Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 21:10

And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until it rained on them from the sky; and she allowed neither the birds of the sky to rest on them by day nor the beasts of the field by night.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ajah;   David;   Parents;   Rizpah;   Thompson Chain Reference - Cares of Motherhood;   Family;   Home;   Love;   Maternal Love;   Motherhood, Cares of;   Mothers;   Parental;   Parents;   Women;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Night;   Sackcloth;   Water;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Mephibosheth;   Rizpah;   Easton Bible Dictionary - David;   Gibeah;   Harvest;   Mephibosheth;   Rizpah;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Barley;   David;   Rizpah;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Burial;   Court Systems;   Hanging;   Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Aiah;   Ancestor-Worship;   Bird;   Haggai;   Israel;   Rizpah;   Rock;   Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Tree ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Aiah ;   Gibeonites ;   Mephibosheth ;   Rizpah ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Rizpah;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Mourning;   Rizpah;   Smith Bible Dictionary - A-I'ah;   Mourning;   Riz'pah,;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Aiah;   Burial;   Corpse;   Harvest;   Rizpah;   Salvation;   Samuel, Books of;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Burial and sepulchers;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Burial;   Rizpah;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Rizpah - took sackcloth - Who can read the account of Rizpah's maternal affection for her sons that were now hanged, without feeling his mind deeply impressed with sorrows?

Did God require this sacrifice of Saul's sons, probably all innocent of the alleged crime of their father? Was there no other method of averting the Divine displeasure? Was the requisition of the Gibeonites to have Saul's sons sacrificed to God, to be considered as an oracle of God? Certainly not; God will not have man's blood for sacrifice, no more than he will have swine's blood. The famine might have been removed, and the land properly purged, by offering the sacrifices prescribed by the law, and by a general humiliation of the people.

Until water dropped upon them - Until the time of the autumnal rains, which in that country commence about October. Is it possible that this poor broken-hearted woman could have endured the fatigue, (and probably in the open air), of watching these bodies for more than five months? Some think that the rain dropping on them out of heaven means the removal of the famine which was occasioned by drought, by now sending rain, which might have been shortly after these men were hanged; but this by no means agrees with the manner in which the account is introduced: "They were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest. And Rizpah - took sackcloth, and spread it for her on the rock, from the beginning of harvest, until water dropped upon them out of heaven." No casual or immediately providential rain can be here intended; the reference must be to the periodical rains above mentioned.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:10". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-21.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Dropped - Rather, “poured,” the proper word for heavy rain Exodus 9:33. The “early rain,” or heavy rain of autumn, usually began in October, so that Rizpah‘s devoted watch continued about six months. How rare rain was in harvest we learn from 1 Samuel 12:17-18; Proverbs 26:1. The reason of the bodies being left unburied, contrary to Deuteronomy 21:23, probably was that the death of these men being an expiation of the guilt of a violated oath, they were to remain until the fall of rain should give the assurance that God‘s anger was appeased, and the national sin forgiven.

Birds of the air … beasts of the field - It is well known how in the East, on the death e. g. of a camel in a caravan, the vultures instantly flock to the carcass. (Compare Matthew 24:28.)

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:10". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-21.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

RIZPAH GUARDED THE BODIES OF THE SLAIN

"Then Rizpah the daughter of Ahiah took sackcloth, and spread it for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest till the rain fell on them from heavens; and she did not allow the birds of the air to come upon them by day, or the beasts of the field by night. When David was told what Rizpah the daughter of Ahiah, the concubine of Saul, had done, David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan from the men of Jabesh-gilead, who had stolen them from the public square of Bethshan, where the Philistines had hanged them, on the day the Philistines killed Saul on Gilboa; and he brought up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan; and they gathered the bones of those who were hanged. And they buried the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan in Benjamin in Zela, in the tomb of Kish his father; and they did all that the king commanded. And after that God heeded supplications for the land."

No greater and inspiring example of mother love is to be found anywhere in the literature of all nations and generations. Willis also commented on this and gave us these lines from Rudyard Kipling's immortal poem:

"If I were hanged on the highest hill,

Mother of mine, O mother of mine!

