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2 Samuel 4:1-12 . It was clear that Ishbaal’ s authority could not long survive Abner. It was only a question who should carry out the schemes which Abner had set on foot. Two of Ishbaal’ s captains came to his house as he was enjoying his midday siesta. “ And, behold the portress was cleaning wheat, and she had fallen sound asleep, and they got into the house without being noticed” (following LXX of 2 Samuel 4:6 cf. mg.) , and slew Ishbaal and took his head to David, who had them put to death.
There are two insertions in this narrative. 2 Samuel 4:2 b, 2 Samuel 4:3 is an archæ ological note as to Beeroth ( Deuteronomy 10:6). Its inhabitants, probably on the occasion of some hostile inroad, had fled to Gittaim (not identified), and were sojourners ( gerim, 2 Samuel 1:13 *) there, when the note was written.
2 Samuel 4:4 probably implies that the only other legitimate ( cf. 2 Samuel 21:8) representative of the house of Saul was a crippled boy, so that the murder of Ishbaal left the way open for David. The boy’ s name was really Meribbaal ( 1 Chronicles 8:34), “ Baal contends,” or 1 Chronicles 9:40, Meribaal, perhaps “ Hero of Baal” (Gray, Heb. Proper Names, p. 201); Baal being a title of Yahweh. Mephibosheth has been explained (ICC), “ that puffs at the shameful thing,” but according to Gray it is a “ mere, meaningless corruption.” On the matter generally and for the change to bosheth, see 1 Samuel 14:49 * 1 Samuel 4:4 would be more in place at the beginning of, or at some point in, ch. 9. It might also have come at the end of this chapter.
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Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany