21 During David’s reign there was a famine for three consecutive years. So David inquired of the Lord. 1 The Lord said, “It is because of Saul and his bloodstained family, 2 because he murdered the Gibeonites.”
2 So the king summoned the Gibeonites and spoke with them. (Now the Gibeonites were not descendants of Israel; they were a remnant of the Amorites. The Israelites had made a promise to 3 them, but Saul tried to kill them because of his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah.) 3 David said to the Gibeonites, “What can I do for you, and how can I make amends so that you will bless 4 the Lord’s inheritance?”
4 The Gibeonites said to him, “We 5 have no claim to silver or gold from Saul or from his family, 6 nor would we be justified in putting to death anyone in Israel.” David asked, 7 “What then are you asking me to do for you?” 5 They replied to the king, “As for this man who exterminated us and who schemed against us so that we were destroyed and left without status throughout all the borders of Israel – 6 let seven of his male descendants be turned over to us, and we will execute 8 them before the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, who was the Lord’s chosen one.” 9 The king replied, “I will turn them over.”
7 The king had mercy on Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, in light of the Lord’s oath that had been taken between David and Jonathan son of Saul. 8 So the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Aiah’s daughter Rizpah whom she had born to Saul, and the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab 10 whom she had born to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite. 9 He turned them over to the Gibeonites, and they executed them on a hill before the Lord. The seven of them 11 died 12 together; they were put to death during harvest time – during the first days of the beginning 13 of the barley harvest.
10 Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on a rock. From the beginning of the harvest until the rain fell on them, 14 she did not allow the birds of the air to feed 15 on them by day, nor the wild animals 16 by night. 11 When David was told what Rizpah daughter of Aiah, Saul’s concubine, had done, 12 he 17 went and took the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan 18 from the leaders 19 of Jabesh Gilead. (They had secretly taken 20 them from the plaza at Beth Shan. It was there that Philistines 21 publicly exposed their corpses 22 after 23 they 24 had killed Saul at Gilboa.) 13 David 25 brought the bones of Saul and of Jonathan his son from there; they also gathered up the bones of those who had been executed.
14 They buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the land of Benjamin at Zela in the grave of his father Kish. After they had done everything 26 that the king had commanded, God responded to their prayers 27 for the land.
15 Another battle was fought between the Philistines and Israel. So David went down with his soldiers 28 and fought the Philistines. David became exhausted. 16 Now Ishbi-Benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, 29 had a spear 30 that weighed three hundred bronze shekels, 31 and he was armed with a new weapon. 32 He had said that he would kill David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to David’s aid, striking the Philistine down and killing him. Then David’s men took an oath saying, “You will not go out to battle with us again! You must not extinguish the lamp of Israel!”
18 Later there was another battle with the Philistines, this time in Gob. On that occasion Sibbekai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the descendants of Rapha. 19 Yet another battle occurred with the Philistines in Gob. On that occasion Elhanan the son of Jair 33 the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, 34 the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 20 Yet another battle occurred in Gath. On that occasion there was a large man 35 who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in all! He too was a descendant of Rapha. 21 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan, the son of David’s brother Shimeah, killed him. 22 These four were the descendants of Rapha who lived in Gath; they were killed 36 by David and his soldiers. 37
22 David sang 2 to the Lord the words of this song when 3 the Lord rescued him from the power 4 of all his enemies, including Saul. 5 2 He said:
“The Lord is my high ridge, 6 my stronghold, 7 my deliverer.
3 My God 8 is my rocky summit where I take shelter, 9
my shield, the horn that saves me, 10 my stronghold,
my refuge, my savior. You save me from violence! 11
4 I called 12 to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, 13
and I was delivered from my enemies.
5 The waves of death engulfed me;
the currents 14 of chaos 15 overwhelmed me. 16
6 The ropes of Sheol 17 tightened around me; 18
the snares of death trapped me. 19
7 In my distress I called to the Lord;
I called to my God. 20
From his heavenly temple 21 he heard my voice;
he listened to my cry for help. 22
8 The earth heaved and shook; 23
the foundations of the sky 24 trembled. 25
They heaved because he was angry.
