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Jehovah’s Witnesses


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The Bible in Living English

2 Samuel 21:1-22

21  And there was famine in David’s days for three years, year after year; and David betook himself to Jehovah; and Jehovah said “There is bloodguilt on Saul and his family for having put the Gibeonites to death.” 2  And the king called the Gibeonites and said to them—and the Gibeonites were not sons of Israel, but part of the remnant of the Amorites, and the sons of Israel had taken an oath to them, but Saul had tried to kill them off in his jealousy for the sons of Israel and Judah— 3  David said to the Gibeonites “What shall I do for you, and by what shall I purge us and have you bless Jehovah’s estate?” 4*  And the Gibeonites said to him “We have no silver or gold in the hands of Saul or his family, and we have nobody to put to death in Israel.” And he said “What do you say? I will do it for you.” 5*  And they said to the king “For the man who slaughtered us and who thought of rooting us out so that we should not stand our ground anywhere in the territory of Israel, 6*  let seven men of his children be given us for us to shelve them up to Jehovah on Jehovah’s Mountain at Gibeon.” And the king said “I will give them.” 7  And the king spared Meribaal the son of Saul’s son Jonathan on account of the oath by Jehovah that existed between them (between David and Saul’s son Jonathan); 8  but the king took the two sons of Rispah the daughter of Aijah whom she had borne to Saul, Armoni and Meribaal, and the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab whom she had borne to ʽAdriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite, 9*  and gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites, who shelved them up on the mountainside before Jehovah; and they fell all seven at once, dying in the first days of harvest, at the beginning of barley-harvest. 10  And Rispah the daughter of Aijah took a sackcloth and made a bed of it on the stone from the beginning of harvest till water was poured down on them out of the sky, and did not let the birds of the air rest on them by day nor the beasts of the field at night. 11  And David was told what Saul’s concubine Rispah the daughter of Aijah had done; 12  and David went and took the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan from the citizens of Jabesh in Gilead, who had stolen them from the square of Beth-Shan where the Philistines had hung them up at the time when the Philistines killed Saul at Gilboaʽ; 13*  and he brought up from there the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan, and they brought together the bones of the men who had been shelved up. 14  And they buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan, and of the shelved-up men, in the Benjamite country, in his father Kish’s grave at Selaʽ, and did everything that the king had ordered. And after that Jehovah let himself be invoked for the country. 15  And the Philistines had a war with Israel again; and David went down, and his soldiers with him, and fought the Philistines. And David grew faint; 16**  and Ishbi-benob, who was among the breed of the ogre, and whose kein weighed three hundred shekels by bronze weight, and who was belted with a hadasha, thought to kill David; 17  but Abishai the son of Serujah came to his help and struck the Philistine dead. Then David’s men swore to him “You shall not go with us out to battle again, so as not to put out the lamp of Israel.” 18  And after that there was the war at Gob with the Philistines again; then Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was among the breed of the ogre. 19*  And there was the war at Gob with the Philistines again; and Elhanan the son of Jaʽir the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gathite; the shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s pole. 20  And there was war at Gath again; and there was a tall man with six fingers on a hand and six toes on a foot, making twenty-four,—he too was bred of the ogre,— 21  who flouted the Israelites, and Jonathan the son of David’s brother Shimei killed him. 22  These four were bred of the ogre at Gath, and fell by the hands of David and of his soldiers.


21:4 Or What do you say I shall do for you?
21:5 Lit. who exterminated us
21:6 (shelve them up) Unc.
21:9 (shelved them up) Unc.
21:13 (shelved up) Unc.
21:16 Susp.
21:16 Var. shekels of bronze, and
21:19 Susp.