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Bible Highlights: 2 Samuel 19-20-21 | Theocratic Ministry School

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2 SAMUEL 19:23

“Then the king said to Shimʹe•i: “You will not die.” And the king gave him his oath.”

*** it-2 pp. 930-931 Shimei ***
Again Abishai wanted to kill him, but again David did not allow it, this time swearing that he would not put Shimei to death. (2Sa 19:15-23) However, before his death David told Solomon to “bring his gray hairs down to Sheol with blood.”—1Ki 2:8, 9.
At the start of his reign, Solomon called Shimei and ordered him to move to Jerusalem and not to leave the city; if he ever left the city, he would be put to death. Shimei agreed to these terms, but three years later he left the city to recover two of his slaves who had fled to Gath. On learning of this violation, Solomon called Shimei to account for breaking his oath to Jehovah and ordered Benaiah to execute him.—1Ki 2:36-46.

2 SAMUEL 19:24

“Me•phibʹo•sheth, the grandson of Saul, also came down to meet the king. He had not cared for his feet or trimmed his mustache or washed his garments from the day the king left until the day he returned in peace.”

*** it-1 p. 266 Beard ***
During extreme grief, shame, or humiliation, a man might pluck hairs from his beard, or he might leave the beard or the mustache untended. (Ezr 9:3) It may have been the untended beard of Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan, that indicated to David that Mephibosheth was perhaps telling the truth when he said that his servant Ziba had slandered him, and that Mephibosheth was actually mourning while David was a refugee from Absalom, contrary to what Ziba had reported. (2Sa 16:3; 19:24-30)

*** it-1 p. 1021 Hair ***
To neglect the hair or beard, likely leaving them untrimmed and untended, was a sign of mourning. (2Sa 19:24)

2 SAMUEL 19:27

“But he slandered your servant to my lord the king. However, my lord the king is like an angel of the true God, so do whatever seems good to you.”

*** it-2 p. 373 Mephibosheth ***
When David asked why Mephibosheth had not gone with him, Mephibosheth gave the explanation that his servant had tricked him and also said: “So he slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is as an angel of the true God” (that is, he would see the matter in its true light).

2 SAMUEL 19:29

“However, the king said to him: “Why keep on speaking like this? I have decided that you and Ziʹba should share the field.””

*** w05 5/15 p. 18 par. 2 Highlights From the Book of Second Samuel ***
19:29—Why did David respond the way he did to Mephibosheth’s explanation? Upon hearing Mephibosheth, David must have realized that he erred when he took Ziba’s words at face value. (2 Samuel 16:1-4; 19:24-28) Very likely, this irritated David, and he did not want to hear anything further about the matter.

2 SAMUEL 19:33

“So the king said to Bar•zilʹlai: “Cross over with me, and I will supply you with food in Jerusalem.””

*** w07 7/15 p. 14 Barzillai—A Man Aware of His Limitations ***
On that occasion, David extended to aged Barzillai this invitation: “You yourself cross over with me, and I shall certainly supply you with food with me in Jerusalem.”—2 Samuel 19:15, 31, 33.
Undoubtedly, David had greatly appreciated Barzillai’s help. It does not seem that the king merely wanted to return the favor by providing material necessities. Wealthy Barzillai did not need that kind of assistance. David may have wanted him at the royal court because of that aged man’s admirable qualities. Having a permanent place there would have been an honor, allowing Barzillai to enjoy the privileges of the king’s friendship.

2 SAMUEL 19:34

“But Bar•zilʹlai said to the king: “How many days of my life are left that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem?”

*** w07 7/15 p. 14 Barzillai—A Man Aware of His Limitations ***
Modesty and Realism
Responding to King David’s invitation, Barzillai said: “What are the days of the years of my life like, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? I am eighty years old today. Could I discern between good and bad, or could your servant taste what I ate and what I drank, or could I listen anymore to the voice of male and female singers?” (2 Samuel 19:34, 35) Thus, Barzillai respectfully turned down the invitation and declined a fine privilege. But why?
One reason for Barzillai’s decision may have been his advanced age and the limitations that went along with it. Barzillai may have felt that he would not live much longer. (Psalm 90:10) He had done what he could to support David, but he was also aware of the limitations that advanced age placed upon him. Barzillai did not allow the thought of prestige and prominence to prevent him from realistically evaluating his capabilities. Unlike ambitious Absalom, Barzillai wisely displayed modesty.—Proverbs 11:2.