9 Smoke ascended from 26 his nose; 27
fire devoured as it came from his mouth; 28
he hurled down fiery coals. 29
10 He made the sky sink 30 as he descended;
a thick cloud was under his feet.
11 He mounted 31 a winged angel 32 and flew;
he glided 33 on the wings of the wind. 34
12 He shrouded himself in darkness, 35
in thick rain clouds. 36
13 From the brightness in front of him
came coals of fire. 37
14 The Lord thundered 38 from the sky;
the sovereign One 39 shouted loudly. 40
15 He shot 41 arrows and scattered them, 42
lightning and routed them. 43
16 The depths 44 of the sea were exposed;
the inner regions 45 of the world were uncovered
by the Lord’s battle cry, 46
by the powerful breath from his nose. 47
17 He reached down from above and grabbed me; 48
he pulled me from the surging water. 49
18 He rescued me from my strong enemy, 50
from those who hate me,
for they were too strong for me.
19 They confronted 51 me in my day of calamity,
but the Lord helped me. 52
20 He brought me out into a wide open place;
he delivered me because he was pleased with me. 53
21 The Lord repaid 54 me for my godly deeds; 55
he rewarded 56 my blameless behavior. 57
22 For I have obeyed the Lord’s commands; 58
I have not rebelled against my God. 59
23 For I am aware of all his regulations, 60
and I do not reject his rules. 61
24 I was blameless before him;
I kept myself from sinning. 62
25 The Lord rewarded me for my godly deeds; 63
he took notice of my blameless behavior. 64
26 You prove to be loyal 65 to one who is faithful; 66
you prove to be trustworthy 67 to one who is innocent. 68
27 You prove to be reliable 69 to one who is blameless,
but you prove to be deceptive 70 to one who is perverse. 71
28 You deliver oppressed 72 people,
but you watch the proud and bring them down. 73
29 Indeed, 74 you are my lamp, 75 Lord.
The Lord illumines 76 the darkness around me. 77
30 Indeed, 78 with your help 79 I can charge 80 against an army; 81
by my God’s power 82 I can jump over a wall. 83
31 The one true God acts in a faithful manner; 84
the Lord’s promise is reliable; 85
he is a shield to all who take shelter in him.
32 Indeed, 86 who is God besides the Lord?
Who is a protector 87 besides our God? 88
33 The one true God 89 is my mighty refuge; 90
he removes 91 the obstacles in my way. 92
34 He gives me the agility of a deer; 93
he enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain. 94
35 He trains 95 my hands for battle; 96
my arms can bend even the strongest bow. 97
36 You give me 98 your protective shield; 99
your willingness to help enables me to prevail. 100
37 You widen my path; 101
my feet 102 do not slip.
38 I chase my enemies and destroy them;
I do not turn back until I wipe them out.
39 I wipe them out and beat them to death;
they cannot get up;
they fall at my feet.
40 You give me strength for battle; 103
you make my foes kneel before me. 104
41 You make my enemies retreat; 105
I destroy those who hate me.
42 They cry out, 106 but there is no one to help them; 107
they cry out to the Lord, 108 but he does not answer them.
43 I grind them as fine as the dust of the ground;
I crush them and stomp on them like clay 109 in the streets.
44 You rescue me from a hostile army; 110
you preserve me as a leader of nations;
people over whom I had no authority are now my subjects. 111
45 Foreigners are powerless before me; 112
when they hear of my exploits, they submit to me. 113
46 Foreigners lose their courage; 114
they shake with fear 115 as they leave 116 their strongholds. 117
47 The Lord is alive! 118
My protector 119 is praiseworthy! 120
The God who delivers me 121 is exalted as king! 122
48 The one true God completely vindicates me; 123
he makes nations submit to me. 124
49 He delivers me from my enemies; 125
you snatch me away 126 from those who attack me; 127
you rescue me from violent men.
