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The Ruthlessness of Baanah and Rechab

II Samuel 4:1-12

Victor M. Eskew


1.     Outline the text


i.                    THE IDENTITY OF TWO CAPTAINS (II Sam. 4:1-3)

ii.                  THE INTRODUCTION TO MEPHIBOSHETH (II Sam. 4:4)

iii.                THE INIQUITY OF RECAHB AND BAANAH (II Sam 4:5-7).

iv.                THE INTERCHANGE WITH DAVID (II Sam 4:8)

v.                  THE INDICTMENT BY DAVID (II Sam. 4:9-12)


2.    When Saul’s son heard that Abner was dead, what happened to his hands? (II Sam. 4:1).


And when Saul’s son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were feeble…


A.    They were feeble


3.    What does the text means when it says:  “…his hands were feeble”? (II Sam. 4:1).


A.    Feeble

1.        Strong (7503):  to slacken

2.       BDB:  to sink, relax, be disheartened


B.      He coward in disbelief and fear and did not know how to respond to the crisis.


C.     K&D:  “…he lost the power and courage to act as king, since Abner had been the only support of his throne” (e-sword).


4.    When Israel heard of Abner’s death, how did they respond? (II Sam. 4:1).


…and all the Israelites were troubled.


A.    They were troubled.


B.      Troubled:

1.        Strong (926):  to tremble inwardly, to be alarmed, agitated

2.       BDB:  to disturb, alarm, terrify, be anxious, be afraid, be nervous, terrified


C.   LESSON:  When a group of people are leaderless, there is fear and anxiety in the hearts of the masses.  They become like sheep without a shepherd.  They fear their future, especially who might become their leader.


5.    Who were the two men who were captains of bands under Saul’s son? (II Sam. 4:2)


And Saul’s son had two men that were captains of bands:  the name of one was Baanah, and the son of the other was Rechab…


A.    Baanah                                                       B.  Rechab


6.    Who were these two captains the son of? (II Sam. 4:2).


…the sons of Rimmon a Beerothite…

A.    The only thing we know of Rimmon was that he was the father of these two captains.


B.      Beeroth was a town close to the western frontier of Benjamin (See Josh. 18:25).


7.    T – F  These two men were of the children of Benjamin. (II Sam. 4:2)


…of the children of Benjamin…


A.    The indentification of these men help us to understand the magnitude of their evil.


B.      Ish-bosheth was the son of Saul of Benjamin.  Men from his own tribe rose up to slay him.


8.    T – F  Beeroth was not reckoned to Benjamin. (II Sam. 4:2)


... (for Beeroth also was reckoned to Benjamin.


A.    False


9.    To what place had the Beerothoites fled? (II Sam. 4:3)


And the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and were sojourners there until this day.)


A.    Gittaim

1.        We are not sure where Gittaim is.  Clarke suggests that it could be a longer form of Gath.

2.       We are also not sure why the Beerothites fled to Gittaim.  It could possibly have been from a battle with the Philistines.


10.  T – F  Jonathan had a son who was lame in his feet. (II Sam. 4:4)


And Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son that was lame of his feet.


A.    True


11.   How old was he when he came lame? (II Sam. 4:5)


…He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel…


A.    He was five years old.


B.      He would have been old enough to remember the incident that cause him to be lame.


12.  How was he made lame in his feet? (II Sam. 4:5).


…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.


A.    Did he fall himself?  Did the nurse drop him?  We are not told.


B.      What part of his legs were impacted, we are not told.


13.  What was this son’s name? (II Sam. 4:5)


A.    Mephibosheth


B.      His introduction seems to be out of place at first reading.


C.     The connection:

1.        Mephibosheth, although a son of Jonathan, was not worthy to take the throne.

2.       Events will happen later in the book that will involve this son.


14.  At what time of day did Rechab and Baanah enter into the house of Ish-bosheth? (II Sam. 4:5)


And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ish-bosheth…


A.    The heat of the day


B.      This would be at the noon hour


15.  Where was Ish-bosheth? (II Sam. 4:5)


…who lay on a bed at noon.


