Posted by: mattcolvin | September 14, 2011

Rechab & Baanah, Ananias & Sapphira

Has anyone read the story of Ananias and Sappira (Acts 5) against the story of Rechab and Baanah bringing Ishbosheth’s head to David (2 Samuel 4)?

Several similarities struck me tonight:

1. Both events take place at the beginning of a new administration: the start of David’s reign, and the early days of the apostles after Jesus’ ascension.

2. Both sets of culprits think that they will win praise or reward from the person to whom they present their gift. Rechab and Baanah travel through the night to present their grisly present to David (2 Sam. 4:7). Ananias and Sapphira are seeking to gain the same reputation as Barnabas, who “having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.” (Acts 4:37)

3. In both stories there is an element of dramatic ignorance: After Ananias is struck dead, Sapphira arrives and lies about the amount for which the field sold, and is told, “Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” (Acts 5:9) In the case of Rechab and Baanah, David says, “When someone told me, saying, ‘Look, Saul is dead,’ thinking to have brought good news, I arrested him and had him executed in Ziklag — the one who thought I would give him a reward for his news. How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous person in his own house on his bed?” (2 Samuel 4:10). In both cases, the ignorance is ignorance of a relevant precedent.

4. In both stories, there is a group of “young men” that do the dirty work. “And the young men (νεώτεροι) came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband.” (Acts 5:10). “And David commanded the young men (הנערים) and they executed them (sc. Rechab and Baanah), cut off their hands and feet, and hanged them by the pool in Hebron.”(2 Sam. 4:12)

Any other similarities?



  1. […] Ananias and Sapphira paralleled with Rechab and Baanah […]

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