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2 Samuel 5:6-9

Context
David Occupies Jerusalem

5:6 Then the king and his men advanced to Jerusalem 1  against the Jebusites who lived in the land. The Jebusites 2  said to David, “You cannot invade this place! Even the blind and the lame will turn you back, saying, ‘David cannot invade this place!’”

5:7 But David captured the fortress of Zion (that is, the city of David). 5:8 David said on that day, “Whoever attacks the Jebusites must approach the ‘lame’ and the ‘blind’ who are David’s enemies 3  by going through the water tunnel.” 4  For this reason it is said, “The blind and the lame cannot enter the palace.” 5 

5:9 So David lived in the fortress and called it the City of David. David built all around it, from the terrace inwards.

1 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

2 tn The Hebrew text has “he” rather than “the Jebusites.” The referent has been specified in the translation for clarity. In the Syriac Peshitta and some mss of the Targum the verb is plural rather than singular.

3 tc There is some confusion among the witnesses concerning this word. The Kethib is the Qal perfect 3cp שָׂנְאוּ (sanÿu, “they hated”), referring to the Jebusites’ attitude toward David. The Qere is the Qal passive participle construct plural שְׂנֻאֵי (sÿnue, “hated”), referring to David’s attitude toward the Jebusites. 4QSama has the Qal perfect 3rd person feminine singular שָׂנְאָה (sanÿah, “hated”), the subject of which would be “the soul of David.” The difference is minor and the translation adopted above works for either the Kethib or the Qere.

4 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term has been debated. For a survey of various views, see P. K. McCarter, II Samuel (AB), 139-40.

sn If a water tunnel is in view here, it is probably the so-called Warren’s Shaft that extends up from Hezekiah’s tunnel. It would have provided a means for surprise attack against the occupants of the city of David. The LXX seems not to understand the reference here, translating “by the water shaft” as “with a small knife.”

5 tn Heb “the house.” TEV takes this as a reference to the temple (“the Lord’s house”).



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