What is the story of David and Ish-Bosheth?


The story of David and Ish-Bosheth is one of the most intriguing tales in the Bible. It tells the story of two men who were vying for the throne of Israel. However, the tale takes a tragic turn as it ends with the death of both men. This article will delve into the details of their lives, their rivalry, and the events that led to their eventual demise.

David & Ish-Bosheth: The Characters

David was a young shepherd boy who was handpicked by God to become the king of Israel. He rose to fame after he killed the Philistine giant, Goliath, and became one of King Saul’s most trusted generals. However, Saul became threatened by David’s growing popularity and turned against him. This led to a long period of conflict between the two men.

On the other hand, Ish-Bosheth was the son of King Saul and was chosen by his father’s loyalists to take the throne of Israel after his father’s death. Unlike David, Ish-Bosheth was not chosen by God and lacked the charisma and leadership qualities required to become a great king.

The Rivalry Begins

The rivalry between David and Ish-Bosheth began after the death of King Saul. David came to the throne of Judah, and Ish-Bosheth became the king of Israel. Both men had a legitimate claim to the throne, and their followers were fiercely loyal to them.

The conflict between the two sides was intense, and there were several battles fought between them. However, David’s forces were stronger, and he was able to gain the upper hand.

The Tragic End

The story of David and Ish-Bosheth ends tragically. As David’s forces marched towards Jerusalem, one of Ish-Bosheth’s military commanders, Abner, switched sides and joined David’s army. This led to a power struggle within Ish-Bosheth’s camp, and another military commander named Joab decided to take matters into his own hands.

Joab killed Abner, which led to Ish-Bosheth’s downfall. With Abner out of the way, David’s army was able to make quick work of Ish-Bosheth’s followers. Ish-Bosheth himself was eventually murdered by two of his own men, who hoped to gain favor with David.

The story of David and Ish-Bosheth is a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked ambition and treachery.


1. What lessons can we learn from the story of David and Ish-Bosheth?

The story of David and Ish-Bosheth teaches us several lessons. Firstly, it shows us the dangers of unchecked ambition and how it can lead to one’s downfall. Secondly, it highlights the importance of loyalty and how betrayal can have severe consequences. Lastly, it showcases how power struggles can lead to violence and chaos.

2. Why did Abner switch sides?

Abner switched sides because he saw that David’s forces were stronger, and he wanted to align himself with the winning side. He believed that by joining David’s army, he would secure a higher rank and position in the new government.

3. Why did Joab kill Abner?

Joab killed Abner because he was jealous of him and believed that Abner was a threat to his own position and power within David’s army. He saw Abner’s defection as an opportunity to eliminate him and increase his own influence.

4. How did David react to Joab’s actions?

David was displeased with Joab for killing Abner and felt that it was an unnecessary act of violence. However, he did not punish Joab for his actions, which led to further violence within David’s own camp.

5. Why did the two men who killed Ish-Bosheth think that it would please David?

The two men who killed Ish-Bosheth believed that it would please David because they thought that he would see it as a sign of loyalty and devotion. They hoped that David would reward them for their actions and give them influential positions within his government.

6. What was the relationship between David and Saul?

David and Saul were initially on good terms, and Saul even made David his son-in-law. However, Saul became jealous of David’s growing popularity and began to see him as a threat. This led to a long period of conflict and eventually to Saul’s death.

7. What role did God play in David’s life?

God played a significant role in David’s life. He handpicked David to become the king of Israel and guided him through his many trials and tribulations. David was a deeply religious man and always looked to God for guidance and strength.

8. Why was Ish-Bosheth not chosen by God?

Ish-Bosheth was not chosen by God because he lacked the leadership qualities and charisma required of a great king. He was seen as weak and indecisive, which made him an unsuitable candidate to lead God’s chosen people.

9. What was the significance of Jerusalem in the story of David and Ish-Bosheth?

Jerusalem was a key strategic location in the story of David and Ish-Bosheth. It was the capital of Israel and had symbolic and religious significance for both sides. David’s capture of Jerusalem was a significant achievement and strengthened his claim to the throne.

10. How did the people of Israel react to David’s rise to power?

The people of Israel were initially divided in their support for David. However, as David’s victories piled up, and he demonstrated his leadership qualities, more and more people came to support him. Eventually, he became one of Israel’s greatest kings.

11. What was the impact of David’s reign on Israel?

David’s reign had a significant impact on Israel. He rose to become one of Israel’s greatest kings and expanded its borders. He established Jerusalem as the capital and made it the religious center of Israel. He also contributed to the development of Israel’s religious traditions and culture.

12. How does the story of David and Ish-Bosheth relate to modern-day politics?

The story of David and Ish-Bosheth is relevant to modern-day politics because it highlights the dangers of unchecked ambition and power struggles. It shows how leaders can become consumed by their desires and lose sight of what’s important. It also teaches us the importance of loyalty, integrity, and the rule of law in the political arena.

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About Emma Miller

Emma Miller has enjoyed working as a writer for over 18 years and holds a Master’s Degree in Linguistics and Education, but has also studied Ancient History and Engish Literature. She is fascinated by the science of dreams and is a long-time member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams

She has a wide range of hobbies and interests, ranging from mythology and ancient cultures to the works of J.R.R. Tolkein and taking care of her extensive garden.

Emma works as one of the staff writers of Rockridge Institute – The Spirit Magazine but also enjoys writing about other topics that interest her for various publications and websites.

She lives with her husband, Tom, and their two cats, Mitzy and Frodo, in San Diego, California.

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