Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 4:6

They came to the middle of the house as if to get wheat, and they struck him in the belly; and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Assassination;   Baanah;   Homicide;   Ish-Bosheth;   Rechab;   Regicide;   Treachery;   Thompson Chain Reference - Assassination;   Crimes;   Nation, the;   Treachery;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Murder;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Baanah and Rechab;   Bed;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ish-Bosheth;   Mahanaim;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Bannah;   House;   Rimmon;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Court Systems;   Ish-Bosheth;   Rechab;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Baanah;   House;   Porter;   Rechab, Rechabites;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Barn;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Baanah ;   Beeroth ;   Ishbosheth ;   Rechab ;   Rimmon ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Dwelling;   Ish-bosheth;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ba'anah;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Mill;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Crime;   Rechab;   Rib;   Samuel, Books of;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Baanah;   Medicine;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

As though they would have fetched wheat - The king's stores were probably near his own dwelling; and these men were accustomed to go thither for provisions for themselves, their cattle, and their men. This supposition which is natural, renders unnecessary all the emendations of Houbigant and others.

As these men were accustomed to bring wheat from these stores, from which it appears there was an easy passage to the king's chamber, (especially if we consider this a summer-house, as it most probably was), no man would suspect their present errand, as they were in the habit of going frequently to that place.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:6". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-4.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

As though they would have fetched wheat - This is a very obscure passage, and the double repetition in 2 Samuel 4:6-7 of the murder of the king and of the escape of the assassin, is hard to account for. Rechab and Baanah came into the house under the pretence of getting grain, probably for the band which they commanded out of the king‘s storehouse, and so contrived to get access into the king‘s chamber; or, they found the wheat-carriers (the persons whose business it was to carry in grain for the king‘s household) just going into the king‘s house, and by joining them got into the midst of the house unnoticed. If the latter be the sense, the literal translation of the words would be: “And behold (or, and there) there came into the midst of the house the carriers of wheat, and they (i. e. Rechab and Baanah) smote him, etc.”

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:6". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-4.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And they came thither into the midst of the house,.... They not only came unto it, but entered into it, and went into the inmost part of it; the guards being asleep also perhaps, or not on duty, so that there were none to obstruct them; or if there were, they deceived them, since they went in

as though they would have fetched wheat; out of the king's granaries, for the payment and support of the soldiers under them, who in those days were paid in corn, as were the Roman soldiersF25Vid. Valtrinum de re militar. Roman. l. 3. c. 15. p. 236. in later times; and these granaries might not only be in the king's house, but near his bedchamber; for in those ancient ages of simplicity there was not such grandeur in the courts of princes as now; the Targum is,"as sellers of wheat,'

in the guise and habit of such persons, pretending they came to sell wheat to the king's purveyors, who were at the granaries; or, as others interpret it, they went in along with the wheat merchants as if they belonged to them, and so found their way to the king's bedchamber:

and smote him under the fifth rib; See Gill on 2 Samuel 2:23,

and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped; they got out of the palace after they had committed the murder undiscovered and unsuspected.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-4.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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

(e) They disguised themselves as merchants, who came to buy wheat.

(f) There is nothing so vile and dangerous, which the wicked will not undertake in hope of money and favour.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:6". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-4.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

Fetched wheat — Which was laid up in publick granaries in the king's house, and was fetched thence by the captains and commanders of the army for the pay of their soldiers, who, in those ancient times were not paid in money, but in corn. Upon this pretence they were admitted into the house, and so went from room to room, to the place where the king lay.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:6". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-4.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 4:6 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.

Ver. 6. As though they would have fetched wheat.] Either for their own pay, or for the use of their soldiers.

And they smote him under the fifth rib.] Where there is no bone to hinder; but the belly is soft, and fit for a deadly wound. To the doing of this villainous act, some think they might be encouraged by Joab’s impunity; so true is that political sentence, Bonis nocet qui malis parcit.

And Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped.] But though for a time they had escaped, yet vengeance suffered them not long to live. [Acts 28:4] A tergo Nemesis.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:6". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-4.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Into the midst of the house, or, into the house; for the midst is not always taken exactly, and mathematically, but for any part within, as Genesis 48:16 Exodus 8:22 Joshua 3:17.

As though they would have fetched wheat; which was laid up in public granaries in the king’s house, and was fetched thence by the captains and commanders of the army for the pay of their soldiers, who in those ancient times were not paid in money, but in corn, as is well known. Upon this pretence they were admitted into the house, and so went from room to room, to the place where the king lay.

Rechab and Baanah escaped; which was not difficult to do, when the king was left alone; either because he desired to compose himself to rest or sleep; or because his guards, if he had any, were very small and negligent, now, at least, in his declining and forlorn condition.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:6". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-4.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

6.The house — Some extensive structure at Mahanaim used for the royal palace, and the treasure-house of the royal stores.

As though they would have fetched wheat — From the royal granary. Being royal officers, they were probably accustomed to go to the king’s storehouse for grain. The Septuagint here has the following: “And behold the doorkeeper of the house was winnowing wheat, and he nodded and slept.”

The fifth rib — See note on 2 Samuel 2:23.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:6". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-4.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Corn. Soldiers were paid with corn, instead of money. They came, therefore, under this pretext; or they brought some as a present to the king, (Liranus) or pretended that they were come to purchase, (Menochius) or bringing a sample to sell; (Tirinus) ut emptores tritici. (Chaldean) Protestants, "as though they would have fetched wheat, and they smote him under the fifth rib."

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:6". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-4.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

And they came thither. Or, "Thither, into the interior of the house, came wheat-fetchers, and they smote", &c.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:6". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-4.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.].

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-4.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(6) As though they would have fetched wheat.—Literally, fetching wheat. The English version gives the sense, since the fetching wheat (probably for their soldiers) was a pretext to cover their purpose. The LXX. has here a curious addition: “And, behold, the portress of the house was cleansing wheat, and she slumbered and slept, and the brothers slipt through.” On “the fifth rib”= abdomen, see Note on 2 Samuel 2:23.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:6". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-4.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
as though
It is still the custom of the East, according to Dr. Perry, to allow the soldiers a certain quantity of corn, with other articles of provision, together with some pay: and as it was the custom also to grind the corn, as needed, at the break of day, these two captains very naturally went the day before to the palace, where the king's stores appear to have been kept, to fetch wheat, in order to distribute it to the soldiers under them, to be ground at the accustomed hour in the morning. The princes of the East, in those days, as appears from the history of David, reposed on their couches till the cool of the evening: they therefore came in the heat of the day, when they knew their master would be resting on his bed; and as it was a necessary to have the corn before it was needed, their coming at this time, though it might be earlier than usual, excited no suspicion.
under
2:23; 3:27; 20:10
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 8:8 - wheat;  2 Samuel 2:8 - Ishbosheth;  Esther 2:21 - and sought

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4:6". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-4.html.