I know whose love would follow me still,

Mother of mine, O mother of mine!"[16]

"Until the rain fell upon them from the heavens" (2 Samuel 21:10). "The rains usually came in late November or early December, so Rizpah must have kept a six-months vigil over the bodies."[17]

If left unattended an exposed corpse, whether of a man or an animal, would soon be nothing but bones. "A strict order of priority is followed by carrion eating birds and beasts. The vultures come first ... the jackals wait in a circle until the vultures are satisfied, and the crows wait for the jackals."[18] Since only the bones of those who were hanged are mentioned (2 Samuel 21:13). it may be that Rizpah's long vigil might not have been completely successful. Then too, "the bones of those who were hanged" could merely be a euphemism for "their decaying bodies."

Although the text does not say so, it is likely that these seven grandsons of Saul were likewise buried in the tomb of Kish.

It appears to this writer as very significant that the rains did not come promptly after this brutal and inhuman sacrifice of the sons of Saul, which indeed may be viewed as God's displeasure with the whole episode. Yes, the rains finally came over six months later AT THE USUAL TIME WHEN THE RAINS GENERALLY CAME.

We have already noted that this long-time exposure of dead bodies to public view was a direct violation of God's Law in Deuteronomy 21:23. We find no agreement whatever with the scholars who fail to note this sinful action allowed by the king. Smith's assertion that, "That God was propitiated toward the land after that is the conclusion of the narrative,"[19] but the sacred text does not say that God was propitiated, but merely that it finally rained! All efforts to identify the action of this section as the will of God and as something that God was pleased with are a failure for the want of one thing. That lack is the total absence of any line in the Bible that says so!

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:10". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-samuel-21.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth,.... Both as a token of mourning for her sons, and as fittest to defend from the weather, the heat by day of cold by night:

and spread it for her upon the rock; the hill on which her sons were hanged; this she spread as a canopy or tent to sit under, and be covered with it; not to cover the bodies with it, but herself, and where she sat to mourn the loss of her sons, and to watch their bodies, that they might not be devoured by birds and breasts of prey, as after observed: and here she sat

from the beginning of harvest until water dropped on them out of heaven; that is, as the Jews sayF14Bemidbar Rabba, fol. 190. 1. , from the sixteenth of Nisan, when barley harvest began, to the seventeenth of Marchesvan, when the former rain fell; that is, from the beginning of April to the beginning of October: but it is not likely that she continued so long watching the bodies, nor would there be any need of it to keep the birds and beasts from them; for after they had hung so many months, there would be nothing left for them; but rather the meaning is, that she continued there until it pleased God to send rain from heaven, which had been restrained, and a famine came upon it, because of the ill usage of the Gibeonites: and very probably the order from the king was, that the bodies should hang till rain came, that it might be observed what was the reason of their suffering; and no doubt Rizpah sat there praying that rain might come, and which, as Abarbinel thinks, came in a few days after, though not usual in summertime; but this was an extraordinary case, as in 1 Samuel 12:17; and was done to show the Lord was entreated for the land; and so Josephus saysF15Antiqu. l. 7. c. 12. sect. 1. , that upon the hanging up of these men, God caused it to rain immediately, and restored the earth to its former fruitfulness. According to the law in Deuteronomy 21:22, the bodies should have been taken down and buried the same day: but these men suffered not for their own personal, sins, but for the sins of others, and to avert a public calamity, and therefore must hang till that was removed; nor were they executed by men bound by that law; and besides their continuing on the tree was according to the will of God, till he was entreated, who could dispense with this law; to which may be added, the ceremonial and judicial laws, of which this was one, gave place to those of a moral natureF16See Stillingfleet's Origines Sacr. p. 140. , as this did to that of sanctifying the name of God in a public manner; hence the saying of one of the Rabbins upon thisF17T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 79. 1. , which is by many wrongly expressed,"it is better that one letter should be rooted out of the law, than that the name of God should not be sanctified openly;'that is, a lesser precept give way to a greater, or a ceremonial precept to a moral one, such as the sanctification of the name of God is:

and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day; as it is usual for crowsF18"---- non pasces in cruce corvos", Horat. Epist, l. 1. Epist. 16. ver. 48. and ravens, and such sort of birds, to light on bodies thus hung up, and pick their flesh:

nor the beasts of the field by night; for it seems it was usual to make the gibbets, and so in some other nations the crosses, so low, that wild beasts could easily come at the bodies and devour them; so Blandina was hung upon a tree so low, that she might be exposed to the wild beasts to feed upon her, but not one of them would touch her bodyF19Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 5. c. 1. Vid. Lipsium de Cruce, l. 3. c. 11. & l. 3. c. 13. ; now Rizpah, by her servants, had ways and means to frighten away the birds, and beasts from doing any injury to the carcasses.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-21.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took h sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until i water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.

