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2 Samuel 14:4-11


14:4 So the Tekoan woman went 1  to the king. She bowed down with her face to the ground in deference to him and said, “Please help me, 2  O king!” 14:5 The king replied to her, “What do you want?” 3  She answered, “I am a widow; my husband is dead. 14:6 Your servant 4  has two sons. When the two of them got into a fight in the field, there was no one present who could intervene. One of them struck the other and killed him. 14:7 Now the entire family has risen up against your servant, saying, ‘Turn over the one who struck down his brother, so that we can execute him and avenge the death 5  of his brother whom he killed. In so doing we will also destroy the heir.’ They want to extinguish my remaining coal, 6  leaving no one on the face of the earth to carry on the name of my husband.”

14:8 Then the king told the woman, “Go to your home. I will give instructions concerning your situation.” 7  14:9 The Tekoan woman said to the king, “My lord the king, let any blame fall on me and on the house of my father. But let the king and his throne be innocent!”

14:10 The king said, “Bring to me whoever speaks to you, and he won’t bother you again!” 14:11 She replied, “In that case, 8  let the king invoke the name of 9  the Lord your God so that the avenger of blood may not kill! Then they will not destroy my son!” He replied, “As surely as the Lord lives, not a single hair of your son’s head 10  will fall to the ground.”

1 tc The translation follows many medieval Hebrew mss in reading וַתַּבֹא (vattavo’, “and she went”) rather than the MT וַתֹּאמֶר (vattomer, “and she said”). The MT reading shows confusion with וַתֹּאמֶר later in the verse. The emendation suggested here is supported by the LXX, the Syriac Peshitta, some mss of the Targum, and Vulgate.

2 tn The word “me” is left to be inferred in the Hebrew text; it is present in the Syriac Peshitta and Vulgate.

3 tn Heb “What to you?”

4 tn Here and elsewhere (vv. 7, 12, 15a, 17, 19) the woman uses a term which suggests a lower level female servant. She uses the term to express her humility before the king. However, she uses a different term in vv. 15b-16. See the note at v. 15 for a discussion of the rhetorical purpose of this switch in terminology.

5 tn Heb “in exchange for the life.” The Hebrew preposition בְּ (bÿ, “in”) here is the so-called bet pretii, or bet (בְּ) of price, defining the value attached to someone or something.

6 sn My remaining coal is here metaphorical language, describing the one remaining son as her only source of lingering hope for continuing the family line.

7 tn Heb “concerning you.”

8 tn The words “in that case” are not in the Hebrew text, but may be inferred from the context. They are supplied in the translation for the sake of clarification.

9 tn Heb “let the king remember.”

10 tn Heb “of your son.”

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