2 Samuel 21:14
And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulcher of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God was entreated for the land.
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(14) In Zelah.—According to Joshua 18:28 a town of Benjamin. It has not been identified, but was probably near Gibeah.

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.

Zelah; a place in Benjamin, mentioned Joshua 18:28.

After that; after those things were done which were before related, i.e. after they were hanged up; for by that God was pacified, and not by their burial. So the relative belongs to the remoter antecedent. Or if this relate to what was last mentioned, the meaning is, that God was pleased to restore the blessing of plenty to the land. And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son,.... Together with those who had been hanged:

buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah; a city in the tribe of Benjamin, Joshua 18:28,

in the sepulchre of Kish his father; the father of Saul, 1 Samuel 9:1; and which, according to Fuller (w), and the position of it in his map, was not far from the hill on which the seven sons of Saul were hanged:

and they performed all that the king commanded; that is, David's messengers and servants did; they fetched the bones of Saul and Jonathan from Jabeshgilead, and buried them with those of his seven sons hanged, in the burying place of his father Kish, and made a general mourning for them; for the Jews say (x), that by David's order Saul's coffin was carried through every tribe, and men, women, and children, came out and expressed concern:

and after that God was entreated for the land; not after the burial of the said persons, but after the seven men were hanged up; by this the wrath of God was appeased, which was seen by his sending rain and fruitful seasons, so that the famine ceased.

(w) Pisgah-Sight, B. 2. c. 12. p. 258. (x) Bemidbar Rabba, ut supra. (fol. 190. 1.)

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 {k} intreated for the land.

(k) For where the government permits faults to go unpunished, there the plague of God lies on the land.

14. Jonathan his son] The Sept. adds, “and the bones of them that were hanged.”

Zelah] Enumerated among the towns of Benjamin in Joshua 18:28, but not yet identified. Beit Jala near Bethlehem, which has been suggested, is not in the tribe of Benjamin.

God was intreated] Accepted the intreaty or intercession thus made on behalf of the land. Cp. ch. 2 Samuel 24:25; Genesis 25:21; 2 Chronicles 33:13.Verse 14. - The bones of Saul and Jonathan. The Septuagint adds, "and the bones of them that were hanged." As it is expressly said in ver. 13 that these bones were collected, we cannot doubt but that the remains of the seven grandsons were interred with those of Saul and Jonathan, in the tomb of Kish, their common ancestor. But whether the Septuagint has preserved words that have dropped out of the Hebrew text, or has added them to make the fact plain, is more than we can answer. Zelah. Nothing more is known of this place than that it was in the tribe of Benjamin. David granted the request, because, according to the law in Numbers 35:33, blood-guiltiness when resting upon the land could only be expiated by the blood of the criminal; but in delivering up the members of Saul's house for whom they asked, he spared Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul, for the sake of the bond of friendship which he had formed with Jonathan on oath (1 Samuel 18:3; 1 Samuel 20:8, 1 Samuel 20:16), and gave up to the Gibeonites two sons of Rizpah, a concubine of Saul (vid., 2 Samuel 21:11 and 2 Samuel 3:7), and five sons of Merab the daughter of Saul, whom she had borne to Adriel of Meholah. The name of Michal, which stands in the text, is founded upon an error of memory or a copyist's mistake; for it was not Michal, but Merab, Saul's eldest daughter, who was given to Adriel the Meholathite as his wife (1 Samuel 18:19). The Gibeonites crucified those who were delivered up to them upon the mountain at Gibeah before Jehovah (see the remarks on 2 Samuel 21:6). "Thus fell seven at once." The Chethib שׁבעתים, at which the Masoretes took such offence that they wanted to change it into שׁבעתּם, is defended by Bttcher very properly, on the ground that the dual of the numeral denotes what is uniformly repeated as if by pairing; so that here it expresses what was extraordinary in the even tin a more pictorial manner than the Keri: "They fell sevenfold at once," i.e., seven in the same way. The further remark, "they were slain in the first days of harvest, at the beginning of the barley harvest," belongs to what follows, for which it prepares the way. The two Keris, והמּה for והם, and בּתחלּת for תּחלּת, are needless emendations. תּחלּת is an adverbial accusative (vid., Ges. 118, 2). The harvest began with the barley harvest, about the middle of Nisan, our April.
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