Ish-Bosheth Is Murdered
1Ish-Bosheth, the son of Saul, heard that Abner had died in Hebron. Then he wasn’t so brave anymore. And all the Israelites became alarmed. 2Two men in Ish-Bosheth’s army led small fighting groups that attacked their enemies. The names of the men were Baanah and Rekab. They were sons of Rimmon from the town of Beeroth. Rimmon was from the tribe of Benjamin. Beeroth is considered to be part of Benjamin. 3That’s because the people who used to live in Beeroth had run away to Gittaim. They have lived there as outsiders to this day.
4Jonathan, the son of Saul, had a son named Mephibosheth. Both of Mephibosheth’s feet were hurt. He was five years old when the news that Saul and Jonathan had died came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and ran. But as she hurried to get away, he fell down. That’s how his feet were hurt.
5Rekab and Baanah started out for the house of Ish-Bosheth. They were the sons of Rimmon from Beeroth. They arrived there during the hottest time of the day. Ish-Bosheth was taking his early afternoon nap. 6Rekab and his brother Baanah went into the inside part of the house. They acted as if they were going to get some wheat. Instead, they stabbed Ish-Bosheth in the stomach. Then they slipped away.
7They had gone into the house while Ish-Bosheth was lying on his bed in his bedroom. They stabbed him and killed him. Then they cut off his head and took it with them. They traveled all night through the Arabah Valley. 8They brought the head of Ish-Bosheth to King David at Hebron. They said to him, “Here’s the head of Ish-Bosheth, the son of Saul. Saul was your enemy. He often tried to kill you. Today the Lord has paid back Saul and his family. He has let you get even with them. You are our king and master.”
9David gave an answer to Rekab and his brother Baanah. They were the sons of Rimmon from Beeroth. David said, “The Lord has saved me from every trouble. 10Someone once told me, ‘Saul is dead.’ He thought he was bringing me good news. But I grabbed him. I had him put to death in Ziklag. That’s the reward I gave him for his news! And that’s just as sure as the Lord is alive. 11Now you evil men have killed a man in his own house. He hadn’t done anything wrong. You killed him while he was lying on his own bed. You spilled his blood. So shouldn’t I spill your blood? Shouldn’t I wipe you off the face of the earth?”
12Then David gave an order to his men. They killed Rekab and Baanah. They cut off their hands and feet. They hung their bodies by the pool in Hebron. But they buried the head of Ish-Bosheth in Abner’s tomb at Hebron.