Cruelty and Violence
Science and History
Dwindling in Unbelief
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2 Samuel 4
And when Saul's son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were
feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled.||
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
And the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and were sojourners there until this
And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five
years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, 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. And his name was Mephibosheth.||
And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came
about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who lay on a bed at
And they came thither into the midst of the house, as though they would
have fetched wheat; and they
smote him under the fifth rib: and Rechab and Baanah his brother
(4:6-12) Biblical Justice|
Two men kill Saul's son (by
smiting him under the fifth rib, of course) and bring his head to David,
thinking that he'll be pleased. But he wasn't. David has the assassins killed,
their hands and feet chopped off, and their bodies hung up (for decorations?)
over the pool in Hebron.
What the Bible says about decapitation
(4:6) "They smote him under the fifth rib."
The preferred place to smite people in 2 Samuel. (see also 2:23, 3:27, 20:10)
(4:7-8) "They smote him, and
slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head ... And they brought the
head of Ishbosheth unto David."
(4:12) "David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet,
and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron."
God's 75th Killing
David Mutilates Recab and Baanah
For when they came into the house, he lay on his bed in his bedchamber,
and they smote him, and
slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and gat them away
through the plain all night.
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.
And David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the
Beerothite, and said unto them, As the LORD liveth, who hath redeemed my
soul out of all adversity,
When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought
good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I
would have given him a reward for his tidings:
How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own
house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your
hand, and take you away from the earth?
And David commanded
his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet,
and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head
of Ishbosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.
- Dwindling in Unbelief
- David, a man after God's own
- The Heroes of Faith
- God's 75th Killing: David killed Rechab and Baanah, cut off their hands and feet,
and hung up their dead bodies (4:12)
- Slate Blogs the Bible by David Plotz
- Does God's Promise to David Predict the
Birth of Christ?
- Christian Response
- Annotated Skeptic's Annotated Bible
- SAB Author Answered