2 Samuel 4:1-12

Two men kill Ish-Bosheth

1 Saul's son Ish-Bosheth heard the news that Abner had died in Hebron. Then he felt very frightened. All the people in Israel became afraid. 2 Ish-Bosheth had two officers called Baanah and Recab. They were leaders of small groups of soldiers. Their father was Rimmon from Beeroth. He belonged to Benjamin's tribe. At that time, Beeroth was part of Benjamin's land. 3 The people from Beeroth had run away to Gittaim. So Beeroth's people still live there as strangers.

4:1Saul's son here was Ish-Bosheth.

4 Saul's son Jonathan had a son called Mephibosheth. Since he was five years old he had not been able to walk. At that time someone had come from Jezreel to say that Saul and Jonathan had died. So Mephibosheth's nurse picked him up to escape with him. But as she ran in a hurry, he fell to the ground. It hurt his feet very badly.

5 Rimmon's sons, Recab and Baanah, left their home and they went to Ish-Bosheth's house. They arrived in the middle of the day when it was very hot. Ish-Bosheth was resting on his bed. 6 They went into the house as if they wanted to get some wheat. But they pushed knives into Ish-Bosheth's stomach. Then Recab and his brother Baanah escaped.

7 When they had gone into the house, Ish-Bosheth had been lying on his bed in his bedroom. After they had killed him, they cut off his head. They took it with them and they travelled all night through the Jordan Valley. 8 They brought Ish-Bosheth's head to David in Hebron. They said to the king, ‘Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth, Saul's son! Saul was your enemy who wanted to kill you. So today the Lord has punished him and his descendants. They have paid for the bad things that they did to you, our lord, the king.’

9 David answered Recab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon from Beeroth. He said to them, ‘The Lord has rescued me from all my troubles. So I tell you this, as surely as the Lord lives: 10 When someone told me in Ziklag, “Saul is dead”, he thought that he was bringing good news to me. But I took hold of him and I told my men to kill him. That was how I paid him for his good news! 11 Now you wicked men have done a worse thing. You killed a good man in his own house while he was asleep! So I must surely punish you for his death. You must disappear from the earth!’

12 So David commanded his young men to kill Recab and Baanah. After they had killed them, they cut off their hands and their feet. They hung the dead bodies by the pool in Hebron. But they took Ish-Bosheth's head and they buried it in Abner's grave in Hebron.