20:1 In the spring, at the time when kings normally conduct wars, 1 Joab led the army into battle and devastated the land of the Ammonites. He went and besieged Rabbah, while David stayed in Jerusalem. Joab defeated Rabbah and tore it down. 20:2 David took the crown from the head of their king 2 and wore it 3 (its weight was a talent 4 of gold and it was set with precious stones). He took a large amount of plunder from the city. 20:3 He removed the city’s residents and made them do hard labor with saws, iron picks, and axes. 5 This was his policy 6 with all the Ammonite cities. Then David and all the army returned to Jerusalem.
20:5 There was another battle with the Philistines in which Elhanan son of Jair the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, 11 whose spear had a shaft as big as the crossbeam of a weaver’s loom. 12
20:6 In a battle in Gath 13 there was a large man who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot – twenty-four in all! He too was a descendant of Rapha. 20:7 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimea, 14 David’s brother, killed him.
1 tn Heb “and it was at the time of the turning of the year, at the time of the going out of kings.”
3 tn Heb “and it was on the head of David.”
5 tc The Hebrew text reads “saws,” but since saws were just mentioned, it is preferable to emend מְגֵרוֹת (mÿgerot, “saws”) to מַגְזְרוֹת (magzÿrot, “axes”).
6 tn Heb “and so he would do.”
7 tn Heb “battle stood.”
10 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the Philistines) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
11 tc The Hebrew text reads, “Elchanan son of Jair killed Lachmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite.” But it is likely that the accusative marker in front of לַחְמִי (lakhmiy, “Lachmi”) is a corruption of בֵּית (bet), and that אֶת־לַחְמִי (’et-lakhmiy) should be emended to בֵּית הַלַּחְמִי (bet hallakhmiy, “the Bethlehemite”). See 2 Sam 21:19.
13 tn Heb “and there was another battle, in Gath.”
15 tn Heb “they fell.”
16 tn Heb “his servants.”