how shall I make atonement, that you { pl } may esteem the inheritance of YHWH? V. 2 is included for context.

English Standard Version      And David said to the Gibeonites, "What shall I do for you? And how shall I make atonement, that you may bless the heritage of the LORD?"

The Geneva Bible                  Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the LORD? With what may your wrath be appeased, that you may pray to God to remove this plague from his people.

Kretzmann’s Commentary    ...wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? And wherewith shall I make the atonement, expiate the wrong done and appease the Lord's anger, that ye may bless the inheritance of the Lord? He wanted them to change their maledictions upon Israel into blessings.

New RSV                               David said to the Gibeonites, `What shall I do for you? How shall I make expiation, that you may bless the heritage of the Lord?'

World English Bible                ...and David said to the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? And with what shall I make atonement, that you may bless the inheritance of Yahweh?

Young’s Updated LT             Yea, David says unto the Gibeonites, “What do I do for you? And with what do I make atonement? And bless you [all] the inheritance of Jehovah.”

 

The gist of this verse:          David asks the Gibeonites what can he do to make up for the evil that Saul did.


2Samuel 21:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend; to decide; to answer

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Gibeʿînîy (גִּבְעִנִי) [pronounced gibv-ģoh-NEE]

(little) hill, hilly, hill-city; transliterated Gibeonite

masculine plural, gentilic adjective with the definite article

Strong's #1393 BDB #149

mâh (מָה) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why

interrogative; exclamatory particle

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: David said to the Gibeonites, “What should I do for you [all]... We go back to what David was saying. He asks the Gibeonites what he could do for them.


That this occurred early on in the divided kingdom makes the most sense. That way, David would be interacting with many Gibeonites who were subject to Saul’s persecution or saw the actions of that persecution.


2Samuel 21:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

mâh (מָה) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why

interrogative; exclamatory particle (with the definite article)

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

Bammâh (בַּמָּה) [pronounced bahm-MAW] means wherein, wherewith, by what means. This combination of particles is often used for indirect questions and can be rendered in what?, in what thing?, on what account?, why?, how?, in what way?, by what means?

kâphar (כָּפַר) [pronounced kaw-FAHR]

to cover, to cover over [with], to be covered [with]; to spread over; to appease, to placate, to pacify; to pardon, to expiate; to atone; to obtain forgiveness; to free an offender of a charge

1st person singular, Piel imperfect

Strong's #3722 BDB #497

"Since the verb kipper ["atonement"] is used absolutely here, it is impossible to say from the construction alone whether it means to propitiate [satisfy] or to expiate [remove]. From the context, however, it is clear that it means both. David is seeking both to satisfy the Gibeonites and to 'make up for' the wrong done to them. It is equally clear that he cannot achieve the latter with the former. There is no expiation [removal] without propitiation [satisfaction]." [Note: Paul Garnet, "Atonement Constructions in the Old Testament and the Qumran Scrolls," Evangelical Quarterly 46:3 (July-September 1974):134.] Footnote


Translation: ...and how could I obtain forgiveness [from you]... He also asks what it is that he could do that would cover over this offense. So, you will notice that David is treating this foreign people with great respect.


The word used here is the Piel imperfect of kâphar (כָּפַר) [pronounced kaw-FAHR], which means to cover, to cover over [with], to be covered [with]; to spread over; to appease, to placate, to pacify; to pardon, to expiate; to atone. Strong's #3722 BDB #497. What had been done against the Gibeonites could never be undone. At best, the evil done by Saul could be covered over, which the Gibeonites would then accept. Heb. 9:22 tells us: And almost all things are purified by blood according to the Law; and apart from shedding of blood no remission occurs. There is no easy way to deal with the evil that Saul did.


At this point, David knows enough to know that what Saul did was wrong; and that these people were harmed greatly by his actions.


2Samuel 21:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bârake (בָּרַ) [pronounced baw-RAHKe]

to bless; to kneel down, to bend the knees, and therefore to invoke God, to ask for a blessing, to bless; also to praise, to salute, to curse

3rd person plural, Qal perfect (which appears to be equivalent to the 2nd person masculine plural, Piel imperative)

Strong’s #1288 BDB #138

Although many of the translations translate this as a 2nd person masculine plural, in my Hebrew Bible, it is clearly a 3rd person plural (which is how Owen identifies it as well). This is confirmed in the 1st column at qBible.com, but the 3rd column claims that it is a Piel imperative. It may turn out that this is written one way, but read the other.

The NET Bible explains: After the preceding imperfect verbal form, the subordinated imperative indicates purpose/result. S. R. Driver comments, ".the imperative is used instead of the more normal voluntative, for the purpose of expressing with somewhat greater force the intention of the previous verb" (S. R. Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Books of Samuel, 350). Footnote

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

nachălâh (נַחֲלָה) [pronounced nah-khuh-LAW]

inheritance, possession, property, heritage

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #5159 BDB #635

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: ...that you will then bless the inheritance of Yehowah?” You will note that there appears to be some problems with the text here. Usually, Owen warns me of that, but he did not this time. I just saw that his translation and everyone else’s was different. The explanation is in the Hebrew exegesis above. Apparently, this can be read either as a 2nd person masculine plural imperative or as a 3rd person plural imperfect.


Ideally speaking, what a country needs is its believers lined up together, pulling the same way, as it were. Now, I am not necessarily speaking about believers all voting the same way (although they ought to be voting similarly in a democracy); but this is not a democracy. David is going to be king over all Israel for 33 years. But, what is good for a nation is, the believers are praying to God, and praying the same thing. When believers speak this or that, whatever it is that gets put out into the world is blessing for client nation Israel.


The idea here is not that the Gibeonites were about to stage a revolt or a war for independence from Israel. The idea is, they were wronged—seriously wronged—by Israel’s king. And David sought to make up for this.


Application: In the United States, communist and socialist forces have managed to drive a great wedge between our parties, and a part of that is a phoney representation of what Christianity is as related to the governing entity. They have managed to distort compassion into a welfare state. There is no true compassion on the left; the idea is, those who are supported by the state will give to them more and more power, because they receive in return an income for doing nothing but filling out federal forms and adhering to whatever non-work requirements are laid out. Furthermore, all of the dependence upon God is transferred over to the state.


Application: This does not mean that the government should not do anything on behalf of the helpless; and certainly, private parties ought to be acting on behalf of the helpless. But there are huge numbers of people in the United States, in their 30's and 40's collecting government checks for doing nothing. This violates Biblical principles. Work is the second divine institution; Adam worked both in innocence in the Garden and later after he sinned. 2Thess. 3:10 reads: If anyone does not desire to work, neither let him eat. The book of Proverbs is filled with encouragement to work, to work hard, and to save. Sloth is everywhere condemned in Scripture.


Application: This in no way means that we ignore the helpless; and we do nothing to help the downtrodden. But a young person (and I mean 50 or younger) with most of his faculties should not receive a check from the government. Women should not be given money simply to have children.


This is completely new, and has never been proposed by anyone before. It is a program which would work best on the local level—for cities or counties; and in some cases, for states.

One Solution to America’s Welfare Programs

1.      If we knew how much was going to all of the various welfare programs, we would be collectively shocked as a nation. Our government has spread these programs across local, state and federal agencies; and these agencies are located in a variety of departments. If we had a Department of Welfare, where all forms of welfare interfaced, we would be shocked at the amount that is spent. My guess is somewhere between $1–2 trillion.

2.      What we need is a website, accessed by two sets of people: welfare recipients (of all types; housing, direct payments, food stamp recipients; etc.); and taxpayers.

3.      I as a taxpayer would go to this website and put in my zip code and neighborhood, and up would come a list of people who receive government support payments and how far they live from me.

4.      These people would list their skills, which might include babysitting, making meals, cleaning house, sitting with an old person, mowing lawns, weeding, etc.—skills that nearly every person has. Also, they would include their transportation ability (do they have a vehicle; can someone drive them; would they have to walk?).

5.      I, as a taxpayer, would go to this site and phone up Lucy Van Pelt, for instance, and say that I am willing to pay $5/hour to have her clean my house; or $4/hour to sit up with my sick mother and to make her a meal; or whatever. I would not be paying minimum wage because I already pay taxes and these taxes go to pay for this person’s government assistance.

6.      There would be feedback on this site. Under Lucy Van Pelt’s profile, we might find out that she showed up drunk or she smelled bad or that she did not do the work required of her (and there would be positive comments as well). Under my profile, there might be comments like, “I worked for 8 hours but got payed for 6.” “Check bounced.” “He agreed to one price, but paid a lower price.” Or, “Good tipper; pleasant person to work for.”

7.      None of this would be reported to the government. We might be asked to take a survey now and again. Welfare recipients would have to report their income and pay taxes on it.

8.      Children of welfare recipients could post on this site as well, offering their own services (babysitting, yard work, sitting with older adults).

9.      Simultaneous to this, welfare payments would be frozen or reduced by 10% every year, since most people would have the opportunity to make up the extra amount by doing work like this. The more a person is willing to work, the more additional money they are able to make.

10.    A person who leaves welfare altogether would be allowed one additional year on this site to ply their skills, to help get them started in their own personal business (housecleaning, babysitting, whatever). They could list whatever skills they had and the price they would be willing to work for.

This would get many people used to welfare used to selling themselves and used to working; and used to developing the skills necessary for work. Obviously, some people might call upon them for temp work and teach them new skills related to the temp work (filing, inventory, painting, plumbing, electrical).

The biggest problem in this system is the government’s desire to add in additional paperwork.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Now, back to David and the injustices perpetrated against the Gibeonites:


Justice must be a part of the fabric of any client nation to God.

What Problem is David Solving with the Gibeonites?

1.      The Gibeonites were a non-Israelite population which lived in Israel.

2.      Although they used deception in order to obtain a treaty with Israel, their fear of the God of Israel is what caused them to make this treaty.

3.      So, what we have here is racially and culturally diversity within nation Israel.

4.      Saul had sought to wipe this out by making the lives of Gibeonites miserable. He killed many of them and made it impossible for them to settle peacefully anywhere.

5.      We have no evidence that they deserved this sort of treatment. In this passage, Saul, due to his zealotry is shouldered with the responsibility of this persecution. Our own understanding of Saul’s persecution of David suggests that he could be irrational and vicious toward those he perceived as enemies.

6.      Bear in mind that the Gibeonites became a part of Israel back in the days of Joshua, which was around 1400 b.c. This incident takes place roughly 400 years later. Therefore, there is no country where the Gibeonites can go to; Israel is their homeland.

7.      The way that this section might be relevant to what we have recently studied is, King David just faced 2 revolutions and defeated his enemies in those revolutions. What the Gibeonites might become is a revolutionary force which could be harnessed by an Absalom or any other revolutionary figure.

8.      David, therefore, needs to see needs of the Gibeonites.

9.      Furthermore, a sense of justice demands that David deal with Saul’s persecution of the Gibeonites. This stands in stark contrast to David not treating his sons Amnon or Absalom in justice.

When there is clear injustice suffered by a segment of the population, whoever leads the country must properly deal with this injustice. This was done in the United States when we took the lands of Japanese Americans who lived in California, and placed them into interment camps. There was a concern that these people might turn against us during the war. This took place about 1942 under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Many years later, President Gerald Ford proclaimed that the internment was "wrong," and a "national mistake" which "shall never again be repeated." Both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush signed legislation which provide reparations primarily to the sons and daughters of those whose lands were taken. George H. W. Bush also issued another public and formal apology on the 50th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor Day Attack. This is what a fair and just government does.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


v. 3 reads: David said to the Gibeonites, “What could I do for you and how may I obtain forgiveness from you, so that you will bless the inheritance of Jehovah?” One of the great principles here, which is often ignored, is a nation is blessed (or cursed) by his sub-populations. The reason for the blessing would be that some of them are believers and some of them are maturing believers. That will cause blessing to come to any nation.


Application: Throughout the first half of the 20th century, a very nigh percentage of Blacks were Christian believers; and this brought great blessing upon the United States, as well as upon the Negro peoples in the United States. If memory serves, prior to the Great Depression, unemployment for Blacks was 3.1% and 3.2% for whites. Unfortunately, there was great lawlessness and greed throughout the United States in the 1920's and 1930's.


