After a severe drought David hands over Saul's descendants to the Gibeonites as an atonement for what Saul had done

2 Samuel 21:1-6 (KJV)

1 Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David inquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. 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.) 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? 4 And the Gibeonites said unto him, We will have no silver nor gold of Saul, nor of his house; neither for us shalt thou kill any man in Israel. And he said, What ye shall say, that will I do for you. 5 And they answered the king, The man that consumed us, and that devised against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel, 6 Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, whom the LORD did choose. And the king said, I will give them.

But a few years before David had sworn an oath to Saul that he will not destroy & cut off his seed.

1 Samuel 24:16-22 (KJV)

16 And it came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words unto Saul, that Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept. 17 And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil. 18 And thou hast showed this day how that thou hast dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the LORD had delivered me into thine hand, thou killedst me not. 19 For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? wherefore the LORD reward thee good for that thou hast done unto me this day. 20 And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand. 21 Swear now therefore unto me by the LORD, that thou wilt not cut off my seed after me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name out of my father's house. 22 And David sware unto Saul. And Saul went home; but David and his men gat them up unto the hold.

Was this not a violation of his oath which he had sworn to the king when he handed over the seven descendants of Saul?

  • David promising Saul not to harm him or his family as retribution for being persecuted by him in the past is not quite the same as David promising Saul to never punish him of his family for any eventual evil deeds they might commit in the future, as if they were somehow above the law.
    – Lucian
    Jan 26, 2018 at 10:09
  • 1
    David kept his oath. He did not cut off the seed. All he did was to deliver seven men to the Gibeonites.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 26, 2018 at 13:39
  • lol a story about human sacrifice to appease god and you are worried about David oath?
    – Andy
    Jun 29, 2020 at 8:56

2 Answers 2


Saul and Ahinoam - 6 children:

Jonathan -> Mephibosheth - Mica - etc.

Ishui (Abinadab)


Ishbosheth (Eshbaal)

Merab (f) (eldest) - [five children by Adriel]

Michal (f) - wife of David x2. (Michal raised Merab's children for some reason.)

Saul and Rizpah (concubine) - [Armoni and Mephibosheth]

So, David gave over to the Gibeonites the five children of Merab(f) and the two children of concubine Rizpah. From what I've seen thus far, Saul's seed was continued through Jonathan only - the remaining children had no stated offspring.

So, David kept his promise and did not 'cut off Saul's seed'. David did not promise to preserve all of Saul's children - just the line of Saul.


While looking up something else, came across the following in text about Gerizim and Ebal (Keil-Delitzsch, Deut. 27:11-26):

"It was natural that the utterance of the blessing should be assigned to the tribes which sprang from Jacob's proper wives, since the sons of the wives occupied a higher position than the sons of the maids..."

[Possibly why the Rizpah's children were selected]

Concerning Merab's children, something came back to mind that was heard some time ago: The sons of a daughter do not continue the line of her father; they continue the line of her husband. So, Merab's children didn't affect Saul's lineage at all.


King David did not make this decision based on his own opinions or desires. He inquired of the Lord regarding the famine in the land.

The Lord answered:

2 Samuel 21:1-3 “Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David inquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, “It is because of Saul and his bloodthirsty house because he killed the Gibeonites.” Therefore David said to the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? And with what shall I make atonement, that you may bless the inheritance of the Lord?”

2 Samuel 21:5-7 Then they answered the king, “As for the man who consumed us and plotted against us, that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the territories of Israel, let seven men of his descendants be delivered to us, and we will hang them before the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, whom the Lord chose.”

And the king said, “I will give them.”

The verse below proves that King David did not break the oath.

But the king spared Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the Lord’s oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul.

From e-Sword Strong's Concordance and additional meaning of the Hebrew alphabets.


H1393 - גִּבְעֹנִי - Gib`oniy - "little hill: hilly” A hill means to be in a high revelatory place in God — GIMEL, BET, AYIN, NUN, YUD - It is a person walking towards the house of God to spiritually see and access the seed of Yahweh to throw or release the rains of Divine revelation.

H1391 - גִּבְעוֹן - Gib`own - It was a Levitical city in the tribe of Benjamin. The holy Tabernacle was there in the days of David and Solomon - This word ends with a NUN SOFIT - The Seed of Yahweh is extended.

H1387 - גֶּבַע - Geba`- GIMEL, BEYT, AYIN, this speaks of a spiritual walk towards the house of Yahweh to have eyes to see. A hill situated on the northern limits of the kingdom of Judah.

H1375 - גָּבִיעַ - Gĕbiya` - Cup, bowl - GIMEL, BET, YUD, AYIN - When you walk towards the house of Yahweh and release the rains of divine revelatory understanding you will spiritually see the kingdom and destroy every other false seed (twisted teachings).

The ROOT-WORD gives the deeper definition of Gibeonites and connects it to the Menorah. A goblet or cup; the calyx of a flower on the Menorah symbolic of the fruit of the Spirit and to understand the Word of God by the illumination of the Holy Spirit. It also relates to the Wise Virgins in Matthew 25, they had the oil in their lamps and their wicks trimmed (carnality). They shine brightly among the foolish virgins.

While the high priesthood or first fruits of the barley harvest emerge, the Gibeonites (righteous) will execute the seven sons (evil principalities) of Saul.

A large bowl of wine can also represent the Cup of Redemption (Genesis 44:2). To be convex as a cup also means that you have a soul that can hold the wine and the oil of Yahweh. You become the “Cup of the Lord”. We can also connect this deeper definition to “The Rechabites” who refused the wine of compromise which represents worthless, distorted and twisted teachings that lead to the worship of false gods. (Jeremiah 35:5).

The first DAY of harvest is the beginning of the barley harvest—hence, the day of the wave-sheaf offering. So while the high priest of Israel was waving the first fruits of the barley harvest, the seven sons (7 wicked mindsets or principalities of darkness) of Saul were being executed by the Gibeonites (the true Church, full of the wine of the Holy Spirit and the anointing).

You can also access additional and profound revelations from Dr Stephen Jones book on the Barley Harvest. Here are some excerpts above. https://gods-kingdom-ministries.net/

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