Lesson 1 Ishbibenob and the Fallen

by Michelle Dyett-Welcome

in Bible Lessons

Ishbibenob went to war against Israel. (Photo credit Photobucket.com)

Ishbibenob went to war against Israel. He boasted he had slain King David. However he did not know that God had decided to do a new thing with the Immigrant Philistines. The Fallen One was to fall again from his high place and those who worshiped him were going to fall out with him. God had judged and found them wanting.

 From High Place to Rolling in Ashes

“Moreover the Philistines H6430 had yet war H4421 again with Israel; H3478 and David H1732 went down, H3381 and his servants H5650 with him, and fought H3898 against the Philistines: H6430 and David H1732 waxed faint.” H5774  And Ishbibenob, H3430 which was of the sons H3211 of the giant, H7497 the weight H4948 of whose spear H7013 weighed three H7969 hundred H3967 shekels of brass H5178 in weight, H4948 he being girded H2296 with a new H2319 sword, thought H559 to have slain H5221 David.” H1732  But Abishai H52 the son H1121 of Zeruiah H6870 succoured H5826 him, and smote H5221 the Philistine, H6430 and killed H4191 him. Then the men H582 of David H1732 sware H7650 unto him, saying, H559 Thou shalt go H3318 no more out with us to battle, H4421 that thou quench H3518 not the light H5216 of Israel. H3478” 2 Samuel 21:15-17


Lesson 1

Series scripture 2 Samuel 21:15-22|lesson focus verses 15-17a

(All Bible quotes and references are taken from the King James Version from the Blue Letter Bible at http://blueletterbible.org)


2 Samuel 21:15, starts with the Philistines, who were immigrants, sojourners, or land wanderers being at war again with Israel. David at this time was much older and passed the prime of his youth. Yet he went to war and his servants with him. He fought but he waxed faint.

In other words, he swung his sword back and forth like a bird and his eyes may have been dim due to age. His strength was failing him yet he waved his weapon in a menacing way in order to protect himself and others as a mother bird uses her feathers or wings to cover her young.

The god who ruled Ishbibenob

Seeing this prime opportunity, Ishbibenob one of the sons of the giant sought to kill David and thought he had. This giant was an important figure in Nob. His name means “his dwelling is in Nob”. Whose dwelling?

As we examine the root of the name Ishbibenob we see that Nob (H5011) means high place with a root meaning of to sprout, germinate, increase, boil up, to make flourish. But his name means even more (H3430, H3427). It also means throne; to be sitting, to sit, to remain, inhabit, abide.

Ishbibenob produced fruit after his own likeness, because at the root of the Nob is (H5108) which means fruit with a primitive root meaning of bearing fruit (H5107). Therefore, Ishbibenob caused his ways to germinate, boil up, to increase, or to rise up into a heap like a mountain. He sprouted and flourished in ways that were displeasing to God and produced sons after his likeness.

From Ishbibenob’s name, we glean that this was Satan’s high place, his throne and that he was sitting and inhabiting this area. Satan being the god of the air controlled spiritual atmosphere as well as the firm land in this area. It was his intent to spread out and expand himself by using these land wanderers to do his bidding (Philistine).

Verse 16 of 2 Samuel 21 tells us that Ishbibenob believed that he had killed David. That implies that he landed a blow or two on David. When we look at the weapons this giant carried, they were impressive. He had a spear that weighed three hundred shekels of brass and he was girded with a new sword.

When he went to war, he intended to demolish and vanquish his enemies. He did not know that God, the one whom David loved had a different agenda. And he communicated his intent in the weapons of David’s enemy. Let’s look at the weapons.

The Spear (H7013)

When we look at the Hebrew meaning of the words we understand that there was going to be a fixed or permanent stated of mourning. A mourning song, chant or lament was going to be sung.

This fact becomes even more interesting when we recall that in Satan’s other name Lucifer, Son of the Morning at its root (H7837, H3213) Isaiah 14:12, that it means to howl or wail with the understanding of crying out, to lament, to become sad or mournful.

When Lucifer fell from his position as reason of the morning, (the dawn or the one who early seeks or diligently seeks light) there was mourning or a wailing that accompanied the fall. His responsibility was to break in or to pry in to the light, or break forth light. Here the same is being foreshadowed that again, mourning was to take place and a fall is going to happen.

