23:9 Next in command 1 was Eleazar son of Dodo, 2 the son of Ahohi. He was one of the three warriors who were with David when they defied the Philistines who were assembled there for battle. When the men of Israel retreated, 3 23:10 he stood his ground 4 and fought the Philistines until his hand grew so tired that it 5 seemed stuck to his sword. The Lord gave a great victory on that day. When the army returned to him, the only thing left to do was to plunder the corpses.
23:11 Next in command 6 was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines assembled at Lehi, 7 where there happened to be an area of a field that was full of lentils, the army retreated before the Philistines. 23:12 But he made a stand in the middle of that area. He defended 8 it and defeated the Philistines; the Lord gave them a great victory.
23:13 At the time of 9 the harvest three 10 of the thirty leaders went down to 11 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. 12
1 tn Heb “after him.”
3 tn Heb “went up.”
4 tn Heb “arose.”
5 tn Heb “his hand.”
6 tn Heb “after him.”
7 tn The Hebrew text is difficult here. The MT reads לַחַיָּה (lachayyah), which implies a rare use of the word חַיָּה (chayyah). The word normally refers to an animal, but if the MT is accepted it would here have the sense of a troop or community of people. BDB 312 s.v. II. חַיָּה, for example, understands the similar reference in v. 13 to be to “a group of allied families, making a raid together.” But this works better in v. 13 than it does in v. 11, where the context seems to suggest a particular staging location for a military operation. (See 1 Chr 11:15.) It therefore seems best to understand the word in v. 11 as a place name with ה (he) directive. In that case the Masoretes mistook the word for the common term for an animal and then tried to make sense of it in this context.
8 tn Heb “delivered.”
9 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).
10 tc The translation follows the Qere and many medieval Hebrew
11 tn Heb “went down…and approached.”