II Samuel Chapter 21
Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org
This chapter goes back a bit in history, and is like an insert into this place of II Samuel. It will lay out an order of some of the things that happened, so it becomes a review to the other chapters. The names given in this chapter are not as accurate as the account of these events recorded in the books of the Chronicles. However, this will be pointed out as we study the chapter.
II Samuel 21:1 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." "
This event happened shortly after Saul went on rampage and slew the priests and many others. Remember that Joahua made an oath or covenant with these Gibeonites, back in Joahua 9:15; "And Joahua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them." The promise was that Israel and the Gibeonites would live together in peace and never war against each other.
Then Saul went out his mind, and completely disregarded all agreements and slaughter them as well as the priests, and anyone else that got in his way. If you have a covenant or agreement with someone, you had better settle it with the Father before you break that agreement, even if has to do with living in peace with your neighbors.
II Samuel 21:2 "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: and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah.)"
These Gibeonites were not of the seed of Jacob, nor of the seed of Abraham, but they were of the lineage of Lot, the nephew of Abraham. However, they still had this covenant with Israel.
II Samuel 21:3 "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?" "
"The inheritance of the Lord" are "the tribes of Israel". It had not rained in Israel for the past three years, and the prophet of God revealed to David that the problem was that Israel did not honor it's covenant with this neighbor.
II Samuel 21:4 "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."
These Gibeonites did not want anything that Saul has touched. The point here was that it is not for you to do or kill anyone over this matter, for the breaking of the covenant was between the house of Saul, and the Gibeonites. They wanted the pleasure of correcting the matter themselves. So David agreed that he would abide with their wishes. Say it and I will do it.
II Samuel 21:5 "And they answered the king, "The man that consumed us, and that devised against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel,"
Of course this man was Saul.
II Samuel 21:6 "Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, whom the Lord did choose." And the king said, "I will give them." "
These Gibeonites knew that the Lord did chose Saul, and it was he that broke the covenant between them and Israel. They wanted the house of Saul to pay for the slaughter devised by their father.
The first thing that comes to mind is that the sins of the father are not passed on to the sons, so why are these seven sons being offered to pay the price of their father Saul. First of all the covenant was not of God's doing, neither was the slaughter, nor any part of this agreement with David. Go back to Joahua 9:14; "And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord." God told them to go in and take the land and kill all that lived in the land. However, the men of Israel did not do as God commanded, and the even made a covenant with these people "without the council of God." The point here is that even if you go against God's wishes and bind yourself to a treaty or agreement, God then expects you to abide by your words of commitment.
The demand was not of God, but of the Gibeonites, that seven of Saul sons pay for he huge lose of life to the Gibeonites. David allowed the Gibeonites to have the sons that they wanted, and they passed judgment on the sons because their father was already dead. All the way through this arrangement, God had no part in it, not from Joshua, nor Saul nor of the actions of David. By God's command, the sons are not to pay the price for the sins of the father, nor the father pay the price for the sins of the sons. Anytime this varies from this, it is man's doings and not God's.
Jeremiah 31:29 "In those days they shall say no more, `The father have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge.' "
This means that if the father eats a sour grape, the children do not answer for what their father has does. The father gets the stomach ache, not the child.
Jeremiah 31:30 "But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape his teeth shall be set on edge."
Everyone must answer for their own iniquity before the Lord, and now that David was placed in a circumstance, he had to do something. There had been three years of famine, the people knew that something was wrong, and the only thing that it could have been, would be the massacre that Saul committed against these Gibeonites. Sure, when Saul returned from the battle he looked at it as a victory, yet God did not look at it that way. So David did what he thought was right at that time.
II Samuel 21:7 "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."
II Samuel 21:8 "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 the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adrel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite:"
Do not confuse the Mephibosheth of Saul with the Mephibosheth that was Jonathan's son. These are two different individuals. The Massorah itself does not state "Michal" here, for it was added by the translators. Michal was Saul's daughter that he gave to David to be his wife. After David was on the run, Saul took Michal and gave her to another man in marriage. The woman that was given here is stated in the Massorah as being "Merab", and different woman completely. This woman "Merab" was the sister of Michal, and Saul withheld giving David her because David wanted the most beautiful daughter, whom he fell in love with.
I Samuel 18:19 "But it came to pass at the time when Merab Saul's daughter should have been given to David, that she was given unto Adriel the Meholathite to wife."
It was the five sons of this marriage of Saul oldest daughter Merab that David gave over to the Gibeonites to be hung for the sins of Saul their grandfather.
II Samuel 21:9 "And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonite, 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."
This was not a crucifixion as the Romans would do, for these sons were killed first, and then hung for the people to witness after the fact. It was not a means for death, but for the display of an evil dead person.
Lets take a deeper look into this. Barley is a poor mans bread, and this would be happening in mid-April of our time. This is important because of what one of the mothers does following the death of her sons.
II Samuel 21:10 "And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night."