2 SAMUEL 19:35

“I am 80 years old today. Can I discern between good and bad? Can I, your servant, taste what I eat and drink? Can I still listen to the voice of male and female singers? So why should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king?”

*** w07 7/15 pp. 14-15 Barzillai—A Man Aware of His Limitations ***
Modesty and Realism
Responding to King David’s invitation, Barzillai said: “What are the days of the years of my life like, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? I am eighty years old today. Could I discern between good and bad, or could your servant taste what I ate and what I drank, or could I listen anymore to the voice of male and female singers?” (2 Samuel 19:34, 35) Thus, Barzillai respectfully turned down the invitation and declined a fine privilege. But why?
One reason for Barzillai’s decision may have been his advanced age and the limitations that went along with it. Barzillai may have felt that he would not live much longer. (Psalm 90:10) He had done what he could to support David, but he was also aware of the limitations that advanced age placed upon him. Barzillai did not allow the thought of prestige and prominence to prevent him from realistically evaluating his capabilities. Unlike ambitious Absalom, Barzillai wisely displayed modesty.—Proverbs 11:2.
Another reason for Barzillai’s decision may have been a desire that his limitations in no way hinder the activity of the divinely appointed king. Barzillai asked: “Why should your servant become a burden anymore to my lord the king?” (2 Samuel 19:35) Although he still supported David, Barzillai likely believed that a younger man could carry out assignments more effectively.

2 SAMUEL 19:37

“Let your servant return, please, and let me die in my city near the burial place of my father and my mother. But here is your servant Chimʹham. Let him cross over with my lord the king, and you may do for him what seems good to you.””

*** w07 7/15 p. 15 Barzillai—A Man Aware of His Limitations ***
Although he still supported David, Barzillai likely believed that a younger man could carry out assignments more effectively. Presumably referring to his own son, Barzillai said: “Here is your servant Chimham. Let him cross over with my lord the king; and you do to him what is good in your eyes.” Instead of being offended, David accepted this suggestion.

2 SAMUEL 20:8

“When they were near the great stone in Gibʹe•on, A•maʹsa came to meet them. Now Joʹab was wearing his battle clothing, and he had a sword in its sheath strapped to his hip. When he stepped forward, the sword fell out.”

*** it-1 p. 169 Arms, Armor ***
Second Samuel 20:8 allows for the possibility that Joab deliberately adjusted his sword so that it fell from its sheath and then merely held the weapon in his hand instead of sheathing it once again. Unsuspecting Amasa perhaps thought it had fallen accidentally, and he was unconcerned. That proved fatal.

2 SAMUEL 20:10

“A•maʹsa was not on guard against the sword that was in Joʹab’s hand, and Joʹab stabbed him with it in the abdomen, and his intestines spilled out on the ground. He did not have to stab him again; once was enough to kill him. Then Joʹab and his brother A•bishʹai chased after Sheʹba the son of Bichʹri.”

*** it-1 p. 87 Amasa ***
Finally, when the latecomer Amasa met them, Joab, pretending to give an affectionate kiss, grabbed Amasa by the beard with one hand and used the sword in his other hand to rip Amasa’s abdomen open. (2Sa 20:4-12) This may have been deserved recompense for Amasa’s siding with Absalom but certainly not at the hand from which it came. David therefore commanded Solomon that Amasa should be avenged through the death of Joab.—1Ki 2:5, 32.

2 SAMUEL 20:19

“I represent the peaceable and faithful ones of Israel. You are seeking to destroy a city that is like a mother in Israel. Why should you do away with the inheritance of Jehovah?””

*** it-1 p. 16 Abel-beth-maacah ***
David’s men under Joab besieged the city when the rebel Sheba fled there. Thereupon, a wise woman, speaking for “the peaceable and faithful ones of Israel,” pleaded with Joab not to destroy Abel, from of old the place to inquire for wise judgments, hence “a mother in Israel”; meaning also, probably, a metropolis or city having dependent towns. Heeding this woman’s advice, the inhabitants pitched Sheba’s head over the wall, and the city was spared.—2Sa 20:14-22.

2 SAMUEL 20:23

“Now Joʹab was in charge of all the army of Israel; Be•naiʹah the son of Je•hoiʹa•da was over the Cherʹe•thites and the Pelʹe•thites.”

*** it-1 p. 419 Carian Bodyguard ***
Many scholars consider the Carian bodyguard to be another name for the Cherethites, mentioned as serving in the military forces of David and Solomon. In the view of some scholars, the Cherethites also functioned as a special bodyguard for these kings. (2Sa 8:18; 1Ki 1:38; 1Ch 18:17) This connection of the Carian bodyguard with the Cherethites is additionally based on the fact that the Masoretic text says “Carian bodyguard” at 2 Samuel 20:23, while the reading in its margin, as well as in many Hebrew manuscripts, is “Cherethites.”

