2 Samuel 21:13
And he brought up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son; and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2 Samuel 21:13-14. He brought up the bones of Saul, &c. — From under the tree where they were buried in Jabesh, 1 Samuel 31:13. They gathered the bones of them that were hanged — Having first burned off the flesh which remained upon them: or, perhaps, this was done some time after they were taken down, when nothing but bones remained; and then they had all seven an honourable interment. The bones of Saul and Jonathan — Together with those now mentioned. And after that — After those things were done which were before related; that is, after they were hanged up; for by that God was pacified, and not by the burial. God was entreated — When satisfaction was given to the Gibeonites, God restored plenty to the country.

2 Samuel 21:13-14. Three of the thirty chief — Mentioned afterward: three captains over the thirty. Came to David in the harvest-time — Or rather, as the Hebrew is, at harvest. That is, saith Abarbinel, the Philistines came to destroy the fruits of the earth, that they might famish the Israelites: whereupon David raised an army to protect and defend them in reaping of their harvest, when they went about it. Unto the cave of Adullam — Where he had hid himself under the persecution of Saul; and where he now fortified himself against the Philistines; who in the beginning of his reign, came with great forces against him. And David was then in the hold — Namely, the cave of Adullam, a place very strong by its natural situation! The garrison of the Philistines was in Beth-lehem — They had possessed themselves of this place and put a garrison in it.21:10-14 That a guilty land should enjoy many years of plenty, calls for gratitude; and we need not wonder misused abundance should be punished with scarcity; yet how few are disposed to ask of the Lord concerning the sinful cause, while numbers search for the second causes by which he is pleased to work! But the Lord will plead the cause of those who cannot or will not avenge themselves; and the prayers of the poor are of great power. When God sent rain to water the earth, these bodies were buried, for then it appeared that God was entreated for the land. When justice is done on earth, vengeance from heaven ceases. God is pacified, and is entreated for us through Christ, who was hanged on a tree, and so made a curse for us, to do away our guilt, though he was himself guiltless.From the street of Beth-shan - This was the wide place just inside the gate of an Oriental city, bounded therefore by the city wall (compare the marginal reference). Here, as the place of concourse, the Philistines had fastened the bodies. 2Sa 21:12-22. David Buries the Bones of Saul and Jonathan in Their Father's Sepulcher.

12. David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son, &c.—Before long, the descent of copious showers, or perhaps an order of the king, gave Rizpah the satisfaction of releasing the corpses from their ignominious exposure; and, incited by her pious example, David ordered the remains of Saul and his sons to be transferred from their obscure grave in Jabesh-gilead to an honorable interment in the family vault at Zelah or Zelzah (1Sa 10:2), now Beit-jala.

Having first burnt off the flesh which remained upon them when they were taken down. Compare 1 Samuel 31:10, &c. And he brought up from thence the bones of Saul, and the bones of Jonathan his son,.... Which had been buried there under an oak, 1 Chronicles 10:12,

and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged; the seven sons of Saul, who had been lately hanged; who either had hung so long that their flesh was consumed, and the bones dropped upon the ground, from whence they gathered them; or they took them down and burnt the flesh off of them, and took the bones to bury them, which was not usually done (u).

(u) Lipsins de Cruce, l. 2. c. 16.

And he brought up from thence the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son; and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
David granted the request, because, according to the law in Numbers 35:33, blood-guiltiness when resting upon the land could only be expiated by the blood of the criminal; but in delivering up the members of Saul's house for whom they asked, he spared Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul, for the sake of the bond of friendship which he had formed with Jonathan on oath (1 Samuel 18:3; 1 Samuel 20:8, 1 Samuel 20:16), and gave up to the Gibeonites two sons of Rizpah, a concubine of Saul (vid., 2 Samuel 21:11 and 2 Samuel 3:7), and five sons of Merab the daughter of Saul, whom she had borne to Adriel of Meholah. The name of Michal, which stands in the text, is founded upon an error of memory or a copyist's mistake; for it was not Michal, but Merab, Saul's eldest daughter, who was given to Adriel the Meholathite as his wife (1 Samuel 18:19). The Gibeonites crucified those who were delivered up to them upon the mountain at Gibeah before Jehovah (see the remarks on 2 Samuel 21:6). "Thus fell seven at once." The Chethib שׁבעתים, at which the Masoretes took such offence that they wanted to change it into שׁבעתּם, is defended by Bttcher very properly, on the ground that the dual of the numeral denotes what is uniformly repeated as if by pairing; so that here it expresses what was extraordinary in the even tin a more pictorial manner than the Keri: "They fell sevenfold at once," i.e., seven in the same way. The further remark, "they were slain in the first days of harvest, at the beginning of the barley harvest," belongs to what follows, for which it prepares the way. The two Keris, והמּה for והם, and בּתחלּת for תּחלּת, are needless emendations. תּחלּת is an adverbial accusative (vid., Ges. 118, 2). The harvest began with the barley harvest, about the middle of Nisan, our April.
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