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Saturday, May 10 2014

2 Samuel 21: What Did Rizpah Do?

"Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night"

The Canaanite city of Gibeon was located north of Jerusalem (which itself was a Canaanite city prior to the time of King David; see 2 Samuel 5: How Long Was Jerusalem The Capital Of Israel?). Gibeon was near where the miracle of "Joshua's long day" happened (see Joshua 10: The Sun and Moon Over The Valley Of Ajalon). It was later included within the tribal territory of Benjamin (see Joshua 18: The Land Of Benjamin).

The Canaanite people (see also What Does The Bible Really Say About Canaanites?) of Gibeon were politically unique in that, because of their subterfuge, they managed to make a treaty with the Israelites that permitted them to remain (see Joshua 9: The Gibeonite Deception).


"9:16 And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had made a league with them, that they heard that they were their neighbours, and that they dwelt among them. 9:17 And the children of Israel journeyed, and came unto their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim. 9:18 And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel.

And all the congregation murmured against the princes. 9:19 But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them. 9:20 This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them. 9:21 And the princes said unto them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation; as the princes had promised them.

9:22 And Joshua called for them, and he spake unto them, saying, Wherefore have ye beguiled us, saying, We are very far from you; when ye dwell among us? 9:23 Now therefore ye are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.

9:24 And they answered Joshua, and said, Because it was certainly told thy servants, how that the LORD thy God commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you, therefore we were sore afraid of our lives because of you, and have done this thing. 9:25 And now, behold, we are in thine hand: as it seemeth good and right unto thee to do unto us, do.

9:26 And so did he unto them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, that they slew them not. 9:27 And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the LORD, even unto this day, in the place which he should choose." (Joshua 9:16-27 KJV)

The Gibeonites lived peacefully in Israel from that time on, for about two centuries - for the remainder of Joshua's life (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Joshua), through the time of the Judges (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Judges) and Samuel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Samuel), until Saul became king of Israel (see 1 Samuel 9: Saul Of Benjamin and Samuel The Seer). King Saul of Benjamin then violated the peace agreement that Joshua made with the Gibeonites (just as he violated many other things; see 1 Samuel 13: Saul's Burnt Offering, 1 Samuel 22: Saul's Slaughter of The Priests Of The LORD and Samuel 15: Saul's Impeachment). After the civil war between Saul and David was over (see 1 Samuel 31: Saul's Last Stand and 2 Samuel 3: The War Between The Houses of David and Saul), the LORD's wrath came upon Israel because of Saul's attacks on the Gibeonites. It was left to King David to deliver justice for the matter.

"21:1 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." (2 Samuel 21:1)

The Gibeonites themselves were not legally able to retaliate against the Israelites, but King David was authorized to permit justice, by the will of the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God), to relieve the wrath of the LORD.

David's actions also conveniently eliminated the source of most of any further rebellions against Judah by Benjamin (after the division of the tribes of Israel into "Israel" and "Judah, the tribe of Benjamin was included in Judah - as it is to the present day; see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah).

"21:2 And the king called the Gibeonites, and said unto them; (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them: and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah.) 21:3 Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the LORD?

21:4 And the Gibeonites said unto him, We will have no silver nor gold of Saul, nor of his house; neither for us shalt thou kill any man in Israel.

Rizpah And he said, What ye shall say, that will I do for you.

21:5 And they answered the king, The man that consumed us, and that devised against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel, 21:6 Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, whom the LORD did choose.

And the king said, I will give them.

21:7 But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the LORD'S oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. 21:8 But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite: 21:9 And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD: and 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." (2 Samuel 21:2-9 KJV)

Rizpah was one of Saul's concubines who became the mother of Armoni and Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 3:7; 21:8-11). After King Saul died in battle, Saul's army commander Abner became involved with Rizpah, which caused a confrontation between Abner and Saul's son and successor, Ishbosheth. (2 Samuel 3:7-8). It resulted in Abner's defection to David, along with a large part of Ishbosheth's army - a key factor that brought about David's military victory (see 2 Samuel 3: The War Between The Houses of David and Saul).

As stated in the verses above, David's retaliation for the Gibeonites included the execution of two of Saul's sons by Rizpah and five of the sons of Merab, Saul's eldest daughter. The dead were left hung as a public warning for all to see. Rizpah kept a horrendous watch for five months over the bodies of her sons, protecting them from being devoured by wild birds and animals. They were then taken down and buried by David at Zelah with the bones of Saul and Jonathan.

