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1 Samuel 27:7--28:2

Context
27:7 The length of time 1  that David lived in the Philistine countryside was a year 2  and four months.

27:8 Then David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites. (They had been living in that land for a long time, from the approach 3  to Shur as far as the land of Egypt.) 27:9 When David would attack a district, 4  he would leave neither man nor woman alive. He would take sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, and clothing and would then go back to Achish. 27:10 When Achish would ask, “Where 5  did you raid today?” David would say, “The Negev of Judah” or “The Negev of Jeharmeel” or “The Negev of the Kenites.” 27:11 Neither man nor woman would David leave alive so as to bring them back to Gath. He was thinking, “This way they can’t tell on us, saying, ‘This is what David did.’” Such was his practice the entire time 6  that he lived in the country of the Philistines. 27:12 So Achish trusted David, thinking to himself, 7  “He is really hated 8  among his own people in 9  Israel! From now on 10  he will be my servant.”

The Witch of Endor

28:1 In those days the Philistines gathered their troops 11  for war in order to fight Israel. Achish said to David, “You should fully understand that you and your men must go with me into the battle.” 12  28:2 David replied to Achish, “That being the case, you will come to know what your servant can do!” Achish said to David, “Then I will make you my bodyguard 13  from now on.” 14 

1 tn Heb “the number of the days.”

2 tn Heb “days.” The plural of the word “day” is sometimes used idiomatically to refer specifically to a year. In addition to this occurrence in v. 7 see also 1 Sam 1:3, 21; 2:19; 20:6; Lev 25:29; Judg 17:10.

3 tn Heb “from where you come.”

4 tn Heb “the land.”

5 tc The translation follows the LXX (ἐπι τίνα, epi tina) and Vulgate (in quem) which assume אֶל מִי (’el mi, “to whom”) rather than the MT אַל (’al, “not”). The MT makes no sense here. Another possibility is that the text originally had אַן (’an, “where”), which has been distorted in the MT to אַל. Cf. the Syriac Peshitta and the Targum, which have “where.”

6 tn Heb “all the days.”

7 tn Heb “saying.”

8 tn Heb “he really stinks.” The expression is used figuratively here to describe the rejection and ostracism that David had experienced as a result of Saul’s hatred of him.

9 tc Many medieval Hebrew mss lack the preposition “in.”

10 tn Heb “permanently.”

11 tn Heb “their camps.”

12 tc The translation follows the LXX (εἰς πόλεμον, eis polemon) and a Qumran ms מלחמה במלחמה ([m]lkhmh) bammilkhamah (“in the battle”) rather than the MT’s בַמַּחֲנֶה (bammakhaneh, “in the camp”; cf. NASB). While the MT reading is not impossible here, and although admittedly it is the harder reading, the variant fits the context better. The MT can be explained as a scribal error caused in part by the earlier occurrence of “camp” in this verse.

13 tn Heb “the guardian for my head.”

14 tn Heb “all the days.”



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