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RIZPAH:

Daughter of Aiah and concubine of Saul. After Saul's death Rizpah, with the other women of his harem (comp. II Sam. iii. 13), remained with his son and successor, Ish-bosheth, but Abner, the general of Saul, took possession of Rizpah, thus indicating his intention of seizing the throne (comp. II Sam. xii. 11, xvi. 22; I Kings ii. 22). The account as given in II Sam. iii. 7 et seq. implies the same purpose on the part of Abner by assigning his conduct as the reason for his breach with Ish-bosheth, while his act was construed by David as overt rebellion. Rizpah is again mentioned in the account of the revenge taken by the Gibeonites on Saul. David had delivered to them Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons whom Rizpah had borne to Saul, together with five of Saul's grandsons, all of whom the Gibeonites killed and left unburied as a prey to the wild beasts. Rizpah thereupon spread sackcloth upon a rock, and kept watch over the bodies, keeping away the birds and beasts of prey. David was so touched by this display of maternal love that he had their remains buried together in the family sepulcher (II Sam. xxi. 8-14).

E. G. H. I. Be.
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