The most degrading thing that an individual could suffer was to be killed and be left of the birds and the wild beasts of the field to eat on that carcass. It was the practice of the Israelites that if someone was executed, that the body was taken down and buried before the day ended. However after the Gibeonites had killed the sons, they hung the bodies and left them there in to open for the birds and the wild beasts to feed on them. This was done to show their disgust for Saul and his family for the great torment that he cause their people.
However these Gibeonites did allow this mother to come there by her hanging sons, and place the sackcloth, to stay by her sons to keep the wild animals and birds from feeding off her sons. Josephus wrote that the rains started immediately, however that record was not true as given in the Massorah text, but the rains never came for some time afterwards. The number of days are not known because there is no written record of when the rains did come. But this woman stayed there on that rock and was true to her commitment to her dead sons. She guarded those dead bodies. Think of the love that Rizpah had for her sons.
II Samuel 21:11 "And it was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done."
It didn't take long for the actions of Rizpah to reach the ears of David, and the dedication of this mother to her sons.
II Samuel 21:12 "And David went and took the bones of Saul and the Bones of Joanathan his son from the men of Jabesh-gilead, which had stolen them from the street of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa:"
Remember that the time when this happened was some years prior to Chapter 20, for it was when they were back fighting the Philistines. By the time Absalom died, the wars with the Philistines were long over. When Saul and Jonathan died, the men of Jabesh-gilead went to the Philistines, took the bodies and brought them to Jabesh-gilead and buried them there. They did this because the Philistines took their parts and hung them in their temple to their god of Baal worship. So David in turn went to Jabesh-gilead and brought the bodies back to Gilboa, the place of Saul's father's tomb. So David is gathering all of Saul's family's bones and putting them in the tomb of Kish, Saul's father.
II Samuel 21:13 "And he brought up from thence the bones of Saul and the bones of Joanthan his son; and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged."
These were the bones of the seven that were killed by the Gibeonites, along with the bones of Jonathan and Saul.
II Samuel 21:14 "And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulchre of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded." And after that God was intreated for the land."
After all the transferring of bones had taken place, and these five son's bones were in the tomb, the rains came. There is a lesson that we can learn from all this, and that is if we have made a vow, it is important that we keep it. We saw that the vow at the time of Joshua, between Israel and the Gibeonites did not have the council of God, however after the vow was made, God expected His people to honor that vow. Before we make promises, it is important to consider the vow in light of the Scriptures, and pray about it before we enter into a commitment that locks us into something that God is against. This especially applies to vows concerning peace commitments.
II Samuel 21:15 "Moreover the Philistines had yet war against with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines: and David waxed faint."
We are going into a chronology here concerning the wars between Israel and the Philistines while David ruled. The wars at this time were in David's later years as he is starting to age.
II Samuel 21:16 "And Ishbi-benob, which was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighted three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David."
Ishbi-benob was an offspring of the second influx of fallen angels, of the Rephaim, as spoken of earlier in I Samuel 5:18. These would be kindred to Goliath, the giant that David killed in his youth. This spear weighted about nine pounds, and was quite heavy for a spear that a man would take into battle.
II Samuel 21:17 "And Abishai the son of Zeruiah seccoured him, and smote the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David sware unto him, saying, "Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel."
What this is saying in the manuscripts, was that Abishai is the person that the mantle of king had fallen, and they did not want Abishai killed in battle. Once again Abishai was the chosen one of the people, not of God, to rule after David.
II Samuel 21:18 "And it came to pass after this, that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob: then Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Saph, which was the sons of the giant."
Though it states "Gob", in the Mossorah text it read "Nob". These giants were intermixed with the Philistines in the area of Gath. They came about through the second influx of the fallen angels which came about after the flood of Noah's day.
II Samuel 21:19 "And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, a Beth-lehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam."
We see that after David's fight with Goliath, there were many other battles with these Philistines, and in this battle Elhanan killed the brother of Goliath. This was another younger brother to that same Goliath, only Elhanan used a wooden spear to do the job.
II Samuel 21:20 "And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant."
This man that was in another battle was a hybrid, a mixture of a woman bred by a fallen angel, following the influx of angels mixing and marrying with the daughters of men. This had gone on in great numbers prior to the flood of Noah's day, and after the flood, there was a second influx. God created the tribes and races as He wanted them, and with these offspring to these giants, we saw all sorts of crazy things happening in the offspring that these relationships brought about. Anything unnatural is a perversion and against God's plan. So with these six fingers and six toes stated, we can plainly see that strange things are happening. There are pictographs found in stone where the people in those sketches have six fingers and six toes, so this would document the reality of what is written here in II Samuel.
II Samuel 21:21 "And when he defiled Israel, Joanthan the son of Shimeah the borther of David slew him."
II Samuel 21:22 "These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants."
So we see by the time of David, there were more giants than just Goliath, but a family of giants. The were deformed as we consider human life, both in physical form, and in moral condition. David slew more than one giant for he knew that God was with him.
The lesson we receive from this today is that if God is with you, and you use common sense, you can overcome many problems and difficulties; the giants of our day. When you lay back and sleep for a moment, the result can bring much trouble your way. However that would be your fault and not the Father's. God expects us to be obedient to His Word, and have discipline to our lives.
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