2 SAMUEL 20:26

“And Iʹra the Jaʹir•ite also became a chief minister for David.”

*** it-1 p. 1215 Ira ***
1. A Jairite listed among King David’s leading officers as “a priest of David.” (2Sa 20:26) Ira perhaps was a descendant of the Jair mentioned at Numbers 32:41, and therefore, in this case the designation “priest” may signify “chief minister,” “prince.” There is no Biblical evidence that the Jairites were Levites. However, if the reading of the Syriac Peshitta is correct, Ira may have been a priest from the Levite city of Jattir (Jathir).—Compare 2Sa 8:18; 1Ch 6:57; 18:17.

*** it-1 p. 1250 Jairite ***
JAIRITE
(Jaʹir•ite) [Of (Belonging to) Jair].
The designation of Ira the “priest of David.” (2Sa 20:26) Perhaps Ira was a descendant of the Manassite Jair. But if the Syriac Peshitta is correct, he may have been a priest from the Levite city of Jattir.—See IRA No. 1.

2 SAMUEL 21:1

“Now there was a famine in the days of David for three consecutive years, so David consulted Jehovah, and Jehovah said: “There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibʹe•on•ites to death.””

*** it-1 p. 932 Gibeon ***
Throughout the centuries, the original Gibeonites continued to exist as a people, although King Saul schemed to destroy them. The Gibeonites, however, patiently waited on Jehovah to reveal the injustice. This he did by means of a three-year famine in David’s reign.

*** it-1 p. 932 Gibeon ***
The fact that bloodguilt was upon both Saul and his household suggests that, although Saul probably took the lead in the murderous action, the “sons” of Saul may directly or indirectly have shared in it. (2Sa 21:1-9) In that event this would not be a case of sons dying for the sins of their fathers (De 24:16) but would involve the administration of retributive justice in harmony with the law “soul will be for soul.”—De 19:21.

2 SAMUEL 21:2

“So the king called the Gibʹe•on•ites and spoke to them. (Incidentally, the Gibʹe•on•ites were not Israelites but Amʹor•ites who remained, and the Israelites had sworn to spare them, but Saul sought to strike them down in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah.)”

*** it-1 p. 1125 Hivites ***
They are called “Amorites” at 2 Samuel 21:2, but this is evidently because “Amorite” was a term often applied to the Canaanite nations in general, since the Amorites were one of the most powerful tribes. (See AMORITE.)

2 SAMUEL 21:4

“The Gibʹe•on•ites said to him: “It is not a matter of silver or gold for us in connection with Saul and his household; nor can we put any man to death in Israel.” At that he said: “Whatever you say, I will do for you.””

*** it-1 p. 932 Gibeon ***
The Gibeonites rightly answered that it was not “a matter of silver or gold,” because, according to the Law, no ransom could be accepted for a murderer. (Nu 35:30, 31) They also recognized that they could not put a man to death without legal authorization. Therefore, not until David’s further questioning did they request that seven “sons” of Saul be handed over to them. The fact that bloodguilt was upon both Saul and his household suggests that, although Saul probably took the lead in the murderous action, the “sons” of Saul may directly or indirectly have shared in it. (2Sa 21:1-9) In that event this would not be a case of sons dying for the sins of their fathers (De 24:16) but would involve the administration of retributive justice in harmony with the law “soul will be for soul.”—De 19:21.

2 SAMUEL 21:6

“let seven of his sons be given to us. We will hang their dead bodies before Jehovah in Gibʹe•ah of Saul, the chosen one of Jehovah.” The king then said: “I will hand them over.””

*** it-1 p. 932 Gibeon ***
Therefore, not until David’s further questioning did they request that seven “sons” of Saul be handed over to them. The fact that bloodguilt was upon both Saul and his household suggests that, although Saul probably took the lead in the murderous action, the “sons” of Saul may directly or indirectly have shared in it. (2Sa 21:1-9) In that event this would not be a case of sons dying for the sins of their fathers (De 24:16) but would involve the administration of retributive justice in harmony with the law “soul will be for soul.”—De 19:21.

2 SAMUEL 21:8

“So the king took Ar•moʹni and Me•phibʹo•sheth, the two sons of Rizʹpah the daughter of Aʹiah whom she bore to Saul, and the five sons of Miʹchal the daughter of Saul whom she bore to Aʹdri•el the son of Bar•zilʹlai the Me•holʹath•ite.”

