1 In the spring, at the time when kings normally conduct wars,tn Heb “and it was at the time of the turning of the year, at the time of the going out of kings.” Joab led the army into battle and devastated the land of the Ammonites. He went and besieged Rabbah, while David stayed in Jerusalem. Joab defeated Rabbah and tore it down.
2 David took the crown from the head of their kingtc The translation follows the MT, which reads “of their king”; the LXX and Vulgate read “of Milcom” (cf. 1 Kgs 11:5). Milcom, also known as Molech, was the god of the Ammonites. and wore ittn Heb “and it was on the head of David.” (its weight was a talentsn See the note on the word “talents” in 19:6. of gold and it was set with precious stones). He took a large amount of plunder from the city.
3 He removed the city’s residents and made them do hard labor with saws, iron picks, and axes.tc The Hebrew text reads “saws,” but since saws were just mentioned, it is preferable to emend מְגֵרוֹת (mÿgerot, “saws”) to מַגְזְרוֹת (magzÿrot, “axes”). This was his policytn Heb “and so he would do.” with all the Ammonite cities. Then David and all the army returned to Jerusalem.
Battles with the Philistines
4 Later there was a battletn Heb “battle stood.” with the Philistines in Gezer.tn The parallel text in 2 Sam 21:18 identifies this site as “Gob.” At that time Sibbekai the Hushathite killed Sippai,tn The parallel text in 2 Sam 21:18 has the variant spelling “Saph.” one of the descendants of the Rephaim, and the Philistinestn Heb “they”; the referent (the Philistines) has been specified in the translation for clarity. were subdued.
5 There was another battle with the Philistines in which Elhanan son of Jair the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite,tc The Hebrew text reads, “Elchanan son of Jair killed Lachmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite.” But it is likely that the accusative marker in front of לַחְמִי (lakhmiy, “Lachmi”) is a corruption of בֵּית (bet), and that אֶת־לַחְמִי (’et-lakhmiy) should be emended to בֵּית הַלַּחְמִי (bet hallakhmiy, “the Bethlehemite”). See 2 Sam 21:19. whose spear had a shaft as big as the crossbeam of a weaver’s loom.tc See tc note on the parallel passage in 2 Sam 21:19.
6 In a battle in Gathtn Heb “and there was another battle, in Gath.” there was a large man who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot – twenty-four in all! He too was a descendant of Rapha.
7 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimea,tn The parallel text in 2 Sam 21:21 has the variant spelling “Shimeah.” David’s brother, killed him.
8 These were the descendants of Rapha who lived in Gath; they were killedtn Heb “they fell.” by the hand of David and his soldiers.tn Heb “his servants.”
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