12:26 1 So Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured the royal city. 12:27 Joab then sent messengers to David, saying, “I have fought against Rabbah and have captured the water supply of the city. 2 12:28 So now assemble the rest of the army 3 and besiege the city and capture it. Otherwise I will capture the city and it will be named for me.”
12:29 So David assembled all the army and went to Rabbah and fought against it and captured it. 12:30 He took the crown of their king 4 from his head – it was gold, weighed about seventy-five pounds, 5 and held a precious stone – and it was placed on David’s head. He also took from the city a great deal of plunder. 12:31 He removed 6 the people who were in it and made them do hard labor with saws, iron picks, and iron axes, putting them to work at the brick kiln. This was his policy 7 with all the Ammonite cities. Then David and all the army returned to Jerusalem. 8
1 sn Here the narrative resumes the battle story that began in 11:1 (see 11:25). The author has interrupted that story to give the related account of David’s sin with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah. He now returns to the earlier story and brings it to a conclusion.
2 sn The expression translated the water supply of the city (Heb “the city of the waters”) apparently refers to that part of the fortified city that guarded the water supply of the entire city. Joab had already captured this part of the city, but he now defers to King David for the capture of the rest of the city. In this way the king will receive the credit for this achievement.
4 tn Part of the Greek tradition wrongly understands Hebrew מַלְכָּם (malkam, “their king”) as a proper name (“Milcom”). Some English versions follow the Greek here, rendering the phrase “the crown of Milcom” (so NRSV; cf. also NAB, CEV). TEV takes this as a reference not to the Ammonite king but to “the idol of the Ammonite god Molech.”
5 tn Heb “and its weight [was] a talent of gold.” The weight of this ornamental crown was approximately 75 lbs (34 kg). See P. K. McCarter, II Samuel (AB), 313.
6 tn Heb “brought out.”
7 tn Heb “and so he would do.”