It is a great blessing and a testimony if the Gibeonites are in Israel and happy about that. This is what we ought to expect, as Israel is a nation led by the God of the Universe. If the Gibeonites believe that they have been treated unfairly—which they had been—they make Israel look bad, and, by extension, God. Therefore, God puts the pressure upon Israel (through a famine) to make things right.


——————————


And so say to him the Gibeonites, “[There is] not to me silver and gold with Saul and with his house.” “[There is] not to us a man to die in Israel.” And so he says, “What are you saying I do for you?”

2Samuel

21:4

The Gibeonites said to him, “[There is] no silver or gold to me from Saul and from his house.” “[There is] no man to die for us in Israel.” So he said, “What are you saying [that] I [should] do for you?”

One Gibeonite said, “We have never received any monetary compensation from Saul or his estate.” Others said, “No man has died for this crime.” So David said, “What are you saying that I should do for you?”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And the Gabaonites said to him: We have no contest about silver and gold, but against Saul and against his house: neither do we desire that any man be slain of Israel. And the king said to them: What will you then that I should do for you?

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so say to him the Gibeonites, “[There is] not to me silver and gold with Saul and with his house.” “[There is] not to us a man to die in Israel.” And so he says, “What are you saying I do for you?”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And the Gibeonites said to him, It is not silver and gold that Saul and his house owe us; neither do we wish to kill any one in Israel. And he said to them, Whatever you shall say, that will I do for you.

Septuagint (Greek)                And the Gibeonites said to him, We have no question about silver or gold with Saul and with his house; and there is no man for us to put to death in Israel. And he said, What do you ask? Speak, and I will do it for you. The Greek numbers this verse differently from the Hebrew.

 

Significant differences:           The Syriac and Latin add some words in the first phrase spoken by the Gibeonites, because it is difficult to determine exactly what is being said apart from adding a few additional words. Most of the English translations do the same thing. The second phrase is very similar to the first, so additional words appear to be added in the Syriac and the Latin.

 

In the final thing that David says, it appears to be a question in the Hebrew. The Syriac presents it as a statement; the Greek breaks it up into a question and a statement.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           The Gibeonites said to him, "We don't want any silver or gold from Saul or his family, and it isn't our right to have anyone in Israel killed."

"What do you want?" [LXXL, OL; MT What are you saying?] David asked. "I'll do it for you."

Contemporary English V.       The Gibeonites answered, "Silver and gold from Saul and his family are not enough. On the other hand, we don't have the right to put any Israelite to death." David said, "I'll do whatever you ask."

Easy English                          The *Gibeonites answered, `We do not want Saul and his family to pay us with silver and gold. And we do not want to kill anyone in *Israel.'

So David asked, `What do you want me to do for you?'

Easy-to-Read Version            The 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.”

Good News Bible (TEV)         They answered, "Our quarrel with Saul and his family can't be settled with silver or gold, nor do we want to kill any Israelite." "What, then, do you think I should do for you?" David asked.

New Berkeley Version           “We are not concerned with silver or gold in the matter of Saul and his family,” the Gibeonites answered him, “nor do we have the right to put a man to death in Israel.” “What do you say I should do for you?” he asked.

New Century Version             The Gibeonites said to David, "We cannot demand silver or gold from Saul or his family. And we don't have the right to kill anyone in Israel."

Then David asked, "What do you want me to do for you?"

New Life Bible                        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."

New Living Translation           "Well, money can't settle this matter between us and the family of Saul," the Gibeonites replied. "Neither can we demand the life of anyone in Israel."

"What can I do then?" David asked. "Just tell me and I will do it for you."

The Voice                               Gibeonite Leaders: Silver and gold won't make things right for us with Saul's kingdom. And it is not for us to tell you who should be subject to capital punishment in Israel.

David: I will do whatever you ask.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And the GibeOnites replied: 'The problem can't be paid for with silver or gold by Saul and his house; and there's no one left for us to put to death in all Israel.'

And [David] asked: 'Then, what can I do for you?'

Beck’s American Translation          “We want no silver or gold from Saul and his family,” the Gibeonites answered him. “And none of us want to kill anyone in Israel.”

“What do you say I should do for you?” he asked.

Christian Community Bible     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”; and they replied, “That man slaughtered us and planned our destruction so that we would no longer occupy any place in Israel. V. 5 is included for context.

God’s Word                         "We do not want silver or gold from Saul's family," the Gibeonites answered him. "And none of us wants to kill anyone in Israel." The king asked, "What are you saying that I should do for you?"

New Advent (Knox) Bible       Of silver and gold, the Gabaonites told him, there is no question here; our quarrel is with Saul and his kin; we would not take any toll of Israelite lives. What would you have me do, then? the king asked.

New American Bible (2011)   The Gibeonites answered him, "We have no claim against Saul and his house for silver or gold, nor is it our place to put anyone to death in Israel." Then he said, "I will do for you whatever you propose."

NIRV                                      The people of Gibeon answered him. They said, "No amount of silver or gold can make up for what Saul and his family did to us. And we can't put anyone in Israel to death."

"What do you want me to do for you?" David asked.

New Jerusalem Bible             The Gibeonites replied, 'Our quarrel with Saul and his family cannot be settled for silver or gold, nor by putting to death one man in Israel.' David said, 'Say what you want and I will do it for you.'

New Simplified Bible              The Gibeonites responded: »Our quarrel with Saul and his family cannot be settled with silver or gold. We do not want to kill any Israelite.« What do you want me to do?« David asked

Revised English Bible            The Gibeonites answered, ‘Our feud with Saul and his family cannot be settled in silver or gold, and there is no other man in Israel whose death would content us.’ ‘Then what do you want me to do for you?’ asked David.

Today’s NIV                          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.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      The Gibeonites said to him, "For us? Not ||with|| silver and gold from Saul and his house! And no man dies for us in Israel." He said, "Whatever you say, I will do for you."

Bible in Basic English             And the Gibeonites said to him, It is not a question of silver and gold between us and Saul or his family; and it is not in our power to put to death any man in Israel. And he said, Say, then, what am I to do for you?

The Expanded Bible              The Gibeonites said to David, "We cannot ·demand [settle this with] silver or gold from Saul or his ·family [Lhouse]. And ·we don't have the right [Lit's not for us] to kill anyone in Israel."

Then David asked, "·What do you want me to do for you [Tell me what to do and I will do it]?"

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 And the Gibaonites replied to him, “We will not take silver or gold from Saul or his family, and no man shall be killed in Israel for us.”

Then he said, “Whatever you ask I will do for you.”

NET Bible®                             The Gibeonites said to him, "We [The translation follows the Qere and several medieval Hebrew mss in reading לָנוּ (lanu, “to us”) rather than the MT לִי (li, “to me”). But for a contrary opinion see S. R. Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Books of Samuel, 53, 350.] have no claim to silver or gold from Saul or from his family [Heb "house."], nor would we be justified in putting to death anyone in Israel." David asked [Heb "and he said"; the referent (David) has been specified in the translation for clarity.], "What then are you asking me to do for you?"

NIV, ©2011                             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." [Num. 35:33-34]

"What do you want me to do for you?" David asked.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           The Giv'onim said to him, "Our dispute with Sha'ul can't be resolved with silver or gold; and we don't have the right to put anyone in Isra'el to death." He said, "So, what do you say that I should do for you?"

exeGeses companion Bible   And the Giboniy says to him,

We have silver and gold

neither of Shaul nor of his house;

nor for us to deathify any man in Yisra El.

And he says, Whatever you say, I work for you.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               The Gibeonites answered him, “We have no claim for silver or gold against Saul and his household; and we have no claim on the life of any other man in Israel.” And [David] responded, “Whatever you say I will do for you.”

Judaica Press Complete T.    And the Gibeonites said to him, "We have no matters of silver and gold with Saul, or with his house, and we care not to put to death any man in Israel." And he said, "What do you request that I shall do for you?"

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And the Giveonim said unto him, We will have no kesef nor zahav of Sha'ul, nor of his bais; neither for us shalt thou kill any ish in Yisroel. And he said, What ye shall say, that will I do for you.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                The Gibeonites said to him, We will accept no silver or gold of Saul or of his house; neither for us shall you kill any man in Israel. David said, I will do for you what you say.

Context Group Version          And the Gibeonites said to him, It is no matter of silver or gold between us and Saul, or his house; neither is it for us to put any man to death in Israel. And he said, What you { pl } shall say, that I will do for you { pl }.

English Standard Version      The Gibeonites said to him, "It is not a matter of silver or gold between us and Saul or his house; neither is it for us to put any man to death in Israel." And he said, "What do you say that I shall do for you?"

The Geneva Bible                  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 any man [Save only of Sauls stock.] in Israel. And he said, What ye shall say, [that] will I do for you.

Green’s Literal Translation    And the Gibeonites said to him, We will have neither silver nor gold by Saul and by his house. Also, we will have no man in Israel put to death. And he said, What you say, I will do for you.

Kretzmann’s Commentary    And the Gibeonites said unto him, we will have no silver nor gold of Saul, they wanted no compensation of money in exchange for the blood shed by Saul, nor of his house; neither for us shalt thou kill any man in Israel, they had no right to put any one to death; they wanted blood revenge, but could not proceed without the consent and command of David. And he said, What ye shall say, that will I do for you. It is really a question asking them to express themselves more exactly, to state their request in specific terms.

NASB                                     Then the Gibeonites said to him, "We have no concern of silver or gold [Num 35:31, 32] with Saul or his house, nor is it for us to put any man to death in Israel." And he said, "I will do for you whatever you say."

Third Millennium Bible            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 any man in Israel." And he said, "What ye shall say, that will I do for you."

World English Bible                The Gibeonites said to him, It is no matter of silver or gold between us and Saul, or his house; neither is it for us to put any man to death in Israel. He said, What you shall say, that will I do for you.

Young’s Updated LT             And the Gibeonites say to him, “We have no silver and gold by Saul and by his house, and we have no man to put to death in Israel;” and he says, “What you [all] are saying I do to you.”

 

The gist of this verse:          The Gibeonites point out that they have not been compensated nor has anyone died for this crime; David asks them when they want him to do.


2Samuel 21:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend; to decide; to answer

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Gibeʿînîy (גִּבְעִנִי) [pronounced gibv-ģoh-NEE]

(little) hill, hilly, hill-city; transliterated Gibeonites

masculine plural, gentilic adjective with the definite article

Strong's #1393 BDB #149


Translation: The Gibeonites said to him,... This is a minor thing, but the Gibeonites here, in speaking to David, and not speaking with the greatest of respect. The preposition of respect is not used here. My guess would be, they are thinking, you think that you are going to make things all better? What will you do for us, really? And this is normal. When a politician comes to town, after making a slew of promises, what do you expect when you try to hold him to one of those promises?


It appears that two things are said, primarily, perhaps from more than one person.


2Samuel 21:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾêyn (אֵין) [pronounced ān]

nothing, not, [is] not; not present, not ready; expresses non-existence, absence or non-possession; [there is] no [none, not one, no one, not]

particle of negation; substantive of negation

Strong’s #369 BDB #34

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 1st person singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

keçeph (כֶּסֶף) [pronounced KEH-sef]

silver, money; silver [as a metal, ornament, color]; shekels, talents

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3701 BDB #494

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

zâhâb (זָהָב) [pronounced zaw-HAWBV]

gold; a measure of weight [related to gold]; [figuratively used for] brilliance, splendor

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #2091 BDB #262

ʿîm (עִם) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near; like; from

preposition of nearness and vicinity

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

Shâʾûwl (שָאוּל) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿîm (עִם) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near; like; from

preposition of nearness and vicinity

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #1004 BDB #108


Translation: ...“[There is] no silver or gold to me from Saul and from his house.” There is a slight change of suffixes here, which suggest that we will have two different statements, probably made by different people. One man here points out that there has never been any monetary benefit paid for this killing that was done. Furthermore, a payment given rather than justice was forbidden by the Law of Moses (Num. 35:31–32). God did not want rich people to be able to buy themselves out of a murder.