"21:10 And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night. 21:11 And it was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done. 21:12 And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabeshgilead, which had stolen them from the street of Bethshan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa: 21:13 And he brought up from thence the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son; and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged.

21:14 And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulchre of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God was intreated for the land." (2 Samuel 21:10-14 KJV)

Throughout the time, the wars against the Philistines ("Palestinians" - see the Fact Finder question below) continued.

"21:15 Moreover the Philistines had yet war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines: and David waxed faint. 21:16 And Ishbibenob, which was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David. 21:17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah succoured him, and smote the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David sware unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel.

21:18 And it came to pass after this, that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob: then Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Saph, which was of the sons of the giant.

21:19 And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam.

21:20 And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant. 21:21 And when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea the brother of David slew him.

21:22 These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants." (2 Samuel 21:15-22 KJV)

Fact Finder: Is "Palestine" in the land of Canaan?
See 1 Samuel 29: Where Is Palestine?

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This Day In History, May 10

70: During the Siege of Jerusalem, Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, opened a full-scale assault on Jerusalem (see A History Of Jerusalem: Titus And The Zealots).

1285: King Philip III of Spain was succeeded by Philip IV.

1291: Scottish nobles acknowledged the royal authority of Edward I of England.

1307: Robert the Bruce, Scottish king fought an English attacking force of cavalry under Aylmer de Valence at the battle of Louden Hill in Ayrshire.

Titus 1497: Amerigo Vespucci left Cadiz, Spain for his first voyage to the New World, which would be named "America" after him. In geographic and political reality, all of the people of America, from Canada at the northernmost point of the continent of North America, to Argentina in the southernmost point of the continent of South America, are "Americans."

1503: Christopher Columbus discovered the Cayman Islands. He named them Las Tortugas after the many turtles found there.

1534: French explorer Jacques Cartier landed on Newfoundland.

1655: Jamaica was taken by the British after being held by the Spanish for over 160 years (from the time of the explorations of Christopher Columbus; see the map at Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).

1773: The Parliament of Britain passed the Tea Act. Its purpose was to save the British East India Company by granting it a monopoly on the North American tea trade.

1774: King Louis XV of France died of smallpox. He became king at the age of five on the death of his great-grandfather, Louis XIV.

1794: Elizabeth, the sister of French King Louis XVI, was beheaded.

1796: Napoleon's Army of Italy defeated the Austrians under Baron Beaulieu at the Battle of Lodi, southeast of Milan. Over 2,000 Austrians were killed or wounded.

1798: British explorer George Vancouver died. He sailed with Captain James Cook to Australia and New Zealand and to the west coast of North America where Vancouver Island and Vancouver B.C. are named after him.

1801: The Barbary pirates of Tripoli declared war on the U.S., thereby beginning the First Barbary War.

1857: The Seepoys of India revolted against the British rule.

1865: Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy during the U.S. Civil War, was captured by Union forces.

1871: France and Germany signed a peace treaty in Frankfurt by which France ceded Alsace-Lorraine.

1881: King Carol I, Romania's first king, was crowned ("Carol" and "Carolus" are the Latin basis of what later became the name Germanic and English name Charles).

1933: Nazis in Berlin burned books by Jewish authors, including those by Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1940: Germany invaded Belgium and the Netherlands. Neville Chamberlain resigned as British Prime Minister; Winston Churchill, then first lord of the Admiralty, formed a coalition government with Conservative, Liberal and Labour members.

1941: Nazi government member Rudolf Hess flew a Messerschmitt fighter from Augsburg, Germany and parachuted out near Glasgow, Scotland, with his unauthorized "offer of peace" with Britain. He was imprisoned for the rest of his life.

1948: The Republic of China implemented measures granting President Chiang Kai-shek extended powers to deal with the Communist uprising.

1960: The U.S. nuclear submarine USS Triton completed the first underwater circumnavigation of the Earth.

1981: Francois Mitterrand won the French presidential election and became the first Socialist president of France in the Fifth Republic.

1994: Nelson Mandela was sworn in as South Africa's first black President.

2005: In Tbilisi, Georgia (one of the fifteen former republics of the Soviet Union), a hand grenade thrown at visiting U.S. President George W. Bush landed a few feet from him - but the old Russian-made RGD-5 grenade failed to detonate. The attempted assassin, Vladimir Arutyunian, an Armenian who was born in Georgia, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.



Copyright © Wayne Blank