2 Samuel 4

1 When Ish-Bosheth son of Saul heard that Abner had died at Hebron, he was shocked and all Israel became frightened.
2 Two men who were captains in Saul's army came to Ish-Bosheth. One was named Baanah, and the other was named Recab. They were the sons of Rimmon of Beeroth, who was a Benjaminite. (The town Beeroth belonged to the tribe of Benjamin.
3 The people of Beeroth ran away to Gittaim, and they still live there as foreigners today.)
4 (Saul's son Jonathan had a son named Mephibo- sheth, who was crippled in both feet. He was five years old when the news came from Jezreel that Saul and Jonathan were dead. Mephibosheth's nurse had picked him up and run away. But as she hurried to leave, she dropped him, and now he was lame.)
5 Recab and Baanah, sons of Rimmon from Beeroth, went to Ish-Bosheth's house in the afternoon while he was taking a nap.
7 They went into the middle of the house as if to get some wheat. Ish-Bosheth was lying on his bed in his bedroom. Then Recab and Baanah stabbed him in the stomach, killed him, cut off his head, and took it with them. They escaped and traveled all night through the Jordan Valley.
8 When they arrived at Hebron, they gave his head to David and said to the king, "Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, your enemy. He tried to kill you! Today the Lord has paid back Saul and his family for what they did to you!"
9 David answered Recab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon of Beeroth, "As surely as the Lord lives, he has saved me from all trouble!
10 Once a man thought he was bringing me good news. When he told me, 'Saul is dead!' I seized him and killed him at Ziklag. That was the reward I gave him for his news!
11 So even more I must put you evil men to death because you have killed an innocent man on his own bed in his own house!"
12 So David commanded his men to kill Recab and Baanah. They cut off the hands and feet of Recab and Baanah and hung them over the pool of Hebron. Then they took Ish-Bosheth's head and buried it in Abner's tomb at Hebron.

2 Samuel 4 Commentary

Chapter 4

Ishbosheth murdered. (1-7) David puts to death the murderers. (8-12)

Verses 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.

Verses 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.

Chapter Summary


This chapter relates the concern the death of Abner gave to Ishbosheth, and the men of Israel, 2Sa 4:1; the murder of Ishbosheth by two of his captains, who cut off his head, and brought it to David, 2Sa 4:2-8; by whom they were rewarded according to their deserts, he putting them to death, and exposing their bodies to shame and ignominy, 2Sa 4:9-12.

2 Samuel 4 Commentaries

Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.