Saying that none has come from Saul or his house, indicates that they know Saul is dead, but he has left quite an estate behind. It also suggests that there is more culpability than just with Saul. That is, it was not Saul alone who caused this.


As we have already studied, Saul’s primary servant has seemed to have taken control of Saul’s estate; and then David turned over this estate of Saul’s grandson, Mephibosheth.


2Samuel 21:4c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾêyn (אֵין) [pronounced ān]

nothing, not, [is] not; not present, not ready; expresses non-existence, absence or non-possession; [there is] no [none, not one, no one, not]

particle of negation; substantive of negation

Strong’s #369 BDB #34

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 1st person plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun (sometimes found where we would use a plural)

Strong's #376 BDB #35

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

mûwth (מוּת) [pronounced mooth]

to kill, to cause to die, to put to death, to execute

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

Yiserâʾêl (יִשְׂרַאֵל) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

God prevails; contender; soldier of God; transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 & #3479 BDB #975


Translation: “[There is] no man to die for us in Israel.” Because we have for us rather than for me, this suggests that someone else says this—and possible more than one person says this. No one has died for this crime.


They are not saying that they do not want a person or person in Israel to die, as many translations assert (God’s Word™ or the New Simplified Bibles, for instance). Nor is it a matter of, there is no one of the Sauline family left to punish (as the American English Bible asserts). Nor is it that they lack the justification to put anyone to death, as per the NET Bible. These various approaches make little sense, as David will ask “What do you want?” and they will answer “7 men from the Sauline family that we may kill.” So, they are not saying they don’t want lives to be lost over what was done to them. The Easy-to-Read versions gives a good, reasonable sense: The 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.” It is very likely that (1) They do not have the right to kill anyone or, (2) (as above) no one has died for the crimes committed against them.


The incorrect way of translating this may have confused you, so let’s look at this one at a time.


There is some confusion as to what the Gibeonites mean here; and for the less than literal translations, it is okay for them to do some interpretation. That is the idea behind a less-than-literal translation. However, this needs to be understood in the light of the context. David asks them, “Okay, what can I do for you?” (V. 4d) and they answer, “The man who consumed us and who imagined that we had been annihilated from settling [anywhere] throughout all the territory in Israel—let there be given to us seven men from his sons and we will hang them before Yehowah in Gibeah of Saul, [the man formerly] chosen by Yehowah.” Therefore, the fact that they ask for seven men of Saul’s family eliminates many translations above.

Bad Translations of 2Samuel 21:4

Concept

Translation (s)

There is no one who could die who would make up for what Saul did.

And the GibeOnites replied: 'The problem can't be paid for with silver or gold by Saul and his house; and there's no one left for us to put to death in all IsraEl.'

And [David] asked: 'Then, what can I do for you?'

And they told the king: '[Saul] would have finished us off, because he chased us, tried to trick us, and he attempted to wipe us out. As the result, we've decided to remove [any trace] of him, so that his ways won't last in the borders of IsraEl. Therefore, give us seven of his descendants and we will hang them in the sun before Jehovah in Saul's town of GibeOn.'

And the king said: 'I will give them to you.' (2Sam. 21:4–6; American English Bible)

They do not want someone to die from Israel.

"We do not want silver or gold from Saul's family," the Gibeonites answered him. "And none of us wants to kill anyone in Israel." The king asked, "What are you saying that I should do for you?"

They answered the king, "Give us seven of the male descendants of the man who wanted to finish us off. He planned to wipe us out to keep us from staying anywhere in Israel's territory.

We will execute them in the LORD'S presence at Saul's town Gibeah." (It was Saul whom the LORD had chosen.) "I will give them to you," the king said. (2Sam. 21:4–6; God’s Word™)

They do not want someone to die from Israel.

The Gibeonites responded: »Our quarrel with Saul and his family cannot be settled with silver or gold. We do not want to kill any Israelite.« What do you want me to do?« David asked.

They answered: »Saul wanted to destroy us and leave none of us alive anywhere in Israel.

»Hand over seven of his male descendants. We will hang them before Jehovah at Gibeah, the hometown of Saul, Jehovah’s chosen king.« The king responded: »I will hand them over to you.« (2Sam. 21:4–6; NSB)

They lack justification to take the life of anyone.

The Gibeonites said to him, "We have no claim to silver or gold from Saul or from his family, nor would we be justified in putting to death anyone in Israel." David asked, "What then are you asking me to do for you?" They replied to the king, "As for this man who exterminated us and who schemed against us so that we were destroyed and left without status throughout all the borders of Israel - let seven of his male descendants be turned over to us, and we will execute8 them before the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, who was the Lord's chosen one." The king replied, "I will turn them over." (2Sam. 21:4–6; NET Bible)

They claim that it is not up to David to execute a man on their behalf.

And the Gibeonites said to him, We will have no silver nor gold of Saul, nor of his house; neither for us shall you kill any man in Israel. And he said, What you shall say, that will I do for you. (2Sam. 21:4; AKJV). The problem here is, if you notice the 2nd person pronoun in this translation (and in most of the KJV-related translations); this is not found in the Hebrew text. The first 2nd person anything comes at the end of this verse when David addresses the Gibeonites.

Hopefully, you can see how illogical these translations are (the first 4, anyway). These are not the only translations which took these faulty approaches. This does not mean that these are bad translations overall. Undertaking the translation of the entire Bible is a project I cannot imagine (by the time I die, I might have properly translated a 6th of the Bible). So, it is not hard to imagine that people do a generally decent job, but miss this or that verse to nail down the correct understanding of that verse.

Now and again, even in excellent translations, there are problems (I like God’s Word™, the NET Bible, and most versions of the KJV). This is the reason that there are commentators and pastor-teachers, to clear up some of these areas, based upon the original languages and the context.

This leaves the most reasonable interpretation: they lack the authority to put anyone to death over being attacked and slaughtered by King Saul.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


2Samuel 21:4d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend; to decide; to answer

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

mâh (מָה) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why

interrogative; exclamatory particle (with the definite article)

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

ʾattem (אַתֶּם) [pronounced aht-TEM]

you all, you guys, you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine plural, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

Although Owen has a masculine singular pronoun here, that is a typo on his part.

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

saying, speaking, saying [to oneself], thinking

masculine plural, Qal active participle

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: So he said, “What are you saying [that] I [should] do for you?” They have told David what has not been done; so David asks them, what do you want I should do?


This translation may help for this to make more sense to you: One Gibeonite said, “We have never received any monetary compensation from Saul or his estate.” Others said, “No man has died for this crime.” So David said, “What are you saying that I should do for you?” David asks a real question and he gets some real answers. The Gibeonites feel frustrated; they were treated without any sense of justice, and no one has made any attempt to redress these grievances.


——————————


And so they say unto the king, “The man who consumed us and who thought to us we are laid waste from taking a stand in any border of Israel—he will be given to us seven men from his sons and we have hung them to Yehowah in Gibeah of Saul chosen of Yehowah.” And so says the king, “I [even] I will give [them to you].”

2Samuel

21:5–6

Therefore, they said to the king, “The man who consumed us and who imagined that we had been annihilated from settling [anywhere] throughout all the territory in Israel—let there be given to us seven men from his sons and we will hang them before Yehowah in Gibeah of Saul, [the man formerly] chosen by Yehowah.” And the king replied, “I [even] I will give [them to you].”

Therefore, they said to the king, “This man Saul—chosen by Jehovah—beat us down and kept us from settling anywhere in the territory of Israel. Let seven men from his sons be given to us and we will hang them before Jehovah in Gibeah of Saul.” And the king replied, “I will give these men to you.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And they said to the king: The man that crushed us and oppressed us unjustly, we must destroy in such manner that there be not so much as one left of his stock in all the coasts of Israel Let seven men of his children be delivered unto us, that we may crucify them to the Lord in Gabaa of Saul, once the chosen of the Lord. And the king said: I will give them.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so they say unto the king, “The man who consumed us and who thought to us we are laid waste from taking a stand in any border of Israel—he will be given to us seven men from his sons and we have hung them to Yehowah in Gibeah of Saul chosen of Yehowah.” And so says the king, “I [even] I will give [them to you].”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And they said to the king, The man who consumed us and planned to destroy us so that we should not remain in all the territory of Israel, Let seven of his sons be delivered to us, and we will sacrifice them before the LORD in Gibeah of Saul. And the king said, I will give them.

Septuagint (Greek)                And they said to the king, The man who would have made an end of us, and persecuted us, who plotted against us to destroy us, let us utterly destroy him, so that he shall have no standing in all the coasts of Israel. Let one give us seven men of his sons, and let us hang them up in the sun to the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, as chosen out for the Lord. And the king said, I will give them.

 

Significant differences:           The second thing the Gibeonites said is somewhat confusing; and therefore, the ancient translations are not in total agreement there. The phrase in the sun is added to the Greek. The Syriac leaves out that Saul was chosen of God. In the final sentence, David says, “I will give” in the Hebrew.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       They replied, "Saul tried to kill all our people so that none of us would be left in the land of Israel. Give us seven of his descendants. We will hang these men near the place where the LORD is worshiped in Gibeah, the hometown of Saul, the LORD's chosen king." "I'll give them to you," David said.

Easy English                          They said to David, `Saul plotted against us. He tried to destroy all our people in the country of *Israel. So hand over to us 7 men from his family. We will kill them. Then we will hang up their bodies in front of the *Lord in Gibeah. Gibeah was Saul's town and the *Lord chose Saul as king.'

So King David said, `I will hand them over to you.'

Good News Bible (TEV)         They answered, "Saul wanted to destroy us and leave none of us alive anywhere in Israel. So hand over seven of his male descendants, and we will hang them before the LORD at Gibeah, the hometown of Saul, the LORD's chosen king." "I will hand them over," the king answered.

The Message                         Then they told the king, "The man who tried to get rid of us, who schemed to wipe us off the map of Israel--well, let seven of his sons be handed over to us to be executed--hanged before GOD at Gibeah of Saul, the holy mountain." And David agreed, "I'll hand them over to you."

New Berkeley Version           They said to the king, “As for the man who destroyed us, who planned to exterminate us from having a place in all the territory of Israel, let seven of his sons be handed over to us, to expose their broken corpses to the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, this chosen one of the Lord!” [A punishment sometimes prescribed for gthe worst criminals (Num. 25:4). Sons of Saul were executed for their father’s sin; but see Num. 35:33 Deut. 24:16.] “I will hand them over,” agreed the king.

New Century Version             The Gibeonites said, "Saul made plans against us and tried to destroy all our people who are left in the land of Israel. So bring seven of his sons to us. Then we will kill them and hang them on stakes in the presence of the Lord at Gibeah, the hometown of Saul, the Lord's chosen king."

New Living Translation           Then they replied, "It was Saul who planned to destroy us, to keep us from having any place at all in the territory of Israel. So let seven of Saul's sons be handed over to us, and we will execute them before the Lord at Gibeon, on the mountain of the Lord [As in Greek version (see also 21:9); Hebrew reads at Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of the Lord.]."

"All right," the king said, "I will do it."

The Voice                               Gibeonite Leaders: Saul attacked us and tried to destroy us, to wipe us off the map of Israel. Give us seven of his descendants, and we will hang them on a tree in Gibeah before the Eternal, on His mountain.

David: I will give them to you.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And [David] asked: 'Then, what can I do for you?'

And they told the king: '[Saul] would have finished us off, because he chased us, tried to trick us, and he attempted to wipe us out. As the result, we've decided to remove [any trace] of him, so that his ways won't last in the borders of IsraEl. Therefore, give us seven of his descendants and we will hang them in the sun before Jehovah in Saul's town of GibeOn.'

And the king said: 'I will give them to you.'

Beck’s American Translation “The man who consumed us,” they answered the king, “who planned to wipe us out, to keep us from staying anywhere in Israel’s territory—give us seven of his sons to hang them up before the LORD in Gibeah, where Saul, who the LORD chose, lived.”

“I will hand them over,” the king said.

Christian Community Bible     ...and they replied, “That man slaughtered us and planned our destruction so that we would no longer occupy any place in Israel. Surrender seven of his sons to us so that we may hang them up before Yah weh at Gibeon on the mountain of Yah weh.” To this, the king said, “I will surrender them.”

