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By M. H. Segal, Oxford. 


Some Notes on the Text. 1 

I. I. 6. BUDDE capriciously deletes this verse, and also 
rOD' l J»n p in ver. 7, thereby robbing the story of much of its 
humaneness and picturesqueness. As a matter of fact the 
provocation by Peninah is intended by the narrator as an 
explanation of the excessive grief displayed by Hannah. The 
phraseology of this verse is referred to again in ver. 16 b. 

7. I would suggest that W is used here as an 
impersonal verb in the sense of nTi ' to happen '. This 
would enable us to retain Wi{>V of the MT which rightly 
makes both clauses of the verse refer to Hannah. 

8. The critics accept the addition of LXX in the verse 
and read . . . rsan neb nb loan Mix urn )b "lowii run. ' The 
clause is . . . according to 3,4, 5, 6, 8, 16 characteristic of the 
narrative ' (Budde in his Notes to his Polychrome text in 
Haupt's SBOT., p. 5a). But the response yjn is generally 
used, as in the examples cited from ch. 3, only in answer 
to a call from some distance, and is altogether unsuitable 
here, where Elkanah and Hannah sat at the same table 
and probably side by side. The addition in LXX is merely 
an expansion by the translator similar to the expansion 
in vv. 5, 6. 

J!T is certainly correct. Cf. the opposite lb 31t3, 25. 36; 

1 Cf. vol. IX, pp. 43 ff. 


II 13. 28, &c. The reading of LXX "p* (tvttt€i ere), which 
H. P. Smith (p. 8) prefers, can only mean : ' why art thou 
remorseful?' (cf. 34. 6, and Driver's note here), viz. for 
her sins, on account of which God had presumably denied 
her children. But whereas Elkanah could see by her sad 
looks that she was grieved at heart, how could he have 
divined that her grief was due to remorse ? 

16. Targum, Rashi, and Kimhi refer byhz r)3 to 
Peninah, and interpret fnn ba 'Give me not up for a re- 
proach ' (D^an vb). But the narrator would no doubt have 
expressed the idea rather differently, or would have at least 
added the necessary complement rtaini> (cf. Joel %. 17 ; and 
see Driver's note). 

18. Budde and others accept the conflate text of LXX : 
bwn nrDB^n Nam vavb vms\ ^m. But if Hannah went 
only as far as the raw, which must have been attached 
to the sanctuary, the narrator would not have described it 
as n3Tb lbr\) ' she went away '. 

For vn LXX has <rvveire<rev, which is probably a para- 
phrase reminiscent of Gen. 4. 5, 6. The phrase in MT, 
though without parallel elsewhere, may nevertheless be as 
genuine a Hebrew idiom as the very rare expression in 
Gen. 4. 6. Klostermann and Budde read n^an, citing 
Jer. 3. \%. But there the phrase means 'to display vindic- 
tive anger against somebody', a sense quite unsuitable here. 

%%. The traditional pointing ns*ui as a NipKal here 
and elsewhere, wherever this ritual expression occurs, has 
been vindicated by Schorr (Monatschrift filr Geschichte u. 
Wissenschaft d. Judentums, 1909, p. 438 f.). The pointing 
of this verb as a lzal is here entirely excluded by the fact 
that the construction demands the perfect consecutive tense, 
like the preceding and following verbs. 


2. 1-10. The Song of Hannah. 

1. For Y*?V Targum has sppn, and LXX earepedoOt], 
and Peshitta ^x . This points to an original reading f DK, 
which seems preferable to the MT pv. For '3? pet? forms a 
better parallel to y-lp HDI and <B 3m than »a!> pity. Similarly 
in the conclusion of the poem we have the idea of strength 
made parallel to the exaltation of the horn : W JM \\ ]~\p DT"i. 
Further, »3^ }6y does not form a logical antecedent to 
TITOC "O, since the ideas of the two clauses are practically- 
identical. Cf. also Aptowitzer, Das Schriftwort in der 
rabbinischen Literatur, II, 4. For the second mrpa we 
should read T&X3, as in many MSS. LXX and Vulg. 
Cf. Aptowitzer, I, 37. 

2. I suspect that irra ptf »3 is a gloss. The line is 
one word shorter than the other lines of the poem. Further, 
the statement is inconsistent with the rest of the verse. For 
if there is no existence besides God, it is impossible to 
institute a comparison between Him and any other being. 
Again, with the exception of "[T\])Wl in ver. 1, God is through- 
out the poem spoken of in the third person. The clause 
must have been originally an ejaculation of some pious 
reader, written in the margin, and directed against the 
false inference which might be drawn from the poet's 
words that there may be in existence a holy being or 
a 'rock', though not of the same exalted holiness or 
strength as God Himself. 

3. The second nmj should be deleted as a ditto- 
graphy, which renders the line too long. 

5. Since J. Reifman iy has been rightly joined to the 
preceding verb, thus giving the line the same number of 
words as most other lines of the poem. This *1J? is usually 
emended into "QJ!. I think 351 would be more suitable. 


10. I accept Budde's excellent emendation of DW3 1^J? 
Qjn; into Of 1 ' 'V2 Wbv. The last two lines of the poem 
IfWD . , . J1V1 are a later liturgical addition, suggested by 
the first two lines (ver. I a /3 y. 2 So already Cheyne, 
Origin of the Psalter, p. 57. The poem, though almost 
wholly of a didactic nature, may have been employed in 
the liturgy at an early period, when a prayer was added 
to it for the prosperity of the king. 

We are now in a position to determine the form and 
construction of our poem. The poem consists of four 
strophes. Strophe I has two verses, the first a tetrastich 
of which the first three lines are synonymous, and the 
fourth synthetic (ver. i),and the second a distich of synony- 
mous lines (ver. 2). Strophe II has three verses. The first 
verse is a tetrastich in which the first line is synonymous 
to the second line, the third line synonymous to the fourth 
line, the second couplet being synthetic to the first couplet 
(ver. 3). The second verse is a tetrastich in which the 
first line is antithetical to the second line, the third line 
antithetical to the fourth line, the first couplet being 
synonymous to the second couplet (vv. 4-5 a). The third 
verse is a distich of antithetical lines. Strophe III has 
also three verses. The first verse is a tetrastich in which 
the first line is synonymous to the second, and the third 
synonymous to the fourth line, the first couplet being 
synonymous to the second couplet (vv. 6-7). The second 
verse is likewise a tetrastich of synonymous lines, but the 
second couplet is synthetic to the first couplet (ver. 8 a). 
The last verse is, like the last verse in the two previous 
strophes, a distich, the lines of which are, however, synthetic 
(ver. 8 b). Strophe IV consists, like strophe I, of but two 

2 Cf. this Review, vol. VI, p. 557 (§ 34)- 



verses, with this difference, that both verses are tristichs. 
In the first verse the first line is antithetical to the second 
line, and both are synthetic to the third line (ver. 9). In 
the second verse the first line is synonymous to the second 
line, and the third line is recapitulatory (ver. 10 a). The 
lines in the poem are throughout trimetric with the excep- 
tion of the last line in each of the two verses in strophe IV, 
which has four stresses. 

