2Samuel 18

 

וַיִּפְקֹד דָּוִד אֶת־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ וַיָּשֶׂם עֲלֵיהֶם שָׂרֵי אֲלָפִים וְשָׂרֵי מֵאוֹת׃   18:1

2Sam. 18:1   And David counted the people who were with him and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them.

וַיְשַׁלַּח דָּוִד אֶת־הָעָם הַשְּׁלִשִׁית בְּיַד־יוֹאָב וְהַשְּׁלִשִׁית בְּיַד אֲבִישַׁי בֶּן־צְרוּיָה אֲחִי יוֹאָב וְהַשְּׁלִשִׁת   18:2

  בְּיַד אִתַּי הַגִּתִּי וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־הָעָם יָצֹא אֵצֵא גַּם־אֲנִי עִמָּכֶם׃

2Sam. 18:2   And David sent forth the people, one-third in the hand of Joab, and one-third in the hand of Abishai son of Zeruiah, brother of Joab, and one-third in the hand of Ittai, the Gittite.  And the king said to the people, “Surely I also would go forth with you.”

וַיֹּאמֶר הָעָם לֹא תֵצֵא כִּי אִם־נֹס נָנוּס לֹא־יָשִׂימוּ אֵלֵינוּ לֵב וְאִם־יָמֻתוּ חֶצְיֵנוּ לֹא־יָשִׂימוּ אֵלֵינוּ לֵב   18:3 כִּי־עַתָּה כָמֹנוּ עֲשָׂרָה אֲלָפִים וְעַתָּה טוֹב כִּי־תִהְיֶה־לָּנוּ מֵעִיר (לַעְזִיֹר) [לַעְזוֹר]׃

2Sam. 18:3   But the people said, “You shall not go forth, for if we flee away they will not pay any attention to us, and if half of us die they will not pay any attention to us, for now there are ten thousand like us, so this time it is better that you should be for a help from the city for us.”

The word in error in parentheses at the end of the verse is corrected in the brackets.

וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר־יִיטַב בְּעֵינֵיכֶם אֶעֱשֶׂה וַיַּעֲמֹד הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־יַד הַשַּׁעַר וְכָל־הָעָם יָצְאוּ   18:4 לְמֵאוֹת וְלַאֲלָפִים׃

2Sam. 18:4   Then the king said to them, “I will do what will be best in your eyes.”  And the king remained at the side of the gate as all the people went out by hundreds and by thousands.

וַיְצַו הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־יוֹאָב וְאֶת־אֲבִישַׁי וְאֶת־אִתַּי לֵאמֹר לְאַט־לִי לַנַּעַר לְאַבְשָׁלוֹם וְכָל־הָעָם שָׁמְעוּ   18:5

 בְּצַוֺּת הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־כָּל־הַשָּׂרִים עַל־דְּבַר אַבְשָׁלוֹם׃

2Sam. 18:5   And the king bid Joab and Abishai and Ittai saying, “Be gentle to the young man, to Absalom, for me.  And all the people heard the king bidding all the captains about the matter of Absalom.

וַיֵּצֵא הָעָם הַשָּׂדֶה לִקְרַאת יִשְׂרָאֵל וַתְּהִי הַמִּלְחָמָה בְּיַעַר אֶפְרָיִם׃   18:6

2Sam. 18:6   Then the people went forth to the field to meet Israel, and the battle was in the forest of Ephraim.

וַיִּנָּגְפוּ שָׁם עַם יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי עַבְדֵי דָוִד וַתְּהִי־שָׁם הַמַּגֵּפָה גְדוֹלָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא עֶשְׂרִים אָלֶף׃   18:7

2Sam. 18:7   And the people of Israel were smitten there before the servants of David and there was the greatest slaughter on that day, twenty thousand.

וַתְּהִי־שָׁם הַמִּלְחָמָה (נָפֹצֵית) [נָפֹצֶת] עַל־פְּנֵי כָל־הָאָרֶץ וַיֶּרֶב הַיַּעַר לֶאֱכֹל בָּעָם מֵאֲשֶׁר אָכְלָה   18:8 הַחֶרֶב  בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא׃

2Sam. 18:8   And the battle there was scattered over the surface of the entire land, and the forest was more devouring among the people than the sword devoured on that day.

The word in error in parentheses is corrected in the brackets.

