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2 Samuel 2:1-11

Context
David is Anointed King

2:1 Afterward David inquired of the Lord, “Should I go up to one of the cities of Judah?” The Lord told him, “Go up.” David asked, “Where should I go?” The Lord replied, 1  “To Hebron.” 2:2 So David went up, along with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelite and Abigail, formerly the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 2:3 David also brought along the men who were with him, each with his family. They settled in the cities 2  of Hebron. 2:4 The men of Judah came and there they anointed David as king over the people 3  of Judah.

David was told, 4  “The people 5  of Jabesh Gilead are the ones who buried Saul.” 2:5 So David sent messengers to the people of Jabesh Gilead and told them, “May you be blessed by the Lord because you have shown this kindness 6  to your lord Saul by burying him. 2:6 Now may the Lord show you true kindness! 7  I also will reward you, 8  because you have done this deed. 2:7 Now be courageous 9  and prove to be valiant warriors, for your lord Saul is dead. The people of Judah have anointed me as king over them.”

David’s Army Clashes with the Army of Saul

2:8 Now Abner son of Ner, the general in command of Saul’s army, had taken Saul’s son Ish-bosheth 10  and had brought him to Mahanaim. 2:9 He appointed him king over Gilead, the Geshurites, 11  Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and all Israel. 2:10 Ish-bosheth son of Saul was forty years old when he began to rule over Israel. He ruled two years. However, the people 12  of Judah followed David. 2:11 David was king in Hebron over the people of Judah for seven and a half years. 13 

1 tn Heb “he said.” The referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

2 tc The expression “the cities of Hebron” is odd; we would expect the noun to be in the singular, if used at all. Although the Syriac Peshitta has the expected reading “in Hebron,” the MT is clearly the more difficult reading and should probably be retained here.

3 tn Heb “house.”

4 tn Heb “and they told David.” The subject appears to be indefinite, allowing one to translate the verb as passive with David as subject.

5 tn Heb “men.”

6 tn Or “loyalty.”

7 tn Or “loyalty and devotion.”

8 tn Heb “will do with you this good.”

9 tn Heb “let your hands be strong.”

10 sn The name Ish-bosheth means in Hebrew “man of shame.” It presupposes an earlier form such as Ish-baal (“man of the Lord”), with the word “baal” being used of Israel’s God. But because the Canaanite storm god was named “Baal,” that part of the name was later replaced with the word “shame.”

11 tc The MT here reads “the Ashurite,” but this is problematic if it is taken to mean “the Assyrian.” Ish-bosheth’s kingdom obviously was not of such proportions as to extend to Assyria. The Syriac Peshitta renders the word as “the Geshurite,” while the Targum has “of the house of Ashur.” We should probably emend the Hebrew text to read “the Geshurite.” The Geshurites lived in the northeastern part of the land of Palestine.

12 tn Heb “house.”

13 tn Heb “And the number of the days in which David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.”



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