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Ish-bosheth

Hebrew: אִישׁ־בּשֶׁת —transliteration: Ish-bosheth —meaning: man of shame or humiliation (ish = “man”; bosheth = “shame” or “shameful thing”)

also known as: Ishbosheth and Eshbaal

Ish-bosheth is an early king of Israel. He is one of King Saul’s sons, and possibly the only one who survived him (2 Sam. 2-4).

His name was originally Eshbaal (1 Chr. 8:33; 9:39).

He was about 40 years of age when his father and 3 brothers fell at the battle of Gilboa.

Through the influence of Abner, Saul's cousin, he was acknowledged as successor to the throne of Saul, and ruled over all Israel, except the tribe of Judah (over whom David was king), for 2 years, having Mahanaim, on the east of the Jordan, as his capital (2 Sam. 2:9).

After a troubled and uncertain reign, he was murdered by his own guard, who stabbed him while he was asleep on his couch at mid-day (2 Sam. 4:5-7); and having cut off his head, presented it to David, who sternly rebuked them for this cold-blooded murder, and ordered them to be immediately executed (2 Sam. 4:9-12).

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Article Version: July 13, 2021