We will now set out the whole text of the poem 
arranged in accordance with this description : 

III. I. 

n*noi rv»BD mrp 1. 
5>m hw? Trnn 
-wj?di ■pnio mm 
.Dono *|N ^ytxro 

hi isjid a*po 2. 
jn» an* nacw 
o*a**u av ywb 
.nbny maa NDai 

pK *pvo nirr6-*a 3- 
,i>an onby nw 


■w lTDn br\ 1. 
idt 1 nsrna awn 
.mt naj* naa K^a 

ono inn* mn* 2. 
Dp; awa }i*i»j> 
•pn 'dsn p* mn*- 

la^ob >y in**.] 
.[*.rwD pp dti 

VOL. X. 

nin*a *a^> pes 1. 
*n!>&a *np mn 
*a*»rS>j» *s am 
.•jnjw*a *nn>:t? *3 

nin*a tr.-p 
[in^a pN *a] 

.13-n^Na iix }*ki 


(nnaa) nnaa nann mn-^N 1. 
aa-SD pnv nv* 
itin* mm i«"*a 
.m&j? uana ih 

a'nn ana: nt?p 2. 
^n nm a^aai 
nacw an^a a*jne> 
.(?)33?-i lhn d*3jtii 

nyat? mi>* mpy 3. 
,n^DN B'33 nam 


2. 29. LXX offers no justification for the curious reading 
of some critics : pijjo TV1V . . . noan noi> . The phrase 
pj)D B'an has no parallel elsewhere, and is altogether un- 
Hebraic. The original Hebrew of the LXX was the same 
as in MT, only in some disorder. lByan the translator read 
as D'Ofl, and }1))» VMS (*ltJ»K) as the familiar py "V. 

36. For ynBD LXX has Trapapi^rov, evidently con- 
necting it with rVBD (Lev. 25. 5), 'seed poured out 
involuntarily '. 

4. 2. For CDD1 many moderns read after LXX (k. ticXivev) 
oni. But the expression is not found elsewhere, and it 
conveys no intelligible idea. The MT is no doubt correct. 
The verb may, perhaps, be taken in an intransitive sense 
as suggested by R. Jonah Ibn Janah in his Book of Roots 
(Hebrew edition by W. Bacher, p. 303) : ' the battle spread 
itself out '. It is better to take it in a transitive sense with 
an implicit object, viz. the warriors, as correctly para- 
phrased by Targum, Knp nay 1B»0*iK1. Cf. the passive 
and reflexive applied to warriors in 30. 16, and II 5. 18, 22 ; 
Judges 15. 9 with the Targum ad loc. 

7. The original reading seems to have been (lKa=)75 
'»n bti nnbx 0>r\b». The word Brr5*t dropped out from 
MT through haplography (Drpfo = DVife). The fear of 
the Philistines was not due to the mere fact that the Deity 
had come to the scene of battle, but rather to the fact that 
the Deity had come to the Israelites, and not to them. 
The conflate reading which some moderns derive from 
LXX : 'on hi* on^K iso nn*rbtt rbx is certainly wrong. The 
question of the Philistines was not 'What is the Ark?' 
that the answer should be ' These are their gods who have 
come unto them.' The question was, ' What is the cause 
of the great shout ? ' (ver. 6 a), and to this they have already 


received an answer in ver. 6 b. The reading ttr&K as in MT 
is supported by ver. 8. This does not necessarily mean in 
the mouth of the Philistines the absolute ' God ', but merely 
a god. Further, we have to remember that we are really 
dealing with the words of a Hebrew writer, though they 
are ascribed to the Philistines. (0 debs) airmv in LXX, L 
is probably a scribal addition, while n?N (o$toi or ovros) is 
probably merely a dittography of DVita . 

8. "mD3 is difficult. Perhaps the narrator put it 
deliberately into the mouth of the Philistines to show 
their ignorance. The emendation 13131 cannot be right, 
since rDD bl2 includes also "131. It is to be noted that 
R. Isaiah and Ralbag would read "I31D3T, as in LXX 
and Pesh. 

13. The correct reading is with all moderns "iJ>B>n t!> 
■pin HSSD as in LXX ; cf. also Targum here with Targum 
in II 18. 4. See Driver's note ad loc. H. P. Smith 
(ibid. 35) asserts that the gate meant is the gate of the 
Sanctuary (cf. 1.9): for, if it was the gate of the city, 
then Eli would have received the tidings before the people 
within the city. But this shows a total misunderstanding 
of our passage. The repetition of the verb in this verse 
(N3 . . . Wl) indicates that at his entry into the city the 
messenger saw Eli sitting and anxiously watching by the 
roadside for news (. . . rum N3 ,| l). But the messenger 
evidently had not the heart to break the sad news to the 
old priest, and so he passed him by and went into the 
city (. . . N3 t?wn). Eli, however, had not seen the man 
owing to his blindness (ver. 15). But when he had inquired 
for the cause of the outcry in the city, then the messenger 
hastened back to bring him the tidings. It will thus be 
seen that the parenthetical ver. 15 is necessary to the under- 

P 2 


standing of the narrative, and is therefore an original part 
of the text. 

16. Wellhausen (Composition*, 371) thinks that ver.i6a 
contains a doublet. The truth is that the repetition is an 
original part of the narrative, and is intended to indicate 
the great excitement of the speaker, who had to repeat his 
words in order to make his meaning clear. This shows the 
consummate art of our narrator. We may note further the 
wonderful vividness of the whole passage, the nervous and 
rapid movement of the sentences, the effective use of the 
circumstantial clause, the variety and change of the tenses, 
and, finally, the artistic gradation of the events, leading 
up to a climax at the end of the passage. 

18. jrwil. This verb seems to be intended to convey 
the idea that the birth throes came on suddenly without 
preparation or the aid of a midwife, even like the childbirth 
of wild animals ; cf. Job 39. 3. 

21. The subject of Nlpni is the mother, as of noxni in 
the next verse. Had the subject been, as the moderns 
hold, the women around her, the writer would no doubt 
have said nj&nprn as in Ruth 4.17 b. To argue from ver. 20 b, 
as H. P. Smith (p. 36) does, that the mother had already 
become unconscious, is to misapprehend the meaning of the 
narrator. What he means to convey is that the mother 
was so overwhelmed by the sense of Israel's calamity that 
even so joyful an event as the birth of a son could not 
distract her mind from the contemplation of the national 

6. 2. Rashi correctly interprets ncn — pjy nwa ' in what 
manner?'; so Vulg. : quomodot cf. Judges 16. 3. If the 
Philistines had known that they had to send back the Ark 
accompanied with a gift, and only asked what the gift 


should be (n»a = ' wherewith ', as the moderns explain it 
after Pesh. Uaos), there would have been no need on the 
part of the priest to say Bp'n W1K inScn !>N (ver. 3). 

19. The absence of the copula before own proves 
that trw DWn is a variant reading of wx D^jntP. After 
this variant had crept into the text, a scribe inserted ^N 
to give the expression some sense, but luckily failed to 
supply also the copula to DWn. The Versions, however, 
express the copula. So also in some MSS. and old citations. 
Cf. Aptowitzer, I, 42. 