Satan was in a high position before and was flung down. His throne was established in Nob and he was to be thrown down again. As Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Satan continually exalts himself and establishes his throne in high places and God casts him down.

With Ishbibenob’s spear God sent a clear message that he was going to fall yet again. Satan however did not share this news with his loyalists who valiantly went out into battle believing that they stood a chance against the hand of God.

The Three Hundred

The number three hundred means triad, which is defined as a group of three related things or people. In this case, the three things referenced are three giants.

In this chapter of 2 Samuel, there are three giants which are specifically named. The last giant is unnamed because he was not part of the trinity or threesome. These three giants were like a triple-braided cord (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

Significance of Hundred

The number one hundred is ten times ten. The number ten is significant in terms of tithes.

According to E.W. Bullinger in his book Number in Scripture, the number, ten represents the perfection o divine order, or the completeness of order around anything. For example, the Lord gave Ten Commandments, tithes represents the portion that belongs to God from the whole, Abraham’s faith was tested by a cycle of ten trials, the ten plagues of Egypt, and the list goes on.

What is clear is that the number one hundred here is indicating that this is an action of God to put things in divine order and it is to complete one cycle and to open the door for a new cycle to begin.

As we look further into the meaning of the hundred, (the Lexicon on the Blue Letter Bible website) helps us to see what God was communicating. God was owed interest. These giants owed God. But why was God owed?

“The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.” Ps 37:21

God had given them time. He allowed them to use his creation and live off the land. He provided rain and increase for their crops. He patiently waited as they spread defilement and sin in the earth, tarnishing it, causing it to reflect the face of another and not the face or beauty of God.

And now it was time for them to be called into account. The time had come for them to pay what they owed.

In Malachi 3:8-9, God makes his position clear.

“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.”

Nations have robbed God. Yet not all nations are willing to bring their tithes into the storehouse, and prove God so that he will pour out blessings upon them. They would rather continue to live as they have been with false gods or life without the true God.

Shekels of Brass

The shekels of brass represent the sins that the giants committed that rang out before God. What did they do specifically? The root of the word brass shows us that they practiced divination, fortunetelling, sorcery, idolatry (made idols from molten brass), practiced harlotry, followed their lusts, observed signs (times), and interpreted omens.

These giants were enchanters, soothsayers, who hissed and whispered (H5172). They practiced all the things that God expressly forbade in Deuteronomy 18:9-12.

Here it is clear that God is laying out the charges against them. There is a sense that God held court, he laid out the charges against them, and then he gave his verdict of guilty and implemented the penalty on both the human entities and on the spiritual forces that inspired and encouraged the transgression.

The righteousness of God shines forth because though he could have wiped them off the face of the earth and be justified, he did not. He made sure everything was in order, that the charges and violations were spelled out and accurate.

Thus demonstrating that everyone will have their day before the judgment seat of God and they will be recompensed for what they have done with the life they have lived and the time they were given.

“The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow to cast down the afflicted and the needy, to slay those who are upright in conduct.” Ps 37:14

In Weight

The phrase in weight tells us that the giants and the god behind (or above them) were being measured out (or weighed out) by God. They were going to be paid in full measure for what they had worked. They would in essence reap as they had sown.

The New Sword

When Ishbibenob girded himself with his new sword he probably was very proud and excited to be using his impressive weapon for the first time against his hated enemies. When he thought, he had slain David he probably credited the new sword for victory.

The Bible uses the word amar (H559) for thought. This word means to say, speak, to say in one’s heart or utter. Ishbibenob not only thought he killed David but he spoke it aloud. He bought it forth by acting in a proud and boastful manner.

Unknown to Ishbibenob, his new sword had a prophetic meaning or God appointed meaning. Which we can see and understand clearly now. When he girded the new sword to himself, he bound himself to God’s new thing or God’s righteous judgment. The ending of his reign or life cycle, and the beginning of a new cycle or reign by God.

God intent was to refresh the place. Change the atmosphere. Get rid of the foul dense lower air and replace it with the higher or rarer air of righteousness or rightness.

The question arises, how was God planning to do this? By using the one whose name means “My father is Jesse.”

