4 When Saul’s son Ish-bosheth [king of Israel], heard that Abner had died in Hebron, he [a]lost courage, and all Israel was horrified. 2 Saul’s son had two men who were commanders of [raiding] bands [of soldiers]. One was named Baanah and the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite of the sons (tribe) of Benjamin (for Beeroth is also considered part of [the tribe of] Benjamin, 3 and the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and have been resident aliens there to this day).
4 Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son whose feet were crippled. He was five years old when the news [of the deaths] of Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. And the boy’s nurse picked him up and fled; but it happened that while she was hurrying to flee, he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.
5 So the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, left and came to the house of Ish-bosheth in the heat of the day while he was taking his midday rest. 6 They came into the interior of the house as if to get wheat [for the soldiers], and they struck him in the stomach. Then Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped [unnoticed]. 7 Now when they entered the house he was lying on his bed in his bedroom. They [not only] struck and killed him, [but] they also beheaded him. Then they took his head and traveled all night by way of the Arabah. 8 They brought the head of Ish-bosheth to David at Hebron, and said to the king, “Look, the head of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life; thus the Lord has granted my lord the king vengeance this day on Saul and on his descendants.”
9 David replied to Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said to them, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from every adversity, 10 when a man told me, ‘Behold, Saul is dead,’ [b]thinking that he was bringing good news, I seized and killed him in Ziklag, to reward him for his news. 11 How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous and just man in his own house on his bed, shall I not require his blood from your hand and remove you from the earth?” 12 So David commanded his young men, and they killed them and cut off their hands and feet and hung them beside the pool in Hebron. But they took Ish-bosheth’s head and buried it in Hebron in the tomb of Abner [his relative].
- 2 Samuel 4:1 Lit his hands went slack.
- 2 Samuel 4:10 Lit as one who brings good news in his own eyes.