8. 2. The ancients already noted the difficulty that 
Samuel should have placed his sons at the extreme Southern 
frontier town of Beersheba. See Babli Shabbat, 56 a, 
and Kimhi here ; cf. also Josephus, Antiquities, VI, 3. 2. 
But the matter can be explained quite easily. Samuel did 
not resign his office to his sons. Had he done so, he 
would no doubt have placed them at Ramah or some other 
sanctuary in the centre of the land. He appointed his sons 
only to relieve him of work in the outlying districts, to 
which he could not attend personally owing to his old age. 
It may be noted in passing that Beersheba was a famous 
sanctuary, cf. Gen. 46. 1 ; Amos 8. 14. 

8. The moderns, following LXX, insert "b after 1PJ? 
and explain that the comparison is between this v and "£> 
at the end of the verse : ' As they have been accustomed 
to deal with Me, so are they dealing also with thee.' But 
this is a contradiction of the statement in the last verse 
that the people's demand for a king is not a rejection of 
Samuel. It is better to retain the reading of MT and 
to take with Kimhi lb in the sense of "pv, and to interpret 
the comparison as being between the people's conduct in 
the past and in the present : as they have been accustomed 


to act ever since the Exodus, so they are acting now unto 
thee, viz. in thy time. 

9. 18. Targum (jnw) seems to have read WiSM for BO') ; 
cf. 25. 20. Cf. the remark of R. Tanhum (ed. Haarbriicker, 
Leipzig, 1844) on 25. 14. 

20. wn ftwbv. The original reading was probably 
tW mhw. The n in ffDVi is a dittography of the n (an error 
for n) at the end of the last word, or perhaps a correc- 
tion of this fi. 

34. For "WBOn read, with H. P. Smith and Nowack, 
~i$f, 3n being dittographed from the last word run ( = in). 
Or, perhaps, we should read lean, the i being a cor- 
ruption of 2 and N inserted to make sense. D^ is a 
passive participle as in Num. 24. 21. For DJ?n "iDt6 
LXX has iraptit. Toi>s dXXovs = D'inN?. Hence I propose 
to read "into for "iDt6. 'ntop is a relative clause without 
"IB>N (cf. Gesenius-Kautzsch, Heb. Gram., § 155 f seq.). 
' Behold the flesh is set before thee, eat thou (first), for 
unto (this) appointed time hath it been reserved for thee, 
and afterward the people (whom) I have invited.' In 
these words Samuel invites Saul, whom he has placed at 
the head of the table (ver. 22), to preside at the meal 
instead of himself; and he asks him to begin the meal, 
probably by pronouncing the formal benediction ; cf. ver. 
13 : n»tnpn ibto p nns natn ya> ton ■a. See Babli Berakot, 
48 b, with Rashi. 

10. 12. DE>» is difficult. LXX reads Dno. It is perhaps 
better to read DjmD, mentioned in last verse ; cf. 14. 28. 
For Dn»3K Targum has pren, viz. in a spiritual sense; cf. 
2 Kings 2. 12, &c. 

25. na?on dsb>» is the rights and duties of kingship 
in relation to the people, which Samuel settled and sealed 
before God, thus giving them the sanctity of a solemn 


covenant. Cf. the covenant made by David on his anoint- 
ment, II 5. 3. The critics assert that this rntan oae>D 
is identical with 1^»n t2at5>D in 8. 9, 1 1. But it is incredible 
that Samuel would solemnly invest the king with pre- 
rogatives of such a tyrannical nature as those catalogued 
in 8. 11-17. The enumeration of those royal imposts was 
only intended to frighten away the people from the institution 
of the monarchy; cf. R. Judah in Babli Sanhedrin, 20b: 
n^o Drrity n"tb nbti "ir wis nicw t6. 

13.3. MT is correct, nnayn are the Israelites who 
had permanently attached themselves as vassals to the 
Philistine ; see 14. at. This class is also referred to below 
in ver. 7, as opposed to bxiw WX of ver. 6. Cf. also 
Sayce, Early History of the Hebrews, p. 6. 

13. The proposed pointing of *h as *6 = b (cf. Driver's 
note) is improbable, as proved by the repetition of the 
phrase in ver. 14 b. Further, it is not likely that Samuel 
would fail to state categorically at the beginning of his 
speech that Saul had broken God's command. 

ai. rrvxan means 'sharpening' or 'filing', parallel to 
wx$h in the last verse. It is a verbal noun of nxa in its 
primary and physical sense of 'to press' (Gen. 19.9), 
and hence ' to sharpen ' or ' to file '. ca is an old Hebrew 
weight, and like S>pe> probably also a Hebrew coin. For 
p^p vhvh\ read, with S. Raffaeli, bpwn wh&\. The meaning 
of the verse is that the Philistines exacted from the Israelites 
the heavy payment of a B*B for the sharpening or filing of 
ploughshares and coulters, and a third of a shekel for the 
sharpening of axes and for setting the goad. Cf. further 
the writer's paper in the Quarterly Statement of the 
Palestine Exploration Fund, 1915, p. 40 f., with the refer- 
ences given there ; and E. J. Pilcher, ibid., 1916, pp. 77 ff. 
14. 4. njD may be connected with the name of the tree 


riJD. Targum has NXIWIO ' a treading ', possibly connecting 
it with 'JNDD ' boots '. 

5. pise is absent from LXX, hence the moderns omit 
it as a dittography of psso. This finds some support in 
the rendering of the Targum : tuiSVD kwidd = paxo nBVD 
(cf. also Aptowitzer, op. cit. ai). On the other hand, the 
omission in LXX may be due to haplography, and the 
rendering of the Targum may be based on a corrupt text. 
That the word is not repeated in clause b is no proof of its 
spurious character, for neither is "p repeated. As for its 
meaning, pl¥D may perhaps be connected, as H. P. Smith 
(p. 106) has noted, with the Mishnic pw (Yoma, 6. 5; 
B. mesia, 7. 10). 

14. For ruj» cf. Mishnah Ohabt, 17. 1. 

16. It would be better to omit the article in JlDfin, as 
suggested by Smith. The reading of LXX runon, which 
some moderns adopt, is incorrect, since, as the last verse 
shows, the panic was not confined to the camp. It may 
be noted that pen is used in ver. 19 in a slightly different 
sense. Here it means 'the crowd', but in ver. 19 it means 
the ' tumult ' of the crowd. 

25-36 a. The text is here certainly in disorder, but the 
emendation of the critics : nan -fan or inn laivi for SW ~frn 
is much too ingenious to be correct Further, it is ex- 
ceedingly doubtful whether a Hebrew writer would have 
used such an expression. I propose to omit, with the 
critics, ver. 25 a as a doublet of ver. 26 a (note also fixn 
in ver. 29a), to insert "IJP — 'honeycomb' — before EOT in 
ver. 25 b, and to point ~\bn in ver. 2,6 as a participle : ^n 
' flowing ', instead of =]?n which is only found in the sense 
of 'guest' or 'wayfarer' : mvn ^a by EOT "IJC Wl (ver. 25 b). 
E>n ijbh rum -ijpn ba nun wi (ver. 26). 


47. For JWT we should perhaps read Bn« or VTfi>. 

48. inDC is a synonym to Amalek. It is the Egyptian 
Shassu, the marauding Bedawi of the wilderness ; cf. 
Sayce, op. cit., pp. 171, 222. 

