And they brought the head of Ishbosheth to David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ishbosheth the son of Saul your enemy, which sought your life; and the LORD has avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The Lord hath avenged.—It is not to be supposed that the murderers pretended a Divine commission for their wicked deed; they only meant to say that, in the providence of God, David was thus avenged on the seed of his cruel persecutor. Yet they state the fact in the way they thought best calculated to awaken the gratitude of David towards themselves.2 Samuel 4:6-7 of the murder of the king and of the escape of the assassin, is hard to account for. Rechab and Baanah came into the house under the pretence of getting grain, probably for the band which they commanded out of the king's storehouse, and so contrived to get access into the king's chamber; or, they found the wheat-carriers (the persons whose business it was to carry in grain for the king's household) just going into the king's house, and by joining them got into the midst of the house unnoticed. If the latter be the sense, the literal translation of the words would be: "And behold (or, and there) there came into the midst of the house the carriers of wheat, and they (i. e. Rechab and Baanah) smote him, etc." Which sought thy life, i.e. to destroy it, or take it away; as this phrase is used, 1 Samuel 20:1 23:15, and elsewhere. They thought their action not only blameless, but meritorious; because they had but executed justice upon Saul’s house, and David’s enemies, and made way for David’s obtaining of his rights. It may seem strange they were not discouraged by David’s punishing of the Amalekite for killing Saul, 2Sa 1, and by his sharp reproof of Joab for murdering Abner; but they thought the first case much differing from theirs, because Saul was anointed king by God; whereas Ish-bosheth was not, but was a mere usurper: and for the latter, they thought that David’s sharp words proceeded rather from art and policy, than from any real dislike of thee thing; which they judged, because David contented himself with words, and Joab did not only go unpunished, but continued in his former place and power.
and said to the king, behold the head of Ishbosheth the son of Saul thine enemy, which sought thy life; all which, his relation to Saul, his enmity to David, and his designs upon his life, are artfully put together to raise the indignation of David against him, and make their present of his head to him the more agreeable:
and the Lord hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul and of his seed; for all the evils and injuries they had done him; this being the last of the sons of Saul by a lawful wife, the two remaining were by a concubine; and these men impiously ascribe to the Lord what they with wicked hands had done.And they brought the head of Ishbosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ishbosheth the son of Saul thine enemy, which sought thy life; and the LORD hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. to the king] Observe that Ish-bosheth is never honoured with the title of king.
thine enemy, which sought thy life] These words are to be referred to Saul not to Ish-bosheth. Cp. 1 Samuel 24:4; 1 Samuel 25:29.
the Lord hath avenged] The murderers profanely represented themselves as the instruments of Providence. “They pretended piety and loyalty, but they regarded nothing except their own interest.” Wordsworth.Verse 8. - Which sought thy life. Saul had sought David's life, but Ishbosheth was innocent of any such attempts. Still, had he been victorious, David, as his rival, would certainly have been put to death. Jehovah hath avenged my lord the king. The ordinary language of the East is so religious that these words imply nothing more than that these wicked men saw in their base act a step towards the carrying out of a Divine purpose. But in thus referring to the common belief that David's kingdom was assured to him by Jehovah, they evidently intended to commend their deed to the really devout mind of the king. 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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