God’s Word                         They answered the king, "Give us seven of the male descendants of the man who wanted to finish us off. He planned to wipe us out to keep us from staying anywhere in Israel's territory. We will execute them in the LORD'S presence at Saul's town Gibeah." (It was Saul whom the LORD had chosen.) "I will give them to you," the king said.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       And they said, We must efface the memory of the man who persecuted us and wrongfully oppressed us, leaving none of his stock alive from end to end of Israel. Hand over to us seven men of his line, and let us crucify them before the Lord at Gabaa, that is named after him; there dwelt he when the Lord chose him out to be king [The word translated `crucify', here and in the following verses, is of uncertain meaning. If the Gabaonites kept the Mosaic law, they should have cut down a man `hanged on a tree' the same day (Deut. 21.23); but it is not certain from the text that the bodies remained hanging. Some think the Hebrew verb signifies, not hanging, but throwing over a rock.]. And David said, You shall have them.

New American Bible (2002)   They said to the king, "As for the man who was exterminating us and who intended to destroy us that we might have no place in all the territory of Israel, let seven men from among his descendants be given to us, that we may dismember them before the LORD in Gibeon, on the LORD'S mountain." The king replied, "I will give them up."

NIRV                                      They answered the king, "Saul nearly destroyed us. He made plans to wipe us out. We don't have anywhere to live in Israel. So let seven of the males in his family line be given to us. We'll kill them. We'll put their dead bodies out in the open in the sight of the Lord. We'll do it at Gibeah of Saul. Saul was the Lord's chosen king."

So King David said, "I'll give seven males to you."

New Jerusalem Bible             Then they replied to the king, 'The man who dismembered us and planned to annihilate us, so that we should not exist anywhere in Israelite territory-we want seven of his descendants handed over to us; and we shall dismember them before Yahweh at Gibeon on Yahweh's hill.' 'I shall hand them over,' said the king.

New Simplified Bible              They answered: »Saul wanted to destroy us and leave none of us alive anywhere in Israel.

»Hand over seven of his male descendants. We will hang them before Jehovah at Gibeah, the hometown of Saul, Jehovah’s chosen king.« The king responded: »I will hand them over to you.«

Revised English Bible            They answered, ‘Let us make an end of the man who caused our undoing and ruined us, so that he will never again have his place within the borders of Israel. Hand over to us seven of that man’s descendants, and we shall hul them down to their death before the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, the Lord’s chosen one.’ The king agreed to hand them over.

Today’s NIV                          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, 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."


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      They said to the king, "The men that finished us, and that liked to annihilate us from abiding in any border of Israel: As Yahweh's chosen, give us seven men from his sons to wrench those for Saul to Yahweh in Gibeah." The king said, "I will give."

Bible in Basic English             And they said to the king, As for the man by whom we were wasted, and who made designs against us to have us completely cut off from the land of Israel, Let seven men of his family be given up to us and we will put an end to them by hanging them before the Lord in Gibeon, on the hill of the Lord. And the king said, I will give them.

English Jubilee 2000              And they answered the king, The man that consumed us and that devised against us, let us destroy him that nothing of him remains in any of the borders of Israel. 6 Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will disjoint them, hanging them from a tree, unto the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, whom the LORD did choose. And the king said, I will give them.

The Expanded Bible              The Gibeonites said, "·Saul [LThe man] ·made plans against [destroyed; consumed] us and ·tried to destroy [planned to annihilate/exterminate] all our people ·who are [so we would have no place] left in the land of Israel. So bring seven of his sons to us. Then we will ·kill them and hang them on stakes [impale/execute them] in the presence of the Lord at Gibeah, the hometown of Saul, the Lord's chosen king."

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 And they answered the king, “The man who destroyed us, and who wasted us, so that we are prohibited from residing in any part of Israel, let there be given to us seven men from his children, and we will hang them for the Ever-living in Gibath of Saul, the elect of the Ever-living.”

And the king said, “I will give them!”

NET Bible®                             They replied to the king, "As for this man who exterminated us and who schemed against us so that we were destroyed and left without status throughout all the borders of Israel - let seven of his male descendants be turned over to us, and we will execute [The exact nature of this execution is not altogether clear. The verb יָקַע (yaqa’) basically means “to dislocate” or “alienate.” In Gen 32:26 it is used of the dislocation of Jacob’s thigh. Figuratively it can refer to the removal of an individual from a group (e.g., Jer 6:8; Ezek 23:17) or to a type of punishment the specific identity of which is uncertain (e.g., here and Num 25:4); cf. NAB “dismember them”; NIV “to be killed and exposed.”] them before the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, who was the Lord's chosen one." [The LXX reads "at Gibeon on the mountain of the Lord" (cf. 21:9). The present translation follows the MT, although a number of recent English translations follow the LXX reading here (e.g., NAB, NRSV, NLT).] The king replied, "I will turn them over."

NIV – UK                                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, 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.'


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           They answered the king, "The man who ruined us, who schemed against us so that we would cease to exist anywhere in Isra'el's territory - have seven of his male descendants handed over to us, and we will put them to death by hanging before ADONAI in Giv'ah of Sha'ul, whom ADONAI chose."The king said, "I will hand them over."

exeGeses companion Bible   And they say to the sovereign,

The man who finishes us off

- who considers against us

desolates us from standing by

in any of the borders of Yisra El:

give us seven men of his sons

and we impale them to Yah Veh in Gibah of Shaul,

whomever Yah Veh chooses.

And the sovereign says, I give them.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               Thereupon the said to the king, “The man who massacred us and planned to exterminate us [Meaning of Hebrew uncertain], so that we should not survive in all the territory of Israel—let seven of Holy Spirit male issue be handed over to us, and we will impale them before the Lord in Gibeah of Saul [Emendation yields “at Gibeon, on the mountain of the Lord” (compare Septuagint and v. 9)], the chosen of the Lord.” And the king replied, “I will do so.”

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And they answered HaMelech, The ish that consumed us, and that plotted against us that we should be made shmad from remaining in any of the territories of Yisrael, Let shivah anashim of his banim be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto Hashem in Giveah of Sha'ul, whom Hashem did choose. And HaMelech said, I will give them.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And they say unto the king, `The man who consumed us, and who devised against us--we have been destroyed from stationing ourselves in all the border of Israel-. let there be given to us seven men of his sons, and we have hanged them before Yahweh, in the height of Saul, the chosen of Yahweh.' And the king said, `I do give;...

Green’s Literal Translation    And they said to the king, The man who destroyed us and schemed against us that we be wasted from standing in all the border of Israel was Saul. Let be given to us seven men of his sons to us. And we will expose them to Jehovah in Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of Jehovah. And the king said, I will deliver them.

Kretzmann’s Commentary    And they answered the king, The man that consumed us, who had slain the best of their tribe and practically annihilated them, and that devised against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel, let seven men of his sons, descendants, near relatives, be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up, punish them by crucifixion, unto the Lord, before His face, to appease His anger, in Gibeah of Saul, whom the Lord did choose. Saul had been the "chosen of Jehovah," king of Israel, when he had done this wrong, and therefore the whole people was being punished. And the king said, I will give them. He was ready to make the atonement.

NASB                                     So they said to the king, "The man [2 Sam 21:1] who consumed us and who planned to exterminate us [Lit against us that we should be exterminated] from remaining within any border of Israel, let seven men from his sons be given to us, and we will hang them [Lit expose them] before the Lord [Num 25:4] in Gibeah of Saul, the chosen [1 Sam 10:24] of the Lord." And the king said, "I will give them."

New King James Version       Then they answered the king, "As for the man who consumed us and plotted against us, that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the territories of Israel, let seven men of his descendants be delivered to us, and we will hang them before the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, whom the Lord chose."

New RSV                               They said to the king, `The man who consumed us and planned to destroy us, so that we should have no place in all the territory of Israel—let seven of his sons be handed over to us, and we will impale them before the Lord at Gibeon on the mountain of the Lord.'* The king said, `I will hand them over.'

Webster’s Bible Translation  And they answered the king, The man that consumed us, and that devised against us [that] we should be destroyed from remaining within the borders of Israel, Let seven men of his sons be delivered to us, and we will hang them up to the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, [whom] the LORD chose. And the king said, I will give [them].

Young’s Updated LT             And they say unto the king, “The man who consumed us, and who devised against us—we have been destroyed from stationing ourselves in all the border of Israel— let there be given to us seven men of his sons, and we have hanged them before Jehovah, in the height of Saul, the chosen of Jehovah.” And the king says, “I do give.”

 

The gist of this verse:          The Gibeonites ask for 7 of Saul’s descendants to execute.


2Samuel 21:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend; to decide; to answer

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572


Translation: Therefore, they said to the king,... The Gibeonites recognize that David is serious about redressing the evil that has been done against them, so now they use the more deferential preposition.


2Samuel 21:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun (sometimes found where we would use a plural); with the definite article

Strong's #376 BDB #35

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

kâlâh (כָּלָה) [pronounced kaw-LAWH]

to complete, to finish; to prepare; to come to an end; to consume, to waste, to destroy, to annihilate; to make pine away

3rd person masculine singular, Piel perfect with the 1st person plural suffix

Strong's #3615 BDB #477


Translation: ...“The man who consumed us... The man that they are speaking about is Saul. He will be named a few phrases down as Saul, the chosen of Yehowah. Saul was trying to put an end to these people; he was trying to destroy them. We do not know how many were killed, but the implication is, quite a number—I am guessing in the hundreds or thousands.


2Samuel 21:5c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

dâmâh (דָּמָה) [pronounced daw-MAW]

to liken, compare; to imagine, think

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #1819 BDB #197

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 1st person plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

shâmad (שָמַד) [pronounced shaw-MAHD]

to be laid waste to, to be annihilated [destroyed, devastated, exterminated]

1st person plural, Niphal perfect

Strong's #8045 BDB #1029

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

yâtsab (יָצַב) [pronounced yaw-TSAHBV]

to set oneself [in a place], to take a stand

Hithpael infinitive construct

Strong’s #3320 BDB #426

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

Literally, in all. Although I don’t have this in the lexicons, it is rendered by the most literal translations as among all, through all, throughout all, with all.

gebûwl (גְּבוּל) [pronounced geb-VOOL]

border, boundary, territory [within a border], region, territory [of darkness]; edge

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1366 BDB #147

Yiserâʾêl (יִשְׂרַאֵל) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

God prevails; contender; soldier of God; transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 & #3479 BDB #975


Translation: ...and who imagined that we had been annihilated from settling [anywhere] throughout all the territory in Israel—... Saul thought about all that he could do, and he was preventing the Gibeonites from taking a stand or making a home anywhere within Israel. There was no place for them to permanently settle. They would move to one place and he would drive them away from there; or he would attack and kill many of them. At no time did the Gibeonites feel safe under Saul.


This implies that, these Gibeonites kept trying to settle here or there, and Saul would run them out of there. My guess is, he would also seize their property and what would he logically do with that property? Give it over to his sons or grandsons. This is speculation, but it is logical.


This is completely keeping within the behavior of Saul, who pursued David unrelentingly. When Saul had a spare moment, he would chase after David, hoping to kill him. Apparently, at other times, he would also chase after Gibeonites.


We should contrast this to David’s behavior. When David had spare time, he looked for someone in Saul’s family to whom he could show grace (2Sam. 9); or he came up with the idea of providing a permanent home for the worship of God (2Sam. 7). David eventually abused the spare time that God gave him by chasing skirt in Jerusalem, which was the cause of God bringing David great harm (2Sam. 11–12).


Application: No doubt, some of you read or studied these chapters on David, and later on Solomon, and you think, “Why doesn’t God do that for me? Why doesn’t God give me such a great empire with so many possessions?” First of all, if you are an American, you probably have in your home right now dozens of conveniences which David and Solomon could only dream about (most of which, they could not even dream about—the conveniences that you have would be too fantastical to them). So do not whine and claim that God has given you nothing, because that is just not true. I have spent many years living close to the poverty line, but I have always had water, and electricity and heat; and food in the refrigerator. On any given year, I may not have had much money, but I could hop on a plane once or twice in that year and visit my mother and brothers in California. Personally, whether I have had a good or a bad year, God has blessed me greatly and I would never trade what I have today for what David or Solomon had in their era.