15. 7. nT'ino. There is no need to change the text. 
The frontiers do not describe the extent of Saul's campaign. 
They only serve to define the defeated foe as one who 
habitually roamed about the vast area lying between 
Havilah and Shur. 

23. For the active form "WBn , we should perhaps point 
the word as a passive, either nipKal ivsn or hoptial ">?sn t 
which would mean ' to allow oneself to be urged ', to be 
persuaded, and hence ' to hesitate in obeying, to disobey ', 
parallel to no. 

32. ninjttJ. We should perhaps read ninyDii 'in 
chains ' ; cf. Kimhi, Ralbag, and R. Isaiah. The omission 
of the 2 may have been due to haplography of the 
graphically similar 5. The rendering of LXX rpe/icoj/, 
according to which many moderns point rwiVtp, is not in 
accord with the light-hearted temper of Agag as displayed 
by his contemptuous remark in clause b. 

16. 5. Targum renders row here and in ver. 3 by 
ttfiwe>S>, whereas T\i)b at the end of this verse it renders 
NEHlp nD33^. This seems to imply that the elders were 
invited only to the sacrificial meal, but not to the sacrifice 
itself, which was reserved for Jesse and his sons. This 
seems very plausible. The divine revelation came to the 
prophet at the performance of the sacrifice, and in his fear 
of Saul he did not wish strangers to be present when he 
made the choice of the new king. 

11. 3D: should be pointed as a hipk'il 3D3 in ac- 


cordance with the Mishnic idiom ; cf. Mishnah Berakot 
6. 7, &c. See also Driver's note. 

13. The emendation of oby for Dy is very improbable. 
For thy should have preceded also the first adjective — 
■ODIN . Further, it is not likely that the same scribal error 
would have been repeated in 17. 42. It is more probable 
that ns 1 " is used in a substantival sense. So LXX perk 
kuXXovs ; cf. the use of rnj in ver. 7, and Driver's note here. 
Targum omits ay both here and in 1 7. 43. 

17. 19. This verse is an addition by the narrator. If it 
were, as some moderns (cf. Smith, p. 157) assert, part of 
Jesse's speech to direct David to the whereabouts of his 
brothers, its wording would have been . . . i>31 ^Nt? ay fttJm . 
Further, the words Dw6s DJJ D'DrW would be quite super- 
fluous in the mouth of Jesse. 

34. Driver's remark in his Notes 2 , p. 144, that the 
reading n? for W has no manuscript authority, is incorrect. 
The reading nr was already before R. Joseph Kaspi (fl. 1380- 
1340). Cf. his remark: tin 1 ? nnS ton nr nw mw wn 
(spa yi», ed. J. Last, p. 20). 

40. The genuineness of ttjnn ^33 is proved con- 
clusively by ver. 49, where the receptacle is referred to as 
"km, and not as mpfy. Hence, I suspect that D1pi»31 is a 

48. rDTjmn means here not the ' battle array ', but the 
space occupied by the fighting lines. Such is obviously its 
meaning also in ver. 30. 

19. 34. Targum renders Qiy — |Bn3 = jLaa.^> 'demented'; 
cf. Rashi. Probably the translator pointed D"^ = WW 
' prudent ', and regarded it as a euphemism for ' mad '. 

30. 30. The emendation, based on LXX : D^vrD uhm \Jto 
mis ri"l2? * And I on the third day will shoot to its side with 


arrows ', can hardly be right. For apart from the question- 
able character of the Hebrew of this proposed sentence, the 
statement contained therein is not correct. Jonathan shot the 
arrows not on the third but on the fourth day, i. e. including, 
in accordance with ancient Hebrew usage, the day on 
which he was speaking. Cf. ver. 35 : "ip33 Wl, viz. the 
third day of the new moon. As the second day of the new 
moon is described in ver. 19 by TVth&i, it follows that the 
third day could not also be designated by ts^fiPM. It is, 
therefore, better to retain the reading of MT, and to 
explain n"is, with Rashi and others, as *n£. The accent 
should, of course, be shifted backwards to the penultima. 

n*sra must be taken literally. For, as a matter of fact, 
Jonathan shot more than one arrow, against LXX and the 
moderns, as is proved by the verb tip^l in ver. 38, which 
would not have been used if only one arrow was to have 
been picked up. The form '•vnn in vv. 36, 37 must there- 
fore be regarded as a collective = D'wn , or as a contraction 
of D H xnn. 

ai. unp cannot be addressed to the lad, as the moderns 
interpret after LXX and Vulg. ; for it would be quite super- 
flous after the command . , . NXD. Again, if unp was 
addressed to the lad, it would have been repeated in the 
next verse. We must, therefore, conclude that tinp is 
addressed to David. The suffix refers, as Kimhi rightly 
explains, to the lad. If the suffix referred to the arrows, 
as Rashi seems to imply, the form would have been Dnp. 
See last note. Further, there is no reason why David 
should be charged to pick up an arrow. The meaning is : 
You need have no fear to show yourself to anybody, but 
you may actually come back to me in the company of 
the lad. 


21. 8. Cjnn cannot be an error for ffTnn, since, as is 
evident from 23. 17, 1 8, Doeg did not belong to that company. 
The use of TOX for ")B> or etn may be of foreign origin like 
Doeg himself. LXX (vkymv reb ij/uocoi/y) seems to have 
read Dmsn njn. 

14. W1. The verb fW may, perhaps, be used here 
with the Syriac nuance of ' to be demented '. See above 
on 19. 24. 

22. 1. The moderns assert that mjJD is a scribal error 
for fnXD. But it is incredible that this error should have 
been repeated in II 23. 13 and copied in 1 Chron. 11. 15 
and in all the Ancient Versions. No doubt mjm is right. 
As II 23. 14 implies, mj?D and miXD are not synonymous. 
The latter seems to include the former. The mwo seems 
to have been a fort on the hill, which served as a watch- 
tower and also, it would appear, as a residence for the 
captain. The mjJD, on the other hand, seems to have 
served as a storehouse and as a place of retreat in time of 
danger. Thus in 24. 1 we find David dwelling in the 
nm». But when Saul comes to search for him, David and 
all his men are found in the recesses of the mjjD (24. 4). 
On the departure of Saul and the disappearance of the 
danger, David and his men return to the miXD (24. 23). 
Cf. R. Jonah Ibn Janah, op. cit. s.v. nvo, p. 270 f. 

23. 6. The text of this verse is difficult. The rendering 
of LXX is only an expanded paraphrase to overcome the 
difficulty of MT. The best solution is to omit n^j>p as 
a doublet from the previous or following verse, and to read 
with Targum (nw)— Tlin for YT. 

24. ppo cannot be right, for, as is shown by the next 
verse, David went to Ma'on only after Saul had arrived in 
Ziph. The reading with LXX, in ver. 25, of 1W for 3W 


will not remove the difficulty. It is better to read here 
ft for pj?D. The latter has crept in here from ver. 25, 
where it is found twice. 

26. D'nny is correct. Cf. the Midrash cited in Yalkut 
and in the Hebrew commentaries: vby ifiipn K3K '"1 l»x 
moya . So literally in Vulg. : in modnm coronae cingebant. 
The emendation Dnay is unlikely. Saul would not have 
attempted the more difficult task of crossing the mountain 
in order to effect the capture of the elusive David and his 
band. Targum renders pea , which may perhaps point to 
a reading D'O'iK. Cf. Tanhum's note ad loc. 

