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When Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, heard that his general Abner was dead, murdered in Hebron, he panicked, and so did all Israel. Now the two captains of Ish-bosheth’s raiding parties were Baanah and Rechab, the sons of Rimmon, a Benjaminite from the town of Beeroth (which was considered to belong to Benjamin since the time its original inhabitants tricked the Israelites into making a pact of friendship with them. The people of Beeroth fled to Gittaim, where they still live as aliens).

Saul’s son Jonathan, David’s friend, had a son named Mephibosheth who was unable to use his feet. When he was only five, the news of his father and grandfather’s defeat came from Jezreel. In her rush to flee, his nurse grabbed him up, and Mephibosheth fell; he had been lame ever since.

Baanah and Rechab, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, hatched a plan. They set out, and they came to Ish-bosheth’s residence during the noonday heat as he was taking a nap. 6-7 They crept inside the house as if to get some wheat. There they stabbed Ish-bosheth in the abdomen while he lay asleep on his bed, killing him. Then Rechab and his brother Baanah cut off Ish-bosheth’s head and escaped. They carried his head away and traveled all night across the desert plains.[a]

At Hebron, they brought Ish-bosheth’s head before David.

Baanah and Rechab: Here is the head of your enemy, Ish-bosheth, son of Saul, who tried to kill you. Today the Eternal One has avenged my lord, the king, against Saul and his clan.

David: As the Eternal One lives, the One who has redeemed my life from every danger, 10 when the messenger brought me the word, “Saul is dead”—as though that would be some reason for me to rejoice, that would get him a reward—I seized him and had him killed at Ziklag. That was his reward for bringing me such news. 11 How much more do you deserve to be punished, you wicked men who kill a righteous man in his own bedroom? Don’t you imagine that now I’ll make you answer for his blood with your own and wipe you from the face of the earth?

12 David commanded his young men, and they killed Baanah and Rechab. Then the young men cut off their hands and feet and hung their bodies as an example beside the pool at Hebron. But Ish-bosheth’s head they took and buried in Abner’s tomb in Hebron.


  1. 4:6-7 Hebrew, Arabah

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