Ishbosheth Is Murdered
1When Saul's son Ishbosheth heard that Abner had been killed in Hebron, he was afraid, and all the people of Israel were alarmed. 2Ishbosheth had two officers who were leaders of raiding parties, Baanah and Rechab, sons of Rimmon, from Beeroth in the tribe of Benjamin. (Beeroth is counted as part of Benjamin. 3Its original inhabitants had fled to Gittaim, where they have lived ever since.)
4 # 2 S 9.3 Another descendant of Saul was Jonathan's son Mephibosheth, who was five years old when Saul and Jonathan were killed. When the news about their death came from the city of Jezreel, his nurse picked him up and fled; but she was in such a hurry that she dropped him, and he became crippled.
5Rechab and Baanah set out for Ishbosheth's house and arrived there about noon, while he was taking his midday rest. 6The woman at the door had become drowsy while she was sifting wheat and had fallen asleep, so Rechab and Baanah slipped in.#4.6: Verse 6 follows one ancient translation; Hebrew They went on into the house carrying wheat, and struck him in the belly. Then Rechab and his brother Baanah escaped. 7Once inside, they went to Ishbosheth's bedroom, where he was sound asleep, and killed him. Then they cut off his head, took it with them, and walked all night through the Jordan Valley. 8They presented the head to King David at Hebron and said to him, “Here is the head of Ishbosheth, the son of your enemy Saul, who tried to kill you. Today the Lord has allowed Your Majesty to take revenge on Saul and his descendants.”
9David answered them, “I take a vow by the living Lord, who has saved me from all dangers! 10#2 S 1.1-16 The messenger who came to me at Ziklag and told me of Saul's death thought he was bringing good news. I seized him and had him put to death. That was the reward I gave him for his good news! 11How much worse it will be for evil men who murder an innocent man asleep in his own house! I will now take revenge on you for murdering him and will wipe you off the face of the earth!” 12David gave the order, and his soldiers killed Rechab and Baanah and cut off their hands and feet, which they hung up near the pool in Hebron. They took Ishbosheth's head and buried it in Abner's tomb there at Hebron.