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1 And when Saul's son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled.

2 And Saul's son had two men that were captains of bands: the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon a Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin: (for Beeroth also was reckoned to Benjamin:

3 And the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and were sojourners there until this day.)

4 And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.

5 And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who lay on a bed at noon.

6 And they came thither into the midst of the house, as though they would have fetched wheat; and they smote him under the fifth rib: and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped.

7 For when they came into the house, he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and gat them away through the plain all night.

8 And they brought the head of Ishbosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ishbosheth the son of Saul thine enemy, which sought thy life; and the LORD hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed.

9 And David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said unto them, As the LORD liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity,

10 When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings:

11 How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth?

12 And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.

Commentary for 2 Samuel 4

Ishbosheth murdered. (1-7) David puts to death the murderers. (8-12)1-7 See how Ishbosheth was murdered! When those difficulties dispirit us, which should sharpen our endeavours, we betray both our heavenly crowns and our earthly lives. Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty and ruin. The idle soul is an easy prey to the destroyer. We know not when and where death will meet us. When we lie down to sleep, we are not sure that we may not sleep the sleep of death before we awake; nor do we know from what hand the death-blow may come.

8-12 A person may be glad to obtain his just wishes, and yet really regret the means by which he receives them. He may be sorry for the death of a person by which he is a gainer. These men shed innocent blood, from the basest motives. David justly executed vengeance upon them. He would not be beholden to any to help him by unlawful practices. God had helped him over many a difficulty, and through many a danger, therefore he depended upon him to crown and complete his own work. He speaks of his redemption from all adversity, as a thing done; though he had many storms yet before him, he knew that He who had delivered, would deliver.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for 2 Samuel 4

  • A disciple
    Yes, the devil "thought" he was entitled, and the only hindrance to his "entitlement" was the truth itself; which he could simply ignore, oppose and contradict; because he imagined it, he assumed it to be his right. So too was the error and power to deceive the world by the matter of Nimrod, to turn the minds of men everywhere to "naturally" debate and contradict the Authority of the heavens.
  • April
    Hello,so I just got a ping in my brain after reading Deciple's comment,u spoke of Satan being letn,n Saul's situation,and it got me 2 thinking,Satan thought he could OVER THROW the LORD from his from his Thrown,get Angels to turn on him and they could be in our fathers place,they were foolishly deceived,so when sin is there telling us stories,WE r listening,when we GIVE n2 it,allowing Satan in.
  • A disciple
    April; Many are called but few chosen! Judas was called as well as the other disciples, but he gave place to the devil and let sin hide in his heart, till he could no longer stand it, and had to either repent or go all the way and let Satan into his heart to betray the LORD. The same thing happened to Saul, and still does to multitudes today who can't quit sinning and WILL NOT receive instruction!
  • April
    Chell, ALL, I was thinking and I've read many comments throughout some of these chapters,and I got to thinking,David was ANOINTED as well,he as well was chosen by GOD through SAMUEL,so intrestingly enough,Saul at one point didn't know David had been annointed,4 it was done in secrecy,Saul feared for his life,later Saul figured out GOD Was n fact with David,so why would he try to KILL HIM? W/B/L.
  • Steve Vargas
    What i see as the main point here is the danger of taking matters into your own hands, here they thought they were doing a service but they were ignorant of Gods Law in regards to his anointed, although Isboseth was not anointed he was the son of the anointed and although Saul was no longer in good terms his anointing was regarded highly because it initially came from above, that is true reverance
  • April
    This is another eye for an eye situation,remember when David had a chance to kill Saul he DIDN'T,he was annoited but he also knew although his FEELINGS wanted to kill him,it wasn't the way,killing someone out of hatred or made up justification got these people no where but death unto themselves,its a huge ripple affect if you think about it,you kill,another kills u,then another kills that person.
  • Pam
    I looked this up. To smote under the fifth rib and this is because of the heart and a quick death is assured.
  • Robert
    Asahel was killed by Abner by a spear under the fifth rib 2 Samuel 2:23. Abner was killed by Joab Abishai the same way because it was the way Abner killed their brother Asahel 2 Samuel 2:27, 30. Ishbosheth was killed the same way because under the fifth rib is the heart. A well known way to kill someone so as to be sure they would die.

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Bible Trivia

What was the name of Jonathan's son?
  • Mephibosheth
  • Ner
  • Ishbosheth
  • Ithream