1 There was a famine during the reign of David, year after year for three years. David inquired of Hashem, and Hashem replied, “It is because of the bloodguilt of Shaul and [his] house, for he put some Givonites to death.”
2 The king summoned the Givonites and spoke to them.—Now the Givonites were not of Israelite stock, but a remnant of the Amorites, to whom the Israelites had given an oath; and Shaul had tried to wipe them out in his zeal for the people of Yisrael and Yehuda.
3 David asked the Givonites, “What shall I do for you? How shall I make expiation, so that you may bless Hashem‘s own people?”
ג וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל־הַגִּבְעֹנִים מָה אֶעֱשֶׂה לָכֶם וּבַמָּה אֲכַפֵּר וּבָרְכוּ אֶת־נַחֲלַת יְהֹוָה׃
4 The Givonites answered him, “We have no claim for silver or gold against Shaul and his household; and we have no claim on the life of any other man in Yisrael.” And [David] responded, “Whatever you say I will do for you.”
5 Thereupon they said to the king, “The man who massacred us and planned to exterminate us, so that we should not survive in all the territory of Yisrael
ה וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר כִּלָּנוּ וַאֲשֶׁר דִּמָּה־לָנוּ נִשְׁמַדְנוּ מֵהִתְיַצֵּב בְּכָל־גְּבֻל יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
9 and he handed them over to the Givonites. They impaled them on the mountain before Hashem; all seven of them perished at the same time. They were put to death in the first days of the harvest, the beginning of the barley harvest.
ט וַיִּתְּנֵם בְּיַד הַגִּבְעֹנִים וַיֹּקִיעֻם בָּהָר לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וַיִּפְּלוּ שבעתים [שְׁבַעְתָּם] יָחַד והם [וְהֵמָּה] הֻמְתוּ בִּימֵי קָצִיר בָּרִאשֹׁנִים תחלת [בִּתְחִלַּת] קְצִיר שְׂעֹרִים׃
10 Then Rizpah daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it on a rock for herself, and she stayed there from the beginning of the harvest until rain from the sky fell on the bodies; she did not let the birds of the sky settle on them by day or the wild beasts [approach] by night.
י וַתִּקַּח רִצְפָּה בַת־אַיָּה אֶת־הַשַּׂק וַתַּטֵּהוּ לָהּ אֶל־הַצּוּר מִתְּחִלַּת קָצִיר עַד נִתַּךְ־מַיִם עֲלֵיהֶם מִן־הַשָּׁמָיִם וְלֹא־נָתְנָה עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם לָנוּחַ עֲלֵיהֶם יוֹמָם וְאֶת־חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה לָיְלָה׃
יא וַיֻּגַּד לְדָוִד אֵת אֲשֶׁר־עָשְׂתָה רִצְפָּה בַת־אַיָּה פִּלֶגֶשׁ שָׁאוּל׃
12 And David went and took the bones of Shaul and of his son Yehonatan from the citizens of Jabesh-gilead, who had made off with them from the public square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hung them up on the day the Philistines killed Shaul at Gilboa.
14 And they buried the bones of Shaul and of his son Yehonatan in Zela, in the territory of Binyamin, in the tomb of his father Keesh. And when all that the king had commanded was done, Hashem responded to the plea of the land thereafter.
21:14 And they buried the bones of Shaul
King David buries the remains of King Shaul and Yonatan in their ancestral burial area within the territory of the tribe of Binyamin. Metzudat David adds that David also makes sure that they are properly eulogized throughout the land, with King David himself giving one of the eulogies. Though this was particularly important due to the honor given to a king, the concern that everyone be provided a proper burial has been a core value from antiquity until today. For example, following Israel’s War for Independence, the army’s Chief Rabbi, Shlomo Goren, worked day and night to bring the remains of fallen Israeli fighters to proper burial. He risked his life by walking through minefields, and often dug through the earth with his own hands, to ensure that every soldier killed in action would receive a proper burial.Comment
16 and Ishbi-benob tried to kill David.—He was a descendant of the Raphah; his bronze spear weighed three hundred shekalim and he wore new armor.
17 But Avishai son of Tzeruya came to his aid; he attacked the Philistine and killed him. It was then that David‘s men declared to him on oath, “You shall not go with us into battle any more, lest you extinguish the lamp of Yisrael!”
יז וַיַּעֲזָר־לוֹ אֲבִישַׁי בֶּן־צְרוּיָה וַיַּךְ אֶת־הַפְּלִשְׁתִּי וַיְמִיתֵהוּ אָז נִשְׁבְּעוּ אַנְשֵׁי־דָוִד לוֹ לֵאמֹר לֹא־תֵצֵא עוֹד אִתָּנוּ לַמִּלְחָמָה וְלֹא תְכַבֶּה אֶת־נֵר יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
20 Once again there was fighting, at Gath. There was a giant of a man, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in all; he too was descended from the Raphah.