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published: 6/10/13

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ten commandments
The 10 Commandments
Circa 2nd century B.C.

Who was Ish-Bosheth?

Ish-bosheth was one of the sons of Saul (1 Chronicles 8:33 ; 1 Chronicles 9:39 ; 1 Samuel 14:49 ) who, when his father and brothers were slain in the battle of Gilboa (1 Samuel 31:1 ), was proclaimed king over Israel by Abner, the captain of Saul's host, at Mahanaim (2 Samuel 2:8 ).

Ishbosheth was 40 years old at this time and reigned over Israel 2 years (2 Samuel 2:10 ). Judah, however, proclaimed David its king.

The consequence was war (2 Samuel 2:12 ). The house of David prevailed against the house of Saul (2 Samuel 3:1), but the war did not come to a close until Abner, angry on account of the rebuke he suffered from Ish-Bosheth for his unlawful intimacy with Rizpah, Saul's concubine, joined David (2 Samuel 3:6 ).

David's condition to return to him Michal, his wife before peace could be made, was fulfilled by Ish-Bosheth (2 Samuel 3:14 f), but it was not until after Abner's death that Ish-Bosheth seems to have given up hopes of retaining his power ( 2 Samuel 4:1 ).

The shameful murder of Ish-Bosheth by his own captains is recorded in 2 Samuel 4:5 . David punished the murderers who had expected reward and buried Ish-Bosheth in the grave of Abner at Hebron (2 Samuel 4:12 f).



IBSE, "Isaac" (in the public domain) with minor edits.