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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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Fact Finder: Is "Palestine" in the land of Canaan?
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.
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.