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1 Samuel 6:19-20

Context

6:19 But the Lord 1  struck down some of the people of Beth Shemesh because they had looked into the ark of the Lord; he struck down 50,070 2  of the men. The people grieved because the Lord had struck the people with a hard blow. 6:20 The residents of Beth Shemesh asked, “Who is able to stand before the Lord, this holy God? To whom will the ark 3  go up from here?”

1 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tc The number 50,070 is surprisingly large, although it finds almost unanimous textual support in the MT and in the ancient versions. Only a few medieval Hebrew mss lack “50,000,” reading simply “70” instead. However, there does not seem to be sufficient external evidence to warrant reading 70 rather than 50,070, although that is done by a number of recent translations (e.g., NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT). The present translation (reluctantly) follows the MT and the ancient versions here.

3 tn Heb “he” or “it”; the referent here (the ark) has been specified in the translation for clarity (cf. also NIV, CEV, NLT). Others, however, take the referent to be the Lord himself.



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