20:20 Joab answered, “Get serious! 2 I don’t want to swallow up or destroy anything!
1 tn Heb “a city and a mother.” The expression is a hendiadys, meaning that this city was an important one in Israel and had smaller cities dependent on it.
2 tn Heb “Far be it, far be it from me.” The expression is clearly emphatic, as may be seen in part by the repetition. P. K. McCarter, however, understands it to be coarser than the translation adopted here. He renders it as “I’ll be damned if…” (II Samuel [AB], 426, 429), which (while it is not a literal translation) may not be too far removed from the way a soldier might have expressed himself.