וַיִּקָּרֵא אַבְשָׁלוֹם לִפְנֵי עַבְדֵי דָוִד וְאַבְשָׁלוֹם רֹכֵב עַל־הַפֶּרֶד וַיָּבֹא הַפֶּרֶד תַּחַת שׂוֹבֶךְ הָאֵלָה הַגְּדוֹלָה   18:9 וַיֶּחֱזַק רֹאשׁוֹ בָאֵלָה וַיֻּתַּן בֵּין הַשָּׁמַיִם וּבֵין הָאָרֶץ וְהַפֶּרֶד אֲשֶׁר־תַּחְתָּיו עָבָר׃

2Sam. 18:9   And Absalom came before the servants of David, and Absalom was riding on the mule, and the mule came beneath the thick boughs of a great elm tree, and his head caught hold in the tree and he hung between the sky and the ground as the mule that had been under him went on.

וַיַּרְא אִישׁ אֶחָד וַיַּגֵּד לְיוֹאָב וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה רָאִיתִי אֶת־אַבְשָׁלֹם תָּלוּי בָּאֵלָה׃   18:10

2Sam. 18:10   And one man saw and told to Joab and said, “Behold, I saw Absalom hanging up in an elm tree.”

וַיֹּאמֶר יוֹאָב לָאִישׁ הַמַּגִּיד לוֹ וְהִנֵּה רָאִיתָ וּמַדּוּעַ לֹא־הִכִּיתוֹ שָׁם אָרְצָה וְעָלַי לָתֶת לְךָ עֲשָׂרָה כֶסֶף   18:11 וַחֲגֹרָה אֶחָת׃

2Sam. 18:11   And Joab said to the man who told to him, “And behold, you saw, so why did you not smite him there to the ground?  Then it would have been on me to give to you ten pieces of silver and one girdle.”

וַיֹּאמֶר הָאִישׁ אֶל־יוֹאָב (וְלֹא) [וְלוּא] אָנֹכִי שֹׁקֵל עַל־כַּפַּי אֶלֶף כֶּסֶף לֹא־אֶשְׁלַח יָדִי אֶל־בֶּן־הַמֶּלֶךְ  18:12 כִּי בְאָזְנֵינוּ צִוָּה הַמֶּלֶךְ אֹתְךָ וְאֶת־אֲבִישַׁי וְאֶת־אִתַּי לֵאמֹר שִׁמְרוּ־מִי בַּנַּעַר בְּאַבְשָׁלוֹם׃

2Sam. 18:12   But the man said to Joab, “Even if I were paid a thousand pieces of silver in my hand, I would not have extended my hand against the son of the king, for in our hearing the king charged you and Abishai and Ittai saying, “Whoever is on the young man, on Absalom, wait.”

The word in parentheses has a dubious spelling error, but is nevertheless corrected in the brackets.

אוֹ־עָשִׂיתִי (בְנַפְשׁוֹ) [בְנַפְשִׁי] שֶׁקֶר כָל־דָּבָר לֹא־יִכָּחֵד מִן־הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאַתָּה תִּתְיַצֵּב מִנֶּגֶד׃   18:13

2Sam. 18:13   “If I had dealt with his life deceitfully, and the whole matter would not be hidden from the king, then you would have placed yourself at a distance.”

The word in parentheses in this verse is even more dubious as to its being in error.  Other translations have If I dealt with my life deceitfully, thereby claiming the error.  I fail to see why that is a better translation than the one I provide.  Nevertheless I show the alleged correction in the brackets.

וַיֹּאמֶר יוֹאָב לֹא־כֵן אֹחִילָה לְפָנֶיךָ וַיִּקַּח שְׁלֹשָׁה שְׁבָטִים בְּכַפּוֹ וַיִּתְקָעֵם בְּלֵב אַבְשָׁלוֹם עוֹדֶנּוּ חַי   18:14 בְּלֵב הָאֵלָה׃

2Sam. 18:14   Then Joab said, “It is not right I should tarry before you.”  And he took three darts in his hand and thrust them into the heart of Absalom while he was still alive in the midst of the elm tree.

וַיָּסֹבּוּ עֲשָׂרָה נְעָרִים נֹשְׂאֵי כְּלֵי יוֹאָב וַיַּכּוּ אֶת־אַבְשָׁלוֹם וַיְמִיתֻהוּ׃   18:15

2Sam. 18:15   And ten young men, bearers of the armor of Joab, surrounded and smote Absalom and slew him.

וַיִּתְקַע יוֹאָב בַּשֹּׁפָר וַיָּשָׁב הָעָם מִרְדֹף אַחֲרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי־חָשַׂךְ יוֹאָב אֶת־הָעָם׃   18:16

2Sam. 18:16   Then Joab sounded on the horn, and when Joab held back the people, the people turned back from chasing after Israel.