Abishai | “My father is Jesse”

2 Samuel 21:17, tells us that Abishai the son of Zeruiah aided or supported David by striking and then executed the Philistine causing him to perish.

Who is this mighty warrior?

Abishai is the nephew of David by his sister Zeruiah. Zeruiah was the mother of three of David’s mighty heroes. Her name means balsam, with a root meaning of balm which is released when cracked under pressure. It is a salve or medicine for the healing of wounds.

Abishai | A Balm

God plan was to release a balm of healing or a salve to heal the land and the people through the pressure of battle. This demonstrates that God cares about the well being and health of his creation.

God communicated his intent to heal through the release of a salve or medicine under the pressure of war as demonstrated in Abishai’s name. This foreshadowed what Christ would eventually do as well by bringing us healing by his stripes.

Abishai Smooth and Suitable

As we look at the name Abishai closer, we see that at the Hebrew root level it means smooth, suitable, and level. His name means to become like, to agree with, and resemble. The Lexicon provides more insight into the meaning of Abishai’s name; it means to set, to place, to be equal (in value) or to be equivalent to anything.

Abishai Resembled David in Character and Heart

Based on Abishai’s name we learn that he was equal to or equivalent to David in his smoothness, levelness, and suitability before God. He agreed with the heart and mission of David thus he resembled him and become like him, the one whose father was Jesse (H7737 shavah).

Abishai As Homage to a Father

Abishai’s name also communicates more to us because his name also means “father of gift” or” my father is a gift”. When you look at the root word shay (H7862) it means gift, gift offered as homage. The word homage is an expression of high regard or respect. It is something that attests to the worth or influence of another. Abishai was named as a tribute to his grandfather because he was a ruler or chief, the founder of the family, group or clan, a nourisher, and the bringer up of the fatherless (Psalms 68:5) in the sense of being a father to all. It also carries the connotation of being a master or teacher, one with divine authority.

Why was it important to establish this?

Abishai’s mother honored her father when she named her son, paying homage to him through this deliberate act and in so doing she honored God. It was through her father that she learned how to honor God and she passed this on to her children.

Zeruiah recognized the value and the gift that she was given in her father. He was more than just the founder of the clan. Jesse was a nourisher (to the motherless Psalms 27:10) and a bringer up to those who were fatherless which resembles the heart of God who is a father to the fatherless according to Psalms 69:5.


Captured within in 2 Samuel 21:15-16, it is clear that even though it appeared that the deck was stacked in Ishbibenob’s favor, God had everything planned out an in divine control. David was preserved so the light of Israel was not extinguished by the giant for this would have been a major victory for the Satan.

The Giant Healers

The reason for this is in the Hebrew meaning for the word giant rapha (H7497). This word means giants, Rephaim. According to the Lexicon, it means a champion or hero that casts down or throws down. Further exploration reveals the primitive root word as rapha (H7495) which means to heal, make healthful, to be healed, healer, physician (of men). The Lexicon states that it means to sew together, to mend, repair, to heal as a wound, to cause oneself to be healed.

This information helps us to see another sin of the giants. They were encouraging self healing or healing without God but rather with the use of healers or physicians. They would sow you up and mend you together.

Let us look at Deut. 18:11:

“Or a charmer, H2266 H2267 or a consulter H7592 with familiar spirits, H178 or a wizard, H3049 or a necromancer.” H1875 H4191

Careful examination of the word charmer from the above verse reveals that charmers sow and bind together. The giants were charmer who practiced the art of healing by sowing and mending together by the power of their god, whose seat was in Nob.

Thus, it is safe to conclude that their knowledge, power, and abilities came from the fallen one. The one who was referenced in Isaiah 14:12.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”

Ishbibenob and The Fallen

Lucifer was cut down to the ground. In 2 Samuel 21, and at the time referenced in Isaiah 14:12.

Satan’s man Ishbibenob was also cut down by Abishai, the one who became like or resembled David in character. It is evident that God’s plan will always entail cutting Satan down to the ground. Though Satan establishes a throne it will last for a short season, eventually he will be cut down. He will fall from his seat each time, because his position low to the ground and he is not to be exalted. He is cast down he is to wail or lament.

From High Place to Rolling in Ashes

It is fitting that God used the Philistines to emphasis this point. The root of the word Philistine (H6430, H6429) means to roll in ashes or dust (as in an act of mourning), to roll oneself, or to wallow.

