And when Saul's son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled.
And Saul's son had two men that were captains of bands: the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon a Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin: (for Beeroth also was reckoned to Benjamin:
Heb. second. Beeroth.
And the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and were sojourners there until this day.)
And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.
when the tidings
And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who lay on a bed at noon.
lay on a bed
It is customary, in all hot countries, to travel or work very early and very late, and to rest at noon, at which time the heat most prevails.
And they came thither into the midst of the house, as though they would have fetched wheat; and they smote him under the fifth rib: and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped.
It is still the custom of the East, according to Dr. Perry, to allow the soldiers a certain quantity of corn, with other articles of provision, together with some pay: and as it was the custom also to grind the corn, as needed, at the break of day, these two captains very naturally went the day before to the palace, where the king's stores appear to have been kept, to fetch wheat, in order to distribute it to the soldiers under them, to be ground at the accustomed hour in the morning. The princes of the East, in those days, as appears from the history of David, reposed on their couches till the cool of the evening: they therefore came in the heat of the day, when they knew their master would be resting on his bed; and as it was a necessary to have the corn before it was needed, their coming at this time, though it might be earlier than usual, excited no suspicion.
For when they came into the house, he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and gat them away through the plain all night.
took his head
1 Samuel 17:54 31:9 2 Kings 10:6,7 Matthew 14:11 Mark 6:28,29 When those difficulties dispirit us which should rather invigorate us and sharpen our endeavours, we betray a carelessness of character which is soon taken advantage of by our more watchful neighbours. Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty and ruin. The idle soul is an easy prey to the destroyer.
And they brought the head of Ishbosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ishbosheth the son of Saul thine enemy, which sought thy life; and the LORD hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed.
And David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said unto them, As the LORD liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity,
When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings:
Heb. he was in his own eyes, as a bringer, etc. who thought, etc. or, which was the reward I gave him for his tidings.
How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth?
And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.