A.    He was lying in his bed.


B.      This was customary at that time.  People would rest during the extreme heat and work later into the evening.


16.  What was their supposed purpose for being in the house? (II Sam. 4:6)


And they came thither into the midst of the house, as though they would have fetched wheat…


A.    As if they fetched wheat


B.      There have been two ideas about what these men did.

1.        They came near an entrance into the house acting as if they would get wheat for their man and their animals. 

a.       They may have done this on a regular basis.

b.      Thus, they would not have been detected in their mission.

2.       Some believe they may have posed to be among those who fetched wheat. 

a.       As captains, they would not normally get the wheat for the troops and animals.

b.      However, they knew the routine.  Thus, on this day, they posed to be those who fetched wheat and knew they would have an easy access to the house.


C.     In either instance, these men had planned a premeditated murder of an innocent man while he was laying on his bed.


17.  Where did they smite Ish-bosheth? (II Sam. 4:6).


…and they smote him under the fifth rib…


A.    They smote him under the fifth rib just as Asahel and Abner had been killed.


B.      It appears that being wounded in that part of the body would bring certain death.


18.  T – F  When they murdered Ish-bosheth they were caught? (II Sam. 4:6)


…and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped.


A.    False.  They escaped.


B.      They had planned this murder from beginning to end and were successful in murdering the king.


19.  T – F  After they killed Ish-bosheth, they took his head with them. (II Sam. 4:7).


For when they came into the midst of the house, he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head.


A.    True


B.      They wanted proof that Ish-bosheth was dead.  There was not better proof than his head.


20.  “…and gat them away through the plain all night” (II Sam. 4:7).


A.    Again, we see more planning on the part of these men.  They had their escape route as well.


21.  To whom did they bring Ish-bosheth’s head? (II Sam. 4:8)


And they brought the head of Ish-bosheth unto David in Hebron…


A.    They brought Ish-bosheth’s head to David.


22.  “…and said unto the king, Behold, the head of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul thine enemy, which sought thy life …” (II Sam. 4:8).


A.    Ish-bosheth was the king of Israel.


B.      There was war between the house of Saul and the house of David during the time of the division.  If the enemy armies could have killed David, they would have.


C.     These men now have shown David proof that his enemy was dead.


23.  Who did they claim had avenged David of Saul and his seed?  (II Sam. 4:8).


...and the Lord hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed.


A.    They claimed that this was the will of God.


B.      Note:  Their words had been carefully crafted when they spoke to David.

1.        The son of Saul thein enemy

2.       Which sought thy life

3.       The Lord hath avenged my lord


24.  T – F  David did not answer Rechab and Baanah.  (II Sam. 4:9)


And David answered Rechab and Baahah his brother, the sons of Eimmon the Beerothite…


A.    False


25.  Who had redeemed David’s soul out of all adversity? (II Sam. 4:9)


…and said unto them, As the Lord liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity.


A.    David said that it was the Lord who had redeemed him out of all adversity.


B.      Clarke:  “This was, in David’s case, a very proper view of the goodness and watchful providence of God towards him.


C.     Rechab and Baanah might have thought initially that David agreed with them they heard these opening lines.  They said the Lord had avenged David.  David responded that the Lord redeemed him.


26.  What two things did the man who told David about Saul’s death think? (II Sam. 4:10)


When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought me good tidings, I took hold of him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings.


A.    He thought he told David good tidings.


B.      He thought he would have been given a reward for his tidings.


27.  What did David do to this man in Ziklag? (II Sam. 4:10)


…I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag…


A.    David said that he took hold of him and slew him in Ziklag.


B.      David did not personally slay the man.  He did, however, slay the man through an agent, one of his young men (See II Sam. 1:15).


28.  “How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed?” (II Sam. 4:11).


A.    Ish-bosheth did not fall into the same category of adversary as Saul.  If it were wrong to take the life of a man like Saul, it was “much more” evil to slay Ish-bosheth.


