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2 Samuel 19:43--20:3

Context
19:43 The men of Israel replied to the men of Judah, “We have ten shares in the king, and we have a greater claim on David than you do! Why do you want 1  to curse us? Weren’t we the first to suggest bringing back our king?” But the comments of the men of Judah were more severe than those of the men of Israel.

Sheba’s Rebellion

20:1 Now a wicked man 2  named Sheba son of Bicri, a Benjaminite, 3  happened to be there. He blew the trumpet 4  and said,

“We have no share in David;

we have no inheritance in this son of Jesse!

Every man go home, 5  O Israel!”

20:2 So all the men of Israel deserted 6  David and followed Sheba son of Bicri. But the men of Judah stuck by their king all the way from the Jordan River 7  to Jerusalem. 8 

20:3 Then David went to his palace 9  in Jerusalem. The king took the ten concubines he had left to care for the palace and placed them under confinement. 10  Though he provided for their needs, he did not have sexual relations with them. 11  They remained in confinement until the day they died, living out the rest of their lives as widows.

1 tn The translation understands the verb in a desiderative sense, indicating the desire but not necessarily the completed action of the party in question. It is possible, however, that the verb should be given the more common sense of accomplished action, in which case it means here “Why have you cursed us?”

2 tn Heb “a man of worthlessness.”

3 tn The expression used here יְמִינִי (yÿmini) is a short form of the more common “Benjamin.” It appears elsewhere in 1 Sam 9:4 and Esth 2:5. Cf. 1 Sam 9:1.

4 tn Heb “the shophar” (the ram’s horn trumpet). So also v. 22.

5 tc The MT reads לְאֹהָלָיו (lÿohalav, “to his tents”). For a similar idiom, see 19:9. An ancient scribal tradition understands the reading to be לְאלֹהָיו (lelohav, “to his gods”). The word is a tiqqun sopherim, and the scribes indicate that they changed the word from “gods” to “tents” so as to soften its theological implications. In a consonantal Hebrew text the change involved only the metathesis of two letters.

6 tn Heb “went up from after.”

7 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

8 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

9 tn Heb “house.”

10 tn Heb “and he placed them in a guarded house.”

11 tn Heb “he did not come to them”; NAB “has no further relations with them”; NIV “did not lie with them”; TEV “did not have intercourse with them”; NLT “would no longer sleep with them.”



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