4:7 They had entered 3 the house while Ish-bosheth 4 was resting on his bed in his bedroom. They mortally wounded him 5 and then cut off his head. 6 Taking his head, 7 they traveled on the way of the Arabah all that night.
1 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity.
2 tn Heb “and they went, all the Bitron.” The meaning of the Hebrew word “Bitron,” which is used only here in the OT, is disputed. The translation above follows BDB 144 s.v. בִּתְרוֹן in taking the word to be a proper name of an area east of the Jordan. A different understanding was advocated by W. R. Arnold, who took the word to refer to the forenoon or morning; a number of modern scholars and translations have adopted this view (cf. NAB, NASB, NRSV, CEV, NLT). See W. R. Arnold, “The Meaning of בתרון,” AJSL 28 (1911-1912): 274-83. In this case one could translate “and they traveled all morning long.”
3 tn After the concluding disjunctive clause at the end of v. 6, the author now begins a more detailed account of the murder and its aftermath.
4 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Ish-bosheth) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
5 tn Heb “they struck him down and killed him.” The expression is a verbal hendiadys.
6 tn Heb “and they removed his head.” The Syriac Peshitta and Vulgate lack these words.
7 tc The Lucianic Greek recension lacks the words “his head.”