The Fates of Ish-bosheth and Mephibosheth

II Samuel 4


1-3 | Ish-bosheth discouraged by news of Abner’s death
4 | Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, is hidden by his nurse
5-8 | Ish-bosheth is killed
9-12 | David has the assassins killed


Two of Ish-bosheth’s army commanders, Rechab and Baanah, conspired together to kill Ish-bosheth and then brought the head to David.  In response, David had them struck down, just as he did the messenger who brought word of Saul’s death.

David continues to hold up a standard of justice which the Lord had commanded in the original Ten Commandments and in other places with regard to the manslayer, especially since this act was not an act of war but a murder.

If you want to know more about the 613 laws or commandments in the Old Testament, here are three good article to start with.

  • – difference between moral, civil and ceremonial laws
  • – a listing of the laws and some explanation about the Law and Christians and also cites references if they are repeated in the New Testament
  • – a listing of the laws by subjects, i.e. God, Torah, etc.

As Christians, we can’t forget what Jesus taught concerning these very topics and the associated heart attitudes.

Matthew 5:21-26 NASB “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22 “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. 23 “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25 “Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 “Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.

Matthew 5:38-42 NASB “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ 39 “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41 “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

Matthew 7:1-5 NASB “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

We might make plans, which seem like the right thing to do, just as Rechab and Baanah did, but it is altogether wrong in the eyes of God.  We can learn from their example.

Lord God, You know all things and there is nothing hidden from Your sight.  We pray that we never make plans that are contrary to Your standards and that if we do, that You will reveal it to us so that we can change our ways before we set them in motion so that we don’t sin against You.  May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

2 Samuel 4 - The Fates of Ish-bosheth and Mephibosheth
2 Samuel 4 - The Fates of Ish-bosheth and Mephibosheth
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