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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 4

Parker's The People's BibleParker's The People's Bible

Verse 1

"Handfuls of Purpose"

For All Gleaners

"... his hands were feeble." 2 Samuel 4:1 .

The man spoken of was Saul's son, and as the son of a king what reason had he to have enfeebled hands? The reason is, that Abner was dead. But could not a king's son do without Abner? Have not king's sons abundant resources in themselves, without being dependent upon outsiders however distinguished? All history replies in the negative. Men belong to one another. The king's son was nothing without Abner, but much with him. The unit one is but a singular number, but the moment a cipher is added to it it becomes ten, and another cipher turns the ten into a hundred. The integer is little by itself, the cipher is nothing at all when it stands alone, but when they are brought together they begin to make themselves felt. It is precisely so in our social relations. What is the husband without the wife? What is the son without the father? What is the scholar without the teacher? What is the flock without the shepherd? It is of no account to reason that there is a variety of value in men, some being worth much, and others being worth little; the fact is that they must all be brought into co-operation, and in their unity they must begin to realise their strength. The pastor without the Church is almost powerless; the Church without the pastor is as sheep not having a shepherd. In proportion to a man's greatness will he value the help of others. His very greatness, provided it be intellectual and moral, will enable him to see that every man has his value and his importance in society, and that the more men are entrusted with influence the more they are developed in moral dignity, provided the conscience be pure, and the motive of the whole life be unselfish and lofty. It would seem as if Jesus Christ himself felt that he needed the presence and sympathy of his disciples. Once he said, "Will ye also go away?" True, he could have done without them all, but in a higher truth he needed them all, and he failed not to make them feel how near and dear they were to all his loftiest solicitudes.

Verses 1-12

2 Samuel 4:0

1. And when Saul's son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled [by the loss of a great man].

2. 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:

3. And the Beerothites [Beeroth was one of the four cities of the Gibeonites] fled to Gittaim [neither the cause nor the place of the flight can be determined with certainty], and were sojourners there until this day.)

4. And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet [and therefore incapacitated for the rulership]. 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.

5. And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ish-bosheth, who lay on a bed at noon [according to eastern custom].

6. And they came thither into the midst of the house, as though they would have fetched wheat [like fetching wheat]; and they smote him under the fifth rib: and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped.

7. 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 [of the Jordan] all night.

8. And they brought the head of Ish-bosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ish-bosheth 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 [an impious and cruel interpretation].

9. ΒΆ 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,

10. 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:

11. 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?

12. 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 Ish-bosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.

Bibliographical Information
Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4". Parker's The People's Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jpb/2-samuel-4.html. 1885-95.
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