A son of Saul who Abner proclaimed king after Saul's death (2 Sam. 2:8-10). The tribe of Judah proclaimed David king after the death of Saul, but the other 11 tribes remained loyal to Saul's family. Ishbosheth reigned two turbulent years from Mahanaim, east of the Jordan River, while David ruled Judah from Hebron.

Ishbosheth made a grave error in charging Abner with having relations with Saul's concubine, Rizpah. In anger, Abner changed his alliance to David (2 Sam. 3:6-21). When Joab murdered Abner in Hebron (2 Sam. 3:27), Ishbosheth became discouraged. Two captains of his guard, Baanah and Rechab, assassinated Ishbosheth as he lay napping.

They carried Ishbosheth's severed head to David, who ordered it buried in the tomb of Abner in Hebron. Then David put the assassins to death (2 Sam. 4:5-12). Saul's Dynasty ended with Ishbosheth's death. The name Ishbosheth means "man of shame."

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