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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
2 Samuel 4

 

 

Verses 1-3

And when Saul's son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 4

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.

Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. This is mentioned as a reason for his being considered, according to Oriental notions, unfit for exercising the duties of sovereignty.


Verse 5

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.

Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day ... It is still a custom in the East to allow their soldiers a certain quantity of grain, together with some pay; and these two captains very naturally went to the palace the day before to fetch wheat, in order to distribute it to the soldiers, that it might be sent to the mill at the accustomed hour in the morning.


Verse 6

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.

And they came thither into the midst of the house. [The Septuagint says: kai idou hee thurooros tou oikou ekathaire purous kai enustaxe kai ekatheude, and, behold, the porteress at the gate had been winnowing wheat; she became drowsy and fell asleep. kai Reechab kai baana hoi adelfoi dielabon, and the brothers Rechab and Bannah went through (got access into) the palace.].


Verse 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 all night.

When they came into the house, he lay on his bed. Rechab and Baanah came in the heat of the day, when they knew that Ish-bosheth, their master, would, according to custom, be resting on his divan; and as it was necessary, for the reason just given, to have the grain the day before it was needed, their coming at that time, though it might be a little earlier than usual, created no suspicion, and attracted no notice. They took advantage of these circumstances to execute an infamous plot they had formed against the life of their master; and having assassinated him while reposing on his couch, they cut off his head, to be carried as a trophy to David in Hebron.

Gat them away through the plain all night , [ haa-`Araabaah (Hebrew #6160)] - i:e., the valley of the Jordan, through which their way lay from Mahanaim to Hebron.


Verse 8

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.

Behold the head of Ish-bosheth. Such bloody trophies of rebels and conspirators have always been acceptable to princes in the East, and the carriers been liberally rewarded. Ish-bosheth being a usurper, the two assassins thought they were doing a meritorious service to David by removing the only existing obstacle to the union of the two kingdoms.


Verses 9-11

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,

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 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 Ishbosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.

Slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet. The cutting off the hands and feet of criminals convicted of treason was an ancient custom in the East, and is still continued.

And hanged them up over the pool in Hebron. Outside the town of Hebron is a pool of good water, which, being below the level of the adjoining ground, is accessible by flights of steps at each corner; and there is another reservoir at a little distance, both of which are very ancient. One or other of these must certainly be the pool referred to. The exposure of the mutilated relics of the two assassins at the pool was owing to its being a place of public resort. The exposure of the mutilated remains were intended as not only a punishment of their crime, but also the attestation of David's abhorrence.

Took the head of Ish-bosheth, and buried it in the grave of Abner in Hebron. This sepulchre is stall shown at a spot a few yards from the mosque (see the notes at 2 Samuel 3:39).

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-4.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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