It is interesting that the Philistines lived up to the meaning of their name as they mourned, wailed and buried their dead. Not only did their first hero die. But their god was booted from his high seat.

It’s not how they envisioned things turning out when they first started the battle with Israel, but it happened exactly as God had planned, that’s why he is God, the one true God all others are a lie.

Exploring Deeper | Spiritual Context

David (H1732) means “beloved”. Object of love or one who is beloved. Seeing that his parents gave him this name it could represent his being a beloved son. The Hebrew root of this word means to boil.

In 1 Samuel 13:14 we are told that God sought for himself a man after his own heart to replace Saul as king and that man was David the beloved son of Jesse.

Jesse (H3448) means, “I possess”, with a root meaning of existence, being, or that which is present as in to exist. This is similar to the Hebrew meaning for Jehovah “the existing one” (H3068). When we look closer at the root word H1961 for Jehovah we see among its meaning to exist and to be in existence.

Jesse as David father represents and foreshadows what is to come when God the Father of Jesus the beloved son declares his approval from heaven which was recorded several times in scripture.

Zeruiah (H6870) as noted earlier means balm at its root. It is a salve or medicine used to treat wounds. In Isaiah 53:5 when talking about the coming Messiah the prophet stated,

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

Jesus’ wounds, bruising, chastisement and stripes were pressure placed on the seed so that the balm could be released for the complete healing of the world which God so loved. Christ Jesus paid the price paid for all, but it benefits only those who believe.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Abishai (H52) meaning “my father is Jesse”, “my father is a gift” or “father of gift”. If we put in the meaning of the name Jesse which means “I possess” then we see that my father is I possess. Possess what is the question. Existence. God the root meaning of God the father’s name (H1961) is to be, to become, come, to pass, exist, to be in existence. Thus, God is a gift, because he is.

But God is also the one who possesses the gift, the gift being Christ Jesus whom he sent to the world. In light of this it is easy to see why God chose to use the name Abishai to convey his dual message.

As mentioned earlier the son (Jesus) was given in homage or as payment for our sins (or redemption Romans 3:24) so we could be healed and restored back to God. Actually, all who come to God are fatherless and he adopts us into his family, Christ being the first born of God’s many sons (Romans 8:29).

Furthermore, the life that Christ lived in obedience to God’s will was done as a tribute (was born out of respect and honor) to God’s position as the first in the sense of being the head, founder or ancestor.

“Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” John 12:28

The word father in the above verse (G3962) means generator or male ancestor. So here it is clear, that Christ desired above all else for his father to be glorified which means to honor, shine forth his brightness, his preeminence, expose to the eyes, show, give evidence or proof of a thing, and bring to pass his judgment (G1391).

In Abishai’s name there seems to be interwoven in a sense of a double homage. My father is a present, and then the father of the gift. God gave his son for payment or as a ransom for the world. While Christ came and followed God’s plan exactly as a tribute to the father.

Jesus (G2424) means, “Jehovah is salvation” the one who God helps. It means to be freed through the sense of conquering in battle. It means to be broad or spacious, not confined to a prison or in captivity. It means to be at liberty or in freedom. When we are freed by the son we absolutely free (John 8:36).

Jesus | The Destroyer of Works of the Devil

In order to free us from captivity Jesus has to do what David and Abishai did. Destroy the works of the enemy both in the natural and spiritual realms by forbidding it (G1210 binding, fasten with chains) which laymen’s terms means preventing it from continuing or spreading out (Matthew 18:18).

“He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8

Christ came to destroy by waging war against the enemy (as did Abishai and David) and his works to the glory and honor to the Father.

Jesus | Healing Balm

As the obedient son Jesus fulfilled his duty to make a way for our reconciliation with God (Ephesians 2:16, Colossians 1:15-21, 2 Corinthians 5:20, 2 Corinthians 5:17-19).

Jesus | Doing the Will of His Father

“For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” John 6:38

David as a young man did the will of his father by tending his sheep. As King, he did the will of God because he had a heart after the heart of God, meaning he wanted to please God by how he lived or walked in life.