24. 1. Driver in his Notes (second ed., p. 191) expresses 
surprise that David's going from Ziph (=Ma'on)to 'Engedi 
should be described as byi, seeing that 'Engedi is situated 
some 3,560 ft. below Ziph. But no doubt the verb nbv is 
used here idiomatically of going northwards, or, to be more 
precise, in a north-easterly direction from Ma'on to 'Engedi. 
Conversely *i*V is used of going southwards towards the 
Negeb, irrespective of the level of the localities of departure 
and arrival. Cf. 23. 19, 20, 25 ; 25. 1 ; 26. 2, &c. Cf. 
Ibn Ezra, Genesis 38. 2 : TiV Kin 1D1T6 D^y iw'pBV DKBD Nan ; 
and Exod. ^. 1 : wn rb\y bxov n«ai> •ji'inn. In 27. 8 rbv 
is used in a military sense, as in Judges 12. 3, &c. 

3. Targum seems to have read D'l&Dn (= x^a) for 
DvJWT. See also Kimhi ad loc. 

4. The phrase vbi*\ T\K larb is well explained in Babli 
Berakot, 62 b: naiDa 10X3? 13DP yJ?o "Uj£x 't nDK. As to the 
exact meaning of the euphemism, there is general agreement 
among the ancients that it describes the action of ventrem 
purgare ; so Vulg. ; cf. Mishna Yoma, 3. 2 (cited by Kimhi) : 
an ^oon i>ai . . . v5>n nx ^»n i>a. Kimhi, however, explains 
it here as D'D pntrnij, connecting lOrb with the root "]Di, and 


tbn with DiT5»n "D'D, i Kings 18. 27 (Kere). So Rashi in 
Bdbli Yebamot, 103 a s.v. lorb, but here Rashi gives the 
first and, no doubt, more correct interpretation. 

25. 14. Should we, perhaps, read *iia»l for Djn? 

20. "nnoa is rendered by Targum "IDD3, no doubt 
through assonance. 

22. JWD is rendered by Targum euphemistically : 
jno VT 1 = any one with knowledge, i. e. any human being ; 
cf. Rashi and Kimhi. Perhaps, however, Jacob Levy 
{Chald. Worterbuch, s.v. jrr) is right in interpreting the 
Targumic phrase as any grown up male who knows sexual 

23-24. . . . ^sni . . . $>sm . Our text may be right : 
first she prostrated herself at a distance as a sign of 
respect, and then she threw herself at David's feet as a 

29. Oi?J! is correct. It is incorrect to take it, as many 
moderns do, as a conditional, and to point &(£] or to read 
051, since his being persecuted was not hypothetical, but 
a hard fact. For mti cf. 24. 10. With D^nn -in* cf. nao 
D^nn in Exod. 32. 32, &c. ... nybp may have been a 
popular imprecation based upon some primitive belief. For 
ybpn *p cf. Rashi here and in Babli Shabbat, 151 a. 

26. 20. 1MD is best explained as equivalent to pimD ; 
cf. Ps. 38. 12 ; Amos 9. 3: 'Far away from the Lord's 
presence', where it might not attract His attention to 
avenge me. 

28. 12. The reading i>W instead of boot? found in some 
MSS. of LXX and adopted by a number of moderns, 
is certainly wrong. The narrator would have said *l3m, 
instead of Kim. Further, Saul's question in the next verse 
rVNI no "a and the woman's answer prove that the woman's 


detection of Saul's identity was caused by something 
extraordinary in the appearance of the ghost. Cf. the well- 
known passage in Tanhuma on Lev. ai. i cited here by 
Rashi and Kimhi. See also Aptowitzer, II, 61. 

13. 0"by . . . Dt6k, cf. Driver's note. The ancient 
Rabbis already explained the plural by the supposition that 
there appeared more than one spirit ; see Babli Hagigah, 4 b, 
and Tanhuma, loc. tit. I conjecture that the woman used 
the plural because she was not a believer in monotheism. 
She may have belonged to the aboriginal heathens of Endor, 
who survived the Israelitish conquest; cf. Joshua 17. 11-12 ; 
Judges 1. 27. 

30. 5. Budde eliminates this verse, but without cogent 
reason. The wives of David were persons of too great 
importance to be lumped together with the nameless 
women of David's men. Hence they receive special 
mention both here and in the account of the rescue 
(ver. 18). Further the verse is intended to explain the 
cause of the excessive grief which David displayed equally 
with his men. 

9b-io. The text is in disorder. nop annum is out 
of place in ver. 9 ; and the order in ver. 10 should have 
been first clause b and then clause a : mean . . . D^DSD HDJW 
B"N nisa . . . *n*r sp-Vl, Budde adopts this order, and 
deletes ttDP annum as a gloss, but he does not explain the 
origin of this gloss. It is possible, however, that the 
original text ran like this : nop annum WX niNO . . . e|TW 
'131 VUB "IE>N. By some accident nop annum got transposed 
to the end of the previous verse, and in order to make 
sense the scribe inserted E»N BTiXO noVI, as we have it in 
our text. Or, again, it is possible that the scribe had before 
him two readings : 


(i) hdjj annum b*k nixo . . , sp-vi (ver. 10) : mean i>ro 
'131 rue "ierc; (ii) 'i3i *p*vi (ver. to) : mean S>ra. 
The scribe accepted the second, though inferior, reading 
because it specifies clearly the number of the laggards, and 
relegated n»Jf annum to the margin, whence it eventually 
got into the text at the end of ver. 9. 

17. For amriD? we should read Trnnoi', i.e. on the 
morrow of the day on which he had set out on his ex- 
pedition. So Targum : Ttnrm N»V3 ; and apparently LXX 
and Vulgate. Cf. also Aptowitzer, op. cit., 65. The 5 is 
a scribal error for the waw at the end of this word com- 
bined with a dittographed waw from the beginning of the 
next word (a = 11). Cf. 15. 3 : nKTanD-inm = nwTintnnni. 

31. 11. Instead of ae* the chronicler (1 Chron. 10. 11) 
has ^3. "W must have fallen out in his text of Samuel 
through haplography of the similar ea\ To make sense 
with the plural verb ij»e»l he inserted $>3. 

II 1. 1. The construction of this verse is veiy awkward. 
The writer evidently wished to combine in logical sequence 
the three events of the death of Saul, the return of David 
from the expedition against the Amalekites and the arrival 
of the bearer of tidings from Gilboa, but he was unequal 
to the task. He, therefore, felt obliged to have recourse 
to the use of a circumstantial clause : '131 3S5> Till. That this 
clause is not a parenthesis is shown by the fact that it 
forms the antecedent to the opening words of ver. 2. 
H. P. Smith (p. 256) holds that the original form of the 
verse was: '131 in 365*1 . . , nunc in 36? nriK vni, and that 
the reference to the death of Saul is an editorial adaptation 
to the present context. But it is unlikely that the original 
narrator would have chosen to begin this section with a 
reference to the comparatively unimportant episode of 


David's fight with the Amalekites, instead of connecting 
it with the big event of Saul's death, an event which forms 
the pivot of the whole succeeding narrative. 