(h) To make her a tent in which she prayed to God to turn away his wrath.

(i) Because drought was the cause of this famine, God by sending rain showed that he was pacified.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:10". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-21.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

2 Samuel 21:10, 2 Samuel 21:11. Rizpah‘s kindness unto the dead.

Rizpah  …  took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock — She erected a tent near the spot, in which she and her servants kept watch, as the relatives of executed persons were wont to do, day and night, to scare the birds and beasts of prey away from the remains exposed on the low-standing gibbets.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-samuel-21.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.

Spread it — As a tent to dwell in: being informed that their bodies were not to be taken away speedily, as the course of the law was in ordinary cases, but were to continue there until God was intreated, and removed the present judgment.

On the rock — In some convenient place in a rock, near adjoining.

Until water — Until they were taken down: which was not to be done 'till God had given rain as a sign of his favour, and a mean to remove the famine, which was caused by the want of it. Thus she let the world know, that her sons died not for any sin of their own, not as stubborn and rebellious sons, whose eye had despised their mother: but for their father's sin, and therefore her mind could not be alienated from them by their hard fate.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:10". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-21.html. 1765.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

THE QUICKENING OF DAVID’S CONSCIENCE BY RIZPAH’S EXAMPLE

‘And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, … and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.’

2 Samuel 21:10

I. Consider first the Divine dealings with the house of Saul and the people of Israel.—The famine was because Saul and his bloody house had slain the Gibeonites. It was a consequence of that act of his. But the famine was not the punishment of Saul, the most guilty of the offenders. Saul was punished even in this world. In spite of his elevation to the throne and his brilliant successes, he lived a miserable life and died a miserable death. Here was his punishment, but so far as his crime to the Gibeonites was concerned he did not live to share in the misery occasioned by that sinful act.

The thought of this fact, that our actions, independently of their good or evil desert, have inevitable consequences, should make us very circumspect and careful. There exists a mysterious sequence of events which evades our research and reaches beyond the things of this world.

II. The conduct of Rizpah was natural; it was also not without its use, if we look to the moral instead of the physical world.—She returned to her home with a softened though a saddened heart, with subdued affections, with a consciousness of having done what she could, and with the knowledge that her conduct had met with the approbation of David.

III. Notice the conduct of David.—In his generous heart a generous action was sure to find a ready response. He whose parental affections not even the rebellion of an ungrateful son could annihilate knew how to sympathise with the childless Rizpah, and Rizpah was doubtless consoled when, in a princely burial, she saw honour done to her husband’s house.

Justice first, and then mercy. This is the way of the Lord, and David, as the Lord’s vicegerent, walked in it.

—Dean Hook.

Illustrations

(1) ‘The way in which Rizpah’s conduct moved David to his duty affords a fine instance of what has been aptly called “unconscious influence.” She had no design upon the conscience of the king, but her right doing told with great effect. If she had lectured him about his duty to the sleeping dust of his friend, he might have resented her efforts as an impertinence; but he could neither resent nor resist the silent appeal of her actions. Words are often feeble and in vain, but deeds are seldom fruitless. The most eloquent preachers may have to cry out complainingly—“Who hath believed our report?” The success of example is far more certain, for its fragrance has never been a sweetness wholly “wasted on the desert air.” Susceptibility to its power is a universal possession. Birds that have become dumb and have forgotten their strains, have had their memories touched, and have been moved to melodious songs again, by being placed where they could hear the carols of other birds. Did any man ever yet, by the grace of God, set his life to holy music without stirring up the instinct of sacred song in some other human breast? No man liveth to himself! No man dieth to himself!’

