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Ish-Bosheth is Assassinated

When the son of Saul heard that Abner had died in Hebron, his courage failed[a] and all of Israel was horrified. Two of the men, commanders of the raiding bands, were for the son of Saul. The name of one was Baanah, and the name of the other was Recab, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite from the descendants[b] of Benjamin; also, Beeroth was regarded as belonging to Benjamin. The Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and they are resident aliens there until this day. (Now Jonathan the son of Saul had a son who was crippled in the feet. He was five years old when the message of Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse had picked him up and fled. It happened that as she was hurrying away to flee, he fell and became crippled. His name was Mephibosheth.) When the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Recab and Baanah, set out, they came at the heat of the day to the house of Ish-Bosheth while he was taking a noontime rest.[c] They came as far as the middle of the house as if takers of wheat, and they struck him in the stomach. Then Recab and Baanah his brother escaped. When they had come into the house, he was lying on his couch in his bedchamber,[d] and they attacked him and killed him. Then they beheaded him,[e] and they took his head and went on the way of the Arabah all night. They brought the head of Ish-Bosheth to David at Hebron, and they said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth, the son of Saul your enemy, who sought your life. Yahweh has given to my lord the king vengeance this day on Saul and on his offspring.” Then David answered Recab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and he said to them, “As Yahweh lives,[f] who redeemed my soul from all trouble, 10 when the one who told me, “Look, Saul is dead,” thought that he was bringing good news,[g] I seized him and killed him at Ziklag, which was as my giving the news back to him. 11 How much more[h] when wicked men kill a righteous man in his house, on his bed! So then, shall I not seek his lifeblood from your hand, so that I may destroy you from the earth?” 12 Then David commanded the young men, and they killed them, and they cut off their hands and their feet, and they hung them at the pool at Hebron, but the head of Ish-Bosheth they took and buried in the grave of Abner at Hebron.


  1. 2 Samuel 4:1 Literally “his hands hung limp”
  2. 2 Samuel 4:2 Or “sons”
  3. 2 Samuel 4:5 Literally “he was lying with the bed at noon”
  4. 2 Samuel 4:7 Literally “in the room of his lying”
  5. 2 Samuel 4:7 Literally “they took away his head”
  6. 2 Samuel 4:9 Literally “The life of Yahweh”
  7. 2 Samuel 4:10 Literally “and he was as one bringing good news in his eyes”
  8. 2 Samuel 4:11 Literally “Also”