2Samuel 21:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâthan (נָתַן) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to be given, be bestowed, be given up, be delivered up;

to be put upon

3rd person masculine singular, Hophal imperfect

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 1st person plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

shibeʿâh (שִבְָה) [pronounced shibve-ĢAW]

seven

numeral feminine construct

Strong's #7651 BDB #987

ʾănâshîym (אֲנָשִים) [pronounced uh-NAW-sheem]; also spelled ʾîyshîym (אִישִים) [pronounced ee-SHEEM]

men; inhabitants, citizens; companions; soldiers, followers

masculine plural noun

Strong's #376 BDB #35

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

bânîym (בָּנִים) [pronounced baw-NEEM]

sons, descendants; children; people; sometimes rendered men

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119


Translation: ...let there be given to us seven men from his sons... This strikes me as being rather barbaric, to ask for the lives of his sons (that is, those related to him). This would suggest that Saul’s relations were not much better than he was; and that none of them saw a problem with what he was doing.


There was a sense of family culpability for wrongdoing. David, in 2Sam. 24:17b said to God: “Look, I have sinned, and I have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me, and against my father's house.” However, this sort of culpability was also a national culpability.


Application: I write this during the era of President Obama (2014), a man I believe has little or no interest in international affairs. He will speak to other countries with great sweeping, idealistic generalizations, but when it comes to the down and dirty part of international affairs, he seems to have little interest or passion. Leading from behind, Benghazi dealt with as a personal political problem, pulling our missiles away from Russia, pulling our troops out of Iraq and giving little justification for Afghanistan (the good war) are all evidences of this. As a result, the world has changed dramatically during the era of Obama, and we as a nation, could pay the price for this. However, it is not as if we are guiltless as a people. My point is not to rag on the President, but to illustrate with a modern example that there is a national culpability with our acts as a national entity, and President Obama is sowing these seeds throughout his presidency.


Application: Perhaps something easier to understand is, when Woodrow Wilson took us into WWI or FDR took us into WWII, these decisions affected our entire nation. There was a national culpability. Now, since WWII, we as the most powerful nation in the world have taken a busybody approach, becoming involved in many conflicts throughout the world, putting out fires, so to speak, in many countries, thus averting world-wide conflicts (how many people expected WWIII was just around the corner from WWII?). These decisions are made by a number of successive presidents, which practice has dramatically reduced the number of people killed in warfare.


Application: Another example of national culpability is nations that embrace socialism or communism. Such nations not only see huge numbers of people killed during their revolution; but no other form of government has ever killed so many of its own people in peacetime, surpassing even the world wars in number. Mao Ze-Dong (China, 1958-61 and 1966-69, Tibet 1949-50) is ultimately responsible for over 50 million people killed, either directly or by starvation. Adolf Hitler, a socialist (not a Catholic), was ultimately responsible for 12 million deaths. Jozef Stalin (USSR, 1932-39) is responsible for 7 million deaths. Footnote A nation does not magically turn communist overnight; the people first have to be sold on an anti-God approach to government like communism, and the evil that is communism affects the entire nation.


Application: We have a huge number of people in our population that, despite dramatic evidence of the evils of communism, favor communism or socialism. This kind of thinking, which is anti-God, will lead to very difficult national times, because we are nationally culpable for our thinking.


The principle is, we are all subject to a familial culpability as well as a national culpability. Spiritually, this extends to the entire human race, because in Adam, we all sinned (Rom. 5:12). As humans, we are all related.


Application: I know families which have been greatly blessed as a family; and I know other families that have been cursed as a family. There is great blessing which comes to a family where one or more members of the family have believed in Jesus Christ and are growing believers. The idea is, you need to start with one person, yourself, and then do whatever you can to spread this across your own family (this is done by correctly raising and teaching your own children).


Let’s also deal with the number 7; this was a sacred number both to the Jews as well as to other groups of people (Num. 23:1, 29). This is because God restored the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th. This is why the 7-day week has been nearly universal throughout time. Far more than this many Gibeonites had been killed by Saul; but this is the number of perfection and completion.


2Samuel 21:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

yâqaʿ (יָקַע) [pronounced yaw-KAHĢ]

 to execute slowly [by exposure or impaling]; to hang, to hang upon a stake

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #3363 BDB #429

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

Gibeʿâh (גִּבְעָה) [pronounced gibve-ĢAW]

transliterated Gibeah; this same word means hill

proper feminine singular noun; construct form

Strong’s #1390 BDB #149

Shâʾûwl (שָאוּל) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

bâchîyr (בָּחִיר) [pronounced baw-KHEER]

chosen, chosen one, elect [one]

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #972 BDB #104

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: ...and we will hang them before Yehowah in Gibeah of Saul, [the man formerly] chosen by Yehowah.” The verb here could possibly be quite dramatic and mean impale on a stick; at the very least, it means to hang the idea is to hang these men out in public for their crimes against the people, so that all can see that their actions (or, at least the actions of Saul) have real consequences.

 

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown: The practice of the Hebrews, as of most Oriental nations, was to slay first, and afterwards to suspend on a gibbet, the body not being left hanging after sunset. Footnote

 

Dr. Thomas Constable concurs: Probably they would suffer execution first and then their bodies were hung up so everyone could witness their fate. Footnote


Hanging these men up before God is more than revenge. This indicates that for wrongdoing, there must be blood for blood. Saul, when he pursued the innocent, set in motion the requirement that his evil be paid for.


Again, I realize that this is much more difficult for our culture to bear. We want to know that these men participated in the persecution of the Gibeonites. Maybe they did and maybe they didn’t. The Bible does not tell us. However, given this and several other verses in this chapter, it is clear that this is the right thing for David to do, and that there is at least a familial culpability.


And so that you do not think this is complete and total barbarism, we will find out that God will spare one of Saul’s descendants through David. Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, will be spared. Therefore, we may rest assured that, despite our lack of knowledge of these other men, that what occurs here is just before God. There is a remnant according to grace.


Furthermore, the Law tells us: The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin. (Deut. 24:16; WEB). This would suggest to me that there was some guilt on the part of the family of Saul, even though the Bible never specifies any (but it is implied in the first verse; and it is suggested that Saul did not allow the Gibeonites to live anyplace permanent). Here is one of the places where we have to trust God’s judgment—God brought this to David’s attention; David dealt with the matter; the Gibeonites said that this would be done before God; and God gives His approval in the end. Therefore, we should accept that this was a just verdict and outcome.


2Samuel 21:6c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend; to decide; to answer

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

ʾânîy (אָנִי) [pronounced aw-NEE]

I, me; in answer to a question, it means I am, it is I

1st person singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #589 BDB #58

nâthan (נָתַן) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set; to make

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5414 BDB #678


Translation: And the king replied, “I [even] I will give [them to you].” King David agreed to this.


Bear in mind, had there been a problem with any of this, God would have communicated as much to David.


——————————


And so spares the king Mephibosheth ben Jonathan ben Saul upon an oath of Yehowah which [was] between them—between David and between Jonathan ben Saul.

2Samuel

21:7

However, the king spared Mephibosheth ben Jonathan ben Saul because of an oath of Yehowah which [was] between them—between David and Jonathan ben Saul.

The king however spared Mephibosheth (Jonathan’s son) because of a sacred oath between himself and Jonathan (Saul’s son).


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And the king spared Miphiboseth the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the oath of the Lord, that had been between David and Jonathan the son of Saul.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so spares the king Mephibosheth ben Jonathan ben Saul upon an oath of Yehowah which [was] between them—between David and between Jonathan ben Saul.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the LORD’s oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul.

Septuagint (Greek)                But the king spared Memphibosheth son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the oath of the Lord that was between them, even between David and Jonathan the son of Saul.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       David had made a promise to Jonathan with the LORD as his witness, so he spared Jonathan's son Mephibosheth, the grandson of Saul.

Easy English                          Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathan and the grandson of Saul. But Jonathan and David had made a serious promise to the *Lord. So, King David did not hand over Mephibosheth to the *Gibeonites.

Easy–to–Read Version           But 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 [David and Jonathan promised each other that they would not harm each other’s families. Read 1Sam. 20:12–23,42.]. So the king did not let them hurt Mephibosheth.

Good News Bible (TEV)         But because of the sacred promise that he and Jonathan had made to each other, David spared Jonathan's son Mephibosheth, the grandson of Saul.

New Century Version             But the king protected Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the promise he had made to Jonathan in the Lord's name.

New Life Bible                        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.

The Voice                               Now the king did not give them Mephibosheth, Saul's grandson and Jonathan's son, because of the sacred oath between David and Jonathan.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          However, the king spared MephiBosheth (the son of JoNathan and the grandson of Saul), because of the oath that Jehovah had made between them. between David and JoNathan (Saul's son).

Christian Community Bible     David spared Mepibaal, son of Jonathan, Saul’s son, because of the oath David and Jonathan took before Yahweh.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       But he spared Miphiboseth, the heir of Saul through Jonathan, to honour the covenant which Jonathan, Saul's son, had made with him;...

New American Bible (2002)   The king, however, spared Meribbaal, son of Jonathan, son of Saul, because of the LORD'S oath that formed a bond between David and Saul's son Jonathan.

NIRV                                      The king spared Mephibosheth. He was the son of Jonathan and the grandson of Saul. David had taken an oath in the sight of the Lord. He had promised to be kind to Jonathan and the family line of his father Saul.

New Jerusalem Bible             The king, however, spared Meribbaal son of Jonathan, son of Saul, on account of the oath by Yahweh binding them together, binding David and Jonathan son of Saul.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             But the king did not give up Mephibosheth, the son of Saul's son Jonathan, because of the Lord's oath made between David and Jonathan, the son of Saul.

The Expanded Bible              But the king ·protected [spared] Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the ·promise [oath] he had made to Jonathan in the Lord's name [1 Sam. 20:14-17].

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 But the king refrained. from Melibosheth, the son of J'honathan, the son of Saul, because of the oath of the Ever-living that was between David and J’honathan, the son of Saul.

NET Bible®                             The king had mercy on Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, in light of the Lord's oath that had been taken between David and Jonathan son of Saul.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           But the king spared M'fivoshet, the son of Y'honatan the son of Sha'ul, because of the oath before ADONAI between David and Y'honatan the son of Sha'ul.

exeGeses companion Bible   And the sovereign spares Mephi Bosheth

the son of Yah Nathan the son of Shaul

because of the oath of Yah Veh between them

- between David

and between Yah Nathan the son of Shaul.

Hebrew Names Version         But the king spared Mefivoshet, the son of Yonatan the son of Sha'ul, because of the LORD's oath that was between them, between David and Yonatan the son of Sha'ul.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           But HaMelech spared Mephivoshet Ben Yonatan Ben Sha'ul, because of Hashem's shevua (oath) that was between them, between Dovid and Yonatan Ben Sha'ul.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Green’s Literal Translation    But the king spared Jonathan's son Mephibosheth the son of Saul because of the oath of Jehovah that was between them, between David and Jonathan, the son of Saul.

Kretzmann’s Commentary    But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the Lord's oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan, the son of Saul. The oath of the covenant between David and Jonathan had included the promise of sparing the sons of Jonathan, 1Sam. 20:15-16.

Young’s Updated LT             And the king has pity on Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, son of Saul, because of the oath of Jehovah that is between them, between David and Jonathan son of Saul.

 

The gist of this verse:          David was not going to include Mephibosheth son of Jonathan among the 7 given over to the Gibeonites.


2Samuel 21:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

châmal (חָמַל) [pronounced khaw-MAHL]

to spare, to be sparing of anything; to use sparingly; to pity, to have compassion, to show mercy

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #2550 BDB #328

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Mephîybôsheth (מְפִיבֹשֶת) [pronounced mehf-ee-BOH-shehth]

dispeller of shame; an advocate of shame; a shameful thing from the mouth; exterminating an idol; transliterated Mephibosheth

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #4648 BDB #937

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Yehôwnâthân (יְהוֹנָתָן) [pronounced ye-hoh-naw-THAWN]

Jehovah has given, whom Jehovah gave, a gift of Jehovah; alternate spelling; transliterated Jonathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3083 (& #3129) BDB #220

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Shâʾûwl (שָאוּל) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982


Translation: However, the king spared Mephibosheth ben Jonathan ben Saul... David and Jonathan made a nonaggression pact between one another which was to continue after their deaths for any of their children. Jonathan and David were the closest of friends.


