2 Samuel Chapter 4
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Go to Bible: 2 Samuel 4
“his hands became feeble.” This is an idiom for him being discouraged and dismayed and as a result not really knowing what to do.
“troubled.” The Hebrew verb is bahal (#0926 בּהל), and it means to be disturbed, dismayed, anxious, or even terrified. It is hard to pick a single word in the translation because different people would have had different emotions. Some people would have been just disturbed, others dismayed, and others anxious, and many would have had different emotions at different times. In any case, the people were troubled at the death of Abner, one of the pillars of the kingdom.(top)
“commanders of raiding bands.” It is possible that these two men got to be leaders because they were from the tribe of Benjamin, the tribe of Saul, and Ish-bosheth. Because they were from Benjamin they should have been expected to have been especially loyal to the house of Saul, but obviously, they were not.
These men were part of the people of Benjamin who moved into Beeroth, which was originally a Gibeonite city (Josh. 9:17), but most of the Gibeonites moved out as 2 Samuel 4:3 says.
“Beeroth.” Originally a Hivite city, it became part of the tribal allotment of Benjamin.(top)
“until this day.” This lets us know that at the time 2 Samuel was written the original people of Beeroth were still living in Gittaim.(top)
“had a son.” This event about Mephibosheth seems to be inserted to assure the reader that the house of Saul had not been wiped out by the death of Ish-bosheth. Mephibosheth was still left. It also makes the point that David did not become king of all Israel by wiping out the house of Saul, because we learn later that David took care of Mephibosheth (2 Sam. 9:3-13).
The fact that Jonathan had a son also makes the point that he had a wife, and it is noteworthy that nothing at all is said about what happened to her. In much of the biblical record the wives are in the background, as in the record of Jonathan.(top)
|2Sm 4:5||- (top)|
|2Sm 4:6||- (top)|
“Arabah road.” Literally, “the road of the Arabah.” This is the road that ran from north to south along the Jordan River Valley. It was not close to the Jordan River itself because of all the dense growth there, but was on the edge of the growth. The two men would have been traveling north to south, and heading for Hebron where David was.(top)
“Yahweh has granted vengeance.” It is very common that people act on their own but attribute what they did as being the will of Yahweh when it is not.(top)
|2Sm 4:9||- (top)|
|2Sm 4:10||- (top)|
|2Sm 4:11||- (top)|
“cut off their hands and their feet.” This dishonored their bodies and graphically pointed to the parts of the body that participated in this great crime: the hands that killed and the feet on which the men walked to carry out their evil deed.(top)