Old Testament

2 Samuel 4
The Death of Ishbosheth
41When Saul's son heard that Abner had died at Hebron, he lost his courage, and all Israel panicked.
2Saul's son had two men who were commanders of raiding bands. One was named Ba'anah;[] the second was Rekab. They were Benjaminites, sons of Rimmon from Be'eroth. (Be'eroth is considered part of Benjamin. 3The Be'erothites fled to Gittaim. They have lived there as aliens until the present time.)
4Jonathan, the son of Saul, had a son with crippled feet. This son had been five years old when the report had come from Jezre'el about Saul and Jonathan. His caregiver picked him up and fled. While she was hurrying to escape, he fell and became crippled. His name was Mephibosheth.[]
5Ba'anah and Rekab, the sons of Rimmon from Be'eroth, went out during the heat of the day and came to the house of Ishbosheth while he was lying down for his midday rest. 6˻The doorkeeper of the house had been cleaning wheat, but she had grown drowsy and fallen asleep. So Rekab and his brother Ba'anah slipped in.˼[] They came into the inner part of the house as if they were coming to get wheat. They stabbed Ishbosheth in the stomach. Then Rekab and his brother Ba'anah escaped. 7They had gone into the house while Ishbosheth was lying on his bed in the room where he rested. They struck him, killed him, and cut off his head. Taking his head with them, they traveled on the Arabah Road all night.
8They brought the head of Ishbosheth to David at Hebron, and they said to the king, “Look! Here is the head of Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, your enemy who sought your life. This day the Lord has given my lord the king vengeance on Saul and his offspring.”
9David answered Rekab and his brother Ba'anah, the sons of Rimmon from Be'eroth, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from every evil, 10the man who told me, ‘Look! Saul is dead,’ thought that he was bringing good news, but I seized him and killed him at Ziklag. That is what I gave him for his ‘good news.’ 11So now that wicked men have killed an innocent man in his own house on his own bed, will I not require his blood from your hand! I will wipe you off the face of the earth.” 12Then David gave the orders to his young men, and they killed them, cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them beside the pool at Hebron. They took the head of Ishbosheth and buried it in the tomb of Abner in Hebron.


  • 4:2 The stop mark ' is inserted into some Hebrew names as a pronunciation guide. The double vowel should not be read as one syllable, Bay-nah, but as two syllables, Bay-a-nah.
  • 4:4 His name was originally Meribbaal or Memphibaal, but the books of Samuel substitute -bosheth, which means shame, for -baal in personal names. See 1 Chronicles 8:33-34.
  • 4:6 The sentence in half-brackets is not included in the Hebrew text but appears in the Greek Old Testament.