2 Samuel 4
Contemporary English Version

Ishbosheth Is Killed

1Ishbosheth+ felt like giving up after he heard that Abner had died in Hebron. Everyone in Israel was terrified.

2Ishbosheth had put the two brothers Baanah and Rechab in charge of the soldiers who raided enemy villages. Rimmon was their father, and they were from the town of Beeroth, which belonged to the tribe of Benjamin. 3The people who used to live in Beeroth had run away to Gittaim, and they still live+ there.

4 Saul's son Jonathan had a son named Mephibosheth,+ who had not been able to walk since he was five years old. It happened when someone from Jezreel told his nurse that Saul and Jonathan had died.+ She hurried off with the boy in her arms, but he fell and injured his legs.

5One day about noon, Rechab and Baanah went to Ishbosheth's house. It was a hot day, and he was resting 6-7in his bedroom. The two brothers went into the house, pretending to get some flour. But once they were inside, they stabbed Ishbosheth in the stomach and killed him. Then they cut off his head and took it with them.

Rechab and Baanah walked through the Jordan River valley all night long. 8Finally they turned west and went to Hebron. They went in to see David and told him, “Your Majesty, here is the head of Ishbosheth, the son of your enemy Saul who tried to kill you! The Lord has let you get even with Saul and his family.”

9David answered:

I swear that only the Lord rescues me when I'm in trouble! 10 When a man came to Ziklag and told me that Saul was dead, he thought he deserved a reward for bringing good news. But I grabbed him and killed him.

11You evil men have done something much worse than he did. You've killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed. I'll make you pay for that. I'll wipe you from the face of the earth!

12Then David said to his troops, “Kill these two brothers! Cut off their hands and feet and hang their bodies by the pool in Hebron. But bury Ishbosheth's head in Abner's tomb near Hebron.” And they did.


4.1 Ishbosheth: Hebrew “The Son of Saul.”
4.3 live: The Hebrew word means that they did not have the full legal rights of citizens.
4.4 Mephibosheth: Some manuscripts of one ancient translation have “Mephibaal.” In 1 Chronicles 8.34 and 9.40 he is called “Meribbaal.” See the note on “baal” and “bosheth” at 2.8.
4.4 Saul … died: See 1 Samuel 31.1-6.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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