GOD'S WORD® Translation
1In 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." 2(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 3and asked them, "What can I do for you? What should I [give you] to make peace with you so that you will bless what belongs to the LORD?" 4"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?" 5They 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. 6We 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.
7But the king spared Mephibosheth, Jonathan's son and Saul's grandson, because of the oath in the LORD's name between David and Jonathan, son of Saul. 8The 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. 9The 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.
10Rizpah (Aiah's daughter) took sackcloth and stretched it out on the rock for herself from the beginning of the harvest until the sky rained on the dead bodies. She wouldn't let any birds land on them during the day or any wild animals come near them during the night. 11When David was told what Saul's concubine Rizpah (Aiah's daughter) had done, 12David went and took the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan from the citizens of Jabesh Gilead. They had stolen them from the public square of Beth Shean, where the Philistines had hung them the day they killed Saul at Gilboa. 13When David brought up the bones of Saul and Jonathan, his men gathered the bones of those who had been executed. 14Then they buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the land of Benjamin, in Zela, in the tomb of Saul's father Kish. They did everything the king ordered. After that, God answered the prayers for the land.
15Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. So David and his men went to fight the Philistines, but David became exhausted. 16A descendant of Haraphah named Benob, who had a bronze spear weighing 71/2 pounds which he wore on a new belt, captured David and intended to kill him. 17But Abishai, son of Zeruiah, came to help David. He attacked the Philistine and killed him. Then David's men swore an oath, saying, "You'll never go into battle with us again. The lamp of Israel must never be extinguished."
18After this, there was another battle with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbecai from Hushah killed Saph, another descendant of Haraphah. 19When more fighting broke out with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan, son of Jaare Oregim from Bethlehem, killed Goliath of Gath. (The shaft of Goliath's spear was like a beam used by weavers.) 20In another battle at Gath, there was a tall man who had a total of 24 fingers and toes: six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. He also was a descendant of Haraphah. 21When he challenged Israel, Jonathan, son of David's brother Shimei, killed him. 22These four were descendants of Haraphah from Gath, and David and his men killed them.