6. Wellhausen's explanation of D'enan "b)12 is too 
ingenious to be true. No doubt Kimhi is right in explaining 
the phrase as arvby Decern fftmBfi Wi. So LXX Imrdp^ai. 
For a parallel cf. 331 ^jn in the Zenjirli Inscription. See 
G. A. Cooke, North Semitic Inscriptions, No. 62, 10. ^ja 
with the sense of VtO or "IB> is also found in the Punic 
phrase 01333/ B>"in in«, ibid., No. 45, 9. 

9. The ungrammatical expression U , . . "I1JJ ?3 is most 
probably a colloquialism. 

1 a. The apparent tautology in btnw TO bw 'n OV by 
was already noted by R. Isaiah, who remarks : mn 1 I'Sl, 
meaning that i'SW TO i>5J is epexegetical. But there is 
really no difficulty at all, for 'n DJf refers to the fighting 
men who fell in the battle fighting in the cause of the 
Lord (cf. I 25. 28, &c), while i>tOB" TO refers to the non- 
combatants, particularly women and children, who were 
slain by the Philistines in their invasion of the Israelitish 
cities (I 31. 7). DJ? has the meaning of fighting men also 
in ver. 4 and frequently elsewhere. For the use of ?K-|B» TO 
in this sense cf. the comment of Mekilta on Exod. 19. 3 
(cited by Rashi, ibid.) : DTO liw apjp TO. 

2. 15. The a/aw in E"n?T is a dittography of the pre- 
ceding final nun. So also in '•SMKii in ver. 31 below. 

16. The critics, with their usual knack of blundering 
over the obvious, are much puzzled over D'nxn. Some 
read after LXX EMsn or Cnstn . But these twenty-four men 
did neither lie in wait nor hunt one another. Others 
propose D'nsn ; but there were no besiegers here. Others, 
again, emend B"!?D, which they interpret as a play on the 
VOL. X. Q 


preceding 1X3, a most insipid derash. Our text is most 
certainly correct. The field was so named originally from 
the presence in it, or beside it, of certain sharp flints, but 
after the event described in the narrative, the name ffnxn 
was connected with the sharp swords of the unfortunate 
young men. Cf. Rashi and R. Isaiah. 

23. The Versions support the reading of our text : 
rvjnn nnsa. The difficulty of the phrase may be removed 
by pointing ^hfcta, as in Targum ■HITOO. 

25. nriN HjOJ is correct. The emendation nOK nj?3J is 
most unlikely. For if the narrator meant to say that they 
stood on the hill mentioned in the last verse, he would 
have said simply njnan. Cf. also Driver's note. 

3. 5. 11T DE>N may be a later amplification of an original 
int?X, as in 1 Chron. 3. 3. The names of other two wives 
in the list which are prefixed with £ are followed by a 
descriptive adjective. In the case of n?jy? the writer was 
unable to supply any further description, and he simply 
wrote WN, which a later scribe expressed more explicitly 
as in our text. 

7. I conjecture that navi was of non-Israelitish origin. 
Her name is connected with the Semitic divinity S)EH, also 
written IV") ; cf. siXimpW', Cooke, op. cit., pp. 56-7 ; and 
No. 150, 5. Further, her father's name ITN is only found 
among the Horites, Gen ofo. 34. 

5. 6. For TVDn Targum has "jnviyxa. Accordingly we 
may perhaps emend ITpnH. The omission of the 5 may 
have been due to haplography of the graphically similar 
final 6 of the preceding word. 

6. 3. The pointing of TTIK1 as vnNl is improbable. The 
narrator would surely have been able to add the proper 
name of Uzza's brother. The name 1'riN may be a caritative 


form of wis. Cf. w — w (I 14. 49) = irw = bviw = 

7. 11. The moderns, following LXX, omit the copula 
form \ob\ . So already R. Isaiah, who observes , . . "irv l^in 
d^bbic wrc "ik'n avn |d ibw it» irmj!i> r6iy ya ibw sh?. 
But this is unlikely, since Israel suffered oppression also 
before the period of the Judges, viz. in Egypt. And from 
D1p» *n»t?1, which refers to the conquest of Canaan, it is 
obvious that rmtfini must refer to the period before Israel 
had acquired a territory of its own. Hence it is necessary 
to retain the copula with p?l ; cf. also Rashi's note. 

Toni is a perfect consecutive like the preceding verbs 
WMffl , . . VflJJDJI . . . 'rwi . . . TWin : ' The Lord will show thee 
by the birth of Solomon that He will make thee a house'. 3 
The reading of 1 Chron. 17. 10: tjki, or the modern 
emendation TJDl involves too abrupt a change of tense. 

19. rnin is perhaps an error for rnin : this, an ex- 
pression of gratitude by means of words, is all the thanks 
which mortal man can offer to God (ver. 20), but even my 
words of gratitude are superfluous, since Thou, O Lord 
God, knowest Thy servant and the thoughts of his heart. 

a 1. The reading TUj; for -pn, as in LXX and 
1 Chron. 17. 19, cannot be right. Such a claim by David 
for himself would be a flagrant contradiction of the state- 
ment in ver. 18 that he is not worthy of God's favours. 

23. The words 1t6ni cu seem to have been lacking 
in the original text of Targum, and to have been inserted 
in our text of the Targum from the Hebrew original. 
Cf. Kimhi's comment. TO8 is lacking also in 1 Chron. 
17. 21. 

3 Cf. the writer's discussion of this passage in this Review, vol. IX, 
P. 47 f- (§ 92). 



8. i. nDNn should perhaps be pointed noSn ' the nation ' 
(Gen. 25. 16, &c). Cf., however, Sayce, op. cit., p. 414, 
who offers an excellent explanation of the baffling 

3. Targum (Winn nK3syt6) may have read vonb for 
awi> and interpreted IT as a boundary sign. 

8. The name W3 may perhaps be connected with 
Aramaic m*l3 = Hebrew WO. LXX (kcci e/c to>v e/cAe/C7w) 
connects it with the root H13 = ni3 (cf. I 17. 8 : 113). 

10. 1 a. The emendation pIN for nj? is unhappy. It 
would have been nothing short of blasphemy for Joab to 
say that they would by their strength save the Ark of God. 
Had the Ark been with them in this battle, Joab would 
have looked to the Ark to save the army rather than that 
the army should save the Ark. 

11. 12. The moderns, following Lucian and thePeshitta, 
connect mnooi with the nextverse. Mr. S. A.Cook(American 
Journal of Semitic Languages, vol. XVI, p. 156) actually 
makes this emendation an argument against the integrity 
of the text. But this emendation seems to be quite wrong. 
For if David invited Uriah to eat and drink before him mnOD , 
i. e. on the third day since his arrival from the camp, then 
Uriah's departure would have been delayed until the fourth 
day, or after three nights, whereas David distinctly says 
that he would send him back on the third day = "jn^B>R "inoi, 
viz. after the second night of Uriah's stay in Jerusalem. 
The fact seems to be that Uriah's carousal at David's 
order (ver. 13) took place in the evening of his second night 
in Jerusalem, and as even in his state of intoxication he 
failed to go home to spend the night with his wife, David, 
frightened that he might learn in the king's household 
of his wife's visit to the king, sent him back on his fatal 


errand immediately on the morning following this second 
night (ver. 14 = "lpM, viz. "inci of ver. 12). 

