During David's reign there was a famine for three successive years, so David inquired of the Lord. The Lord answered, "It is because of the blood shed by Saul and his family when he killed the Gibeonites."
The Gibeonites were not Israelites but rather a remnant of the Amorites. The Israelites had taken an oath concerning them,a but Saul had tried to kill them in his zeal for the Israelites and Judah. So David summoned the Gibeonites and spoke to them.
He asked the Gibeonites, "What should I do for you? How can I wipe out this guilt so that you will bring a blessing onb the Lord's inheritance?"
The Gibeonites said to him, "We are not asking for money fromc Saul or his family,d and we cannot put anyone to death in Israel."e "Whatever you say, I will do for you," he said.
They replied to the king, "As for the man who annihilated us and plotted to exterminate us so we would not exist within the whole territory of Israel,
let seven of his male descendants be handed over to us so we may hangf them in the presence of the Lordg at Gibeah of Saul,h the Lord's chosen."i The king answered, "I will hand them over."
David spared Mephibosheth, the son of Saul's son Jonathan, because of the oath of the Lord that was between David and Jonathan, Saul's son.j8
But the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, who were the two sons whom Rizpah daughter of Aiah had borne to Saul, and the five sons whom Merabkldaughter of Saul had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite
and handed them over to the Gibeonites. They hangedm them on the hill in the presence of the Lord; the seven of them died together. They were executed in the first days of the harvest at the beginning of the barley harvest.n
Rizpah, Aiah's daughter, took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on the rock from the beginning of the harvest until the rain poured down from heaven on the bodies.o She kept the birds of the sky from them by day and the wild animals by night.
When it was reported to David what Saul's concubine Rizpah, daughter of Aiah, had done,
he went and got the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from the leaders of Jabesh-gilead. They had stolen them from the public square of Beth-shan where the Philistines had hung them the day the Philistines killed Saul at Gilboa.p13
David had the bones brought from there. They also gathered up the bones of Saul's family who had been hung.q14
They [also] buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan at Zela in the land of Benjamin in the tomb of Saul's father Kish. They did everything the king commanded. After this, God answered prayer for the land.r
The Philistines again waged war against Israel. David went down with his soldiers, and they fought the Philistines, but David became exhausted.
Then Ishbi-benob, one of the descendants of the giant,s whose bronze spear weighed about eight poundst and who wore new armor, intended to kill David.
But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to his aid, struck the Philistine, and killed him. Then David's men swore to him: "You must never again go out with us to battle. You must not extinguish the lamp of Israel."u18
After this, there was another battle with the Philistines at Gob. At that time Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the descendants of the giant.v19
Once again there was a battle with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite killedw Goliath the Gittite. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam.x20
At Gath there was still another battle. A huge man was there with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot-24 in all. He, too, was descended from the giant.y21
When he taunted Israel, Jonathan, son of David's brother Shimei, killed him.
These four were descended from the giantz in Gath and were killed by David and his soldiers.aa