4 When Saul’s son heard that Abner had died in Hebron, his courage[a] failed and all of Israel was disturbed. 2 Now Saul’s son had two officers in charge of some raiding parties. One was named Baanah and the other was named Rechab. They were sons of Rimmon, a descendant of Benjamin from Beeroth, which was considered to belong to the tribe of[b] Benjamin. 3 (The residents of Beeroth had evacuated to Gittaim and live there as resident aliens to this day.)
4 Meanwhile, Saul’s son Jonathan had a son whose feet were crippled. When he was five years old, news had arrived about Saul and Jonathan from Jezreel, and his nurse picked him up to flee, but in her hurry to leave, he happened to fall and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.[c]
5 Rechab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, left and arrived during the hottest part of the day at the home of Ish-bosheth while he was taking a noon day nap. 6 They entered the house as though they intended to obtain some grain and stabbed him in the abdomen. Then Rechab and his brother Baanah escaped. 7 While they were in the house, they struck him, killed him, and cut off his head while he was lying on his bed in his bedroom. They took his head, and traveled all night along the Arabah road.
David Punishes the Killers of Ish-bosheth
8 They brought Ish-bosheth’s head to David at Hebron and told the king, “Look! Here’s the head of your enemy Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, who sought your life. Today the Lord has given your majesty the king vengeance on Saul and his descendants.”[d]
9 David responded to Rechab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite: “As the Lord lives, who has saved my life in every adversity, 10 when the man who told me ‘Look! Saul is dead!’ thought he was bringing me good news, I arrested him and had him killed at Ziklag as the reward I gave him for his news. 11 How much worse will it be, then, when evil men kill an innocent man on his own bed in his own house! Shouldn’t I avenge his blood—which you are responsible for shedding[e]—by removing you from the earth?” 12 So David commanded his personal guards,[f] and they killed Rechab and Baanah,[g] cut off their hands and feet, and hung up their bodies beside the pool at Hebron. They took Ish-bosheth’s head and buried it in Abner’s tomb at Hebron.
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