*** w05 5/15 p. 19 par. 2 Highlights From the Book of Second Samuel ***
21:8—How can it be said that Saul’s daughter Michal had five sons, when 2 Samuel 6:23 states that she died childless? The most widely accepted explanation is that these were the sons of Michal’s sister Merab, who married Adriel. Likely, Merab died early, and childless Michal brought up the boys.

*** it-1 p. 16 Abel-meholah ***
It was evidently the home of Adriel the Meholathite, a son-in-law of Saul. (1Sa 18:19; 2Sa 21:8)

*** it-1 p. 52 Adriel ***
All of Adriel’s five sons were later surrendered for execution to help atone for Saul’s attempted annihilation of the Gibeonites. (2Sa 21:8, 9) In this account Michal rather than Merab is spoken of as the mother of Adriel’s five sons. Since Michal died childless (2Sa 6:23) and is nowhere spoken of as having been the wife of Adriel, some translators view the appearance of Michal’s name as a scribal error. Nearly all Hebrew manuscripts, however, use Michal’s name, and the traditional explanation is that Merab, Michal’s older sister, died early after having borne five sons to Adriel and that Michal thereafter undertook the bringing up of her sister’s five boys, thus resulting in their being spoken of as her sons. Isaac Leeser’s translation reads at 2 Samuel 21:8: “And the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she had brought up for Adriel.”

*** it-2 pp. 373-374 Merab ***
Merab bore five sons to Adriel. However, David later gave these sons and two other members of Saul’s household to the Gibeonites, who put all seven to death. This was done to atone for Saul’s having tried to annihilate the Gibeonites.—2Sa 21:1-10.
Merab’s Sister Rears Her Sons. According to the Masoretic text, 2 Samuel 21:8 speaks of “the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul whom she bore to Adriel.” Yet 2 Samuel 6:23 says that Michal died childless. It appears that some scribes have tried to resolve this difficulty by substituting the name of Merab for Michal at 2 Samuel 21:8. This seems apparent from the fact that the Greek Septuagint (Lagardian edition) and two Hebrew manuscripts read “Merab” in this verse. However, a traditional explanation of 2 Samuel 21:8 as it appears in almost all other Hebrew manuscripts is as follows:
Michal’s sister Merab was the wife of Adriel and bore him the five sons in question. But Merab died early, and her sister Michal, rejected by David and childless, undertook the rearing, or bringing up, of the five boys. Hence, they were spoken of as Michal’s children instead of those of Merab. In harmony with this view of 2 Samuel 21:8, the Bible translation by Isaac Leeser speaks of “the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she had brought up for Adriel,” and a footnote thereon states: “As Michal was David’s wife; but the children were those of Merab, the oldest daughter of Saul, who were probably educated by her sister.” The Targums read: “The five sons of Merab (which Michal, Saul’s daughter, brought up) which she bare.” Other factors, not revealed in the Scriptures, may have a bearing on the way the text was set down.

*** it-2 p. 395 Michal ***
Rears Her Sister’s Children. The account at 2 Samuel 21:8 speaks of “the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul whom she bore to Adriel,” these being among the members of Saul’s household whom David gave to the Gibeonites in atonement for Saul’s attempt to annihilate them. (2Sa 21:1-10) The apparent conflict between 2 Samuel 21:8 and 2 Samuel 6:23, which shows that Michal died childless, may be resolved by the view taken by some commentators, namely, that these children were the five sons of Michal’s sister Merab and that Michal raised them following the early death of their mother.—See MERAB.

2 SAMUEL 21:9

“Then he handed them over to the Gibʹe•on•ites, and they hung their dead bodies on the mountain before Jehovah. All seven of them died together; they were put to death in the first days of harvest, at the start of the barley harvest.”

*** it-1 p. 1030 Hanging ***
The two sons and five grandsons of Saul whom David turned over to the Gibeonites for execution were not buried before nightfall. They were left in the open from the start of the barley harvest (March-April) until rain came, evidently after the harvest season was completed. The reason the Gibeonites were allowed to follow a different procedure in this instance seems to be because a national sin had been committed by King Saul, who had put some of the Gibeonites to death, thus violating the covenant made with them by Joshua centuries earlier. (Jos 9:15) Now God had caused the land to suffer a three-year famine as evidence of his anger. Therefore the bodies of the hanged ones were left exposed until Jehovah indicated that his wrath had been appeased by ending the drought period with a downpour of rain. David then had the bones of the men buried, after which “God let himself be entreated for the land.”—2Sa 21:1-14.

