Monday, March 24, 2014

King David and the Givonim


Why the Givonim were forbidden from marrying into the Jewish people:

"'And the Givonim said to him: We have neither silver nor gold with Shaul and with his household, and we have no man [to kill in Israel]… Let seven men of his children be given to us, and we will hang them before Gd.' (Shemuel II 21:4-6) 

"King David tried to appease them, and they would not be appeased. He said, 'There are three signs for this nation: Merciful, bashful, and generous... One who has these three signs is suited to cleave to this nation.'"

"ויאמרו לו הגבעונים אין לנו כסף וזהב עם שאול ועם ביתו ואין לנו איש וגו' יותן לנו שבעה אנשים מבניו והוקענום לד' וגו'." מיפייס ולא פייסינהו. אמר, שלשה סימנים יש באומה זו: הרחמנים, והביישנין, וגומלי חסדים; רחמנים, דכתיב... כל שיש בו שלשה סימנים הללו ראוי להדבק באומה זו. 

(Talmud, Yevamot 79a)

Have a great day,


  1. Didn't David end up delivering 7 men to be hung? That was quite "generous" of him. Also, slight typo: It was Shmuel II.

  2. Anonymous-
    Yes, that story remains difficult. And thanks for the correction.