Good News Translation (GNB)
21

Saul's Descendants are Put to Death

211During David's reign there was a severe famine which lasted for three full years. So David consulted the LORD about it, and the LORD said, “Saul and his family are guilty of murder; he put the people of Gibeon to death.” 2

21.2:
Josh 9.3–15
(The people of Gibeon were not Israelites; they were a small group of Amorites whom the Israelites had promised to protect, but Saul had tried to destroy them because of his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah.) 3So David summoned the people of Gibeon and said to them, “What can I do for you? I want to make up for the wrong that was done to you, so that you will bless the LORD's people.”

4They answered, “Our quarrel with Saul and his family can't be settled with silver or gold, nor do we want to kill any Israelite.”

“What, then, do you think I should do for you?” David asked.

5They answered, “Saul wanted to destroy us and leave none of us alive anywhere in Israel. 6So hand over seven of his male descendants, and we will hang them before the LORD at Gibeah, the town of Saul, the LORD's chosen king.”

“I will hand them over,” the king answered.

7

21.7:
1 Sam 20.15–17
2 Sam 9.1–7
But because of the sacred promise that he and Jonathan had made to each other, David spared Jonathan's son Mephibosheth, the grandson of Saul. 8
21.8:
1 Sam 18.19
However, he took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons that Rizpah the daughter of Aiah had borne to Saul; he also took the five sons of Saul's daughter Merab, whom she had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai, who was from Meholah. 9David handed them over to the people of Gibeon, who hanged them on the mountain before the LORD — and all seven of them died together. It was late in the spring, at the beginning of the barley harvest, when they were put to death.

10Then Saul's concubine Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, used sackcloth to make a shelter for herself on the rock where the corpses were, and she stayed there from the beginning of harvest until the autumn rains came. During the day she would keep the birds away from the corpses, and at night she would protect them from wild animals.

11When David heard what Rizpah had done, 12

21.12:
1 Sam 31.8–13
he went and got the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan from the people of Jabesh in Gilead. (They had stolen them from the public square in Beth Shan, where the Philistines had hanged the bodies on the day they killed Saul on Mount Gilboa.) 13David took the bones of Saul and Jonathan and also gathered up the bones of the seven men who had been hanged. 14Then they buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan in the grave of Saul's father Kish, in Zela in the territory of Benjamin, doing all that the king had commanded. And after that, God answered their prayers for the country.

Battles against Philistine Giants

(1 Chr 20.4–8)

15There was another war between the Philistines and Israel, and David and his men went and fought the Philistines. During one of the battles David grew tired. 16A giant named Ishbibenob, who was carrying a bronze spear that weighed about 3.5 kilogrammes and who was wearing a new sword, thought he could kill David. 17

21.17:
1 Kgs 11.36
Ps 132.17
But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David's help, attacked the giant, and killed him. Then David's men made David promise that he would never again go out with them to battle. “You are the hope of Israel, and we don't want to lose you,” they said.

18After this there was a battle with the Philistines at Gob, during which Sibbecai from Hushah killed a giant named Saph.

19There was another battle with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan son of Jair21.19 Probable text (see 1 Chr 20.5) Jair; Hebrew Jaareoregim. from Bethlehem killed Goliath from Gath, whose spear had a shaft as thick as the bar on a weaver's loom.

20Then there was another battle at Gath, where there was a giant who loved to fight. He had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. 21He defied the Israelites, and Jonathan, the son of David's brother Shammah, killed him.

22These four were descendants of the giants of Gath, and they were killed by David and his men.

22

David's Song of Victory

(Ps 18)

221When the LORD saved David from Saul and his other enemies, David sang this song to the LORD:

2The LORD is my protector;

he is my strong fortress.

3My God is my protection,

and with him I am safe.

He protects me like a shield;

he defends me and keeps me safe.

He is my saviour;

he protects me and saves me from violence.

4I call to the LORD,

and he saves me from my enemies.

Praise the LORD!

5The waves of death were all round me;

the waves of destruction rolled over me.

6The danger of death was round me,

and the grave set its trap for me.