“But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.” 1 Samuel 13:14

The prophet Samuel informed Saul that God was seeking his replacement. The qualification was first he needed to be a man. Second, he needed to be a man with a particular type of heart. And that heart was one like God.

What the prophet told Saul is that God was seeking a man whose inner parts were filled with understanding. Whose way of thinking and acting, and whose moral character, appetites, emotions, courage and passions were given to him by God (H3068, H1961, H1933, H183).

The word heart at the root meaning has a connotation of being fat and smooth like fat. It is like “the fat of lambs” (H2459, H3733) which is precious and valuable. But it also has the understanding of a dull man becoming wise.

Isaiah 6:9-10, the fattening process was presented through a divine word from God to the prophet Isaiah. Scripture reveals that the fattening process in God is comprehensive in nature for it affects sight, hearing, creating a new heart, brings about a conversion or change, and heals.

This process brings about smoothness as in the refining process for gems or stones. This is how dull, ordinary, frail, weak, incurable or sick men (H582, H605) can become mighty heroes like God (H430, H433, H410) who created the world before he took human form as Jesus (Genesis 1:1).

David’s desire foreshadowed the heart and character of Jesus, whose purpose was to do the will of God and not his own. As David stood up against Goliath in defense of God so too did Christ who stood against Satan in defense of his Father.

“For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” Acts 3:22-26

The writer of the book of Acts states that Jesus is the one whom the father sent as a prophet, raised from among his brethren (as was David) to be a blessing to the people of the earth, but also a destroyer of those who refuse to hear the prophet.

Jesus | The Beloved Son

God the Father openly declares from heaven that Jesus is his beloved son. The apostles Matthew and Mark both record the events in Matthew 17:5, Matthew 3:17, Mark 9:7 and Mark 1:11.

“While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” Matthew 17:5

“And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17

“And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.” Mark 9:7

“And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Mark 1:11

Thus Jesus like David were both beloved by their fathers.

Through the work of Jesus, it also paved the way for him to be both mother (nourisher) and father (bringer up) to all who have been forsaken, thus living up to the root meaning of the name Abishai (Ab H1).

David the Ruddy One |Jesus the Red Ram Skin

In 1 Samuel chapters 16 and 17 David is referred to as ruddy (H132). This word in Hebrew means to be red. At it’s root, it means to be rubbed red as in the smearing on of blood, or the dipping of a garment in dye.

“And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.” 1 Samuel 16:12

“And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.” 1 Samuel 17:42

It is interesting to note here that the Hebrew meaning for the name Adam (H120, H119) also means to be red, ruddy, rubbed red or to grow red). Being red in God’s terms makes you fair, handsome, beautiful because it symbolizes being dyed in the blood of Christ Jesus or becoming red through the process of reddening.

When we look back at Genesis 1:1, which refers to God (H430) and in the root meaning it means to be a ram skin (H352), which is dyed red for a tabernacle. David’s description in the book of 1 Samuel takes on more significance.

Jesus was the ram of sacrifice, which is part of the Hebrew meaning for ram (H352). Christ sacrificed his life so that we can be reddened. He was red or ruddy in appearance in that he reflected the beauty and handsomeness of the character of God (John 14:9-11).

“Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.” John 14:9-11

Christ as the ram represents our spiritual food for we are to partake of his body (bread) daily. It is written in Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4, and Luke 4:4 that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

It is evident that Jesus has completed the will of the father because he has provided a means for us to incline towards God. It is through reddening process that Jesus opened for us with the crucifixion that God the father can cause our cravings and desires (as in food and drink), appetites (as in bodily, the things we long for or lust after), to be after his own heart which is the Hebrew root meaning for the name Jehovah (H3068, H1961, H1933, H183).

God’s plan from the beginning was to have men grow red, thus reflecting his image and character. He started with Adam and has continually advanced his plan looking for a man in whom he could fill the devoid (hollow) space of his heart or inner being with himself.

Jesus open for us the door of opportunity for us to grow red and as we continue in the things of God, partaking of his food daily (manna) we will continue to be reddened. Thus being deemed beautiful and handsome in the sight of God.

It’s time for us smear on more blood and to have our garments dipped in the red dye of Christ Jesus.

We will learn about the second giant and how he fell by the hand of God in the next lesson entitled The Tall Doorkeeper vs. The Weaver.

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