II Sam. 4:1-5:5; I Chron. 11:1-3
After the death of Abner, Ishbosheth was devastated. The nation of Israel was in turmoil. Two brothers, Rechab and Baanah who were captains of Ishbosheth’s army attempted to gain favor with David. They killed their king, beheaded him and took the head to David.
The young Amalekite man who had earlier reported the death of Saul to David had expected some kind of reward for ridding him of his enemy, Saul. Rechab and Baanah also probably expected high ranking positions in David’s army. That didn’t happen. “How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous person in his own house on his bed?” David had them executed for their crime. He also had the head of Ishbosheth buried in the tomb of Abner.
With their king being dead and with no other successors to the throne, the elders of Israel went to David in Hebron and acknowledged that he had been chosen by the Lord to be ruler over them. At that time, they anointed the thirty-year-old David to be king over all of Israel. His total reign over Judah and Israel was forty years.