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1 Samuel 30:17-23

Context
30:17 But David struck them down from twilight until the following evening. None of them escaped, with the exception of four hundred young men who got away on camels. 1  30:18 David retrieved everything the Amalekites had taken; he 2  also rescued his two wives. 30:19 There was nothing missing, whether small or great. He retrieved sons and daughters, the plunder, and everything else they had taken. 3  David brought everything back. 30:20 David took all the flocks and herds and drove them in front of the rest of the animals. People were saying, “This is David’s plunder!”

30:21 Then David approached the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to go with him, 4  those whom they had left at the Wadi Besor. They went out to meet David and the people who were with him. When David approached the people, he asked how they were doing. 30:22 But all the evil and worthless men among those who had gone with David said, “Since they didn’t go with us, 5  we won’t give them any of the loot we retrieved! They may take only their wives and children. Let them lead them away and be gone!”

30:23 But David said, “No! You shouldn’t do this, my brothers. Look at what the Lord has given us! 6  He has protected us and has delivered into our hands the raiding party that came against us.

1 tn Heb “who rode on camels and fled.”

2 tn Heb “David.” The pronoun (“he”) has been substituted for the proper name in the translation for stylistic reasons.

3 tn Heb “there was nothing missing to them, from the small even unto the great, and unto sons and daughters, and from loot even unto all which they had taken for themselves.”

4 tn Heb “David.” The pronoun (“him”) has been substituted for the proper name in the translation for stylistic reasons.

5 tc Heb “with me.” The singular is used rather than the plural because the group is being treated as a singular entity, in keeping with Hebrew idiom. It is not necessary to read “with us,” rather than the MT “with me,” although the plural can be found here in a few medieval Hebrew mss. See also the LXX, Syriac Peshitta, and Vulgate, although these versions may simply reflect an understanding of the idiom as found in the MT rather than a different textual reading.

6 tc This clause is difficult in the MT. The present translation accepts the text as found in the MT and understands this clause to be elliptical, with an understood verb such as “look” or “consider.” On the other hand, the LXX seems to reflect a slightly different Hebrew text, reading “after” where the MT has “my brothers.” The Greek translation yields the following translation: “You should not do this after the Lord has delivered us.” Although the Greek reading should be taken seriously, it seems better to follow the MT here.



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