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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
2 Samuel 4



Verses 1-12

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 archological 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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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 19th, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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