2 SAMUEL 21:10

“Then Rizʹpah the daughter of Aʹiah took sackcloth and spread it out on the rock from the start of harvest until rain poured down from the heavens on the bodies; she did not allow the birds of the heavens to land on them by day nor the wild beasts of the field to come near by night.”

*** w05 5/15 p. 19 par. 3 Highlights From the Book of Second Samuel ***
21:9, 10—For how long did Rizpah keep up a vigil for her two sons and the five grandsons of Saul who were put to death by the Gibeonites? These seven were hanged “in the first days of harvest”—March or April. Their dead bodies were left exposed on a mountain. Rizpah guarded the seven bodies by day and by night until Jehovah showed by ending the drought that his anger had subsided. Any heavy downpour of rain would have been very unlikely before the completion of the harvest season in October. Hence, Rizpah may have kept up the vigil for as long as five or six months. Thereafter, David had the bones of the men buried.

*** it-1 p. 377 Burial, Burial Places ***
To be deprived of burial was considered calamitous (Jer 14:16) and is stated as being a divine means of expressing God’s repudiation of persons due to their wrong course. (Jer 8:1, 2; 9:22; 25:32, 33; Isa 14:19, 20; compare Re 11:7-9.) The body was thereby exposed to be consumed as food by animals and carrion-eating birds. (Ps 79:1-3; Jer 16:4) The pathetic picture of Rizpah’s refusing to abandon her dead sons’ bodies, perhaps for months, until they were finally accorded a burial vividly portrays the importance attached to the matter.—2Sa 21:9-14.

*** it-1 p. 1030 Hanging ***
The two sons and five grandsons of Saul whom David turned over to the Gibeonites for execution were not buried before nightfall. They were left in the open from the start of the barley harvest (March-April) until rain came, evidently after the harvest season was completed. The reason the Gibeonites were allowed to follow a different procedure in this instance seems to be because a national sin had been committed by King Saul, who had put some of the Gibeonites to death, thus violating the covenant made with them by Joshua centuries earlier. (Jos 9:15) Now God had caused the land to suffer a three-year famine as evidence of his anger. Therefore the bodies of the hanged ones were left exposed until Jehovah indicated that his wrath had been appeased by ending the drought period with a downpour of rain. David then had the bones of the men buried, after which “God let himself be entreated for the land.”—2Sa 21:1-14.

*** it-2 p. 815 Rizpah ***
Rizpah had given birth to two sons by Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth. Long after Saul’s death, David took these two sons of Rizpah along with five other descendants of Saul and handed them over to the Gibeonites, to be slain, in order to remove bloodguilt from the land. The seven were exposed on a mountain, where Rizpah guarded their bodies from the birds and wild beasts “from the start of harvest until water poured down upon them from the heavens.” (2Sa 21:1-10) This indefinite period of time may have been five or six months, unless, as some suggest, there was an exceptional, out-of-season downpour. Such a heavy rain before October would have been most unusual. (1Sa 12:17, 18; Pr 26:1) David finally heard of the matter and relieved Rizpah of her vigil by having the bodies buried.—2Sa 21:11-14.

2 SAMUEL 21:12

“So David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonʹa•than from the leaders of Jaʹbesh-gilʹe•ad, who had stolen them from the public square of Beth-shan, where the Phi•lisʹtines had hung them on the day that the Phi•lisʹtines struck down Saul on Gil•boʹa.”

*** it-2 p. 1093 Thief ***
In some cases, stealing may refer to the justified act of taking what one has a right to take, the emphasis being on the stealthy manner in which the act is executed. For example, Israelites ‘stole’ the body of Saul from the public square of Beth-shan. (2Sa 21:12)

2 SAMUEL 21:15

“Once again there was war between the Phi•lisʹtines and Israel. So David and his servants went down and fought the Phi•lisʹtines, but David became exhausted.”

