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1 Kings 20:39-42

Context
20:39 When the king passed by, he called out to the king, “Your servant went out into the heat 1  of the battle, and then a man turned aside and brought me a prisoner. 2  He told me, ‘Guard this prisoner. If he ends up missing for any reason, 3  you will pay with your life or with a talent 4  of silver.’ 5  20:40 Well, it just so happened that while your servant was doing this and that, he disappeared.” The king of Israel said to him, “Your punishment is already determined by your own testimony.” 6  20:41 The prophet 7  quickly removed the bandage from his eyes and the king of Israel recognized he was one of the prophets. 20:42 The prophet 8  then said to him, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Because you released a man I had determined should die, you will pay with your life and your people will suffer instead of his people.’” 9 

1 tn Heb “middle.”

2 tn Heb “man” (also a second time later in this verse).

3 tn Heb “if being missed, he is missed.” The emphatic infinitive absolute before the finite verbal form lends solemnity to the warning.

4 tn The Hebrew term כִּכָּר (kikkar, “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 to a standard unit of weight, generally regarded as a talent. Since the accepted weight for a talent of metal is about 75 pounds, this would have amounted to about 75 pounds of silver.

5 tn Heb “your life will be in place of his life, or a unit of silver you will pay.”

6 tn Heb “so [i.e., in accordance with his testimony] is your judgment, you have determined [it].”

7 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the prophet) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

8 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the prophet) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

9 tn Heb “Because you sent away the man of my destruction [i.e., that I determined should be destroyed] from [my/your?] hand, your life will be in place of his life, and your people in place of his people.”



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