(2) ‘Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, kept watch through day and night when the weather in Palestine is comparatively broken, but she knew no hardship, her love counted not the cost, and her love became contagious, and awoke up in David a desire to treat with similar honour the remains of Saul and Jonathan. Fire spreads itself without impoverishment, and love ignites and stirs love in others. Before now a voice raised in prayerful and passionate attachment to Jesus has made volcanic fire leap out where it had seemed extinct. Do not stint a child of God the alabaster boxes, for though they drive a Judas to desperation, they will lead a Peter or a David to take up the long-forgotten duty.’

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Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:10". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/2-samuel-21.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 21:10 And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.

Ver. 10. Took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock,] viz., Where her children and the rest were hanged: that sitting under it, and lamenting her loss, she might be sheltered from the sun’s heat, till she might see whether God’s wrath was appeased by this execution, and rain reobtained after so long a drought causing a dearth. Vide hic ergo et mirare pietatem et patientiam Rizphae, saith an interpreter. See here and wonder at the motherly love and patience of Rizpah, who continued so long in such an open place day and night to watch the dead bodies of her sons, and to keep them from birds and beasts. These are the heart of a mother.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:10". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-21.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 21:10

I. Consider first the Divine dealings with the house of Saul and the people of Israel.

The famine was because Saul and his bloody house had slain the Gibeonites. It was a consequence of that act of his. But the famine was not the punishment of Saul, the most guilty of the offenders. Saul was punished even in this world. In spite of his elevation to the throne and his brilliant successes, he lived a miserable life and died a miserable death. Here was his punishment, but so far as his crime to the Gibeonites was concerned he did not live to share in the misery occasioned by that sinful act.

The thought of this fact, that our actions, independently of their good or evil desert, have inevitable consequences, should make us very circumspect and careful. There exists a mysterious sequence of events which evades our research and reaches beyond the things of this world.

II. The conduct of Rizpah was natural; it was also not without its use, if we look to the moral instead of the physical world. She returned to her home with a softened though a saddened heart, with subdued affections, with a consciousness of having done what she could, and with the knowledge that her conduct had met with the approbation of David.

III. Notice the conduct of David. In his generous heart a generous action was sure to find a ready response. He whose parental affections not even the rebellion of an ungrateful son could annihilate knew how to sympathise with the childless Rizpah, and Rizpah was doubtless consoled when, in a princely burial, she saw honour done to her husband's house.

Justice first, and then mercy. This is the way of the Lord, and David, as the Lord's vicegerent, walked in it.

F. W. Hook, Parish Sermons, p. 66.


References: 2 Samuel 21:10.—Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 91; J. W. Burgon, Ninety-one Short Sermons, No. 66. 2 Samuel 21:14.—Sermons for Sundays: festivals and Fasts, 2nd series, vol. in., p. 34. 2 Samuel 21:15, 2 Samuel 21:16.—S. Baring-Gould, One Hundred Sermon Sketches, p. 89.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:10". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/2-samuel-21.html.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Spread it for her, as a tent to dwell in; being informed that their bodies were not to be taken away speedily, as the course of the law was in other and ordinary cases, Deuteronomy 21:23, but were to continue there until God was entreated, and did remove the present judgment. And God was herein pleased to dispense with his own law, that it might plainly appear that these were not put to death by David for politic reasons, as that he and his sons might be freed from competitors, which doubtless David’s enemies were ready to suggest; but by God’s special command, who was pleased to execute this judgment upon them, as partly and principally for the punishment of Saul’s sin, so secondarily for the stablishing of David’s throne to himself and to his seed for ever, as he had promised.

Upon the rock; in some convenient place in a rock, near adjoining.

Until water dropped upon them out of heaven, i.e. until they were taken down; which was not to be done till God had given rain as a sign of his favour, and a mean to remove the famine, which was caused by the want of it. To

rest on them, i.e. on their carcasses.

Nor the beasts of the field; from which she might preserve herself and them by divers methods.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:10". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-21.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

RIZPAH’S MATERNAL AFFECTION, 2 Samuel 21:10.

This single verse contains a mournful tale, which none can read without emotion.

10.Took sackcloth — The sign of mourning.

