2 Samuel 4:12
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.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(12) Over the pool in Hebron.—The mutilation of the bodies of the criminals was itself a disgrace, and the hanging them up near the pool, to which all the people resorted, made this as public as possible and a terrible warning against the commission of such crimes by others. On the other hand, the head of Ish-bosheth was honourably buried in the sepulchre of his chief friend and supporter, Abner.

2 Samuel 4:12. David commanded, and they slew them — But what a disappointment to Baanah and Rechab was the sentence which David passed upon them! And such they will meet with who think to serve the Son of David by cruelty or injustice: who, under colour of religion, outrage or murder their brethren, and think they do God service. However men may now canonize such methods of serving the church and the catholic cause, Christ will let them know another day that Christianity was not designed to destroy humanity, And they who thus think to merit heaven, shall not escape the damnation of hell.

4:8-12 A person may be glad to obtain his just wishes, and yet really regret the means by which he receives them. He may be sorry for the death of a person by which he is a gainer. These men shed innocent blood, from the basest motives. David justly executed vengeance upon them. He would not be beholden to any to help him by unlawful practices. God had helped him over many a difficulty, and through many a danger, therefore he depended upon him to crown and complete his own work. He speaks of his redemption from all adversity, as a thing done; though he had many storms yet before him, he knew that He who had delivered, would deliver.Cut off their hands ... - After they were dead. Their hands and feet were hung up in a place of public resort, both to deter others and also to let all Israel know that David was not privy to the murder of Ish-bosheth. 12. slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet—as the instruments in perpetrating their crime. The exposure of the mutilated remains was intended as not only a punishment of their crime, but also the attestation of David's abhorrence. His young men; those of his guard, who used to execute justice upon malefactors at the king’s command.

Their hands and their feet; which had been most instrumental in this villany; their hands to cut off his head, and their feet to carry them away, and his head with them.

Hanged them up over the pool in Hebron; as monuments of their villany, and of David’s abhorrency of it.

And David commanded his young men, and they slew them,.... He ordered some of his guards about him to fall on them, and put them to death; and they accordingly did:

and cut off their hands and their feet; their hands, which had smote Ishbosheth, and cut off his head; and their feet, which had been swift to shed his blood, and made haste to bring his head so many miles to David; this was what the Jews call measure for measure:

and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron; not their hands and their feet, but the trunks of their bodies, thus mutilated; so Theodoret; though others think their hands and their feet were hung up, and not their bodies, because dead bodies were not to hang upon the tree more than a day; they were hung up over the fish pool in Hebron, because a public place, and where they were the more exposed to their shame, and the terror of others:

but they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron; by order of David no doubt, who it seems had made, or ordered to be made, a sepulchre, for Abner, see 2 Samuel 3:38; all which David did to show his regard to the family of Saul, his abhorrence of such execrable murders, and to remove all suspicion of his being concerned in them, and to conciliate the minds of the Israelites to him.

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.
12. And David commanded, &c.] Kitto compares the conduct of David towards the murderers of his rival with that of Alexander the Great towards Bessus, who murdered Darius, and of Caesar towards the murderers of Pompey. It may be questioned whether they were actuated by higher motives than “the traditional policy of rulers, who thus provide that they shall be protected for the present, and afterwards avenged” (Tac. Hist. I. 44), but David’s indignation was doubtless sincere.

cut off their hands and their feet] The hands which had been stretched out against their master, the feet which had been “swift to shed blood” and to seek reward, were exposed to view in the most public and frequented spot in Hebron, for a spectacle and a warning. Cp. Deuteronomy 21:22. We may compare the practice, formerly in vogue in this country, of exposing the heads and limbs of traitors on the city gates.

over the pool] Possibly one of the two great reservoirs, “doubtless of high antiquity,” which are still to be seen at Hebron. See Robinson’s Bibl. Res. II. 74.

Verse 12. - They out off their hands and their feet. This was not intended for the purpose of mutilation, but to carry out an Eastern idea of retaliation. The hands were cut off because they had committed the murder; the feet, because they had brought the head to Hebron. Still, David was violating the spirit of the Mosaic Law. It ordered that the body of a man who had been put to death should be buried the same day (Deuteronomy 21:23). In the face of this humane enactment, it is wonderful that the laws of Christian countries should have allowed the mutilation of the bodies of traitors, and the hanging on gibbets of criminals convicted of smaller crimes. Remembering, therefore, the customs of our fathers, we must not blame David much for suspending the bands and feet of these murderers at the pool of Hebron, that all, when coming for water, might know of their punishment. The head of Ishbosheth was honourably buried in Abner's grave (see 2 Samuel 3:32).

2 Samuel 4:12David then commanded his servant to slay the murderers, and also to make the punishment more severe than usual. "They cut off their hands and feet," - the hands with which they had committed the murder, and the feet which had run for the reward, - "and hanged the bodies by the pool at Hebron" for a spectacle and warning, that others might be deterred from committing similar crimes (cf. Deuteronomy 21:22; J. H. Michaelis). In illustration of the fact itself, we may compare the similar course pursued by Alexander towards the murderer of king Darius, as described in Justin's history (2 Samuel 12:6) and Curtius (2 Samuel 7:5). They buried Ishbosheth's head in Abner's grave at Hebron. Thus David acted with strict justice in this case also, not only to prove to the people that he had neither commanded nor approved of the murder, but from heartfelt abhorrence of such crimes, and to keep his conscience void of offence towards God and towards man.
2 Samuel 4:12 Interlinear
2 Samuel 4:12 Parallel Texts

2 Samuel 4:12 NIV
2 Samuel 4:12 NLT
2 Samuel 4:12 ESV
2 Samuel 4:12 NASB
2 Samuel 4:12 KJV

2 Samuel 4:12 Bible Apps
2 Samuel 4:12 Parallel
2 Samuel 4:12 Biblia Paralela
2 Samuel 4:12 Chinese Bible
2 Samuel 4:12 French Bible
2 Samuel 4:12 German Bible

Bible Hub

2 Samuel 4:11
Top of Page
Top of Page