Based upon the way that David inquired about the family of Saul to show grace to, he apparently knew all of those in Saul’s family as a result. This would mean that this particular even probably occurred after 2Sam. 9, where David looks out for Mephibosheth. In that particular chapter, David appears to be unaware of Mephibosheth or what Mephibosheth is up to. Therefore, what takes place in this portion of 2Sam. 21 has to have occurred after David finding out about Mephibosheth and then making provision for him.


2Samuel 21:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

shebûʿâh (שֶבֻעָה) [pronounced sheb-voo-ĢAH]

a solemn oath, a curse

feminine singular construct

Strong's #7621 BDB #989

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

bêyn (בֵּין) [pronounced bane]

in the midst of, between, among; when found twice, it means between

preposition with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #996 BDB #107

bêyn (בֵּין) [pronounced bane]

in the midst of, between, among; when found twice, it means between

preposition

Strong's #996 BDB #107

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bêyn (בֵּין) [pronounced bane]

in the midst of, between, among; when found twice, it means between

preposition

Strong's #996 BDB #107

Yehôwnâthân (יְהוֹנָתָן) [pronounced ye-hoh-naw-THAWN]

Jehovah has given, whom Jehovah gave, a gift of Jehovah; alternate spelling; transliterated Jonathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3083 (& #3129) BDB #220

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Shâʾûwl (שָאוּל) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982


Translation: ...because of an oath of Yehowah which [was] between them—between David and Jonathan ben Saul. David and Jonathan took a mutual oath back when King Saul was chasing after David, looking to kill him. Jonathan did what he could to protect David, coming close to risking his own life before his own father (1Sam. 20:12–17). David swore not to cut off the line of Saul and not to destroy the line of Jonathan (1Sam. 24:21–22), which promise is fulfilled in David’s preservation of Mephibosheth.


At this point in time, Jonathan is dead, and all that went on between David and him was just a memory to David. However, taking such an oath still had resonance with David—he would hold to that agreement and he would not harm Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth.


——————————


And so takes the king two sons of Rizpah daughter of Aiah whom she bore to Saul—Armoni and Mephibosheth; and five sons of Michal [probably, Merab] daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adriel ben Barzillai the Meholathite; and so he gives them into a hand of the Gibeonites; and so they hangs them in the mountain to faces of Yehowah; and so they die seven of them together. And they were put to death in days of a harvest, in the first the beginning of the harvesting of the barley fields.

2Samuel

21:8–9

The king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Rizpah (daughter of Aiah) whom she bored to Saul; and the five sons of Michal [possibly, Merab] (daughter of Saul), whom she bore to Adriel ben Barzillai the Meholathite, and gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites. They hung them on the mountain before Yehowah; thus all seven of them died together. They were put to death during the days of the harvest, in the first, at the beginning of the barley harvest.

The king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the sons of Rizpah (daughter of Aiah), whom she bore to Saul; along with the fives sons of Merab (Saul’s daughter), and gave them to the Gibeonites. The Gibeonites hung them on the mountain before Jehovah, and all 7 of them died together. They were put to death at the beginning of the barley harvest.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          So the king took the two sons of Respha the daughter of Aia, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni, and Miphiboseth: and the five sons of Michol the daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Hadriel the son of Berzellai, that was of Molathi: And gave them into the hands of the Gabaonites: and they crucified them on a hill before the Lord: and these seven died together in the first days of the harvest, when the barley began to be reaped.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so takes the king two sons of Rizpah daughter of Aiah whom she bore to Saul—Armoni and Mephibosheth; and five sons of Michal daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adriel ben Barzillai the Meholathite; and so he gives them into a hand of the Gibeonites; and so they hangs them in the mountain to faces of Yehowah; and so they die seven of them together. And they were put to death in days of a harvest, in the first the beginning of the harvesting of the barley fields.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Ana, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Nadab the daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Azriel, the son of Barzillai the Meholathite; And he delivered them to the Gibeonites, and they sacrificed them in the mountain before the LORD; and they fell all seven together, and were slain in the first days of harvest, in the beginning of barley harvest.

Septuagint (Greek)                And the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Memphibosheth, and the five sons of Michal daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite. And he gave them into the hand of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them up to the sun in the mountain before the lord. And they fell, even the seven together. Moreover they were put to death in the days of harvest at the commencement, in the beginning of the barley harvest.

 

Significant differences:           The Syriac has Nadab instead of Michal. The Greek adds the words to the sun.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       But Saul and Rizpah the daughter of Aiah had two sons named Armoni and Mephibosheth. Saul's daughter Merab had five sons whose father was Adriel the son of Barzillai from Meholah. David took Rizpah's two sons and Merab's five sons and turned them over to the Gibeonites, who hanged all seven of them on the mountain near the place where the LORD was worshiped. This happened right at the beginning of the barley harvest.

Easy English                          David took Armoni and Mephibosheth who were the sons of King Saul and Rizpah. Rizpah was the daughter of Aiah. David also took the 5 sons of Saul's daughter Merab. Their father was Adriel, the son of Barzillai from Meholah. David gave them to the *Gibeonites. They killed the men and they hung their bodies on a hill in front of the *Lord. The 7 men died together. The *Gibeonites killed them during the beginning of the harvest. This was the start of the harvest of barley (a type of grain).

Easy-to-Read Version            David gave them Armoni and Mephibosheth [This is another man named Mephibosheth, not Jonathan’s son.]. 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. David 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.

Good News Bible (TEV)         However, he took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons that Rizpah the daughter of Aiah had borne to Saul; he also took the five sons of Saul's daughter Merab, whom she had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai, who was from Meholah. David handed them over to the people of Gibeon, who hanged them on the mountain before the LORD ---and all seven of them died together. It was late in the spring, at the beginning of the barley harvest, when they were put to death.

The Message                         But the king selected Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons that Rizpah daughter of Aiah had borne to Saul, plus the five sons that Saul's daughter Merab had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite. He turned them over to the Gibeonites who hanged them on the mountain before GOD--all seven died together. Harvest was just getting underway, the beginning of the barley harvest, when they were executed.

New Berkeley Version           ...the king did take Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Isaiah, whom she had borne to Saul, and the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab, whom she had borne to Adriel the son of Barzillai from Meholah [For Rizpah, see 2Sam. 3:7; for Merab, which is the reading of the more correct manuscripts, see 1Sam. 18:19.], and gave them up into the hands of the men of Gibeon, who exposed their broken corpses on the hill in the presence of the Lord. The seven fell at one time, being put to death in the first days of the reaping, at the beginning of the barley harvest.

New Century Version             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. 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.

The Voice                               But he did take Saul's two sons by Rizpah (daughter of Aiah), Armoni and Mephibosheth, and the five sons of Merab (Saul's daughter) that she had by Adriel (son of Barzillai the Meholathite). David had them seized and handed them over to the Gibeonites, who executed them before the Eternal One on the mountain. All seven of them died together, in the spring of the year during the first days of the barley harvest.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible           So, the king took the two sons of ResPha (the daughter of AiAh, Saul's concubine) who gave birth to ErMoni and MephiBosheth, and the five sons of Michol (Saul's daughter), whom she bore to EsdriEl (the son of BarZilLai the Moulathite). Then he handed them over to the GibeOnites, and they hung them on the mountain in the sun before Jehovah. And there they fell, all seven of them together.

Well, this happened at the beginning of the barley harvest.

God’s Word                         The king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons whom Rizpah (Aiah's daughter) gave birth to for Saul, and five sons whom Merab (Saul's daughter) gave birth to for Adriel, son of Barzillai from Meholah. The king handed them over to the Gibeonites, who executed them on the mountain in the LORD'S presence. All seven died together. They were killed at the beginning of the harvest, when people started harvesting barley.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       ...he took two sons that were born to Saul by Respha, daughter of Aia, one called Armoni and one that bore his cousin's name of Miphiboseth, and five sons of Michol, Saul's daughter, that she bore to Hadriel, son of Berzellai, at Molathi, and handed these over to the Gabaonites. And the Gabaonites crucified them before the Lord, there on the hillside. It was in the first days of the harvest, when the barley was beginning to be cut, that the seven of them perished, all at one time;...

New American Bible (2011)   But the king took Armoni and Meribbaal, the two sons that Aiah's daughter Rizpah had borne to Saul, and the five sons of Saul's daughter Merob that she had borne to Adriel, son of Barzillai the Meholathite [2 Sm 3:7.], and delivered them into the power of the Gibeonites, who then executed them on the mountain before the LORD. The seven fell at the one time; they were put to death during the first days of the harvest-that is, at the beginning of the barley harvest.

NIRV                                      But the king chose Armoni and another Mephibosheth. They were the two sons of Aiah's daughter Rizpah. Saul was their father. The king also chose the five sons of Saul's daughter Merab. Adriel, the son of Barzillai, was their father. Adriel was from Meholah. King David handed them over to the people of Gibeon. They killed them. They put their dead bodies out in the open on a hill in the sight of the Lord. All seven of them died together. They were put to death during the first days of the harvest. It happened just when people were beginning to harvest the barley.

New Jerusalem Bible             The king took the two sons born to Saul by Rizpah daughter of Aiah: Armoni and Meribbaal; and the five sons borne by Merab daughter of Saul to Adriel son of Barzillai, of Meholah. He handed these over to the Gibeonites who dismembered them before Yahweh on the hill. The seven of them perished together; they were put to death in the first days of the harvest, at the beginning of the barley harvest.

New Simplified Bible              Saul and Rizpah the daughter of Aiah had two sons named Armoni and Mephibosheth. Saul’s daughter Merab had five sons whose father was Adriel the son of Barzillai from Meholah. David took Rizpah’s two sons and Merab’s five sons. He turned them over to the Gibeonites. They hanged all seven of them on the mountain near the place where Jehovah was worshiped. This happened right at the beginning of the barley harvest.

Revised English Bible            ...but the king took the two sons whom Rizpah daughter of Aiah had borne to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth, and the first sons whom Merab, Saul’s daughter, had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai of Meholah. He handed them over to the Gibeonites, and they flung them down from the mountain before the Lord; the seven of them fell together. They were put to death in the first days of the harvest at the beginning of the barley harvest.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, that begot Armoni and Mephibosheth for Saul; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, begotten for Adriel the son of Barzillai from Meholah. He gave them in the hands of the Gibeonites, and they wrenched them in the mountain in front of Yahweh. They felled the seven together to die in the first days of harvest, in the beginning of the barley harvest.

English Jubilee 2000              But the king took the two sons of Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, whom she gave birth unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth, and five sons of Michal, the daughter of Saul, whom she had given birth unto Adriel, the son of Barzillai, the Meholathite; and he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they disjointed them hanging them from a tree in the hill before the LORD; and they fell all seven together and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest.

The Expanded Bible              The king did take Armoni and Mephibosheth [Cnot Jonathan's son, but another person with the same name], sons of Rizpah and Saul [3:7]. (Rizpah was the daughter of Aiah.) And the king took the five sons of Saul's daughter Merab [1Sam. 14:49; 18:17-19]. (Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite was the father of Merab's five sons.) David gave these seven sons to the Gibeonites. Then the Gibeonites ·killed them and hung them on stakes on a hill [impaled/executed them] in the presence of the Lord. All seven sons ·died [fell] together. They were put to death during the first days of the harvest season at the beginning of barley harvest.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 But the king took the two sons of Rizfah, the daughter of Aish, whom she had borne to Saul, Armoni and Mehbosheth, and the five sons of Mikal, the daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adrial-ben-Barzili, the Makholathite, and delivered them into the hands of the Gibaonites, and they hung them on a Hill before the Ever-living and the seven fell at once, and were killed at the time of harvest before they begin to cut the barley.