Spread it for her upon the rock — For the purpose of a seat and bed.

Until water dropped — Until rain came and ended the three years’ famine, which had probably been caused by drought; but how long she had to wait upon the rock beside the exposed bodies of her sons before the rain came is not quite clear.

Josephus says that it came soon after the execution, and Harmer thinks it was a late spring rain, which is sometimes known to fall as late as June in seasons when the usual rains of spring have failed. But the statement, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped, most naturally means that she kept up her sad and woful watching during all the summer season, from April until the early autumnal rains began.

Neither the birds’ nor the beasts — To be devoured by birds or beasts of prey was the foulest ignominy that could visit the dead. Compare 1 Samuel 17:44.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:10". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-21.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Samuel 21:10. Rizpah took sackcloth — Or rather, hair-cloth, of which tents were commonly made. And spread it for her — As a tent to dwell in: being informed that their bodies were not to be taken away speedily, as the course of the law was in ordinary cases, but were to continue there until God was entreated, and removed the present judgment. On the rock — In some convenient place in a rock, near adjoining. Until water — Until they were taken down: which was not to be done till God had given rain as a sign of his favour, and a means to remove the famine, which was caused by the want of it. Thus she let the world know that her sons died not as stubborn and rebellious sons, whose eye had despised their mother: but for their father’s crime, and that of the nation in violating the public faith, in which crime, if they had participated, it had only been in common with others; and therefore her mind could not be alienated from them.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:10". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-21.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Hair-cloth, to sleep on, occasionally. --- Heaven. The famine had been caused by drought. As soon therefore as rain fell, David was assured that God was appeased. He had suffered the bodies to hang so long, for that purpose, though commonly they were to be taken down before night. (Menochius) --- Respha is supposed, by some, to have guarded the bodies from spring till the rain fell in autumn. But the former opinion seems more plausible. We here behold the custom of watching by the bodies of the dead. See Homer, Iliad xxiii. --- Beasts. The gibbets were formerly very low. (Calmet) --- Thus Blandina was exposed to wild beasts. (Eusebius, Hist. v. 1.)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:10". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-21.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.

Rizpah ... took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, [ hasaq (Hebrew #8242)] - the sackcloth garment of widowhood, and, reclining upon it, kept watch, as the relatives of executed persons were accustomed to do, day and night, to scare the birds and beasts of prey away from the remains exposed on the low-standing gibbets (Psalms 79:2 : cf. Homer's 'Iliad,' and the story of the Ephesian matron). On that shadeless rock she would be exposed to the fierce heat of the sun during the whole of a Syrian summer; for the execution took place in spring, about the time, of the Passover.

The beginning of harvest. 'In Palestine the barley harvest precedes the wheat harvest about two weeks. At Jericho, in the depressed valley of the Jordan, the former takes place in the last half of April, and the latter in the first half of May (cf. Joshua 3:15). On the plain along the coast the harvest is usually a fortnight later; and on the mountains, at Jerusalem and Hebron, still later by another fortnight' (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, pp. 99, 100).

Until water dropped upon them out of heaven - i:e., until the fall of the autumnal rains in October. Thus did Rizpah, with devoted assiduity, and regardless of personal discomfort, privation, and exhausting fatigue, keep her solitary watch by day and night before the painful spectacle of the wasting relics of what were once the beloved persons of her sons. This brief and simple narrative presents a picture of maternal tenderness far more affecting than any episode that has been interwoven in tales of poetry or romance.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-21.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.
Rizpah
8; 3:7
took sackcloth
1 Kings 21:27; Joel 1:18
from the
9; Deuteronomy 21:13
until water
Some suppose that this means a providential supply of rain, in order to remove the famine; but from the manner in which it is introduced, it seems to denote the autumnal rains, which commence about October. For five months did this broken-hearted woman watch by the bodies of her sons!
Deuteronomy 11:14; 1 Kings 18:41-45; Jeremiah 5:24,25; 14:22; Hosea 6:3; Joel 2:23; Zechariah 10:1
the birds
Genesis 40:19; Ezekiel 39:4
Reciprocal: Job 37:13 - for mercy;  Proverbs 30:17 - the ravens

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:10". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-21.html.