David mourned deeply for Abner, following his body to burial. All the people believed that David did not participate in Abner’s death, and loved his actions, as they did all the king’s actions. He called Abner a prince and a great man, and sang a song of mourning for him. He also called upon the Lord to repay the evildoer.
When Saul’s son, Ishbosheth, heard that Abner had died, he lost heart, and all of Israel. Two of Ishbosheth’s captains, Baanah and Rechab. There is an aside in the story that tells of Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, who was dropped as a child and had been lame all his life. Aftet the aside, the story continues with Baanah and Rechab going to Ishbosheth, kiling him, beheading him, and taking his head to David at Hebron, claiming to have avenged him.David reminded them of what happened to the man who brought news of Saul’s death. David had them executed, cut off their hands and feet, and hung them by the pool in Hebron. Then he buried the head of Ishbosheth in the tomb of Abner in Hebron.
David ALWAYS respected leadership, even that of his enemies. While others thought they were doing him a big favor, David rejected and punished anyone who touched the anointed of Israel. One more example of a man who respected the leadership put in place by God.