The Assassination of Ish-bosheth

When Saul’s son Ish-bosheth heard that Abner had died in Hebron, his courage failed, and all Israel was dismayed. Saul’s son had two men who were leaders of raiding parties: one named Baanah and the other Rechab, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite of the Benjaminites. Beeroth is also considered part of Benjamin, and the Beerothites fled to Gittaim and still live there as foreigners to this very day.

Saul’s son Jonathan had a son whose feet were crippled. He was five years old when the report about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. The one who had nursed him[a] picked him up and fled, but as she was hurrying to flee, he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.(A)

Rechab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, set out and arrived at Ish-bosheth’s house during the heat of the day while the king was taking his midday nap. They entered the interior of the house as if to get wheat and stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rechab and his brother Baanah escaped. They had entered the house while Ish-bosheth was lying on his bed in his bedroom and stabbed and killed him. Then they beheaded him, took his head, and traveled by way of the Arabah(B) all night. They brought Ish-bosheth’s head to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Here’s the head of Ish-bosheth son of Saul, your enemy who intended to take your life. Today the Lord has granted vengeance to my lord the king against Saul and his offspring.”

But David answered Rechab and his brother Baanah, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As the Lord lives, the One who has redeemed my life from every distress,(C) 10 when the person told me, ‘Look, Saul is dead,’ he thought he was a bearer of good news, but I seized him and put him to death at Ziklag.(D) That was my reward to him for his news! 11 How much more when wicked men kill a righteous man in his own house on his own bed! So now, should I not require his blood from your hands and wipe you off the earth?”(E)

12 So David gave orders to the young men, and they killed Rechab and Baanah. They cut off their hands and feet and hung their bodies by the pool in Hebron, but they took Ish-bosheth’s head and buried it in Abner’s tomb in Hebron.(F)

Footnotes

  1. 2 Samuel 4:4 Lit His nurse

Ish-Bosheth Murdered

When Ish-Bosheth son of Saul heard that Abner(A) had died in Hebron, he lost courage, and all Israel became alarmed. Now Saul’s son had two men who were leaders of raiding bands. One was named Baanah and the other Rekab; they were sons of Rimmon the Beerothite from the tribe of Benjamin—Beeroth(B) is considered part of Benjamin, because the people of Beeroth fled to Gittaim(C) and have resided there as foreigners to this day.

(Jonathan(D) son of Saul had a son who was lame in both feet. He was five years old when the news(E) about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried to leave, he fell and became disabled.(F) His name was Mephibosheth.)(G)

Now Rekab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, set out for the house of Ish-Bosheth,(H) and they arrived there in the heat of the day while he was taking his noonday rest.(I) They went into the inner part of the house as if to get some wheat, and they stabbed(J) him in the stomach. Then Rekab and his brother Baanah slipped away.

They had gone into the house while he was lying on the bed in his bedroom. After they stabbed and killed him, they cut off his head. Taking it with them, they traveled all night by way of the Arabah.(K) They brought the head(L) of Ish-Bosheth to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul,(M) your enemy, who tried to kill you. This day the Lord has avenged(N) my lord the king against Saul and his offspring.”

David answered Rekab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered(O) me out of every trouble, 10 when someone told me, ‘Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and put him to death in Ziklag.(P) That was the reward I gave him for his news! 11 How much more—when wicked men have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed—should I not now demand his blood(Q) from your hand and rid the earth of you!”

12 So David gave an order to his men, and they killed them.(R) They cut off their hands and feet and hung the bodies by the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-Bosheth and buried it in Abner’s tomb at Hebron.

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