NET Bible®                             So the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Aiah's daughter Rizpah whom she had born to Saul, and the five sons of Saul's daughter Merab [The MT reads "Michal" here, but two Hebrew manuscripts read "Merab," along with some LXX manuscripts. Cf. 1 Sam 18:19.] whom she had born to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite. He turned them over to the Gibeonites, and they executed them on a hill before the Lord. The seven of them [The translation follows the Qere and several medieval Hebrew mss in reading שְבַעְתָּם (shÿva’tam, “the seven of them”) rather than MT שִבַעְתִּים (shiva’tim, “seventy”).] died [Heb "fell."] together; they were put to death during harvest time - during the first days of the beginning [The translation follows the Qere and many medieval Hebrew mss in reading בִּתְחִלַּת (bithkhillat, “in the beginning”) rather than MT תְחִלַּת (tÿkhillat, “beginning of”).] of the barley harvest.

NIV, ©2011                             But the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Aiah's daughter Rizpah [2Sa 3:7], whom she had borne to Saul, together with the five sons of Saul's daughter Merab [Two Hebrew manuscripts, some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac (see also 1 Samuel 18:19); most Hebrew and Septuagint manuscripts Michal], whom she had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite [1Sa 18:19]. 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 [S 2Sa 16:8] during the first days of the harvest, just as the barley harvest was beginning [S Ru 1:22].


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           The king took the two sons of Ritzpah the daughter of Ayah, whom she bore to Sha'ul, Armoni and M'fivoshet; and the five sons of Mikhal the daughter of Sha'ul, whom she bore to Adri'el the son of Barzillai the Mecholati; and handed them over to the Giv'onim, who hanged them on the hill before ADONAI. All seven died; they were put to death during the first days of the harvest season, at the beginning of the barley harvest.

exeGeses companion Bible   And the sovereign

takes the two sons of Rispah the daughter of Ajah

whom she birthed to Shaul

- Armoni and Mephi Bosheth;

and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Shaul,

whom she birthed to Adri El

the son of Barzillay the Mecholathiy:

and he gives them into the hands of the Giboniy

and they impale them in the mountain

at the face of Yah Veh:

and they fall sevenfold together

- deathified in the days of harvest

at the first - in the beginning of barley harvest.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           But HaMelech took the two Bnei Ritzpah Bat Ayah, whom she bore unto Sha'ul, Armoni and Mephivoshet; and the five Bnei Michal [Merav] Bat Sha'ul, whom she bore to Adriel Ben Barzillai the Mecholati; And he delivered them into the hands of the Giveonim, and they hanged them in the hill before Hashem; and they fell all shivah together and were put to death in the yamim of katzir (harvest), in the rishonim, in the beginning of katzir se'orim (barley harvest).

The Scriptures 1998              And the sovereign took the two sons of Ritspah the daughter of Ayah, whom she bore to Shaʼul: Armoni and the other Mephiosheth, and the five sons of Mial the daughter of Shaʼul, whom she brought up for Ariʼĕl the son of Barzillai, the Meḥolathite, and gave them into the hands of the Giʽonites, and they hanged them on the hill before יהוה. So the seven fell together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Context Group Version          But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite: And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the mountain before YHWH, and they fell [ all ] seven together. And they were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, at the beginning of barley harvest.

Emphasized Bible                  So the king took the two sons of Rizpah daughter of Aiah, whom she had borne to Saul, even Armoni and Mephibosheth,—and the five sons of Michal daughter of Saul, whom she had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai, the Meholathite; and delivered them up into the hand of the Gibeonites, and they crucified them in the mountain, before Yahweh, so they seven fell together,—they being put to death in the first days of harvest, in the beginning of the barley harvest..

The Geneva Bible                  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 Michal [Here Michal is named for Merab Adriels wife, as it appears in ( 1 Samuel 18:19 ) for Michal was the wife of Paltiel, ( 1 Samuel 25:44 ) and never had a child ( 2 Samuel 6:23 ).] the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite: 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 first [days], in the beginning of barley harvest [Which was in the month Abib or Nisan which contained part of March and part of April.].

Kretzmann’s Commentary    But the king took the two sons of Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth, the sons of Saul's concubine, and the five sons of Michal, the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for, literally, "had born to," Adriel, the son of Barzillai the Meholathite. Evidently Michal, who had originally been the wife of David, 1Sam. 18:27, and was later given to Phaltiel, 1Sam. 25:44, to be returned to David upon his accession to the throne, 2Sam. 3:15, had also, for some years, been the wife of this Adriel, for after her contemptuous behavior towards David, 2Sam. 6:23, she had no children, she bore no children to David. And he, David, delivered them, the seven men selected by him, into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them, impaled them with extended limbs, in the hill before the Lord; and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley-harvest, at the very beginning of the summer in that climate, about the middle of April, ...

NASB                                     So the king took the two sons of (K)Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, Armoni and Mephibosheth whom she had borne to Saul, and the five sons of Merab [So Gr and Heb masculine singular suffix] [1 Sam 18:19] the daughter of Saul, whom she had borne to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite [1 Kin 19:16]. Then he gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged [Lit exposed them] them in 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 [Ex. 9:31, 32].

New King James Version       So the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, and the five sons of Michal [Or Merab (compare 1 Samuel 18:19 and 25:44; 2 Samuel 3:14 and 6:23)] the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite; and he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them on the hill before the Lord. So they fell, all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest.

New RSV                               The king took the two sons of Rizpah daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth [Or Merib-baal]; and the five sons of Merab [Two Heb Mss Syr Compare Gk: MT Michal] daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite; 9he gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they impaled them on the mountain before the Lord. The seven of them perished together. They were put to death in the first days of harvest, at the beginning of the barley harvest.

Webster’s Bible Translation  But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite: And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them on the hill before the LORD: and they fell [all] seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first [days], in the beginning of barley harvest.

Young’s Updated LT             And the king takes the two sons of Rizpah daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth, and the five sons of Michal daughter of Saul whom she bare to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite, and gives them into the hand of the Gibeonites, and they hang them in the hill before Jehovah; and the seven fall together, and they have been put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, the commencement of barley-harvest.

 

The gist of this verse:          David delivers over 7 descendants of Saul to the Gibeonites for execution.


2Samuel 21:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

shenêy (שְנֵי) [pronounced shen-Ā]

two, two of, a pair of, a duo of; both of

dual numeral construct

Strong’s #8147 BDB #1040

bânîym (בָּנִים) [pronounced baw-NEEM]

sons, descendants; children; people; sometimes rendered men

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Ritsephâh (רִצְפָה) [pronounced rits-PAW]

a hot stone [coal], a live coal; a glowing stone; transliterated Rizpah

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #7532 BDB #954

bath (בַּת) [pronounced bahth]

daughter; village

feminine singular construct

Strong's #1323 BDB #123

ʾAyyâh (אַיָּה) [pronounced ah-YAW]

hawk, falcon; transliterated Aiah

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #345 BDB #17

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

yâlad (יָלַד) [pronounced yaw-LAHD]

to give birth, to bear, to be born, to bear, to bring forth, to beget

3rd person feminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #3205 BDB #408

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Shâʾûwl (שָאוּל) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Aremônîy (אַרְמֹנִי) [pronounced ahr-moh-NEE]

palatial, one of the palace; transliterated Armoni

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #764 BDB #74

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Mephîybôsheth (מְפִיבֹשֶת) [pronounced mehf-ee-BOH-shehth]

dispeller of shame; an advocate of shame; a shameful thing from the mouth; exterminating an idol; transliterated Mephibosheth

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #4648 BDB #937

 

 

 

 


Translation: The king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Rizpah (daughter of Aiah) whom she bored to Saul;... There were 7 men related to Saul that David took. Two of them were sons of Rizpah, who is Saul’s mistress and they are sons of Saul.


2Samuel 21:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

chămishshâh (חֲמִשָּה) [pronounced khuh-mish-SHAW]

five

feminine singular numeral

Strong’s #2568 BDB #331

bânîym (בָּנִים) [pronounced baw-NEEM]

sons, descendants; children; people; sometimes rendered men

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Mîykal (מִיכַל) [pronounced mee-KAHL]

possibly means brook or stream and is transliterated Michal

feminine proper noun

Strong’s #4324 BDB #568

From the NET Bible: The MT reads "Michal" here, but two Hebrew manuscripts read "Merab," along with some LXX manuscripts. Cf. 1Sam 18:19. Footnote 1Sam. 18:19 reads: But it happened at the time when Merab, Saul's daughter, should have been given to David, that she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as a wife.

bath (בַּת) [pronounced bahth]

daughter; village

feminine singular construct

Strong's #1323 BDB #123

Shâʾûwl (שָאוּל) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

yâlad (יָלַד) [pronounced yaw-LAHD]

to give birth, to bear, to be born, to bear, to bring forth, to beget

3rd person feminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #3205 BDB #408

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʿaderîyʾêl (עַדְרִיאֵל) [pronounced ĢAHDe-ree-ayl]

lacking in foolishness and is transliterated Adriel

masculine singular proper singular noun

Strong’s #5741 BDB #727

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Barezillay (בַּרְזִלִַּי) [pronounced bar-zil-LAH-ee]

 iron [-hearted]; my iron; transliterated Barzillai

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #1271 BDB #137

Mechôlâthîy (מְחֹלָתִי) [pronounced mekhoh-law-THEE]

transliterated Meholathite

gentilic adjective; from a masculine singular proper noun; with the definite article

Strong’s #4259 BDB #563


genealogy-house-of-saul-abiel-kish-ahinoam-jonathan-abinadab-malchi-shua-ishvi-ish-bosheth-michal-merab-rizpah-armoni-mephibosheth-ner-abner-jaasiel-zibla.jpg

Translation: ...and the five sons of Michal [possibly, Merab] (daughter of Saul), whom she bore to Adriel ben Barzillai the Meholathite,... David reclaimed his wife, Michal, daughter of Saul, when he became king over all Israel (which is actually a smart political move). However, when he celebrated the Ark being brought into Jerusalem, she was disgusted about the whole display, and that ended the intimacies of their marriage.


The House of Saul, a graphic of the line of Saul, taken from Bible.ca, accessed February 23, 2014. One of the odd things, which I had not noticed before (graphics can be quite helpful in pointing out the obvious), is Abner, the son of Ner, means father of Ner.


If you will notice in the Hebrew exegesis, there is some evidence that Merab could be the name found here. Merab is another daughter of Saul, and she did have a husband whose name was Adriel (see 1Sam. 18:19). Superficially, it would be much more likely that this is the woman spoken of here. However, Matthew Henry, below, offers a different explanation.


 

Matthew Henry put together an interesting explanation for this verse: [David] delivered up two of Saul's sons whom he had by a concubine, and five of his grandsons, whom his daughter Merab bore to Adriel (1Sam. 18:19), but his daughter Michal brought up (2Sam. 21:8). This is not specifically stated anywhere in Scripture, but this would be a reasonable explanation, accepting the text as is. Poole has the same view: Question: why then are not these called the sons of Merab? Answer: because they were better known by their relation to Michal, who was David’s wife, and, it may be, alive at this time, and having no children of her own, took these, and bred them up as her own; when Merab was now a more obscure person, and possibly dead many years before this. Footnote This is apparently the view of the targum, as Gill writes: therefore these sons were not whom she "bare", as the word used signifies, but, as we rightly render it, whom she "brought up" or educated, so the Targum, her sister being dead; and so the Jews say, Merab brought them forth, and Michal brought them up, therefore they were called by her name; or the words may be supplied thus, "and the five sons of the sister of Michal", and, as in 2Sam. 21:19, is supplied, "the brother of Goliath". Footnote

 

Clarke appears, at first, to emphatically disagree: Michal, Saul’s daughter, was never married to Adriel, but to David, and afterwards to Phaltiel; though it is here said she bore (ילדה yaledah), not brought up, as we falsely translate it: but we learn from 1Sam. 18:19, that Merab, one of Saul’s daughters, was married to Adriel. Footnote But then Clarke adds: Two of Dr. Kennicott’s MSS. have Merab, not Michal; the Syriac and Arabic have Nadab; the Chaldee has properly Merab; but it renders the passage thus: - And the five sons of Merab which Michal the daughter of Saul brought up, which she brought forth to Adriel the son of Barzillai. This cuts the knot. Footnote


In other words, we have several possible explanations: (1) the name Merab belongs here, rather than Michal. (2) The words sister of should be added before Michal, as the words the brother of is prefixed to Goliath. Or (3) Michal, for whatever reason, raised the children of Merab. This latter explanation might tell us why Rizpah mourns the death of her sons (2Sam. 21:10–11), but Merab’s name is not mentioned.