*** w13 1/15 pp. 30-31 Christian Elders—‘Fellow Workers for Our Joy’ ***
“ABISHAI . . . CAME TO HIS HELP”
13 Shortly after young David had been anointed as king, he stood face-to-face with Goliath, one of the Rephaim, a race of giants. Courageous David killed the giant. (1 Sam. 17:4, 48-51; 1 Chron. 20:5, 8) Years later, during a battle with the Philistines, David again stood face-to-face with a giant. His name was Ishbi-benob, also one of the Rephaim. (2 Sam. 21:16; ftn.) This time, however, the giant nearly killed David. Why? Not because David had lost his courage but because he had lost his strength. The record states: “David grew tired.” As soon as Ishbi-benob noticed David’s moment of physical weakness, he “got to think of striking David down.” But then, just before the giant thrust his weapon into David, “at once, Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his [David’s] help and struck the Philistine down and put him to death.” (2 Sam. 21:15-17) What a narrow escape! How grateful David must have been that Abishai had kept an eye on him and had quickly come to his aid when his life was in danger! What lessons can we draw from this account?
14 Worldwide, we as Jehovah’s people are carrying out our ministry despite the obstacles that Satan and his agents place in our path. Some of us have stood face-to-face with giant challenges, but with full reliance on Jehovah, we took on those “Goliaths” and conquered them. However, at times, the constant battle against the pressures of this world leaves us tired and discouraged. In that weakened condition, we are vulnerable and in danger of being ‘struck down’ by pressures we otherwise would have dealt with successfully. At such moments, the timely support given by an elder can help us to regain our joy and our strength, as many have experienced. A pioneer in her mid-60’s related: “Some time ago, I did not feel well, and field service tired me out. An elder noticed my lack of energy and approached me. We had an encouraging conversation based on a Bible passage. I applied the suggestions he gave me, and I benefited.” She added: “How loving of that elder to take note of my weak condition and to give me help!” Yes, it is heartening to know that we have elders who keep a loving eye on us and who, much like Abishai of old, stand ready to ‘come to our help.’

2 SAMUEL 21:16

“A descendant of the Rephʹa•im named Ishʹbi-beʹnob, whose copper spear weighed 300 shekels and who was armed with a new sword, intended to strike David down.”

*** w13 1/15 pp. 30-31 Christian Elders—‘Fellow Workers for Our Joy’ ***
“ABISHAI . . . CAME TO HIS HELP”
13 Shortly after young David had been anointed as king, he stood face-to-face with Goliath, one of the Rephaim, a race of giants. Courageous David killed the giant. (1 Sam. 17:4, 48-51; 1 Chron. 20:5, 8) Years later, during a battle with the Philistines, David again stood face-to-face with a giant. His name was Ishbi-benob, also one of the Rephaim. (2 Sam. 21:16; ftn.) This time, however, the giant nearly killed David. Why? Not because David had lost his courage but because he had lost his strength. The record states: “David grew tired.” As soon as Ishbi-benob noticed David’s moment of physical weakness, he “got to think of striking David down.” But then, just before the giant thrust his weapon into David, “at once, Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his [David’s] help and struck the Philistine down and put him to death.” (2 Sam. 21:15-17) What a narrow escape! How grateful David must have been that Abishai had kept an eye on him and had quickly come to his aid when his life was in danger! What lessons can we draw from this account?
14 Worldwide, we as Jehovah’s people are carrying out our ministry despite the obstacles that Satan and his agents place in our path. Some of us have stood face-to-face with giant challenges, but with full reliance on Jehovah, we took on those “Goliaths” and conquered them. However, at times, the constant battle against the pressures of this world leaves us tired and discouraged. In that weakened condition, we are vulnerable and in danger of being ‘struck down’ by pressures we otherwise would have dealt with successfully. At such moments, the timely support given by an elder can help us to regain our joy and our strength, as many have experienced. A pioneer in her mid-60’s related: “Some time ago, I did not feel well, and field service tired me out. An elder noticed my lack of energy and approached me. We had an encouraging conversation based on a Bible passage. I applied the suggestions he gave me, and I benefited.” She added: “How loving of that elder to take note of my weak condition and to give me help!” Yes, it is heartening to know that we have elders who keep a loving eye on us and who, much like Abishai of old, stand ready to ‘come to our help.’

*** it-1 p. 1224 Ishbi-benob ***
ISHBI-BENOB
(Ishʹbi-beʹnob).
One of four Rephaim (the giant race of Canaanites) who were prominent during the last wars with Israel in David’s reign. Ishbi-benob carried a copper spear weighing 300 shekels (3.4 kg; 7.5 lb) and was on the verge of killing David when fast-acting Abishai himself put the giant to death.—2Sa 21:15-17, 22.

2 SAMUEL 21:17

“At once A•bishʹai the son of Ze•ruʹiah came to his aid and struck the Phi•lisʹtine down and put him to death. At that time the men of David swore this oath to him: “You must not go out with us to battle anymore! You must not extinguish the lamp of Israel!””

