Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 21

David buries the men from Saul’s family honourably

2 Samuel 21:11-14

When the rains came, people told David about Rizpah. She had carefully guarded the bodies of her sons and the other members of Saul’s family. Unless God provided rain before the usual season, she guarded the bodies for a period of six months. She did this as an act of love, in the hope that she could bury her sons in a proper grave.

Until that time, David believed that the birds and the wild animals had destroyed the bodies. However, Rizpah’s actions made a proper funeral now possible. David approved of that. He did not hate either Saul, or his family. He showed love towards them, even when they acted with great cruelty against him (1 Samuel chapters 24 and 26). Now that the punishment had satisfied God’s anger, David had another opportunity to act in love towards Saul’s family.

Men from Jabesh Gilead had rescued Saul’s body and Jonathan’s body, in order to bury the bodies with honour (1 Samuel 31:8-13). So, their grave was in Jabesh Gilead, far from the grave of Saul’s father, Kish, Kish’s grave was in the region that God had given to his tribe (family group) called Benjamin.

So, David decided that he would bring together the bodies of Saul, Jonathan, and the seven men from Saul’s family. Their final grave would be the grave of Kish, from whom the whole family came.

David had made many difficult decisions and judgments about this family. There, in the grave of Kish, he could finally bury these men with honour. There the bodies wait, until the last day and the final judgment of God. David could be sure that, on that day, God’s judgment about these men will be right.

Next part: David's last battle (2 Samuel 21:15-17)


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