19:2 David said, “I will express my loyalty 1 to Hanun son of Nahash, for his father was loyal 2 to me.” So David sent messengers to express his sympathy over his father’s death. 3 When David’s servants entered Ammonite territory to visit Hanun and express the king’s sympathy, 4 19:3 the Ammonite officials said to Hanun, “Do you really think David is trying to honor your father by sending these messengers to express his sympathy? 5 No, his servants have come to you so they can get information and spy out the land!” 6 19:4 So Hanun seized David’s servants and shaved their beards off. 7 He cut off the lower part of their robes so that their buttocks were exposed 8 and then sent them away. 19:5 Messengers 9 came and told David what had happened to the men, so he summoned them, for the men were thoroughly humiliated. The king said, “Stay in Jericho 10 until your beards grow again; then you may come back.”
19:6 When the Ammonites realized that David was disgusted with them, 11 Hanun and the Ammonites sent 1,000 talents 12 of silver to hire chariots and charioteers from Aram Naharaim, Aram Maacah, and Zobah. 13
1 tn Heb “do loyalty.”
2 tn Heb “did loyalty.”
3 tn Heb “to console him concerning his father.”
4 tn Heb “and the servants of David came to the land of the sons of Ammon to Hanun to console him.”
5 tn Heb “Is David honoring your father in your eyes when he sends to you ones consoling?”
6 tc Heb “Is it not to explore and to overturn and to spy out the land (that) his servants have come to you?” The Hebrew term לַהֲפֹךְ (lahafakh, “to overturn”) seems misplaced in the sequence. Some emend the form to לַחְפֹּר (lakhpor, “to spy out”). The sequence of three infinitives may be a conflation of alternative readings.
8 tn Heb “and he cut their robes in the middle unto the buttocks.”
9 tn Heb “they.” The logical referent, though not specified in the Hebrew text, has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
11 tn Heb “that they were a stench [i.e., disgusting] with David.”
12 tn The Hebrew word כִּכַּר (kikar, “circle”) refers generally to something that is round. When used of metals it can refer to a disk-shaped weight made of the metal or, by extension, to a standard unit of weight. According to the older (Babylonian) standard the “talent” weighed 130 lbs. (58.9 kg), but later this was lowered to 108.3 lbs. (49.1 kg). More recent research suggests the “light” standard talent was 67.3 lbs. (30.6 kg). Using this as the standard for calculation, the Ammonites hired chariots and charioteers for about 33.7 tons (30,600 kg) of silver.