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1 Samuel 3:13

3:13 You 1  should tell him that I am about to judge his house forever because of 2  the sin that he knew about. For his sons were cursing God, 3  and he did not rebuke them.

1 Samuel 17:43

17:43 The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you are coming after me with sticks?” 4  Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

1 tc The MT has וְהִגַּדְתִּי לוֹ (vÿhiggadti lo). The verb is Hiphil perfect 1st person common singular, and apparently the conjunction should be understood as vav consecutive (“I will say to him”). But the future reference makes more sense if Samuel is the subject. This would require dropping the final י (yod) and reading the 2nd person masculine singular וְהִגַּדְתָּ (vÿhiggadta). Although there is no external evidence to support it, this reading has been adopted in the present translation. The alternative is to understand the MT to mean “I said to him,” but for this we would expect the preterite with vav consecutive.

2 tn The translation understands the preposition to have a causal sense. However, the preposition could also be understood as the beth pretii, indicating in a broad sense the price attached to this action. So GKC 380 §119.p.

3 tc The translation follows the LXX θεόν (qeon, “God”) rather than the MT לָהֶם (lahem, “to them”). The MT seems to mean “they were bringing a curse on themselves” (cf. ASV, NASB). But this meaning is problematic in part because the verb qll means “to curse,” not “to bring a curse on,” and in part because it takes an accusative object rather than the equivalent of a dative. This is one of the so-called tiqqune sopherim, or “emendations of the scribes.” Why would the ancient copyists alter the original statement about Eli’s sons cursing God to the less objectionable statement that they brought a curse on themselves? Some argue that the scribes were concerned that such a direct and blasphemous affront against God could occur without an immediate response of judgment from God. Therefore they changed the text by deleting two letters א and י (alef and yod) from the word for “God,” with the result that the text then read “to them.” If this ancient scribal claim is accepted as accurate, it implies that the MT here is secondary. The present translation follows the LXX (κακολογοῦντες θεόν, kakologounte" qeon) and a few mss of the Old Latin in reading “God” rather than the MT “to them.” Cf. also NAB, NRSV, NLT.

4 sn Sticks is a pejorative reference to David’s staff (v. 40); the same Hebrew word (מַקֵּל, maqqel) is used for both.

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