וַיִּקְחוּ אֶת־אַבְשָׁלוֹם וַיַּשְׁלִיכוּ אֹתוֹ בַיַּעַר אֶל־הַפַּחַת הַגָּדוֹל וַיַּצִּבוּ עָלָיו גַּל־אֲבָנִים גָּדוֹל מְאֹד   18:17 וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל נָסוּ אִישׁ (לְאֹהֵלוֹ) [לְאֹהָלָיו]׃

2Sam. 18:17   And they took Absalom and threw him in the forest into a large pit and raised up a pile of very huge stones over him as all Israel fled each to his tent.

The misspelled word in parentheses at the end of this verse is corrected with the addition of a yad in the brackets.

וְאַבְשָׁלֹם לָקַח וַיַּצֶּב־לוֹ (בְחַיָו) [בְחַיָּיו] אֶת־מַצֶּבֶת אֲשֶׁר בְּעֵמֶק־הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי אָמַר אֵין־לִי בֵן בַּעֲבוּר   18:18 הַזְכִּיר שְׁמִי וַיִּקְרָא לַמַּצֶּבֶת עַל־שְׁמוֹ וַיִּקָּרֵא לָהּ יַד אַבְשָׁלֹם עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה׃

2Sam. 18:18   Now Absalom had taken and raised up for himself in his life a pillar that is in the valley of the king, for he thought, “There is not a son for me to continue the memory of my name.” And he gave the name to the pillar after his own name, and the name of it is the work of Absalom until this day.

This is odd. In 2Sam. 14:27 we were told that Absalom had three sons (and one daughter).  Apparently the three sons had died.

The misspelled word in parentheses in this verse is also corrected with the addition of a yad in the brackets.

וַאֲחִימַעַץ בֶּן־צָדוֹק אָמַר אָרוּצָה נָּא וַאֲבַשְּׂרָה אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי־שְׁפָטוֹ יְהוָה מִיַּד אֹיְבָיו׃   18:19

2Sam. 18:19   Then Achimaaz son of Zadok said, “I will run now and inform the king that the Lord has defended him from the hand of his enemies.”

וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ יוֹאָב לֹא אִישׁ בְּשֹׂרָה אַתָּה הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה וּבִשַּׂרְתָּ בְּיוֹם אַחֵר וְהַיּוֹם הַזֶּה לֹא תְבַשֵּׂר   18:20

 כִּי־עַל־  ) [עַל־כֵּן] בֶּן־הַמֶּלֶךְ מֵת׃

2Sam. 18:20   But Joab said to him, “You shall not be a man of good tidings this day, but you shall bear tidings on another day, so this day you will not bear tidings, because the son of the king has died on it.

The two words before the left parenthesis in this verse seem to be missing two letters (space shown) and the first word of the two seems to be superfluous.   The apparent error is corrected in the brackets.

וַיֹּאמֶר יוֹאָב לַכּוּשִׁי לֵךְ הַגֵּד לַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר רָאִיתָה וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ כוּשִׁי לְיוֹאָב וַיָּרֹץ׃   18:21

2Sam. 18:21   And Joab said to a Cushite, “Go tell to the king what you have seen.”  And the Cushite bowed to Joab and ran away.

וַיֹּסֶף עוֹד אֲחִימַעַץ בֶּן־צָדוֹק וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־יוֹאָב וִיהִי מָה אָרֻצָה־נָּא גַם־אָנִי אַחֲרֵי הַכּוּשִׁי וַיֹּאמֶר   18:22 יוֹאָב לָמָּה־זֶּה אַתָּה רָץ בְּנִי וּלְכָה אֵין־בְּשׂוֹרָה מֹצֵאת׃

2Sam. 18:22   Then Achimaaz son of Zadok continued yet and said to Joab, “But whatever happens, let me run, I pray you, also behind the Cushite.”  And Joab said, “Why is it you run, my son, as there is no reward forthcoming for this for the tidings.”

וִיהִי־מָה אָרוּץ וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ רוּץ וַיָּרָץ אֲחִימַעַץ דֶּרֶךְ הַכִּכָּר וַיַּעֲבֹר אֶת־הַכּוּשִׁי׃   18:23

2Sam. 18:23   “But whatever happens, I will run.”  And he said to him, “Run.”  Then Achimaaz ran by way of the plain and passed beyond the Cushite.

