23:13 At the time of 1 the harvest three 2 of the thirty leaders went down to 3 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. 4 23:15 David was thirsty and said, “How I wish someone would give me some water to drink from the cistern in Bethlehem near the gate!” 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! 5 It is equivalent to the blood of the men who risked their lives by going.” 6 So he refused to drink it. Such were the exploits of the three elite warriors. 7
1 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).
2 tc The translation follows the Qere and many medieval Hebrew
3 tn Heb “went down…and approached.”
5 tn Heb “Far be it to me, O
6 tn Heb “[Is it not] the blood of the men who were going with their lives?”
7 tn Heb “These things the three warriors did.”