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2 Kings 11:6-7

Context
11:6 Another third of you will be stationed at the Foundation 1  Gate. Still another third of you will be stationed at the gate behind the royal guard. 2  You will take turns guarding the palace. 3  11:7 The two units who are off duty on the Sabbath will guard the Lord’s temple and protect the king. 4 

1 tn Heb “the gate of Sur” (followed by many English versions) but no such gate is mentioned elsewhere in the OT. The parallel account in 2 Chr 23:5 has “Foundation Gate.” סוּר (sur), “Sur,” may be a corruption of יְסוֹד (yÿsod) “foundation,” involving in part dalet-resh confusion.

2 tn Heb “the runners.”

3 tn The meaning of מַסָּח (massakh) is not certain. The translation above, rather than understanding it as a genitive modifying “house,” takes it as an adverb describing how the groups will guard the palace. See HALOT 605 s.v. מַסָּח for the proposed meaning “alternating” (i.e., “in turns”).

4 tn Verses 5b-7 read literally, “the third of you, the ones entering [on] the Sabbath and the ones guarding the guard of the house of the king, and the third in the gate of Sur, and the third in the gate behind the runners, and you will guard the guard of the house, alternating. And the two units of you, all the ones going out [on] the Sabbath, and they will guard the guard of the house of the Lord for the king.” The precise meaning of this text is impossible to determine. It would appear that the Carians and royal bodyguard were divided into three units. One unit would serve during the Sabbath; the other two would be off duty on the Sabbath. Jehoiada divided the first unit into three groups and assigned them different locations. The two off duty units were assigned the task of guarding the king.



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