David put to death seven sons and grandsons of Saul to expiate the bloodguilt caused by an otherwise unmentioned massacre of the Gibeonites
at the hands of Saul (2 Samuel 21:8; Joshua 9).
Years before, David's predecessor and father-in-law Saul had massacred the Gibeonites
But, apart from the sparing of the Gibeonites
(Hurrians) in Jos.
Another example of the number seven's association with rainfall in the Bible was the unforgivable sacrifice of the sons of King Saul, whom King David handed over to the Gibeonites
8) The Gibeonites
, Amorites and Moabites met the same fate as previous peoples and cities did too.
The strong Gibeonites
are antagonists, invading the inept Israelites.
are happy with this resolution, but Ritzpah, who is the mother of two of the sons, is not.
Edelman ("Gibeon and the Gibeonites
Revisited") views the anti-Gibeonite
polemic pervading the Deuteronomistic History as a response (by the pro-David, pro-Jerusalemite returnees from the exile) to an attempt by the pro-Saulide Gibeonites
to make Gibeon the cult center in the sixth century.
Hareven's apocalyptic imagery of the material privations and cultural decline endured by the Gibeonites
dexterously draws the reader into a scene of desolation whose timeless and melancholy resonance rings all too universally:
God answers that it is due to "bloodguilt" on the house of Saul, who earlier attempted to wipe out the Gibeonites
from the land.
To be "hewers of wood and drawers of water" was Joshua's curse on the Gibeonites
Later her sons were delivered by King David to the Gibeonites
and were impaled by them "on the mountain before the Lord", without receiving a proper burial, so that their bodies were lying out in the field (2 Sam.