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2 Samuel 23:16-22

Context
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! 1  It is equivalent to the blood of the men who risked their lives by going.” 2  So he refused to drink it. Such were the exploits of the three elite warriors. 3 

23:18 Abishai son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, was head of the three. 4  He killed three hundred men with his spear and gained fame among the three. 5  23:19 From 6  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 7  from Kabzeel who performed great exploits. He struck down the two sons of Ariel of Moab. 8  He also went down and killed a lion in a cistern on a snowy day. 23:21 He also killed an impressive-looking Egyptian. 9  The Egyptian wielded a spear, while Benaiah attacked 10  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.

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

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

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

4 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.”

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

6 tn Or “more than.”

7 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”).

8 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).

9 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”).

10 tn Heb “and he went down to.”



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