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2 Samuel 21:16-17

21:16 Now Ishbi-Benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, 1  had a spear 2  that weighed three hundred bronze shekels, 3  and he was armed with a new weapon. 4  He had said that he would kill David. 21:17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to David’s aid, striking the Philistine down and killing him. Then David’s men took an oath saying, “You will not go out to battle with us again! You must not extinguish the lamp of Israel!”

1 tn This name has the definite article and may be intended to refer to a group of people rather than a single individual with this name.

2 tn This is the only occurrence of this Hebrew word in the OT. Its precise meaning is therefore somewhat uncertain. As early as the LXX the word was understood to refer to a “spear,” and this seems to be the most likely possibility. Some scholars have proposed emending the text of 2 Sam 21:16 to כוֹבַעוֹ (khovao; “his helmet”), but in spite of the fact that the word “helmet” appears in 1 Sam 17:5, there is not much evidence for reading that word here.

3 tn Either the word “shekels” should be supplied here, or the Hebrew word מִשְׁקַל (mishqal, “weight”) right before “bronze” is a corrupted form of the word for shekel. If the latter is the case the problem probably resulted from another occurrence of the word מִשְׁקַל just four words earlier in the verse.

sn Three hundred bronze shekels would have weighed about 7.5 pounds (3.4 kg).

4 tn The Hebrew text reads simply “a new [thing],” prompting one to ask “A new what?” Several possibilities have been proposed to resolve the problem: perhaps a word has dropped out of the Hebrew text here; or perhaps the word “new” is the result of misreading a different, less common, word; or perhaps a word (e.g., “sword,” so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, CEV, NLT) is simply to be inferred. The translation generally follows the latter possibility, while at the same time being deliberately nonspecific (“weapon”).

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