Overview

2 Samuel 4 focuses on the events leading to the assassination of Ish-Bosheth, Saul’s son and king over Israel, and David’s response to this act of treachery. This chapter highlights the turmoil and instability in the kingdom and further cements David's reputation as a just leader. Key aspects include:
Ish-Bosheth’s Weakened Position: The chapter opens with Ish-Bosheth losing courage and Israel being troubled following Abner’s death. His weakened position makes his rule increasingly tenuous.
The Assassination Plot: Two of Ish-Bosheth’s captains, Baanah and Rechab, sons of Rimmon from Beeroth, plot to assassinate Ish-Bosheth. They enter Ish-Bosheth’s house during the heat of the day while he is taking a nap.
Murder of Ish-Bosheth: The assassins kill Ish-Bosheth in his bed, behead him, and take his head to David in Hebron, believing they are bringing good news that would please David.
David’s Reaction to the Assassins: Contrary to the assassins’ expectations, David is angered by their treachery. He recounts how he executed the man who claimed to have killed Saul, emphasizing that he will not tolerate wickedness.
Execution of Baanah and Rechab: David orders the execution of Baanah and Rechab for killing a righteous man in his own house. He has their hands and feet cut off, and their bodies hung beside the pool in Hebron.
Burial of Ish-Bosheth’s Head: Ish-Bosheth’s head is buried in Abner’s tomb at Hebron, a sign of respect for the deceased king.
2 Samuel 4 illustrates the chaotic and violent nature of the transition of power from Saul’s house to David. The assassination of Ish-Bosheth marks the end of Saul’s lineage’s challenge to David’s claim to the throne. David’s principled stand against the murder of Ish-Bosheth reinforces his image as a just leader and sets a moral standard for his kingship. His reaction to the assassination reflects his commitment to legitimacy and righteousness in his path to becoming king over all Israel.

2 Samuel 4

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.

End of 2 Samuel 4


1 Year Plan:  May 7 - 2 Sa 2, 2 Sa 3, 2 Sa 4,  Ps 52, Ps 53

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