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2 Samuel 2:14-17

Context
2:14 Abner said to Joab, “Let the soldiers get up and fight 1  before us.” Joab said, “So be it!” 2 

2:15 So they got up and crossed over by number: twelve belonging to Benjamin and to Ish-bosheth son of Saul, and twelve from the servants of David. 2:16 As they grappled with one another, each one stabbed his opponent with his sword and they fell dead together. 3  So that place is called the Field of Flints; 4  it is in Gibeon.

2:17 Now the battle was very severe that day; Abner and the men of Israel were overcome by David’s soldiers. 5 

1 tn Heb “play.” What is in view here is a gladiatorial contest in which representative groups of soldiers engage in mortal combat before the watching armies. Cf. NAB “perform for us”; NASB “hold (have NRSV) a contest before us”; NLT “put on an exhibition of hand-to-hand combat.”

2 tn Heb “let them arise.”

3 tn Heb “and they grabbed each one the head of his neighbor with his sword in the side of his neighbor and they fell together.”

4 tn The meaning of the name “Helkath Hazzurim” (so NIV; KJV, NASB, NRSV similar) is not clear. BHK relates the name to the Hebrew term for “side,” and this is reflected in NAB “the Field of the Sides”; the Greek OT revocalizes the Hebrew to mean something like “Field of Adversaries.” Cf. also TEV, NLT “Field of Swords”; CEV “Field of Daggers.”

5 tn Heb “servants.” So also elsewhere.



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