וְדָוִד יוֹשֵׁב בֵּין־שְׁנֵי הַשְּׁעָרִים וַיֵּלֶךְ הַצֹּפֶה אֶל־גַּג הַשַּׁעַר אֶל־הַחוֹמָה וַיִּשָּׂא אֶת־עֵינָיו וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה־   18:24 אִישׁ רָץ לְבַדּוֹ׃

2Sam. 18:24   Now David was sitting between the two gates when the watchman went to the roof of the gate, to the wall, and lifted his eyes and looked and behold, a man was running by himself.

וַיִּקְרָא הַצֹּפֶה וַיַּגֵּד לַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אִם־לְבַדּוֹ בְּשׂוֹרָה בְּפִיו וַיֵּלֶךְ הָלוֹךְ וְקָרֵב׃   18:25

2Sam. 18:25   Then the watchman called and announced to the king.  And the king said, “If he is by himself, tidings are in his mouth.”  So he came quickly and drew near.

וַיַּרְא הַצֹּפֶה אִישׁ־אַחֵר רָץ וַיִּקְרָא הַצֹּפֶה אֶל־הַשֹּׁעֵר וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה־אִישׁ רָץ לְבַדּוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ   18:26 גַּם־זֶה מְבַשֵּׂר׃

2Sam. 18:26   Then the watchman saw another man running and the watchman called to the porter and said, “Behold, a man is running by himself.”  And the king said, “This is also about tidings.”

וַיֹּאמֶר הַצֹּפֶה אֲנִי רֹאֶה אֶת־מְרוּצַת הָרִאשׁוֹן כִּמְרֻצַת אֲחִימַעַץ בֶּן־צָדוֹק וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אִישׁ־טוֹב   18:27 זֶה וְאֶל־בְּשׂוֹרָה טוֹבָה יָבוֹא׃

2Sam. 18:27   And the watchman said, “I think the first is running like the running of Achimaaz son of Zadok.”  And the king said, “A good man is this, and is coming to bring good tidings.”

וַיִּקְרָא אֲחִימַעַץ וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ שָׁלוֹם וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ לַמֶּלֶךְ לְאַפָּיו אָרְצָה וַיֹּאמֶר בָּרוּךְ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ   18:28

  אֲשֶׁר סִגַּר אֶת־הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר־נָשְׂאוּ אֶת־יָדָם בַּאדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

2Sam. 18:28   And Achimaaz called and said to the king, “Peace.”  And he bowed to the king putting his face to the ground, and said, “Blessed is the Lord, your God, Who gave over the men who lifted their hand against my lord, the king.

וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ שָׁלוֹם לַנַּעַר לְאַבְשָׁלוֹם וַיֹּאמֶר אֲחִימַעַץ רָאִיתִי הֶהָמוֹן הַגָּדוֹל לִשְׁלֹחַ אֶת־עֶבֶד   18:29

  הַמֶּלֶךְ יוֹאָב וְאֶת־עַבְדֶּךָ וְלֹא יָדַעְתִּי מָה׃

2Sam. 18:29   And the king said, “Is it well with the young man, with Absalom?  And Achimaaz said, “I saw a great tumult when Joab sent the servant of the king and your servant, but I did not know what it was.”

וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ סֹב הִתְיַצֵּב כֹּה וַיִּסֹּב וַיַּעֲמֹד׃   18:30

2Sam. 18:30   And the king said, “Step aside, stand here.”  And he turned aside and stood.

וְהִנֵּה הַכּוּשִׁי בָּא וַיֹּאמֶר הַכּוּשִׁי יִתְבַּשֵּׂר אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי־שְׁפָטְךָ יְהוָה הַיּוֹם מִיַּד כָּל־הַקָּמִים עָלֶיךָ׃   18:31

2Sam. 18:31   Then behold, the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, “There are tidings, my lord, O king, for the Lord has defended you today from the hand of all who rose up against you.”

וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־הַכּוּשִׁי הֲשָׁלוֹם לַנַּעַר לְאַבְשָׁלוֹם וַיֹּאמֶר הַכּוּשִׁי יִהְיוּ כַנַּעַר אֹיְבֵי אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ וְכֹל   18:32 אֲשֶׁר־קָמוּ עָלֶיךָ לְרָעָה׃

2Sam. 18:32   Then the king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man, with Absalom?”  And the Cushite said, “The enemies of my lord, the king, should be like the young man and all who rise up against you for harm.”

What a gentle, considerate, and diplomatic answer!  Was the Cushite concerned for his life if he were to have said it more directly?  If he knew what David did to those who brought him bad news, I wouldn’t be surprised by his choice of words.

 

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