|Rizpah - |
Saul's concubine, mother of Arboni and Mephibosheth. A Hivite sprung from Aiah, son of Zibeon (Genesis 36:14). Foreigners were generally chosen as inferior wives by Solomon, Rehoboam, etc. Ishbosheth suspected Abner of intercourse, with Rizpah at Mahanaim, which in Eastern ideas was tantamount to aspiring to succeed to Saul's throne (2 Samuel 3:7). Her famous act was (2 Samuel 21:8-11) her watching against bird and beast of prey the hung up corpses of her two sons and five kinsmen on the sacred hill of Gibeah, with which Saul had been so closely connected (1 Samuel 11:4), from the beginning of barley harvest, the sacred Passover season, until the fall of the early rain in October, without tent to screen her from the scorching sun all day and the saturating dews at night, and with only her black widow's sackcloth to rest upon, keeping her from the rocky ground. (See ABNER; ISHBOSHETH; GIBEONITES.) A striking instance of motherly devotion, stronger than death, and clinging at all costs with desperate tenacity even to the lifeless remains of the loved ones (Song of Solomon 8:6; Isaiah 49:15).