Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
2Sa 4:1, 2.
4. Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet--This is
mentioned as a reason why, according to Oriental notions, he was
considered unfit for exercising the duties of sovereignty.
5, 6. Rechab and Baanah went and came about the heat of the day to the
house of Ish-bosheth, &c.--It is still a custom in the East to allow
their soldiers a certain quantity of corn, together with some pay; and
these two captains very naturally went to the palace the day before to
fetch wheat, in order to distribute it to the soldiers, that it might
be sent to the mill at the accustomed hour in the morning.
7. when they came into the house, he lay on his bed--Rechab and Baanah
came in the heat of the day, when they knew that Ish-bosheth, their
master, would be resting on his divan; and as it was necessary, for the
reason just given, to have the corn the day before it was needed, their
coming at that time, though it might be a little earlier than usual,
created no suspicion, and attracted no notice [HARMER].
gat them away through the plain--that is, the valley of the Jordan,
through which their way lay from Mahanaim to Hebron.
8. They brought the head of Ish-bosheth unto David . . . and said,
Behold the head of Ish-bosheth--Such bloody trophies of rebels and
conspirators have always been acceptable to princes in the East, and
the carriers have been liberally rewarded. Ish-bosheth being a usurper,
the two assassins thought they were doing a meritorious service to
David by removing the only existing obstacle to the union of the two
12. slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet--as the
instruments in perpetrating their crime. The exposure of the mutilated
remains was intended as not only a punishment of their crime, but also
the attestation of David's abhorrence.