“We have no share in David;
we have no inheritance in this son of Jesse!
Every man go home, 4 O Israel!”
2 Samuel 20:6Context
20:6 Then David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba son of Bicri will cause greater disaster for us than Absalom did! Take your lord’s servants and pursue him. Otherwise he will secure 5 fortified cities for himself and get away from us.”
1 tn Heb “a man of worthlessness.”
4 tc The MT reads לְאֹהָלָיו (lÿ’ohalav, “to his tents”). For a similar idiom, see 19:9. An ancient scribal tradition understands the reading to be לְאלֹהָיו (le’lohav, “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.
5 tn Heb “find.” The perfect verbal form is unexpected with the preceding word “otherwise.” We should probably read instead the imperfect. Although it is possible to understand the perfect here as indicating that the feared result is thought of as already having taken place (cf. BDB 814 s.v. פֶּן 2), it is more likely that the perfect is simply the result of scribal error. In this context the imperfect would be more consistent with the following verb וְהִצִּיל (vÿhitsil, “and he will get away”).