*** w13 1/15 pp. 30-31 Christian Elders—‘Fellow Workers for Our Joy’ ***
“ABISHAI . . . CAME TO HIS HELP”
13 Shortly after young David had been anointed as king, he stood face-to-face with Goliath, one of the Rephaim, a race of giants. Courageous David killed the giant. (1 Sam. 17:4, 48-51; 1 Chron. 20:5, 8) Years later, during a battle with the Philistines, David again stood face-to-face with a giant. His name was Ishbi-benob, also one of the Rephaim. (2 Sam. 21:16; ftn.) This time, however, the giant nearly killed David. Why? Not because David had lost his courage but because he had lost his strength. The record states: “David grew tired.” As soon as Ishbi-benob noticed David’s moment of physical weakness, he “got to think of striking David down.” But then, just before the giant thrust his weapon into David, “at once, Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his [David’s] help and struck the Philistine down and put him to death.” (2 Sam. 21:15-17) What a narrow escape! How grateful David must have been that Abishai had kept an eye on him and had quickly come to his aid when his life was in danger! What lessons can we draw from this account?
14 Worldwide, we as Jehovah’s people are carrying out our ministry despite the obstacles that Satan and his agents place in our path. Some of us have stood face-to-face with giant challenges, but with full reliance on Jehovah, we took on those “Goliaths” and conquered them. However, at times, the constant battle against the pressures of this world leaves us tired and discouraged. In that weakened condition, we are vulnerable and in danger of being ‘struck down’ by pressures we otherwise would have dealt with successfully. At such moments, the timely support given by an elder can help us to regain our joy and our strength, as many have experienced. A pioneer in her mid-60’s related: “Some time ago, I did not feel well, and field service tired me out. An elder noticed my lack of energy and approached me. We had an encouraging conversation based on a Bible passage. I applied the suggestions he gave me, and I benefited.” She added: “How loving of that elder to take note of my weak condition and to give me help!” Yes, it is heartening to know that we have elders who keep a loving eye on us and who, much like Abishai of old, stand ready to ‘come to our help.’

*** it-2 p. 195 Lamp ***
Kings of the Line of David. Jehovah God established King David on the throne of Israel, and David proved to be a wise guide and leader of the nation, under God’s direction. He was therefore called “the lamp of Israel.” (2Sa 21:17) In his kingdom covenant with David, Jehovah promised: “Your very throne will become one firmly established to time indefinite.” (2Sa 7:11-16) Accordingly, the dynasty, or family line, of rulers from David through his son Solomon was as a “lamp” to Israel.—1Ki 11:36; 15:4; 2Ki 8:19; 2Ch 21:7.
When King Zedekiah was dethroned and taken captive to Babylon to die there, it appeared that “the lamp” was extinguished. But Jehovah had not abandoned his covenant. He merely held rulership on the throne in abeyance “until he comes who has the legal right.” (Eze 21:27) Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the “son of David,” was heir to that throne forever. Thus “the lamp” of David will never go out. Jesus is therefore an everlasting lamp as the one who possesses the Kingdom forever.—Mt 1:1; Lu 1:32.

2 SAMUEL 21:18

“After this, war broke out again with the Phi•lisʹtines at Gob. At that time Sibʹbe•cai the Huʹshath•ite struck down Saph, who was a descendant of the Rephʹa•im.”

*** it-1 p. 968 Gob ***
GOB
A site where David’s men twice struck down giant warriors of the Philistines’ forces. (2Sa 21:18, 19) The parallel narrative at 1 Chronicles 20:4 lists the place of the first encounter as “Gezer” (“Gath” in some copies of the Greek Septuagint and the Syriac Peshitta), while leaving the place of the second encounter unnamed. (1Ch 20:5) Both accounts, however, show that a third confrontation took place at “Gath” (2Sa 21:20; 1Ch 20:6), and therefore many scholars have assumed that “Gob” is a scribal error for “Gath.” To others, however, it seems unlikely that such an oversight would occur twice in consecutive verses, and they conclude that Gob may simply have been the name of a now unidentified site near Gezer.

2 SAMUEL 21:19

“And war broke out again with the Phi•lisʹtines at Gob, and El•haʹnan the son of Jaʹa•re-orʹe•gim the Bethʹle•hem•ite struck down Go•liʹath the Gitʹtite, whose spear had a shaft like the beam of loom workers.”

*** it-1 p. 706 Elhanan ***
1. The son of Jair who, in war with the Philistines, struck down Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite. (1Ch 20:5) In 2 Samuel 21:19 Elhanan is identified as “the son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite,” and it is said that he struck down Goliath. However, many scholars think that the original reading of 2 Samuel 21:19 corresponded to 1 Chronicles 20:5, the differences in the two texts having arisen through scribal error.—See JAARE-OREGIM; LAHMI.