1 2. 6. The change of tib into )b is bad. The fact that 
the rich man had pity on his own cannot be made a reason 
for punishing him. ?Dn may have been suggested by 
70m in ver. 4, but is not parallel to it. 

31. Targum renders p^m DDIN TQDrn = tppiea linn 11 TU1, 
taking pta in the sense in which it is found in Jer. 43. 9. 
Cf. Driver's note. The emendation of T3yni for nnyni was 
already suggested by R. Joseph Kaspi (op. at., p. 36) : DjJBrt 
anib mwk tmxty. 

13. 9-10. The critics have met here with various diffi- 
culties. The hapax legomenon mK»»n has troubled them, 
and some of them resolved to regard it as an old corruption 
of ronto. But the occurrence of Ttwa in the Targumim 
(Lev. 2. 5 ; 6. 14; 7. 9 ; Ezek. 4. 3 ; 1 Chron. 33. 29) and 
in Mishnic Hebrew (Mishnah Hallah 4. 1 ; Yerushalmi 
Pesahim 29 b) ought surely to be sufficient to protect it 
against this ' critical ' scepticism. The emendation DN Klpfll 
rTWDn for niBWi m npni is neither clever nor happy. The 
amorous Amnon, who was so eager to see the damsel do all 
the work herself and in his presence, would surely not have 
allowed the interference of the ft~)Vto. Again, some critics 
see an irreconcileable discrepancy between ver. 9 and 
ver. 10, and therefore adopt the usual remedy of relegating 
the offending ver. 10 to the margin as an interpolation 
(cf. Smith, p. 330). They argue, if the food was already 
set before him (ver. 9 a) why does he ask her to bring it 
into the chamber ? And how could ' the sick man ' move 
from one room into another ? The answer is, taking the 
second question first, that Amnon had only pretended to 
be sick, and that having achieved his object of getting 


Tamar into his power, he had no need to continue further 
his dissimulation. As to the first question, Amnon asked 
her to bring the food into the inner chamber, in order to 
be removed as far as possible from the hearing of his 
attendants, who were probably standing just outside (ver. 9). 
He must have expected some opposition on her part, and 
therefore hesitated to carry out his design on her in the 
large and accessible room which had just been emptied of 
his friends and attendants. 

18. The critics object to D^JJO and emend D^iyo 
' from eternity ' (!), or D^ljJD ' from babes ' (!). They argue 
that the i^JJD was distinct from the TlJrD (Exod. 28. 4). 
Exactly so ; therefore the narrator has to explain how it 
was that Tamar wore for her upper garment a TfiTO, which 
was usually an under garment: 'For so the daughters of 
the king were used to dress with a D'DD runs as D'O'yo, or 
upper garments.' 

14. 14. It is best to emend 3W for KB*: '. . . And we 
are like waters poured out to the ground, which cannot be 
regathered ; for God will not restore the soul to the body, 
therefore one should devise plans, so as not to banish 
from oneself him that is banished.' Cf. iWr B»aJ 3bt>, 
1 Kings 17. a 1. The meaning is : The dead cannot be re- 
stored to life again, and no amount of revenge on Absalom 
will bring Amnon back; so why lose Absalom also by 
banishment? 3CTI1 refers to David, as already explained 
by Rashi and Kimhi. The athnah should accordingly 
be moved forward to C23, which should be pointed B*aJ T . 

15. 8. The omission of Jliana at the end of the verse, 
supplied, however, by Lucian from ver. 7, may have given 
rise to the explanation recorded in Babli Temurah, 14 b, 
that Absalom's ostensible object in going to Hebron was 


not to sacrifice there, but only to obtain lambs for sacrificing 
in Jerusalem. 

1 a. It is generally assumed by moderns, and so 
already by Kimhi on 17. 3 and Ralbag on 16. 23, that 
Ahitophel's enmity towards David was inspired by a desire 
to avenge the wrong David had done to Bath-sheba, whose 
father Eliam (11. 3) is supposed to be identical with Eliam 
son of Ahitophel, mentioned in 23. 34. But is it likely that 
an unprincipled and ambitious man like Ahitophel would 
have hated David for making his granddaughter the favourite 
wife in the royal harem ? Moreover, by assisting Absalom in 
his enterprise, Ahitophel was actually endeavouring to rob 
Solomon, his alleged great-grandson, of the throne of Israel, 
the promise of which must by that time have already been 
made to him through Bath-sheba. Nay, it is very likely 
that it was this promise to Bath-sheba that drove Absalom 
to rebellion. It has always seemed strange that Absalom 
should have thought it necessary to take such violent 
measures for seizing forcibly what would have been in the 
natural course of events his rightful due within a few years. 
For it is evident from David's conduct in this narrative that 
the rebellion took place towards the end of David's reign, 
when he was already nearing his decline (cf. Seder 'Olam, 
ch. 14). Why, then, this fatal impatience on the part of 
the heir-apparent and his friends? The fact is that 
Absalom's conduct was actuated by the same motives as 
that of Adonijah a few years later, viz. to prevent the aged 
king from making good his promise to the son of his 
adulterous parvenue wife. But the crafty grandfather of 
that wife would surely not have taken the leading part in 
a conspiracy against her young son. We must therefore 
conclude that Eliam the father of Bath-sheba was not 


Ahitophel's son. It is also probable that the narrator 
would not have stopped short in the pedigree of Bath- 
sheba at the mention of the comparatively obscure Eliam, 
had he been able to trace him further to such a famous 
personality as Ahitophel. Cf. also W. Jawitz, i^nE* 1 rvn^in 
(1905), vol. II, p. 37, note. Wellhausen {Composition, &c. s , 
p. 258, note), with more than his usual display of 
cynical scepticism, remarks : ' Dass Davids Versprechen 
1 K. 1, 13, 17 bisher nicht erwahnt ist, kann nicht befrem- 
den, da er selber und alle Welt nichts davon weiss. 
Vgl. 1, 14 "pm JiN in^DV' But the critic has overlooked 
1 Kings 1. 30, where David recalls his solemn oath to 
Bath-sheba. Nathan's promise to corroborate or supple- 
ment Bath-sheba's words only had reference to her state- 
ment about the doings of Adonijah, about which alone 
Nathan speaks in vv. 25-7. There is in Nathan's words 
no mention whatever of the king's oath to Bath-sheba, 
which no doubt was made in private. 

19. I venture to express the opinion that the name 
WS is a caritative form of njriK, parallel to £>N13»JJ. Similarly 
other personal names ending in v — may be caritatives of 
corresponding longer forms of theophorous names with the 
element fr - , as wn = Win, parallel to nnc = nnrra (23. 28). 
But this latter is more likely to be connected with 1PID 'gift'; 
cf. the Punic byi ino, Cooke, op. cit., p. 108 f.) ; nn (23. 9) = 
mn, akin to mnn = innn (2 Chron. 20. 37; cf. Lucian, 
ibid., AovSlov), and rvTT ; nn (23. 29) = >y>t (1 Chron. 
11. 46) = rvan 11 , parallel to byx-p and f>jnno ; and, perhaps, 
also W = TW . So also names ending in *— , like ""IW 
(17. 27), cf. *?tJ> (Ezra 2. 42)= nw, parallel to bbtlW (1 Chron. 
23. 16, &c.) ; further ^? (23. 36) or '» (Neh. 10. 16) = 
mi, parallel to \mi and btiil\ and others. 


