2 Samuel 21:1

“Then there was a famine in the dayes of Dauid three yeeres, yeere after yeere, and Dauid enquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloodie house, because he slew the Gibeonites.”

1611 King James Version (KJV)




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Other Translations

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.
- King James Version

Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the presence of the LORD. And the LORD said, "It is for Saul and his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death."
- New American Standard Version (1995)

And there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David sought the face of Jehovah. And Jehovah said, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he put to death the Gibeonites.
- American Standard Version (1901)

In the days of David they were short of food for three years, year after year; and David went before the Lord for directions. And the Lord said, On Saul and on his family there is blood, because he put the Gibeonites to death.
- Basic English Bible

And there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David inquired of Jehovah. And Jehovah said, It is for Saul, and for [his] house of blood, because he slew the Gibeonites.
- Darby Bible

Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David inquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.
- Webster's Bible

There was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David sought the face of Yahweh. Yahweh said, "It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he put to death the Gibeonites."
- World English Bible

And there is a famine in the days of David three years, year after year, and David seeketh the face of Jehovah, and Jehovah saith, `For Saul and for the bloody house, because that he put to death the Gibeonites.'
- Youngs Literal Bible

And there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David sought the face of the LORD. And the LORD said: 'It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he put to death the Gibeonites.'
- Jewish Publication Society Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for 2 Samuel 21:1


21:1 Then - The things related here and chap.#24:1 |- 25, are by the best interpreters conceived to have been done long before Absalom's rebellion. And this opinion is not without sufficient grounds: first, this particle, then, is here explained, in the days, that is, during the reign of David: which general words seem to be added as an intimation that these things were not done after the next foregoing passages, for then the sacred writer would rather have added, after these things, as it is in many other places. Secondly, here are divers passages which it seems improbable to ascribe to the last years of David's reign: such as first, that Saul's sin against the Gibeonites should so long remain unpunished. And indeed that this was done, and Saul's seven sons hanged by David's order before that time, seems to be intimated by that passage, #2Sam 16:8|, where he is charged with the blood of the house of Saul: for which there was not the least colour 'till this time. Secondly, that David should not remove the bones of Saul and Jonathan to their proper place, 'till that time. Thirdly, that the Philistines should wage war with David again and again, ver.#15|, &c. so long after he had fully subdued them, chap.#8:1|, and that David in his old age should attempt to fight with a Philistine giant, or that his people should suffer him to do so. Fourthly, that David should then have so vehement a desire to number his people, chap.#24:1|, which being an act of youthful vanity, seems not at all to agree with his old age, nor with that state of deep humiliation in which he then was. And the reason why these matters are put here out of their proper order, is plainly this, because David's sin being once related, it was very convenient that David's punishments should immediately succeed: this being very frequent in scripture - story, to put those things together which belong to one matter, though they happened at several times. He flew - Which was not only an act of cruelty, but also of perfidiousness, because it was a public violation of that solemn oath given to them by Joshua and the princes, in the name of all the Israelites, of that and succeeding generations. But why did not God punish Saul whilst he was alive for this, but his children, and the Israelites of this age? First, God did severely punish Saul for this and his other sins. Secondly, as God may justly inflict temporal punishments upon any offender, either in his person, or in his posterity, when he pleaseth; so it is meet he should take his own time for it; and it is folly in us to quarrel with God for so doing. Thirdly, the Israelites might sundry ways make themselves guilty of Saul's sin, tho' it be not particularly mentioned, advising or encouraging him to it; or, assisting him in the execution of it. And whereas many of the people were probably innocent of that crime, yet they also were guilty of many other sins, for which God might punish them, though he took this occasion for it.


Discussion for 2 Samuel 21

  • Stanjett
    There was 2 with name of Mephibosheth. One was Jonathans son, which was spared. The other was Sauls son born of Rizpah, who was turned over to be killed. Same names confuses us sometimes.
  • Ronald
    I was cross refereeing the same chapter on another Bible version and i found out that Elhanan killed Goliath the English Standard Version but King James Version states clearly that it was brother to Goliath.
  • BSP
    Verse 7~David showed loyalty to his oath by showing kindness to Mephibosheth. We want to honor our word too.
  • Ren
    According to 1 Samuel 18:19, Saul married his daughter Merab to Adriel. The five sons that sprang from this union were put to death by the Gibeonites. Michal just brought them up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite:
  • Dewey J
    Lynett, v8 of this chapter explain or answer your question the King David gave Rizpah's two sons Armoni and Mephibosheth King Saul's grandsons to the Gibeonites to be executed. Aiah Saul's wife or concubine gave birth to his daughter Rizpah v8. Glory be to God in the highest through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ amen!
  • C. Keen
    Someone mentioned a contradiction in 2 Samuel 21:8 and 2 Samuel 6:23. It says she brought them up for Adriel. Maybe they were her stepsons

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