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2 Samuel 23:13-39

Context

23:13 At the time of 1  the harvest three 2  of the thirty leaders went down to 3  David at the cave of Adullam. A band of Philistines was camped in the valley of Rephaim. 23:14 David was in the stronghold at the time, while a Philistine garrison was in Bethlehem. 4  23:15 David was thirsty and said, “How I wish someone would give me some water to drink from the cistern in Bethlehem near the gate!” 23:16 So the three elite warriors broke through the Philistine forces and drew some water from the cistern in Bethlehem near the gate. They carried it back to David, but he refused to drink it. He poured it out as a drink offering to the Lord 23:17 and said, “O Lord, I will not do this! 5  It is equivalent to the blood of the men who risked their lives by going.” 6  So he refused to drink it. Such were the exploits of the three elite warriors. 7 

23:18 Abishai son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, was head of the three. 8  He killed three hundred men with his spear and gained fame among the three. 9  23:19 From 10  the three he was given honor and he became their officer, even though he was not one of the three.

23:20 Benaiah son of Jehoida was a brave warrior 11  from Kabzeel who performed great exploits. He struck down the two sons of Ariel of Moab. 12  He also went down and killed a lion in a cistern on a snowy day. 23:21 He also killed an impressive-looking Egyptian. 13  The Egyptian wielded a spear, while Benaiah attacked 14  him with a club. He grabbed the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 23:22 Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoida, who gained fame among the three elite warriors. 23:23 He received honor from 15  the thirty warriors, though he was not one of the three elite warriors. David put him in charge of his bodyguard.

23:24 Included with the thirty were the following: Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem, 16  23:25 Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 23:26 Helez the Paltite, Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa, 23:27 Abiezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 23:28 Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 23:29 Heled 17  son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin, 23:30 Benaiah the Pirathonite, Hiddai from the wadis of Gaash, 23:31 Abi-Albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, 23:32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan 23:33 son of 18  Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam son of Sharar the Hararite, 23:34 Eliphelet son of Ahasbai the Maacathite, Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, 23:35 Hezrai 19  the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, 23:36 Igal son of Nathan from Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 23:37 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite (the armor-bearer 20  of Joab son of Zeruiah), 23:38 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite 23:39 and Uriah the Hittite. Altogether there were thirty-seven.

1 tn The meaning of Hebrew אֶל־קָצִיר (’el qatsir) seems here to be “at the time of harvest,” although this is an unusual use of the phrase. As S. R. Driver points out, this preposition does not normally have the temporal sense of “in” or “during” (S. R. Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Books of Samuel, 366).

2 tc The translation follows the Qere and many medieval Hebrew mss in reading שְׁלֹשָׁה (shÿloshah, “three”) rather than the Kethib of the MT שְׁלֹשִׁים (shÿloshim, “thirty”). “Thirty” is due to dittography of the following word and makes no sense in the context.

3 tn Heb “went down…and approached.”

4 map For location see Map5 B1; Map7 E2; Map8 E2; Map10 B4.

5 tn Heb “Far be it to me, O Lord, from doing this.”

6 tn Heb “[Is it not] the blood of the men who were going with their lives?”

7 tn Heb “These things the three warriors did.”

8 tc The translation follows the Qere, many medieval Hebrew mss, the LXX, and Vulgate in reading הַשְּׁלֹשָׁה (hashÿlosa, “the three”) rather than the Kethib of the MT הַשָּׁלִשִׁי (hashalisi, “the third,” or “adjutant”). Two medieval Hebrew mss and the Syriac Peshitta have “thirty.”

9 tn Heb “and he was wielding his spear against three hundred, [who were] slain, and to him there was a name among the three.”

10 tn Or “more than.”

11 tc The translation follows the Qere and many medieval Hebrew mss in reading חַיִל (khayil, “valor”) rather than the Kethib of the MT, חַי (khay, “life”).

12 tc Heb “the two of Ariel, Moab.” The precise meaning of אריאל is uncertain; some read “warrior.” The present translation assumes that the word is a proper name and that בני, “sons of,” has accidentally dropped from the text by homoioarcton (note the preceding שׁני).

13 tc The translation follows the Qere and many medieval Hebrew mss in reading אִישׁ (’ish, “man”) rather than the Kethib of the MT, אֲשֶׁר (’asher, “who”).

14 tn Heb “and he went down to.”

15 tn Or “more than.”

16 map For location see Map5 B1; Map7 E2; Map8 E2; Map10 B4.

17 tc The translation follows many medieval Hebrew mss in reading חֵלֶד (kheled; cf. NAB, NIV, NLT) rather than the MT חֵלֶב (khelev).

18 tn The Hebrew text does not have “the son of.”

19 tc The translation follows the Qere and many medieval Hebrew mss in reading חֶצְרַי (khetsrai; cf. KJV, NAB) rather than the Kethib of the MT, חֶצְרוֹ (khetsro).

20 tc The translation follows the Qere and many medieval Hebrew mss in reading the singular rather than the plural of the Kethib of the MT.



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