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2 Kings 8:21-24

Context
8:21 Joram 1  crossed over to Zair with all his chariots. The Edomites, who had surrounded him, attacked at night and defeated him and his chariot officers. 2  The Israelite army retreated to their homeland. 3  8:22 So Edom has remained free from Judah’s control to this very day. 4  At that same time Libnah also rebelled.

8:23 The rest of the events of Joram’s reign, including a record of his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 5  8:24 Joram passed away 6  and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David. His son Ahaziah replaced him as king.

1 sn Joram is a short form of the name Jehoram.

2 tn Heb “and he arose at night and defeated Edom, who had surrounded him, and the chariot officers.” The Hebrew text as it stands gives the impression that Joram was surrounded and launched a victorious night counterattack. It would then be quite natural to understand the last statement in the verse to refer to an Edomite retreat. Yet v. 22 goes on to state that the Edomite revolt was successful. Therefore, if the MT is retained, it may be better to understand the final statement in v. 21 as a reference to an Israelite retreat (made in spite of the success described in the preceding sentence). The translation above assumes an emendation of the Hebrew text. Adding a third masculine singular pronominal suffix to the accusative sign before Edom (reading אֶתוֹ [’eto], “him,” instead of just אֶת [’et]) and taking Edom as the subject of verbs allows one to translate the verse in a way that is more consistent with the context, which depicts an Israelite defeat, not victory. There is, however, no evidence for this emendation.

3 tn Heb “and the people fled to their tents.”

4 tn Heb “and Edom rebelled from under the hand of Judah until this day.”

5 tn Heb “As for the rest of the acts of Joram and all which he did, are they not written on the scroll of the events of the days of the kings of Judah?”

6 tn Heb “lay down with his fathers.”



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