7In my trouble I called to the LORD;

I called to my God for help.

In his temple he heard my voice;

he listened to my cry for help.

8Then the earth trembled and shook;

the foundations of the sky rocked and quivered

because God was angry!

9Smoke poured out of his nostrils,

a consuming flame and burning coals from his mouth.

10He tore the sky apart and came down,

with a dark cloud under his feet.

11He flew swiftly on his winged creature;22.11 winged creature: See Word List.

he travelled on the wings of the wind.

12He covered himself with darkness;

thick clouds, full of22.12 Some ancient translations (and see Ps 18.11) full of; Hebrew unclear. water, surrounded him;

13burning coals flamed up from the lightning before him.

14Then the LORD thundered from the sky,

and the voice of Almighty God was heard.

15He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies;

with flashes of lightning he sent them running.

16The floor of the ocean was laid bare,

and the foundations of the earth were uncovered

when the LORD rebuked his enemies

and roared at them in anger.

17The LORD reached down from above and took hold of me;

he pulled me out of the deep waters.

18He rescued me from my powerful enemies

and from all those who hate me —

they were too strong for me.

19When I was in trouble, they attacked me,

but the LORD protected me.

20He helped me out of danger;

he saved me because he was pleased with me.

21The LORD rewards me because I do what is right;

he blesses me because I am innocent.

22I have obeyed the law of the LORD;

I have not turned away from my God.

23I have observed all his laws;

I have not disobeyed his commands.

24He knows that I am faultless,

that I have kept myself from doing wrong.

25And so he rewards me because I do what is right,

because he knows that I am innocent.

26O LORD, you are faithful to those who are faithful to you,

and completely good to those22.26 Probable text (see Ps 18.25) those; Hebrew the strong. who are perfect.

27You are pure to those who are pure,

but hostile to those who are wicked.

28You save those who are humble,

but you humble those who are proud.

29You, LORD, are my light;

you dispel my darkness.

30You give me strength to attack my enemies

and power to overcome their defences.

31This God — how perfect are his deeds,

how dependable his words!

He is like a shield

for all who seek his protection.

32The LORD alone is God;

God alone is our defence.

33This God is my strong refuge;

he makes22.33 Probable text (see Ps 18.32) he makes; Hebrew unclear. my pathway safe.

34

22.34:
Hab 3.19
He makes me sure-footed as a deer;

he keeps me safe on the mountains.

35He trains me for battle,

so that I can use the strongest bow.

36O LORD, you protect me and save me;

your help has made me great.

37You have kept me from being captured,

and I have never fallen.

38I pursue my enemies and defeat them;

I do not stop until I destroy them.

39I strike them down, and they cannot rise;

they lie defeated before me.

40You give me strength for the battle

and victory over my enemies.

41You make my enemies run from me;

I destroy those who hate me.

42They look for help, but no one saves them;

they call to the LORD, but he does not answer.

43I crush them, and they become like dust;

I trample on them like mud in the streets.

44You saved me from my rebellious people

and maintained my rule over the nations;

people I did not know have now become my subjects.

45Foreigners bow before me;

when they hear me, they obey.

46They lose their courage

and come trembling22.46 Probable text (see Ps 18.45) come trembling; Hebrew come ready to fight. from their fortresses.

47The LORD lives! Praise my defender!

Proclaim the greatness of the strong God who saves me!

48He gives me victory over my enemies;

he subdues the nations under me

49and saves me from my foes.

O LORD, you give me victory over my enemies

and protect me from violent men.

50

22.50:
Rom 15.9
And so I praise you among the nations;

I sing praises to you.

51God gives great victories to his king;

he shows constant love to the one he has chosen,

to David and his descendants for ever.

23

David's Last Words

231David son of Jesse was the man whom God made great, whom the God of Jacob chose to be king, and who was the composer of beautiful songs for Israel. These are David's last words:

2The Spirit of the LORD speaks through me;

his message is on my lips.

3The God of Israel has spoken;

the protector of Israel said to me:

“The king who rules with justice,

who rules in obedience to God,

4is like the sun shining on a cloudless dawn,

the sun that makes the grass sparkle after rain.”

