2 Samuel 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:
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(12) Took the bones of Saul.—Moved by the story of Rizpah’s tender care, and wishing to show that he cherished no enmity against the house of Saul, David buried honourably the remains of Saul and of his descendants. In 1Samuel 31:10 it is said that the Philistines fastened the body of Saul “to the wall of Beth-shan;” here, that the men of Jabesh-gilead took them secretly from the street. The two statements are quite consistent, for the exact place where the Philistines hung up to public view the body of the slain and defeated monarch was the broad space or square, just inside the gate, where the people were wont to gather; and it was from the same place that they were taken. Most MSS. of the LXX. add to the previous verse: “And they were taken down, and Dan the son of Joa, of the descendants of the giant, took them down.”

2 Samuel 21:12. He defended it — So that the Philistines could neither burn the corn, nor carry it away, nor tread it down. The Lord wrought a great victory — By his hand. How great soever the bravery of the instruments is, the praise of the achievement is to be given to God. These fought, but God wrought the victory. It must be observed that this Shammah, although one of the three most mighty men, is not particularly named in the book of Chronicles; it being the manner of the Scriptures, as the Jews observe, to notice that briefly in one place, which hath been explained at large in another; as this action of Shammah is here in this book.

21:10-14 That a guilty land should enjoy many years of plenty, calls for gratitude; and we need not wonder misused abundance should be punished with scarcity; yet how few are disposed to ask of the Lord concerning the sinful cause, while numbers search for the second causes by which he is pleased to work! But the Lord will plead the cause of those who cannot or will not avenge themselves; and the prayers of the poor are of great power. When God sent rain to water the earth, these bodies were buried, for then it appeared that God was entreated for the land. When justice is done on earth, vengeance from heaven ceases. God is pacified, and is entreated for us through Christ, who was hanged on a tree, and so made a curse for us, to do away our guilt, though he was himself guiltless.From the street of Beth-shan - This was the wide place just inside the gate of an Oriental city, bounded therefore by the city wall (compare the marginal reference). Here, as the place of concourse, the Philistines had fastened the bodies. 2Sa 21:12-22. David Buries the Bones of Saul and Jonathan in Their Father's Sepulcher.

12. David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son, &c.—Before long, the descent of copious showers, or perhaps an order of the king, gave Rizpah the satisfaction of releasing the corpses from their ignominious exposure; and, incited by her pious example, David ordered the remains of Saul and his sons to be transferred from their obscure grave in Jabesh-gilead to an honorable interment in the family vault at Zelah or Zelzah (1Sa 10:2), now Beit-jala.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And David went and took the bones of Saul, and the bones of Jonathan his son, from the men of Jabeshgilead,.... Which, according to Bunting (t), was fifty two miles from Jerusalem; though perhaps David did not go thither in person to fetch them, but by his messengers, see 2 Samuel 21:14,

which had stolen them from the street of Bethshan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa; the history of all which see in 1 Samuel 31:8.

(t) Travels, &c. p. 122, 143.

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:
12. David went] Touched by Rizpah’s maternal devotion, and wishing to shew that he had no personal enmity to the house of Saul.

the men of Jabesh-gilead] The citizens, lit. lords or possessors of Jabesh-Gilead; a term peculiar to the books of Joshua, Judges, and Samuel (Joshua 24:11; Jdg 9:2 ff; Jdg 20:5; 1 Samuel 23:11-12). For their bold rescue of the bodies see 1 Samuel 31:11-13. Cp. 2 Samuel 2:4.

the street] The bodies were hung on the wall (1 Samuel 31:10) in the square or open place just inside the gate, the public meeting-place of all the citizens. Cp. 2 Chronicles 32:6; Nehemiah 8:1; Nehemiah 8:3; Nehemiah 8:16.

Beth-shan] Now Beisân, four miles west of the Jordan in the Wady Jâlûd. See note on 1 Samuel 31:10.

Verse 12. - The street of Beth-shan; Hebrew, the broad place, or square, just inside the gate, where the citizens met for business. It was upon the wall of this square that the Philistines had hanged the bodies of Saul and of his sons (1 Samuel 31:12). The men of Jabesh-Gilead; Hebrew, the lords or owners of Jabesh-Gilead. The phrase occurs also in 1 Samuel 23:11, 12 of the citizens of Keilah, and is found also in the Books of Joshua and Judges. (For the brave exploit of these men in rescuing the bodies of their king and his sons, see 1 Samuel 31:11-13; and for David's generous approval, 2 Samuel 2:5.) 2 Samuel 21:12When this touching care of Rizpah for the dead was told to David, he took care that the bones of the whole of the fallen royal house should be buried in the burial-place of Saul's family. He therefore sent for the bones of Saul and Jonathan, which the men of Jabesh had taken away secretly from the wall of Beisan, where the Philistines had fastened the bodies, and which had been buried in Jabesh (1 Samuel 31:10.), and had the bones of the sons and grandsons of Saul who had been crucified at Gibeah collected together, and interred all these bones at Zela in the land of Benjamin, in the family grave of Kish the father of Saul. גּנּב, to take away secretly. בּית־שׁן מּרחב, from the market-place of Bethshan, does not present any contradiction to the statement in 1 Samuel 31:10, that the Philistines fastened the body to the wall of Bethshan, as the rechob or market-place in eastern towns is not in the middle of the town, but is an open place against or in front of the gate (cf. 2 Chronicles 32:6; Nehemiah 8:1, Nehemiah 8:3,Nehemiah 8:16). This place, as the common meeting-place of the citizens, was the most suitable spot that the Philistines could find for fastening the bodies to the wall. The Chethib תּלוּם is the true Hebrew form from תּלה, whereas the Keri תּלאוּם is a formation resembling the Aramaean (cf. Ewald, 252, a.). The Keri פלשׁתּים שׁמּה is correct, however, as פלשׁתּים, being a proper name, does not take any article. In הכּות בּיום the literal meaning of יום (day) must not be strictly pressed, but the expression is to be taken in the sense of "at the time of the smiting;" for the hanging up of the bodies did not take place till the day after the battle (1 Samuel 31:8.). - In 2 Samuel 21:14 the account is abridged, and the bones of the crucified persons are not mentioned again. The situation of Zela is unknown (see at Joshua 18:28). After this had been carried out in accordance with the king's command, God suffered himself to be entreated for the land, so that the famine ceased.
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