The man named Barzillai here would likely not be the Barzillai from two chapters back (the rich businessman).


2Samuel 21:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâthan (נָתַן) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set; to make

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

yâd (יָד) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular construct

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

This combination of the bêyth preposition and hand literally means in [the] hand of; and can be rendered into the hand [s] of; by the hand of; in [under] the power [control] of; by the power of; with; through, by, by means of; before, in the sight of.

Gibeʿînîy (גִּבְעִנִי) [pronounced gibv-ģoh-NEE]

(little) hill, hilly, hill-city; transliterated Gibeonites

masculine plural, gentilic adjective with the definite article

Strong's #1393 BDB #149


Translation: ...and gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites. These sons and grandsons of Saul were handed over to the Gibeonites. Saul had gone on some tear against the Gibeonites—you may recall just how completely mad Saul was when it came to David—so it is reasonable to assume that he had a similar fervor developed against the Gibeonites, and he took his soldiers out to fight against them and to kill them.


Israel, as a representative of God on earth, cannot do whatever it wants when it comes to making treaties with other people. Any treaty made by Israel must be kept by Israel forever, just as God’s covenants are forever. They cannot unilaterally change their minds about a covenant which they make. Otherwise, if the covenants made by Israel mean little or nothing, and are simply contracts of expediency, then that implies that the promises of their God are just as empty.


2Samuel 21:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâqaʿ (יָקַע) [pronounced yaw-KAHĢ]

 to execute slowly [by exposure or impaling]; to hang, to hang upon a stake

3rd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperfect with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #3363 BDB #429

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

har (הַר) [pronounced har]

hill; mountain, mount; hill-country, a mountainous area, mountain region

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #2022 (and #2042) BDB #249

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

pânîym (פָּנִים) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces, countenance; presence

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular)

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, they mean upon the face of, before, before the face of, in the presence of, in the sight of, in front of. When used with God, it can take on the more figurative meaning in the judgment of. This can also mean forwards; the front part [or, the edge of a sword]. Lepânîym (לְפָּנִים) can take on a temporal sense as well: before, of old, formerly, in the past, in past times. Literally, this means to faces of.

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: They hung them on the mountain before Yehowah,... We have the Gibeonites hanging these men not just on a mountain, but on a mountain before God. That suggests divine approval for what has occurred. As you will notice, this is not someone merely saying this, or part of their request, but this is how this incident in these words is recorded in the Word of God.


This does bring us to a difficult question—is this just? Is this fair? Given the time frame, it is likely that these children are all young when Saul is persecuting the Gibeonites. That is, we do not have a reason to suppose that these young men were involved in the persecution (we really do not know one way or the other).


It is clear that this is a problem that God is calling David’s attention to. We do not know what might have occurred. That is, are we looking at possibly a Gibeonite revolt? A permanent rift between the Jews and the Gibeonites?


God did not tell David how to solve this problem. We do not even know if this is the best solution to this problem. We do know about Saul and how crazy Saul got; and these men all have his genes. Will this end a potential revolt against David in the future? Even though this surely occurred long before the two revolutions spoken of in recent chapters, it is queer that, the next topic is the removal of many of those in the Sauline line.


I am going to have to suggest that we trust God with this one; that this was the proper thing to do, although, no doubt, it does appear to be barbaric to me and you both.

 

Matthew Henry: They were hanged, as it were, before their own door, to expiate the guilt of the house of Saul; and thus God accomplished the ruin of that family, for the blood of the priests, and their families, which, doubtless, now came in remembrance before God, and inquisition was made for it (Psalm 9:12). Footnote


2Samuel 21:9c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâphal (נָפַל) [pronounced naw-FAHL]

to fall, to lie, to die a violent death, to be brought down, to settle, to sleep deeply; to desert

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5307 BDB #656

shibeʿâh (שִבְָה) [pronounced shibve-ĢAW]

seven

numeral feminine noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #7651 BDB #987

yachad (יַחַד) [pronounced YAHKH-ahd]

together, alike, all together; union, junction, mutually, with one another; equally

adverb

Strong’s #3162 BDB #403


Translation: ...thus all seven of them died together. Obviously, all of this took place at the same time; all of these men died together. Whatever ill will there was; whatever wrong had been committed, it was accepted by the Gibeonites that it had been made up for.


You may be somewhat frustrated because you want the Bible to record a set of things done by the sons and grandsons of Saul which justify David delivering them over to death. However, this chapter provides us with an illustration.

The general idea is this—Saul is illustrative of Adam and Adam’s original sin. Because of him, death falls upon all man (in the case of Saul, upon all of his sons and grandsons). But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 6:23b; KJV)

What 2Samuel 21:1–9 Illustrates

Topic

2Samuel 21

The Parallels

Suffering of the land

The land suffers because of Saul’s sin. 2Sam. 21:1

The earth travails because of Adam’s sin. Rom. 8:22

Guilt based upon a relationship

The guilt of those turned over to the Gibeonites is based upon their relationship to Saul. 2Sam. 21:8

The guilt of mankind is based upon our relationship to Adam and our inheritance of the sin nature. Rom. 5:12

Death based upon a relationship

The descendants of Saul are guilty by their relationship to Saul. Saul’s sin was imputed to them. This condemns them to death. 2Sam. 21:5–6, 8

We are guilty by our relationship to Adam; Adam’s sin is imputed to us; and we are destined for death because of it. 1Cor. 15:22

Death reigns

Death reigned in the family of Saul, from Saul and his sins until now. 1Sam. 31:6 2Sam. 21:8 1Chron. 10:6

Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. (Rom. 5:14; NIV)

One man must act

David must act to preserve the Land of Promise. 2Sam. 21:2–3, 9

Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. (Rom. 5:16; NIV) For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. (Rom. 5:19; NIV)

Death on behalf of a nation

Chas. Simeon: The blood of Saul's sons was poured forth as a sacrifice to national justice, and as a means of averting the divine displeasure; and it was considered by God as an atonement for the sin which Saul had committed.

Chas. Simeon: How much more then will God accept in our behalf the blood of his own Son, who was sent into the world for the express purpose that he might expiate our guilt, and procure for us reconciliation with our offended God!  Footnote

The results of a substitutionary death

The deaths of the (seemingly) innocent to preserve the land. Footnote

The death of the innocent to preserve mankind.

The perfection of that which dies

Although these seven men were far from perfect, there are no direct charges brought against them, and there are seven of them, the number of perfection.

Jesus was our Lamb without spot or blemish Who died for us, the Just for the unjust. (1Peter 1:19 1Thess. 5:10 1Peter 3:18)

God saves through His covenant.

David chose Mephibosheth ben Jonathan to save, based upon a long-standing covenant that he made. 1Sam. 18:3 2Sam. 21:7

God chooses who to save, based upon a covenant. And for this cause He is the Mediator of a new covenant, that a death having taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. (Heb 9:15; UPDV capitalized). See also: Gen. 12:1–3 2Sam. 7:12–13 Jer. 31:31–34 Matt. 25:26 Rom. 11:27

Laid in the tomb

When the sons of Saul fulfilled Israel’s obligation to the Gibeonites, they were taken down from the and laid into a tomb. 2Sam. 21:13–14

When they had fulfilled all that was written of Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid him in a sepulcher. (Acts 13:29)

God is pacified and entreated on our behalf

And after that God responded to the plea for the land. (2Sam. 21:14b; ESV)

Matthew Henry: Through Christ, Who was hanged on a tree and so made a curse for us, to expiate our guilt (though he was himself guiltless), God is pacified, and is entreated for us. Footnote

Don’t misunderstand; this is not covenant theology; this is simply what this chapter illustrates. I am not aware of anyone else putting these parallels together.

Quite frankly, I was surprised as to the number of parallels, given the subject matter. This is a unique doctrine, by the way. I think one or two commentators suggested something like this, but none of them delved deeply into this topic.

Despite the many illustrations from the Old Testament, these are all genuine historical incidents, included because of what they illustrate.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


2Samuel 21:9d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hêm (הֵם) [pronounced haym]

they, those; themselves; these [with the definite article]

3rd person masculine plural personal pronoun; sometimes the verb to be is implied

Strong’s #1992 BDB #241

mûwth (מוּת) [pronounced mooth]

to be executed, to be killed, to be assassinated

3rd person masculine plural, Hophal imperfect

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

yâmîym (יָמִים) [pronounced yaw-MEEM]

days, a set of days; time of life, lifetime; a specific time period, a year

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

qâtsîyr (קָצִיר) [pronounced kaw-TZEER]

harvesting, harvest; process of harvesting; crop, what is harvested or reaped; time of harvest

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7105 BDB #894

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

rîʾshôwn (רִאשוֹן) [pronounced ree-SHOWN]

first [in time, in degree, chief, former [in time], ancestors, former things; foremost; beginning; as an adverb: formerly, at first, first

masculine plural adjective; also used as an adverb; with the definite article

Strong’s #7223 BDB #911

Usually, with the bêyth preposition, rîshôwnâh means first, in front, in the first rank; before, formerly, previously, aforetime. I do not know what the difference being a plural indicates.

techillâh (תְּחִלָּה) [pronounced te-khil-LAW]

beginning, first, in the beginning; previously, prior to; at the commencement of

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #8462 BDB #321

qâtsîyr (קָצִיר) [pronounced kaw-TZEER]

harvesting, harvest; process of harvesting; crop, what is harvested or reaped; time of harvest

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #7105 BDB #894

seʿôwrîym (שְׂעוֹרִים) [pronounced seh-ģoh-REEM]

barley grain; barley fields; sheaves of barley, barley harvest; cooked or measured barley

feminine plural noun

Strong’s #8184 BDB #972

Perhaps there is a way that the plural of rîʾshôwn matches this plural.


Translation: They were put to death during the days of the harvest, in the first, at the beginning of the barley harvest. The barley harvest occurs around the middle or end of April and is earlier than the wheat harvest Footnote (see Ex. 9:31 Ruth 1:22). Clarke is even more precise, saying that this incident occurred about the vernal equinox, which is the 21st of March. Footnote


When referring to the sons of Saul below, I am including the 5 grandsons.

Justice and the Execution of the 7 Sons of Saul

1.      First of all, this is undoubtedly justice in the eyes of God. We know this for several reasons:

         1)      God brought David’s attention to this problem through a 3 year famine.

         2)      When a solution was proposed, God did not send a prophet to David to say, “No, you cannot have the sons die for the sins of their father.”

         3)      The Bible uses the verbiage: The king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Rizpah (daughter of Aiah) whom she bored to Saul; and the five sons of Michal [probably, Merab] (daughter of Saul), whom she bore to Adriel ben Barzillai the Meholathite, and gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites. They hung them on the mountain before Yehowah; thus all seven of them died together. (2Sam. 21:8–9a). They Bible has these men dying before Yehowah, indicating that this satisfies the justice of God.

         4)      Once these men had been delivered over; once they had been killed; and once a proper burial had been given to Saul and all of his sons, God listened against to the prayers of those from Israel. 2Sam. 21:14

         5)      At no time is it ever suggested that this violates the justice of God.

         6)      For these reasons, we know that all that took place was just in the eyes of God.

2.      Given their ages and the approximate times of their births, we would be hard-pressed to include any of these young men into a time frame where they themselves helped Saul kill any Gibeonites. It is certainly possible if this occurs near the end of Saul’s reign, but the Bible contains no such record.

3.      However, there are commentators who believe that there was direct culpability. Jamieson, Fausset and Brown write: [This] crime probably originated with Saul himself, yet his sons and grandsons might be the instruments of his cruelty, the willing and zealous executors of this bloody raid.1

4.      Further, the Bibl