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2 Samuel 4 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Troubles Come to Saul’s Family

Saul’s son Ish Bosheth heard that Abner had died at Hebron. Ish Bosheth and all his people became very afraid. Two men went to see to Saul’s son. These two men were captains in the army. They were Recab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon from Beeroth. (They were Benjamites because the town Beeroth belonged to the tribe of Benjamin. But all the people in Beeroth ran away to Gittaim, and they are still living there today.)

Saul’s son Jonathan had a son named Mephibosheth. He was five years old when the news came from Jezreel that Saul and Jonathan had been killed. The woman who cared for Mephibosheth picked him up and ran away. But while running away, she dropped the boy, and he became crippled in both feet.

Recab and Baanah, sons of Rimmon from Beeroth, went to Ish Bosheth’s house at noon. Ish Bosheth was resting because it was hot. 6-7 Recab and Baanah came into the house as if they were going to get some wheat. Ish Bosheth was lying on his bed in his bedroom, and they stabbed and killed him. Then they cut off his head and took it with them. They traveled all night on the road through the Jordan Valley. When they arrived at Hebron, they gave Ish Bosheth’s head to David.

Recab and Baanah said to King David, “Here is the head of your enemy, Ish Bosheth son of Saul. He tried to kill you, but the Lord has punished Saul and his family for you today.”

But David told Recab and his brother Baanah, “As surely as the Lord lives, he is the one who has rescued me from all my troubles! 10 Once before a man thought he would bring me good news. He told me, ‘Look! Saul is dead.’ He thought I would reward him for bringing me the news. But I grabbed this man and killed him at Ziklag. 11 I will kill you too and remove this evil from our land because you evil men killed a good man sleeping on his own bed, in his own house.”

12 So David commanded his young helpers[a] to kill Recab and Baanah. The young men cut off the hands and feet of Recab and Baanah and hanged them by the pool of Hebron. Then they took the head of Ish Bosheth and buried it where Abner was buried at Hebron.


  1. 2 Samuel 4:12 young helpers Young men who carried a soldier’s weapons into battle but were not yet soldiers themselves.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

2 Samuel 4 New International Version (NIV)

Ish-Bosheth Murdered

When Ish-Bosheth son of Saul heard that Abner 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 is considered part of Benjamin, because the people of Beeroth fled to Gittaim and have resided there as foreigners to this day.

(Jonathan son of Saul had a son who was lame in both feet. He was five years old when the news 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. His name was Mephibosheth.)

Now Rekab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, set out for the house of Ish-Bosheth, and they arrived there in the heat of the day while he was taking his noonday rest. They went into the inner part of the house as if to get some wheat, and they stabbed 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. They brought the head of Ish-Bosheth to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, your enemy, who tried to kill you. This day the Lord has avenged 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 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. 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 from your hand and rid the earth of you!”

12 So David gave an order to his men, and they killed them. 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.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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