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1 Kings 21:21-26

Context
21:21 The Lord says, 1  ‘Look, I am ready to bring disaster 2  on you. I will destroy you 3  and cut off every last male belonging to Ahab in Israel, including even the weak and incapacitated. 4  21:22 I will make your dynasty 5  like those of Jeroboam son of Nebat and Baasha son of Ahijah because you angered me and made Israel sin.’ 6  21:23 The Lord says this about Jezebel, ‘Dogs will devour Jezebel by the outer wall 7  of Jezreel.’ 21:24 As for Ahab’s family, dogs will eat the ones 8  who die in the city, and the birds of the sky will eat the ones who die in the country.” 21:25 (There had never been anyone like Ahab, who was firmly committed 9  to doing evil in the sight of 10  the Lord, urged on by his wife Jezebel. 11  21:26 He was so wicked he worshiped the disgusting idols, 12  just like the Amorites 13  whom the Lord had driven out from before the Israelites.)

1 tn The introductory formula “the Lord says” is omitted in the Hebrew text, but supplied in the translation for clarification.

2 sn Disaster. There is a wordplay in the Hebrew text. The word translated “disaster” (רָעָה, raah) is similar to the word translated “evil” (v. 20, הָרַע, hara’). Ahab’s sins would receive an appropriate punishment.

3 tn Heb “I will burn after you.” Some take the verb בָּעַר (baar) to mean here “sweep away.” See the discussion of this verb in the notes at 14:10 and 16:3.

4 tn Heb “and I will cut off from Ahab those who urinate against a wall, [including both those who are] restrained and let free [or “abandoned”] in Israel.” The precise meaning of the idiomatic phrase עָצוּר וְעָזוּב (’atsur vÿazuv, translated here “weak and incapacitated”) is uncertain. For various options see HALOT 871 s.v. עצר and M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 107. The two terms are usually taken as polar opposites (“slaves and freemen” or “minors and adults”), but Cogan and Tadmor, on the basis of contextual considerations (note the usage with אֶפֶס (’efes), “nothing but”) in Deut 32:36 and 2 Kgs 14:26, argue convincingly that the terms are synonyms, meaning “restrained and abandoned,” and refer to incapable or incapacitated individuals.

5 tn Heb “house.”

6 tn Heb “because of the provocation by which you angered [me], and you caused Israel to sin.”

7 tc A few Hebrew mss and some ancient versions agree with 2 Kgs 9:10, 36, which reads, “the plot [of ground] at Jezreel.” The Hebrew words translated “outer wall” (חֵל, khel, defectively written here!) and “plot [of ground]” (חֵלֶק, kheleq) are spelled similarly.

8 tn “Dogs will eat the ones who belonging to Ahab who die in the city.”

9 tn Heb “who sold himself.”

10 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”

11 tn Heb “like Ahab…whom his wife Jezebel incited.”

12 tn The Hebrew word used here, גִלּוּלִים (gillulim) is always used as a disdainful reference to idols. It is generally thought to have originally referred to “dung pellets” (cf. KBL 183 s.v. גִלּוּלִים). It is only one of several terms used in this way, such as אֱלִילִים (’elilim, “worthless things”) and הֲבָלִים (havalim, “vanities” or “empty winds”).

13 tn Heb “He acted very abominably by walking after the disgusting idols, according to all which the Amorites had done.”



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