50 So I will give you thanks, O Lord, before the nations! 128
I will sing praises to you. 129
51 He gives his chosen king magnificent victories; 130
he is faithful to his chosen ruler, 131
to David and to his descendants forever!”
23 These are the final words of David:
“The oracle of David son of Jesse,
the oracle of the man raised up as
the ruler chosen by the God of Jacob, 1
Israel’s beloved 2 singer of songs:
2 The Lord’s spirit spoke through me;
his word was on my tongue.
3 The God of Israel spoke,
the protector 3 of Israel spoke to me.
The one who rules fairly among men,
the one who rules in the fear of God,
4 is like the light of morning when the sun comes up,
a morning in which there are no clouds.
He is like the brightness after rain
that produces grass from the earth.
5 My dynasty is approved by God, 4
for he has made a perpetual covenant with me,
arranged in all its particulars and secured.
He always delivers me,
and brings all I desire to fruition. 5
6 But evil people are like thorns –
all of them are tossed away,
for they cannot be held in the hand.
7 The one who touches them
must use an iron instrument
or the wooden shaft of a spear.
They are completely burned up right where they lie!” 6
8 These are the names of David’s warriors:
Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was head of the officers. 7 He killed eight hundred men with his spear in one battle. 8 9 Next in command 9 was Eleazar son of Dodo, 10 the son of Ahohi. He was one of the three warriors who were with David when they defied the Philistines who were assembled there for battle. When the men of Israel retreated, 11 10 he stood his ground 12 and fought the Philistines until his hand grew so tired that it 13 seemed stuck to his sword. The Lord gave a great victory on that day. When the army returned to him, the only thing left to do was to plunder the corpses.
11 Next in command 14 was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines assembled at Lehi, 15 where there happened to be an area of a field that was full of lentils, the army retreated before the Philistines. 12 But he made a stand in the middle of that area. He defended 16 it and defeated the Philistines; the Lord gave them a great victory.
13 At the time of 17 the harvest three 18 of the thirty leaders went down to 19 David at the cave of Adullam. A band of Philistines was camped in the valley of Rephaim. 14 David was in the stronghold at the time, while a Philistine garrison was in Bethlehem. 20 15 David was thirsty and said, “How I wish someone would give me some water to drink from the cistern in Bethlehem near the gate!” 16 So the three elite warriors broke through the Philistine forces and drew some water from the cistern in Bethlehem near the gate. They carried it back to David, but he refused to drink it. He poured it out as a drink offering to the Lord 17 and said, “O Lord, I will not do this! 21 It is equivalent to the blood of the men who risked their lives by going.” 22 So he refused to drink it. Such were the exploits of the three elite warriors. 23
18 Abishai son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, was head of the three. 24 He killed three hundred men with his spear and gained fame among the three. 25 19 From 26 the three he was given honor and he became their officer, even though he was not one of the three.
20 Benaiah son of Jehoida was a brave warrior 27 from Kabzeel who performed great exploits. He struck down the two sons of Ariel of Moab. 28 He also went down and killed a lion in a cistern on a snowy day. 21 He also killed an impressive-looking Egyptian. 29 The Egyptian wielded a spear, while Benaiah attacked 30 him with a club. He grabbed the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 22 Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoida, who gained fame among the three elite warriors. 23 He received honor from 31 the thirty warriors, though he was not one of the three elite warriors. David put him in charge of his bodyguard.
24 Included with the thirty were the following: Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem, 32 25 Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 26 Helez the Paltite, Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa, 27 Abiezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28 Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 29 Heled 33 son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin, 30 Benaiah the Pirathonite, Hiddai from the wadis of Gaash, 31 Abi-Albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, 32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan 33 son of 34 Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam son of Sharar the Hararite, 34 Eliphelet son of Ahasbai the Maacathite, Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, 35 Hezrai 35 the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, 36 Igal son of Nathan from Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite (the armor-bearer 36 of Joab son of Zeruiah), 38 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite 39 and Uriah the Hittite. Altogether there were thirty-seven.