Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 21:3

Thus David said to the Gibeonites, "What should I do for you? And how can I make atonement that you may bless the inheritance of the Lord ?"
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Covenant;   David;   Gibeon;   Saul;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Atonement, under the Law;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Mephibosheth;   Rizpah;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Gibeon;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Feasts and Festivals of Israel;   Murder;   Easton Bible Dictionary - David;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Joshua;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Adriel;   Beeroth;   Blessing and Cursing;   Court Systems;   Gibeon;   Mephibosheth;   Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ethics;   Haggai;   Israel;   Rizpah;   Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Ransom (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Atonement;   Gibeonites ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Gibeon;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Charm;   Heredity;   Magic;   Salvation;   Samuel, Books of;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Atonement;   Crime;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Wherewith shall I make the atonement - It is very strange that a choice of this kind should be left to such a people. Why not ask this of God himself?

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-21.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, what shall I do for you,.... By way of satisfaction for the injuries done them:

and wherewith shall I make the atonement; for the offences committed, that so the wrath that was gone forth against the land in a famine might be appeased:

that ye may bless the inheritance of the Lord? pray for a blessing upon the land which the Lord had chosen for his inheritance, and given as such to the people of Israel, that rain might descend upon it, and make it fruitful.

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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 21:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-21.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, b What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the LORD?

(b) With what may your wrath be appeased, that you may pray to God to remove this plague from his people.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-21.html. 1599-1645.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

(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?

It is probable, that as David had brought this affair before the LORD, and had sought direction from the LORD what to do, the LORD had given direction to him to consult the Gibeonites.

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Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:3". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/2-samuel-21.html. 1828.

Scofield's Reference Notes

atonement

(See Scofield "Exodus 29:33").

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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
Bibliographical Information
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on 2 Samuel 21:3". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/2-samuel-21.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 21:3 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?

Ver. 3. Wherefore David said to the Gibeonites.] Who had complained to God of Saul’s cruelty and perfidy; and he had heard them, for he is gracious. [Exodus 23:27] Their satisfaction therefore is by David endeavoured, and their prayers for Israel requested. See Job 29:13. This was an evident type, saith Pellican, of the calling of the Gentiles: and that, upon their prayers, God would one day receive the Jews again into grace and favour.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-21.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Unto the Gibeonites; to some of the chief of them, who were to impart it to the rest.

What shall I do for you? what satisfaction do you expect or require for the injuries formerly done to you?

That ye may bless the inheritance of the Lord; that by your acknowledgment of satisfaction received, the guilt and curse may be removed from the land and people of God, and by this means, as also by your prayers, God may be reconciled, and may restore his blessing of plenty to us, which hitherto he hath denied us.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:3". 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

3.Make the atonement — Make the necessary satisfaction.

The inheritance of the Lord — The land and people of Israel.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:3". "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 21:3. David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? — Josephus supposes that when God acquainted David what was the occasion of the famine, he likewise declared that it should be removed if he made the satisfaction which the Gibeonites themselves should require. That ye may bless the inheritance of the Lord — That, atonement being made, and God’s anger being turned away, his inheritance may be blessed, and plenty restored again to Israel.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:3". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-21.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Atonement, to expiate the injury done to you by Saul; (Menochius) and that you may turn your curses into blessings. The ancients were convinced, that God attends to the imprecations of the innocent. (Calmet)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:3". "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

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?

Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? The king, having been apprised by the oracle of God that the moral cause of the grievous judgment which had so long scourged the land was the iniquity perpetrated by Saul upon the Gibeonites, forthwith communicated with that people, offering to make any atonement in his power, on condition of their forgiving the crime of the homicidal king. The case was a very special one; and the entire narrative shows that, though reduced like the Spartan zealots to a state of perpetual servitude, they were not an oppressed people. Having been brought by the direct interposition of God into the place of the go'el, or blood-avenger, they were bound to demand satisfaction for the death of their slaughtered brethren from the murderer or his representatives; and that satisfaction of course must be on a large scale, proportioned to the wholesale murders that had been committed. Pecuniary compensation, accepted by some of the Arab tribes and other Orientals, was prohibited to the Hebrew nation by the law of God. The manslayer must expiate his crime by his blood: and the high position of him who had ordered the slaughter of the Gibeonites, together with the aggravated circumstances that marked the commission of the outrage, called aloud that justice should be allowed to take its course.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-21.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(3) Make the atonement.—This is the same technical word as is used throughout the Law in connection with the propitiatory sacrifices. It means literally, to cover up, and is here used in that literal sense. David asks what he can do to so cover up the sin of Saul as to remove it from the sight of those against whom it had been committed—the Gibeonites as the earthly sufferers from it, and God Himself as the one against whom he had chiefly offended. Then might God’s blessing again return to His people.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-21.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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?
wherewith
Exodus 32:30; Leviticus 1:4; 1 Samuel 2:25; Micah 6:6,7; Hebrews 9:22; 10:4-12
bless
20:19
Reciprocal: Exodus 30:15 - give less than;  Numbers 25:13 - atonement;  2 Samuel 24:21 - the plague;  1 Kings 1:47 - bless;  Psalm 28:9 - bless;  Galatians 3:13 - for

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-21.html.