Wednesday, May 28, 2008

King Ishbosheth Murdered II Samuel 4

II Samuel 4:5-6 "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. 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."

No one really likes a cowardly act. Ishbosheth was not an anointed king but he apparently looked after the people for these brothers came under the pretense to get wheat. It seems to be common to get wheat from the king's house.

Abner, the strong man of the kingdom, is dead and the king's hands were feeble v1. It has become known that David is rising to power, so like the Amalekite who thought to win favor with David by saying he had killed Saul, these men thought David would appreciate them killing Ishbosheth. They were wrong.

v10 "When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings: v11 How much more when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth?"

The men were slain and their bodies hung up as an example.

There is another story in this short chapter or at least a part of the story. It tells about Mephibosheth and how he became lame. Mephibosheth is the one that David sought to take under his care to honor the memory of Jonathan.

v4 "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."

There were two Mephibosheth's in Saul's family. He had a son by that name who was hanged. The one mentioned here in v4 is his grandson and the son of Jonathan. His name means extermination of idols. He is also called Meribahbaal in I Chronicles 8:34. Meribah means strife. Baal means master. So together that makes it strifemaster. Strange the one name includes the name Baal and the other deals with doing away with idols. It is indicative of the old and new man in the Christian walk.

Up to now the kingdom was divided between Judah and Israel. Although soon to be joined under king David, Judah is often mentioned, later on, as though it were necessary to make a distinction.
Saul and Jonathan are dead. Abner has been killed by Joab for his brother's death. The king Abner set up to rule Israel (apart from Judah) has been murdered. The whole country is gravitating toward David's rule.

We will not find a perfect man in David. We will find a man that sought and talked to the LORD.

Psalm 110:1 "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool."

Key words: Old Old Story, Bible Study, Milton Southerland, Old Testament, Samuel, David, Abner, Joab, Saul, Jonathan Ishbosheth, Mephibosheth. The nation is about to be rejoined under one king: David.

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