2 Kingdoms 20, 21
1 There happened to be there a rebel whose name was Sheba the son of Bichri, a Benjamite. And he blew a trumpet and said, “We have no share in David, nor do we have inheritance in the son of Jesse. Every man to your tents, O Israel!” 2 So every man of Israel deserted David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah, from the Jordan as far as Jerusalem, clung to their king. 3 Now David entered his house at Jerusalem. And the king took the ten women, his concubines whom he had left to keep the house, and put them under guard and supported them, but did not go in to them. So they were shut up to the day of their death, living in widowhood.
4 And the king said to Amasa, “Within three days, call the men of Judah for me, and be present here yourself.” 5 So Amasa went to call for the men of Judah. But he delayed longer than the time set by David, who appointed him. 6 And David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom. Take your lord’s servants with you and pursue him so that he does not fortify cities for himself and escape from our sight.” 7 So Joab’s men with the Cherethites, the Pelethites, and all the mighty men went out after him. They went out of Jerusalem to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri. 8 When they reached the large stone in Gibeon, Amasa came before them. Now Joab was dressed in battle armor, and on it was a belt with a sword fastened in its sheath at his hips. Then the sword came out and fell to the ground. 9 Then Joab said to Amasa, “Are you healthy, brother?” And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 10 But Amasa did not notice the sword that was in Joab’s hand. And he struck him with it in the stomach, and his entrails poured out on the ground. He did not strike him again, and he died.
Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued Sheba the son of Bichri. 11 Meanwhile one of Joab’s servants stood near him and said, “Whoever favors Joab and whoever is for David—follow Joab!” 12 But Amasa was soaked in his blood in the middle of the road. And when the man saw that all the people stood still, he removed Amasa from the path onto the field. He threw a garment over him because he saw that everyone halted who came upon him. 13 And when he was removed from the road, all the people followed after Joab to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri. 14 And he went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel and Beth Maachah, and all the Charrites. So they joined together and went after Sheba. 15 They then came and besieged Sheba in Abel and Beth Maachah. And they raised a siege mound against the city and stood by the rampart. And all the people with Joab considered pulling down the wall.
16 Then a wise woman cried out from the wall, “Listen! Listen! Tell Joab to come near, and I will speak with him.” 17 When he came near to her, the woman said, “Are you Joab?” He answered, “I am.” Then she said to him, “Hear the words of your handmaid.” And he replied, “I am listening.” 18 So she spoke, saying, “In former times they used to say, ‘They asked at Abel and in Dan whether the things established by the faithful of Israel failed, and they will ask in Abel whether they failed.’ 19 I am among the peaceable and loyal in Israel. You seek to put a city and a capital in Israel to death. Why are you going to swallow up the inheritance of the Lord?” 20 And Joab answered and said, “Far be it from me, far be it from me to swallow it up or destroy it! 21 That is not so. But a man from the mountains of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, raised his hand against King David. Deliver him only to me, and I will depart from the city.” So the woman said to Joab, “Watch, his head will be thrown to you over the wall.” 22 Then the woman in her wisdom went to the people and spoke to all the city. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri and threw it out to Joab. Then he blew a trumpet, and they scattered from the city, every man to his tent. So Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem.
23 And Joab was over all the army of Israel; Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; 24 Adoram was in charge of revenue; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; 25 Sheva was scribe; Zadok and Abiathar were the priests; 26 and Ira the Jairite was a priest of David.
The Descendants of Saul Are Killed
1 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year, and David inquired before the Lord. And the Lord said, “In Saul and his unrighteous house there is wrongdoing, because of his bloodthirsty killings when he killed the Gibeonites.” 2 So King David called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. Now the Gibeonites were not sons of Israel, but belonged to the remnant of the Amorites. The sons of Israel had sworn protection to them, but Saul had sought to kill them in his zeal for the sons of Israel and Judah. 3 And David said to the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? And with what shall I make atonement so that you may bless the inheritance of the Lord?” 4 And the Gibeonites said to him, “We will have no silver or gold from Saul or from his house, nor shall you kill any man in Israel for us.”
So he said, “What do you want me to do for you?” 5 Then they answered the king, “As for the man who consumed us and pursued us, who deceived us to destroy us, let us blot him out from remaining in any of the territories of Israel. 6 Let seven men of his descendants be delivered to us, and we will hang them in broad daylight before the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, whom the Lord chose.”
And the king said, “I will give them.” 7 But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the Lord’s oath between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. 8 So the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she bore for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite; 9 and he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites. They hanged them on the hill before the Lord. So 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.
10 Now Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock from the beginning of barley harvest until the rains poured on them from heaven. And she did not allow the birds of the air to rest on them by day nor the beasts of the field by night. 11 David was told what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done. And they were faint, and Dan, son of Joah from the offspring of the giants, overtook them. 12 Then David went and took Saul’s bones and the bones of Jonathan his son. He took them from the men of Jabesh Gilead, who stole them from the square of Beth Shan where the Philistines put them, on the day the Philistines struck down Saul in Gilboa. 13 So he brought up the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from there, and they gathered the bones of those who were hanged. 14 And they buried Saul’s bones and the bones of Jonathan his son and the bones of those who were hanged in the country of Benjamin, in Zelah beside the tomb of Kish his father. So they did everything the king commanded. And after that God heeded the prayer for the land.
The Death of the Philistine Giants
15 Now the Philistines were still at war with Israel, and David and his servants with him went down and fought against the Philistines; and David grew faint. 16 Then Ishbi thought he could kill David. This Ishbi was one of the descendants of the giants, and the weight of his spear was the weight of three hundred bronze shekels, and he was girded with a club. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, saying, “You shall no longer go out with us to battle, that you do not quench the lamp of Israel.”
18 Now after this there was another battle with the Philistines at Gath. Then Sibbechai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the descendants of the giants. 19 And there was war at Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite, whose spear had a shaft like a weaver’s beam. 20 Yet again there was a battle at Gath, where there was a man of strife who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number. He also was born to the giant. 21 And he defied Israel, and Jonathan the son of Shimea, brother of David, killed him. 22 These four were born as offspring of the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.
1 The praise of an ode by David.
Come, let us greatly rejoice in the Lord;
Let us shout aloud to God our savior;
2 Let us come before His face with thanksgiving,
And let us shout aloud to Him with psalms.
3 For the Lord is a great God,
A great King over all the gods;
4 For in His hand are the ends of the earth,
And the heights of the mountains are His;
5 For the sea is His, and He made it,
And His hands formed the dry land.
6 Come, let us worship and fall down before Him,
And let us weep before the Lord who made us;
7 For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture
And the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you hear His voice,
8 “Do not harden your hearts as in the Rebellion,
During the day of testing in the desert,
9 Where your fathers tempted Me;
They tested Me, and saw My works.
10 For forty years I was treated with contempt by that generation,
And I said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they do not know My ways’;
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”
16 Do not love to speak ill,
That you may not be taken away;
17 Open your eyes,
And you will be filled with bread.
18 A double standard is an abomination to the Lord,
And a deceitful scale is not good before Him.
19 Steps are made straight for a man by the Lord,
But how can a mortal man understand His ways?
20 It is a snare for a man to quickly sanctify something of his own things as holy,
Then after making this vow, to come to a change of heart.
20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation;
21 “nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
22 Then He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it.
23 “And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ Do not go after them or follow them.
24 “For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day.
25 “But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
26 “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:
27 “They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
28 “Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;
29 “but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
30 “Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
31 “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back.
32 “Remember Lot’s wife.
33 “Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
34 “I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left.
35 “Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left.
36 “Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”
37 And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?” So He said to them, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”