5And that is how God will bless my descendants,

because he has made an eternal covenant with me,

an agreement that will not be broken,

a promise that will not be changed.

That is all I desire;

that will be my victory,

and God will surely bring it about.

6But godless people are like thorns that are thrown away;

no one can touch them with bare hands.

7You must use an iron tool or a spear;

they will be burnt completely.23.7 Verses 6–7 in Hebrew are unclear.

David's Famous Soldiers

(1 Chr 11.10–41)

8These are the names of David's famous soldiers: the first was Josheb Basshebeth from Tachemon, who was the leader of “The Three”;23.8 One ancient translation “The Three”; Hebrew the third. he fought with his spear23.8 Probable text (see 1 Chr 11.11) he fought with his spear; Hebrew unclear. against 800 men and killed them all in one battle.

9The second of the famous three was Eleazar son of Dodo, of the clan of Ahoh. One day he and David challenged the Philistines who had gathered for battle. The Israelites fell back, 10but he stood his ground and fought the Philistines until his hand was so stiff that he could not let go of his sword. The LORD won a great victory that day. After it was over, the Israelites returned to where Eleazar was and stripped the armour from the dead.

11The third of the famous three was Shammah son of Agee, from Harar. The Philistines had gathered at Lehi, where there was a field of peas. The Israelites fled from the Philistines, 12but Shammah stood his ground in the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. The LORD won a great victory that day.

13Near the beginning of harvest time23.13 Probable text Near the beginning of harvest time; Hebrew unclear. three of “The Thirty” went down to the cave of Adullam, where David was, while a band of Philistines was camping in the Valley of Rephaim. 14At that time David was on a fortified hill, and a group of Philistines had occupied Bethlehem. 15David felt homesick and said, “How I wish someone would bring me a drink of water from the well by the gate at Bethlehem!” 16The three famous soldiers forced their way through the Philistine camp, drew some water from the well, and brought it back to David. But he would not drink it; instead he poured it out as an offering to the LORD 17and said, “LORD, I could never drink this! It would be like drinking the blood of these men who risked their lives!” So he refused to drink it.

Those were the brave deeds of the three famous soldiers.

18Joab's brother Abishai (their mother was Zeruiah) was the leader of “The Famous Thirty”. He fought with his spear against 300 men and killed them, and became famous among “The Thirty”.23.18 One ancient translation “The Thirty”; Hebrew “The Three”. 19He was the most famous of “The Thirty”23.19; 23.22 Probable text “The Thirty”; Hebrew “The Three”. and became their leader, but he was not as famous as “The Three”.

20Benaiah son of Jehoiada, from Kabzeel, was another famous soldier; he did many brave deeds, including killing two great Moabite warriors. He once went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. 21He also killed an Egyptian, a huge man who was armed with a spear. Benaiah attacked him with his club, snatched the spear from the Egyptian's hand, and killed him with it. 22Those were the brave deeds of Benaiah, who was one of “The Thirty”.23.22; 23.19 Probable text “The Thirty”; Hebrew “The Three”. 23He was outstanding among them, but was not as famous as “The Three”. David put him in charge of his bodyguard.

24-39Other members of “The Thirty” included:

Asahel, Joab's brother

Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem

Shammah and Elika from Harod

Helez from Pelet

Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa

Abiezer from Anathoth

Mebunnai from Hushah

Zalmon from Ahoh

Maharai from Netophah

Heleb son of Baanah from Netophah

Ittai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin

Benaiah from Pirathon

Hiddai from the valleys near Gaash

Abialbon from Arabah

Azmaveth from Bahurim

Eliahba from Shaalbon

The sons of Jashen

Jonathan

Shammah from Harar

Ahiam son of Sharar from Harar

Eliphelet son of Ahasbai from Maacah

Eliam son of Ahithophel from Gilo

Hezro from Carmel

Paarai from Arab

Igal son of Nathan from Zobah

Bani from Gad

Zelek from Ammon

Naharai from Beeroth, Joab's armour bearer

Ira and Gareb from Jattir

Uriah the Hittite.

There were 37 famous soldiers in all.