1. When Saul's son heard that Abner had died at Hebron, his heart failed him, and all Israel was alarmed.

2. Now, Saul's son had two freebooting chieftains; one was called Baanah, the other Rechab. They were the sons of Rimmon of Beeroth, and Benjaminites -- for Beeroth is regarded as belonging to Benjamin.

3. The people of Beeroth had taken refuge in Gittaim, where they have remained to this day as resident foreigners.

4. Jonathan son of Saul had a son with crippled feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled but, as she hurried away, he fell and was lamed. His name was Meribbaal.

5. The sons of Rimmon of Beeroth, Rechab and Baanah, set out; they came to Ishbaal's house at the hottest part of the day when he was taking his midday rest.

6. The woman who kept the door had been cleaning wheat and had drowsed off to sleep.

7. Rechab and his brother Baanah stole past her and entered the house, where he was lying on his bed in his bedroom. They struck him and killed him, then cut off his head and, taking the head with them, travelled all night by way of the Arabah.

8. They brought Ishbaal's head to David at Hebron. 'Here', they said to the king, 'is the head of Ishbaal son of Saul, your enemy, who meant to take your life. Yahweh has avenged my lord the king today on Saul and on his offspring.'

9. But David answered Rechab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon, by saying, 'As Yahweh lives, who has rescued me from every danger,

10. when someone told me, "Saul is dead!" supposing himself to be bringing me good news, I seized and put him to death at Ziklag, and that was how I rewarded him for his news!

11. How much more when bandits have killed an upright man in his house, and on his bed! Am I not to demand an account of his blood from you, and rid the earth of you?'

12. David then gave an order to the men, who put them to death, cut off their hands and feet, and hung them up beside the pool of Hebron. Ishbaal's head they took and buried in Abner's grave at Hebron.



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