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2 Samuel 21:6-10

Context
21:6 let seven of his male descendants be turned over to us, and we will execute 1  them before the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, who was the Lord’s chosen one.” 2  The king replied, “I will turn them over.”

21:7 The king had mercy on Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, in light of the Lord’s oath that had been taken between David and Jonathan son of Saul. 21:8 So the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Aiah’s daughter Rizpah whom she had born to Saul, and the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab 3  whom she had born to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite. 21:9 He turned them over to the Gibeonites, and they executed them on a hill before the Lord. The seven of them 4  died 5  together; they were put to death during harvest time – during the first days of the beginning 6  of the barley harvest.

21:10 Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on a rock. From the beginning of the harvest until the rain fell on them, 7  she did not allow the birds of the air to feed 8  on them by day, nor the wild animals 9  by night.

1 tn The exact nature of this execution is not altogether clear. The verb יָקַע (yaqa’) basically means “to dislocate” or “alienate.” In Gen 32:26 it is used of the dislocation of Jacob’s thigh. Figuratively it can refer to the removal of an individual from a group (e.g., Jer 6:8; Ezek 23:17) or to a type of punishment the specific identity of which is uncertain (e.g., here and Num 25:4); cf. NAB “dismember them”; NIV “to be killed and exposed.”

2 tc The LXX reads “at Gibeon on the mountain of the Lord” (cf. 21:9). The present translation follows the MT, although a number of recent English translations follow the LXX reading here (e.g., NAB, NRSV, NLT).

3 tc The MT reads “Michal” here, but two Hebrew manuscripts read “Merab,” along with some LXX manuscripts. Cf. 1 Sam 18:19.

4 tc The translation follows the Qere and several medieval Hebrew mss in reading שְׁבַעְתָּם (shÿvatam, “the seven of them”) rather than MT שִׁבַעְתִּים (shivatim, “seventy”).

5 tn Heb “fell.”

6 tc The translation follows the Qere and many medieval Hebrew mss in reading בִּתְחִלַּת (bithkhillat, “in the beginning”) rather than MT תְחִלַּת (tÿkhillat, “beginning of”).

7 tn Heb “until water was poured on them from the sky.”

8 tn Heb “rest.”

9 tn Heb “the beasts of the field.”



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