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and David enquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered: "Upon Saul and upon his house there is blood-guilt, because he slew the Gibeonites." 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. 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?" 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." 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, let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the Lord in Gibeon in the mount of Jehovah." And the king said, "I will give them." So the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Meribbaal; and the five sons of Merab the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite: and he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, 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.

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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. And it was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done. And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan 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: 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. 1 See p. 156.

2 A note is here added: "But the king spared Meribbaal 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."

a The time was about the end of April.

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.

David's Kindness to Meribbaal (2 Sam. ix.). And David said: "Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake?" And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, "Art thou Ziba?" And he said, "Thy servant is he." And the king said: "Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him?" And Ziba said unto the king: "Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet." And the king said unto him, "Where is he?" And Ziba said unto the king: "Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lo-debar."

Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar. Now when Meribbaal, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, "Meribbaal." And he answered, "Behold thy servant!" And David said unto him: "Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually." And he bowed himself, and said: "What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?" Then the king called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said unto him: "I have given unto thy master's son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house. Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in the fruits, that thy master's son may have food to eat but Meribbaal thy master's son shall eat bread alway at my table." Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. Then said Ziba unto the king: "According to all that my lord the king hath commanded his servant, so shall thy servant do."

1" He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan, out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth." (2 Sam. iv. 4.) The form Mephibosheth, who puffs at the shameful thing,' was piously substituted for Meribbaal, 'Baal the warrior,' which was his real name, as preserved in Chronicles. See note, p. 268.

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So Meribbaal did eat at David's table, as one of the king's sons. And Meribbaal had a young son, whose name was Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Meribbaal.

David's Census and its Consequences (2 Sam. xxxiv.). And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he' moved David against them, saying: "Go, number Israel and Judah." So the king said to Joab and the captains of the host, which were with him: "Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people." And Joab said unto the king: "Now the Lord thy God add unto the people, how many soever they be, an hundredfold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing?" Notwithstanding the king's word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the host. And Joab and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel.

And they passed over Jordan, and began from Aroer, and from the city that lieth in the midst of the valley towards the Gadites, and on to Jazer: then they came to Gilead, and to the land of the Hittites towards Kadesh; and they came to Dan, and about towards Zidon, and came to the strong hold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and of the Canaanites: and they went out to the south of Judah, even to Beer-sheba. So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.

And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord: "I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly."

1 In 1 Chron. xxi. it is Satan that moves David to take the census. It is a primitive belief that it is sinful presumption for a mere mortal to get possession of a secret such as the number of people in the country - which belongs to the Deity.

And when David rose up in the morning, the word of the Lord came unto the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying: "Go and say unto David, Thus saith the Lord, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee." So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him: "Shall three years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land ? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me." And David said unto Gad: "I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great and let me not fall into the hand of man."

So David chose the pestilence; and it was the time of wheat harvest when the pestilence began among the people, and there died of the people from Dan even to Beer-sheba seventy thousand men. And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people: "It is enough: stay now thine hand." And the angel of the Lord was by the threshing-place of Araunah the Jebusite."

And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him: "Go up, rear an altar unto the Lord in the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite." And David, according to the saying of Gad, went up as the Lord commanded. And Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants coming on toward him: and Araunah went out, and bowed himself before the king on his face upon the ground. And Araunah said: "Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant?" And David said: "To buy the threshing-floor of thee, to build an altar unto the Lord, that the plague may be stayed from the people." And Araunah said unto David: "Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of

1 The parallel account in 1 Chron. xxi. gives at this point: "And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the Lord stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces. And David said unto God: 'Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered ? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O Lord my God, be on me, and on my father's house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.'"

the oxen for wood. All this, O king, doth thy servant give unto the king." And Araunah said unto the king: "The Lord thy God accept thee." And the king said unto Araunah: "Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing." So David bought the threshing-floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.1 And David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.2 So the Lord was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.

David's Wars of Conquest (2 Sam. viii. 1,2; x.; viii. 3-14; xi. 1; xii. 26–31). And after this it came to pass, that David smote Moab, and measured them with a line, making them to lie down on the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And so the Moabites became David's servants, and brought gifts.


And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead. Then said David: "I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me." And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. So David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon. But the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord: "Thinkest thou that David doth honor thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it?" Wherefore Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.

Then there went certain, and told David how the men were served. And he sent to meet them, because the men were

1 If the shekel here used was the heavy Phoenician unit for silver of 2241 grains troy, which at the ratio of 13:1 would correspond to shekel of gold (72} cents), David gave bullion worth about $36.25. Its purchasing power, of course, was then many times greater. As a coin, the shekel does not appear until 139

B. C.

2 It is believed that the site of David's altar was the same as that of Solomon's great altar of burnt offering. It is now covered by the famous mosque 'Dome of the Rock.'

8 Nahash. See p. 228. The occasion of his showing kindness to David is not recorded.

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