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(1.00) (Jdg 9:31)

tn The form בְּתָרְמָה (betormah) in the Hebrew text, which occurs only here, has traditionally been understood to mean “secretly” or “with deception.” If this is correct, it is derived from II רָמָה (ramah, “to deceive”). Some interpreters object, pointing out that this would imply Zebul was trying to deceive Abimelech, which is clearly not the case in this context. But this objection is unwarranted. If retained, the phrase would refer instead to deceptive measures used by Zebul to avoid the suspicion of Gaal when he dispatched the messengers from Shechem. The present translation assumes an emendation to “in Arumah” (בָּארוּמָה, baʾrumah), a site mentioned in v. 41 as the headquarters of Abimelech. Confusion of ʾalef and tav in archaic Hebrew script, while uncommon, is certainly not unimaginable.

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