B.      Notice what is said that makes their act so despicable:

1.        Ish-bosheth was a righteous man.  Remember, Ish-bosheth was not the one really responsible for the rebellion.  It Abner who instigated the divided kingdom.  Ish-bosheth was just a puppet.

2.       He was in his own house.

3.       He was lying upon his bed in sleep with no thought of being attacked.


29.  What was David going to require of Rechab and Baanah? (II Sam. 4:11)


…shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth?


A.    He was going to require their blood and remove them from the earth.


B.      Capital punishment for premediated murder was authorized in the Old Testament.

1.        “Thou shalt not kill” (Exo. 20:13; Deut. 5:17).

2.       Punishment for murder (Gen. 9:6; Exo. 21:12; Deut. 27:24)


Cursed be he that smiteth his neighbor secretly.  And all the people shall say, Amen.


30.  T – F  David had Rechab and Baanah slain. (II Sam. 11:12)


And David commanded his young men, and they slew them…


A.    True


31.  What did they cut off of them? (II Sam. 11:12)


…and cut off their hands and their feet…

A.    He cut off their hands and feet.


B.      We are reminded of Proverbs 6:16-19.


These six things doth the Lord hate:  yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  …hand that shed innocent blood…feet that be swift in running to mischief…


32.  Where did they hang them? (II Sam. 11:12)


…and they hanged them up over the pool in Hebron.


A.    They hung them over the pool in Hebron.


B.      This would tell Israel several things:

1.        The act committed by these men was wicked and sinful, and such acts would not be tolerated.

2.       David was not an enemy of the house of Saul.

3.       David had not commanded nor approved of this murder.

4.       David was a man of absolute justice in this matter. 


33.  Where did they bury the head of Ish-bosheth? (II Sam. 11:12)


…But they took the head of Ish-bosheth, and buried it in the sepulcher of Abner in Hebron.


A.    In the sepulcher of Abner in Hebron.


B.      There may have been several reasons for burying the head in Abner’s sepulcher.

1.        It was a convenient spot.

2.       Both men were involved in the establishment of the kingdom of Israel.

3.       David did not feel Ish-bosheth was worthy of being buried with his father and brother.

4.       NOTE:  All of these explanations are conjectures.





























The Reconciliation with Israel

II Samuel 5:1-10


Victor M. Eskew


1.     Outline the text


vi.                II SAMUEL 5:1-5

vii.              II SAMUEL 5:6-10


2.    Which of the tribes of Israel came to David in Israel? (II Sam. 5:1).


  1. “…and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy _______________ and thy _____________” (II Sam. 5:1).


  1. T – F  Israel remembered how David served during the reign of Saul. (II Sam. 5:2)


  1. “…and the Lord said unto thee, Thou shalt ___________ my people Israel, and thou shalt be ____________ over Israel" (II Sam. 5:2).


  1. Who came to David in Hebron and made a league with him? (II Sam. 5:3).


  1. T – F  The elders also anointed David king over Israel. (II Sam. 5:3).


  1. How old was David when he began to reign? (II Sam. 5:4)


  1. How long did he reign? (II Sam. 5:4)


  1. How long did David reign over Judah? (II Sam. 5:5).


  1. How long did David reign over all Israel and Judah? (II Sam. 5:5)


  1. Where did David go to confront the Jebusites? (II Sam. 5:6)


  1. Who are the Jebusites? (II Sam. 5:6)


  1. What does the phrase, “Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither,” mean? (II Sam. 5:6)


  1. T –F   The Jebusites were very concerned that David could overtake them. (II Sam. 5:6)


  1. T – F  David could not take the stronghold of the Jebusites. (II Sam. 5:7)


  1. What did David promise to the one who smote the Jebusites? (II Sam. 5:8)


  1. What is the meaning of the phrase:  “Where they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house”? (II Sam. 5:8).


  1. What did David call the fort in which he dwelled? (II Sam. 5:9)


  1. What is Millo? (II Sam. 5:9)


  1. Who was with David as he grew great? (II Sam. 5:10)