1 tc The MT reads the enigmatic אֱהִי (’ehi, “I want to be [your king]”; apocopated Qal imperfect 1st person common singular from הָיָה, hayah, “to be”) which makes little sense and conflicts with the 3rd person masculine singular form in the dependent clause: “that he might save you” (וְיוֹשִׁיעֲךָ, vÿyoshi’akha). All the versions (Greek, Syriac, Vulgate) read the interrogative particle אַיֵּה (’ayyeh, “where?”) which the BHS editors endorse. The textual corruption was caused by metathesis of the י (yod) and ה (hey). Few English versions follow the MT: “I will be thy/your king” (KJV, NKJV). Most recent English versions follow the ancient versions in reading “Where is your king?” (ASV, RSV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NJPS, CEV, NLT).
2 tn The repetition of the phrase “Where are…?” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the parallelism in the preceding lines. It is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and for stylistic reasons.
3 tn The prefix-conjugation verb אֶתֶּן (’eten, “I gave”) refers to past-time action, specifying a definite past event (the enthronement of Saul); therefore, this should be classified as a preterite. While imperfects are occasionally used in reference to past-time events, they depict repeated action in the past. See IBHS 502-4 §31.2 and 510-14 §31.6.