20:27 When the Israelites had mustered and had received their supplies, they marched out to face them in battle. When the Israelites deployed opposite them, they were like two small flocks 1 of goats, but the Syrians filled the land. 20:28 The prophet 2 visited the king of Israel and said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because the Syrians said, “The Lord is a god of the mountains and not a god of the valleys,” I will hand over to you this entire huge army. 3 Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
20:29 The armies were deployed opposite each other for seven days. On the seventh day the battle began, and the Israelites killed 100,000 Syrian foot soldiers in one day. 20:30 The remaining 27,000 ran to Aphek and went into the city, but the wall fell on them. 4 Now Ben Hadad ran into the city and hid in an inner room. 5
1 tn The noun translated “small flocks” occurs only here. The common interpretation derives the word from the verbal root חשׂף, “to strip off; to make bare.” In this case the noun refers to something “stripped off” or “made bare.” HALOT 359 s.v. II חשׂף derives the noun from a proposed homonymic verbal root (which occurs only in Ps 29:9) meaning “cause a premature birth.” In this case the derived noun could refer to goats that are undersized because they are born prematurely.
2 tn Heb “the man of God.”
3 tn Heb “I will place all this great horde in your hand.”
4 tn Heb “and the remaining ones fled to Aphek to the city and the wall fell on twenty-seven thousand men, the ones who remained.”
5 tn Heb “and Ben Hadad fled and went into the city, [into] an inner room in an inner room.”