*** it-1 p. 968 Gob ***
GOB
A site where David’s men twice struck down giant warriors of the Philistines’ forces. (2Sa 21:18, 19) The parallel narrative at 1 Chronicles 20:4 lists the place of the first encounter as “Gezer” (“Gath” in some copies of the Greek Septuagint and the Syriac Peshitta), while leaving the place of the second encounter unnamed. (1Ch 20:5) Both accounts, however, show that a third confrontation took place at “Gath” (2Sa 21:20; 1Ch 20:6), and therefore many scholars have assumed that “Gob” is a scribal error for “Gath.” To others, however, it seems unlikely that such an oversight would occur twice in consecutive verses, and they conclude that Gob may simply have been the name of a now unidentified site near Gezer.

*** it-1 p. 984 Goliath ***
A passage that has caused some difficulty is found at 2 Samuel 21:19, where it is stated: “Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite got to strike down Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like the beam of loom workers.” The parallel account at 1 Chronicles 20:5 reads: “Elhanan the son of Jair got to strike down Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like the beam of loom workers.”
Several suggestions have been made for an explanation of the problem. The Targum preserves a tradition that Elhanan is to be identified with David. The Soncino Books of the Bible, edited by A. Cohen (London, 1951, 1952), comment that there is no difficulty in the assumption that there were two Goliaths, commenting also that Goliath may have been a descriptive title like “Pharaoh,” “Rabshakeh,” “Sultan.” The fact that one text refers to “Jaare-oregim,” whereas the other reads “Jair,” and also that only the account in Second Samuel contains the term “Bethlehemite [Heb., behth hal•lach•miʹ],” while the Chronicles account alone contains the name “Lahmi [ʼeth-Lach•miʹ],” has been suggested by the majority of commentators to be the result of a copyist’s error.—See JAARE-OREGIM; LAHMI.

*** it-1 p. 1239 Jaare-oregim ***
JAARE-OREGIM
(Jaʹa•re-orʹe•gim).
A name appearing only at 2 Samuel 21:19. It is generally believed that scribal error has given rise to this name and that the correct reading is preserved in the parallel text at 1 Chronicles 20:5. “Jaare” is considered to be an alteration of “Jair,” and “oregim” (ʼo•reghimʹ, “weavers” or “loom workers”) is thought to have been copied inadvertently from a line below in the same verse.

*** it-2 p. 189 Lahmi ***
LAHMI
(Lahʹmi) [My Bread].
The brother of Goliath the Gittite. The account at 1 Chronicles 20:5 reads, in part, “Elhanan the son of Jair got to strike down Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite,” during a war with the Philistines. However, in a parallel text at 2 Samuel 21:19 the reading is: “Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite got to strike down Goliath the Gittite.” In the latter text it appears that ʼeth-lach•miʹ (in English, “Lahmi,” the Hebrew term ʼeth merely denoting that Lahmi is the object of a verb) was misread by a copyist to be behth hal•lach•miʹ (“Bethlehemite”). Therefore the original probably read, “got to strike down Lahmi,” just as the parallel text at 1 Chronicles 20:5 reads. This would make the two texts harmonize on this point. Lahmi, then, was evidently the brother of the Goliath that David killed. On the other hand, it is possible that there were two Goliaths.—See GOLIATH.

2 SAMUEL 21:21

“He kept taunting Israel. So Jonʹa•than the son of Shimʹe•i, David’s brother, struck him down.”

*** w89 1/1 p. 28 par. 18 United Under a Banner of Love ***
Oh, the modern-day Rephaim—political kinsmen of “Goliath”—may keep taunting spiritual Israel. (2 Samuel 21:21, 22)

2 SAMUEL 21:22

“These four were descendants of the Rephʹa•im in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.”

*** w89 1/1 p. 20 par. 8 “To Jehovah Belongs the Battle” ***
Satan’s world continues to produce political champions, comparable to Goliath’s kinsmen, the Rephaim. These dictatorial rulerships taunt Jehovah and try to bully his witnesses into submission, but as always, the battle and the victory belong to Jehovah.—2 Samuel 21:15-22.

*** w89 1/1 p. 28 par. 18 United Under a Banner of Love ***
Oh, the modern-day Rephaim—political kinsmen of “Goliath”—may keep taunting spiritual Israel. (2 Samuel 21:21, 22)

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