Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 4

David punishes Recab and Baanah

2 Samuel 4:7-12

God had promised that David would rule the whole of Israel (5:2). Therefore, David waited for God to bring it about. David did not try to gain power by political methods or clever schemes. David considered it terrible when people tried to carry out God’s plans by means of their evil actions.

That was what Baanah and Recab had done. They murdered Ish-Bosheth, the king of northern and central Israel. However, they pretended to David that they had done something good. They told David that they had rescued him from a cruel enemy. God had used them to bring about his (God’s) plans, they said. By means of their actions, God was at last punishing Saul’s family for all their cruelty to David. That was what Baanah and Recab said.

It was a terrible shock to David when he heard about all these murders. First Saul, then Abner, and now Ish-Bosheth had all died by the cruel actions of wicked men. In David’s opinion, the murder of Ish-Bosheth was even worse than the death of Saul. Baanah and Recab had plotted carefully against Ish-Bosheth. Like the worse robbers, they had entered his home and they attacked him in his bed. They did it all for their own personal advantage. They even dared to say that God had directed them to do it.

David remembered the man who killed Saul (1:1-16). That man only acted to take advantage of a sudden opportunity during a dangerous battle. Still, David punished that man with death.

So, of course Baanah and Recab must suffer the same punishment. David’s men hung up their bodies in public, to show the shame that Bannah and Recab deserved (Deuteronomy 21:22-23). However, Ish-Bosheth received a funeral with proper honour.

Next part: All 12 tribes of Israel choose David to be their king (2 Samuel 5:1)


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