2 Samuel 4:2
And Saul's son had two men that were captains of bands: the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon a Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin: (for Beeroth also was reckoned to Benjamin:
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(2) A Beerothite.—Beeroth was one of the four cities of the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:17), and was allotted with the others to the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 18:25). It is identified with the modern El-Bireh, nine miles north of Jerusalem. It is mentioned here, in the past tense, that Beeroth “was reckoned to Benjamin,” because in the time of the writer it was no longer inhabited. The fact that the murderers of Ish-bosheth were of his own tribe is made prominent.

2 Samuel 4:2. Captains of bands — Whether of regular forces, or some flying parties, whose business was spoil and prey, is not certain. Perhaps they were captains of two companies of guards about the king.

4:1-7 See how Ishbosheth was murdered! When those difficulties dispirit us, which should sharpen our endeavours, we betray both our heavenly crowns and our earthly lives. Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty and ruin. The idle soul is an easy prey to the destroyer. We know not when and where death will meet us. When we lie down to sleep, we are not sure that we may not sleep the sleep of death before we awake; nor do we know from what hand the death-blow may come.Beeroth - See the marginal reference. From Joshua 9:17, it might have been expected that the population of Beeroth would be Canaanite. But from some unknown cause the Canaanite inhabitants of Beeroth had fled to Gittaim - perhaps the same as Gath - and continued there as sojourners. If this flight of the Beerothites took place at the time of Saul's cruel attack upon the Gibeonites 2 Samuel 21:1-2, Baanah and Reehab may have been native Beerothites, and have been instigated to murder the son of Saul by a desire to avenge the blood of their countrymen. The fact of their being reckoned as Benjamites is quite compatible with their being Canaanites by blood. CHAPTER 4

2Sa 4:1, 2. Baanah and Rechab Slay Ish-bosheth, and Bring His Head to Hebron.

Of the children of Benjamin; of Ish-bosheth’s own tribe, whom therefore he trusted the more; and this gave them opportunity to execute their wicked design.

Beeroth also, was reckoned to Benjamin: this is added as the reason why he called them Beerothites, because though Beeroth was now in the hands and possession of the Philistines, 1 Samuel 31:7, yet of right it belonged to the Benjamites, Joshua 18:25.

And Saul's son had two men that were captains of bands,.... Of troops in the army, or of guards about the person of Ishbosheth son of Saul:

the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon a Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin; so that these men were brethren in nature, as well as in iniquity; they had the same father, who is described by his name and city, and their names are expressly mentioned and recorded to their infamy; and they were not only the servants of Ishbosheth, who had commissions under him, but were of the same tribe with him; all which is observed as an aggravation of their crime:

for Beeroth also was reckoned to Benjamin; the place from whom Rimmon their father is denominated, and where he dwelt, as well as Gittaim, where they had sojourned, as in 2 Samuel 4:3. This place, Beeroth, originally belonged to the Gibeonites, and fell to the lot of Benjamin at the division of the land, see Joshua 9:17.

And Saul's son had two men that were captains of bands: the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon a Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin: (for {c} Beeroth also was reckoned to Benjamin:

(c) This city Beeroth was in the tribe of Benjamin, Jos 18:25.

2. captains of bands] Leaders of predatory troops. See note on ch. 2 Samuel 3:22.

of the children of Benjamin] The historian calls special attention to the fact that Ish-bosheth’s murderers belonged to his own tribe.

for Beeroth also, &c.] The object of this parenthesis is to explain how these Beerothites came to be Benjamites. Beeroth was one of the four Gibeonite cities, retained by their original Canaanite inhabitants in virtue of the treaty made with Joshua (Joshua 9:17). It was however reckoned to belong to the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 18:25), and had been occupied by Benjamites when its original inhabitants deserted it. When and why they did so is unknown, but it has been plausibly conjectured that they fled from Saul’s massacre of the Gibeonites (2 Samuel 21:1-2).

The site of Beeroth (=wells) is probably marked by the modern village of El-Bireh (=the well), about 9 miles N. of Jerusalem. “It is remarkable as the first halting-place of caravans on the northern road from Jerusalem, and therefore not improbably the scene of the event to which its monastic tradition lays claim—the place where the parents of Jesus sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance, and when they found him not, turned back again to Jerusalem.” Stanley, Sinai and Pal. p. 213.

Verse 2. - Saul's son had two men captains of bands. The bands mentioned were light-armed troops, used in forays, such as that mentioned in 2 Samuel 3:22. Their captains would be men of importance with Ishbosheth, who is here described somewhat contemptuously, not as king, nor by his own name, but as "Saul's son." Beeroth. This place, literally the Wells, was one of the four towns reserved for the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:17), though nominally belonging to Benjamin (Joshua 18:25). The note, that it was reckoned to Benjamin, suggests that it had until quite lately been occupied by the Canaanites, whose flight to Gittaim had no doubt been caused by Saul's cruel attack upon them referred to in 2 Samuel 21:1, 2. It was thus remarkable that the destruction of Saul's dynasty was the work of the Gibeonites of Beeroth. As we find another of these Beerothites, Naharai, holding the office of armour bearer to Joab (1 Chronicles 11:39), it seems probable that many of them saved themselves from expulsion by becoming soldiers. But among David's worthies a large number were strangers, and some even men of foreign extraction. Beeroth, however, was probably seized in Saul's reign by the Benjamites, by force, and occupied by them, as its citizens returned in large numbers from the exile (Ezra 2:25), and are counted as genuine Israelites. Moreover, by thus dispossessing the natives, Saul was able to give his tribesmen "fields and vineyards" (1 Samuel 22:7), which otherwise would have been in violation of the Mosaic Law. 2 Samuel 4:2Saul's son had two leaders of military companies (for בן־שׁאוּל היוּ we must read שׁ לבן היוּ): the one was named Baanah, the other Rechab, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, "of the sons of Benjamin," i.e., belonging to them; "for Beeroth is also reckoned to Benjamin" (על, over, above, added to). Beeroth, the present Bireh (see at Joshua 9:17), was close to the western frontier of the tribe of Benjamin, to which it is also reckoned as belonging in Joshua 18:25. This remark concerning Beeroth in the verse before us, serves to confirm the statement that the Beerothites mentioned were Benjaminites; but that statement also shows the horrible character of the crime attributed to them in the following verses. Two men of the tribe of Benjamin murdered the son of Saul, the king belonging to their own tribe.
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