Rizpah, the death watch concubine

Kingdom Queens, it is to our benefit to remain in covenant with God. It is for our best lives to remain seated where God placed us and not settle for arrangements in between. On the mountain, concubine living seems right but the end — as in Rizpah’s case — is death. In the valley or in valley times, the concubine’s value is revealed and she is sacrificed first. Expect no support where you engaged false covenant…where you allowed your gift and talent to be pulled out of you without covenant, blessing, correction or encouragement. If you agreed to concubinage, then expect sudden death — of what you love.

Let’s look at Rizpah.

Rizpah was King Saul’s concubine and mother of two of his sons, Armoni and Mephibosheth (not the one who was dropped). Scripture gives a small picture of her in 2 Samuel 3:7 and 21:8, 10-11. She is a concubine of note because she becomes another casualty of war (see previous posts on the Ephraim Levite’s concubine).

There was war between the house of Saul and the house of David (2 Samuel 3:6). During this war Abner, a power-hungry man who “strengthened his position in the house of Saul” (v.6, CJB), gets in a fight with Saul’s son Ish-bosheth. Can you guess over who?

Saul’s defender and Saul’s son fight over Rizpah, Saul’s concubine.

Isn’t that a trip?! Ish-bosheth accuses Abner of sleeping with Rizpah. In response, Abner changes sides and supports David…and offers to use his power to unite Israel under David (v. 12). David agrees on the condition that Abner bring him Michal, Saul’s daughter. Deal.

A time later in 2 Samuel 21, we find the land in year three of famine (v. 1). David consults the Lord about the root cause, and learns the famine was God’s response to Saul killing the Gibeonites (v.1). David appeals to the Gibeonites and asks

What can I do to atone, so the Gibeonites will bless the Lord’s inheritance?

The Gibeonites line it out clearly…Money was not our issue with Saul. And, we have no authority to put anybody in Israel to death. Regarding the man who schemed to eliminate us altogether, give us 7 of his descendants and we will hang them before the Lord in Saul’s hometown (v. 6). WOW!

(This is where it gets good.) David saves Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth…but took Rizpah’s sons — the concubine’s sons — and the five sons of Michal born to Adriel (it turns out her womb was only shut for David — vv. 7-8).

These 7 men die, and hang on this hill at the beginning of the barley harvest. Rizpah sits “death watch” for five months from the beginning of the harvest until the rains. She does not let birds attack the dead in the day, nor beasts at night. Someone tells David about her vigil. He gathers the bones of Saul and Jonathan AND the bones of the dead he let the Gibeonites hang and buried them all in the tomb of Saul’s father Kish (vv. 8-14).

Rizpah was a royal concubine wife. She wore the royal robes, and without Saul she was valuable for Abner to have more power because owning her meant access to royal authority. In the end though, the sitting king (David) allowed an angry people to decide her fate. Saul’s love meant nothing now. Rizpah was simply “the concubine” and her sons died first.

We avoid the seat of the concubine. I don’t know about you all, but Rizpah inspires me to stay in my seat. And if I stray a bit, her story inspires me to GO BACK TO MY SEAT. Yes Lord.

Selah, and love to all.

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Scot Loyd


Angel Jones

Educator - Advocate - Writer

Watchman Prophet

"In the darkness of night, I wait expectantly for understanding and knowledge for your people."

ladies loving god by Tonika Breeden

Rooted Grounded Fixed and Founded in the Love of God

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