II - Chapter 4
Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:
1When [Ish-boshet] son of Shaul heard that Avner had died in Chevron, he lost heart and all Yisrael was alarmed.
אוַיִּשְׁמַע בֶּן־שָׁאוּל כִּי מֵת אַבְנֵר בְּחֶבְרוֹן וַיִּרְפּוּ יָדָיו וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל נִבְהָלוּ׃
2The son of Shaul [had] two company commanders, one named Baanah and the other Rechab, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite—Benjaminites, since Beeroth too was considered part of Binyamin.
בוּשְׁנֵי אֲנָשִׁים שָׂרֵי־גְדוּדִים הָיוּ בֶן־שָׁאוּל שֵׁם הָאֶחָד בַּעֲנָה וְשֵׁם הַשֵּׁנִי רֵכָב בְּנֵי רִמּוֹן הַבְּאֶרֹתִי מִבְּנֵי בִנְיָמִן כִּי גַּם־בְּאֵרוֹת תֵּחָשֵׁב עַל־בִּנְיָמִן׃
3The Beerothites had fled to Gittaim, where they have sojourned to this day.
גוַיִּבְרְחוּ הַבְּאֵרֹתִים גִּתָּיְמָה וַיִּהְיוּ־שָׁם גָּרִים עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה׃
4Yehonatan son of Shaul had a son whose feet were crippled. He was five years old when the news about Shaul and Yehonatan came from Yizrael, and his nurse picked him up and fled; but as she was fleeing in haste, he fell and was lamed. His name was Mefiboshet.
דוְלִיהוֹנָתָן בֶּן־שָׁאוּל בֵּן נְכֵה רַגְלָיִם בֶּן־חָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים הָיָה בְּבֹא שְׁמֻעַת שָׁאוּל וִיהוֹנָתָן מִיִּזְרְעֶאל וַתִּשָּׂאֵהוּ אֹמַנְתּוֹ וַתָּנֹס וַיְהִי בְּחָפְזָהּ לָנוּס וַיִּפֹּל וַיִּפָּסֵחַ וּשְׁמוֹ מְפִיבֹשֶׁת׃
5Rechab and Baanah, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, started out, and they reached the home of Ish-boshet at the heat of the day, when he was taking his midday rest.
הוַיֵּלְכוּ בְּנֵי־רִמּוֹן הַבְּאֵרֹתִי רֵכָב וּבַעֲנָה וַיָּבֹאוּ כְּחֹם הַיּוֹם אֶל־בֵּית אִישׁ בֹּשֶׁת וְהוּא שֹׁכֵב אֵת מִשְׁכַּב הַצָּהֳרָיִם׃
6So they went inside the house, as though fetching wheat, and struck him in the belly. Rechab and his brother Baanah slipped by,
ווְהֵנָּה בָּאוּ עַד־תּוֹךְ הַבַּיִת לֹקְחֵי חִטִּים וַיַּכֻּהוּ אֶל־הַחֹמֶשׁ וְרֵכָב וּבַעֲנָה אָחִיו נִמְלָטוּ׃
7and entered the house while he was asleep on his bed in his bed chamber; and they stabbed him to death. They cut off his head and took his head and made their way all night through the Arabah.
זוַיָּבֹאוּ הַבַּיִת וְהוּא־שֹׁכֵב עַל־מִטָּתוֹ בַּחֲדַר מִשְׁכָּבוֹ וַיַּכֻּהוּ וַיְמִתֻהוּ וַיָּסִירוּ אֶת־רֹאשׁוֹ וַיִּקְחוּ אֶת־רֹאשׁוֹ וַיֵּלְכוּ דֶּרֶךְ הָעֲרָבָה כָּל־הַלָּיְלָה׃
8They brought the head of Ish-boshet to David in Chevron. “Here,” they said to the king, “is the head of your enemy, Ish-boshet son of Shaul, who sought your life. This day Hashem has avenged my lord the king upon Shaul and his offspring.”
חוַיָּבִאוּ אֶת־רֹאשׁ אִישׁ־בֹּשֶׁת אֶל־דָּוִד חֶבְרוֹן וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ הִנֵּה־רֹאשׁ אִישׁ־בֹּשֶׁת בֶּן־שָׁאוּל אֹיִבְךָ אֲשֶׁר בִּקֵּשׁ אֶת־נַפְשֶׁךָ וַיִּתֵּן יְהֹוָה לַאדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ נְקָמוֹת הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה מִשָּׁאוּל וּמִזַּרְעוֹ׃
9But David answered Rechab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said to them, “As Hashem lives, who has rescued me from every trouble:
טוַיַּעַן דָּוִד אֶת־רֵכָב וְאֶת־בַּעֲנָה אָחִיו בְּנֵי רִמּוֹן הַבְּאֵרֹתִי וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם חַי־יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר־פָּדָה אֶת־נַפְשִׁי מִכָּל־צָרָה׃
10The man who told me in Tziklag that Shaul was dead thought he was bringing good news. But instead of rewarding him for the news, I seized and killed him.
יכִּי הַמַּגִּיד לִי לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה־מֵת שָׁאוּל וְהוּא־הָיָה כִמְבַשֵּׂר בְּעֵינָיו וָאֹחֲזָה בוֹ וָאֶהְרְגֵהוּ בְּצִקְלָג אֲשֶׁר לְתִתִּי־לוֹ בְּשֹׂרָה׃
11How much more, then, when wicked men have killed a blameless man in bed in his own house! I will certainly avenge his blood on you, and I will rid the earth of you.”
AF kee a-na-SHEEM r'-sha-EEM ha-r'-GU et eesh tza-DEEK b'-vay-TO al mish-ka-VO v'-a-TAH ha-LO a-va-KAYSH et da-MO mi-yed-KHEM u-vi-ar-TEE et-KHEM min ha-A-retz
יאאַף כִּי־אֲנָשִׁים רְשָׁעִים הָרְגוּ אֶת־אִישׁ־צַדִּיק בְּבֵיתוֹ עַל־מִשְׁכָּבוֹ וְעַתָּה הֲלוֹא אֲבַקֵּשׁ אֶת־דָּמוֹ מִיֶּדְכֶם וּבִעַרְתִּי אֶתְכֶם מִן־הָאָרֶץ׃
4:11 I will certainly avenge his blood on you
King David helps establish an important principle of military ethics: One may not wantonly kill, even to advance a just cause. While one must kill in self-defense, the murder of innocents is a crime. This truth is taken to heart by the Israel Defense Forces, whose soldiers often risk their lives to avoid unintentionally killing civilians. Often, dangerous house-to-house combat is chosen over safer aerial bombings, in order to minimize the number of civilian casualties. The enemies of Israel are aware of this, and have been known to take advantage of the kindness and morality of the IDF by positioning their weapons and fighters near schools, homes and hospitals. But this has not deterred the Israeli army from being the world’s most moral military forces.
12David gave orders to the young men, who killed them; they cut off their hands and feet and hung them up by the pool in Chevron. And they took the head of Ish-boshet and buried it in the grave of Avner at Chevron.
יבוַיְצַו דָּוִד אֶת־הַנְּעָרִים וַיַּהַרְגוּם וַיְקַצְּצוּ אֶת־יְדֵיהֶם וְאֶת־רַגְלֵיהֶם וַיִּתְלוּ עַל־הַבְּרֵכָה בְּחֶבְרוֹן וְאֵת רֹאשׁ אִישׁ־בֹּשֶׁת לָקָחוּ וַיִּקְבְּרוּ בְקֶבֶר־אַבְנֵר בְּחֶבְרוֹן׃