17. 14. iJtasy K»N bzt is obviously to be distinguished 
from bxiW 'Op? i>3 in ver. 4 above. The mass of the people 
were, like Absalom himself, captivated by Hushai's decep- 
tive eloquence. The elders, however, with their wider 
experience and greater intelligence, preferred AhitophePs 
wiser counsel. Hence Hushai's fear lest Absalom should 
after all be persuaded by the elders to adopt Ahitophel's 
plan, vv. 15-16. 

16. Kimhi confesses his inability to explain the 
rendering of vby by Targum toW> ''inn' 1 Koin. Cf. also 
Levy, Chald. Worterbuch, aoab. It seems to the writer 
that Targum takes ybl in its ordinary application of 
swallowing food, and interprets it figuratively : ' Lest 
Ahitophel's counsel be tasty and savoury to the king ', 
referring ita? to Absalom, as does also Rashi. 

19. main is rendered by Targum pp* 1 ; similarly 
Lucian and Theodotian vaXdOas. Perhaps they read 
niisn 'the fruit', spread out for drying in the sun. 

18. 26. Most moderns point with LXX and Peshitta: 
"i|W'n for "ijfen. This is certainly wrong; for the narrator 
would have said "W'n "\to W. Nor is the emendation of 
Smith (p. 36c) "ijffiin by more happy. For the narrator 
would certainly have expressed it by "Wn bv ~\&x navn. 
Further, why should this description of the watchman's 
whereabouts be given here at the fourth mention of his 
name, and not earlier in ver. 25 ? There is no doubt that 
the pointing of MT is correct. The watchman standing on 
the roof announced what he saw to the gatekeeper, who 
conveyed the news to the king. This latter operation is 
not mentioned explicitly by the narrator, either because 
its performance is taken for granted, or more likely because 
it was unneccessary, seeing that the king himself was 


sitting within hearing of the watchman's voice (ver. 24 a). 
We must assume that the first announcement by the watch- 
man (ver. 25) was also made through the gatekeeper. So 
we also find the four lepers announcing important news to 
the gatekeepers of Samaria, 2 Kings 7. 10, 11. 

39. The text is, as already observed by Ehrlich, quite 
original. The incoherence of the reply of Ahima'as is a 
deliberate artifice of the narrator to exhibit the messenger's 
great embarrassment. 

19. 10. There is no reason to doubt the correctness of 
the form JilJ. It is used here alone in a reciprocal sense, 
but in a passive sense it is frequent in Mishnic Hebrew. 
Cf. Mishna B. Kamma 3. 5 ; Yadaim 4. 3, particularly with 
a preformative hirek : Sanhedrin 5. 6, &c. See the writer's 
remarks in this REVIEW, First Series, XX, 701-702 
(' Mishnaic Hebrew ', pp. 55, $6). 

23. W is correct. ' To-day I feel again as King of 
Israel, and I must not mar the joy of the day by acts 
of vengeance.' Cf. the similar remark of Saul, I xi, 13. 
Many moderns, following Lucian, read DnyT : Do you not 
know that to-day/am king . . . and notyou ? But this does not 
explain the emphasis laid on Dl , n(' i a) ; nor does it suit the 
exclamation: I'lai nov DlTt. The narrator would have 
made him say simply , . . nov to DlVi. 

32-41. This passage has given much trouble to 
modern expositors. The apparent discrepancies between 
vv. 32 b, 34 b, 37 a, and 40 have forced them to interpret 
"oy as ' to pass on ' in vv. 32, 37 and as ' to cross over ' 
elsewhere in the passage ; further to delete pT'n in ver. 32, 
and \l~pn TIN in ver. 37, or to take p"W as fUTVn, and 
p"VD riN as \TVn bit ; and, finally, to read with Lucian 10V 
for 13JJ in ver. 40. This obviously does violence to the 


text, and is altogether unsatisfactory. The fact, however, 
is that, as stated explicitly in ver. 3a, Barzillai did cross 
over the Jordan, and his leave-taking of the king must 
therefore have taken place on the Western side of the river. 
The above-mentioned discrepancies are only apparent and 
not real. Ver. 33 tells in a general way that Barzillai 
accompanied the king across the Jordan to take leave of 
him, and the following verses describe the incident in 
detail. While still on the Eastern side of the river, and 
before the crossing had begun, the king invited Barzillai 
to cross the river not for the purpose of leave-taking, but 
in order to go up to Jerusalem, and stay permanently in 
the royal court (ver. 34). Barzillai declines to go up to 
Jerusalem (vv. 35, 36), and only consents just to cross over 
the river but not to go farther (ver. 37 a), but offers to send 
with the king his son Kimham (ver. 38), which offer the 
king accepts (ver. 39). When this conversation was over, 
the crossing of the river began, and first the people went 
across, and then the king with Barzillai in his company. 
The king then took leave of Barzillai, and the latter returned 
across the river to his home in Gilead (ver. 40). Having 
finished relating the story of the king's leave-taking of 
Barzillai, the narrator proceeds to relate another, more 
important, incident in connexion with this royal crossing 
of the Jordan. For this purpose he repeats the fact that 
the king had crossed over and gone to Gilgal, taking the 
opportunity to mention that in accordance with the king's 
promise to Barzillai (ver. 39), Kimham accompanied the 
king to Gilgal ; but, he goes on to relate, the king had not 
waited until the whole of Israel should assemble to escort 
him across the river, and had gone across with Judah and 
only a portion of Israel (ver. 41). This disregard of David 


for Israel gave rise to an inter-tribal quarrel, which cul- 
minated in the rebellion of Sheba'. 

41. The Kethib TWI is probably due to the recur- 
rence of this form in the next verse. The reading of LXX 
(SiafiaivovTes) C-DV, which the moderns adopt, is inad- 
missible. For since the king is already represented as 
being at Gilgal, the act of crossing with the king must 
be conceived as already lying in the past. 

20. 3. The pointing after LXX n^n ntoiw cannot be 
right. ' Living widows ' cannot by any stretch of imagina- 
tion be identical with 'women treated as widows, whose 
husband is yet alive '. I conjecture that the right reading 
is D^D niJOpN ' widows for the whole term of their life ' — 
lifelong widows, or, less likely, '0 rfaD^K 'widows of a 
living husband '. The corrupt ending in nw may be due 
to the influence of the ending in the preceding word nuc&N. 
The whole phrase is perhaps an expression of a proverbial 
and colloquial character, in which grammatical niceties are 
often disregarded ; cf. note on 1. 9. 

8. I propose to read niDSD 3in i^jJi no "iurj 3X1*1. 
ItJO? is a gloss on 11D, and "fan is a dittography of "Mp, 
since the important fact which the narrator wishes to 
convey is not that Joab had on him a girdle, but that he 
had a sword over his military cloak. The point in this 
description, as already noted by Rashi and Ralbag, is that 
the scabbard with the sword in it was not, as usual, 
hanging down at his side vertically, but was joined across 
his loins horizontally, so as to facilitate its falling out of 
the scabbard at the inclination of the body and thus to give 
Joab, who would quite naturally stoop to pick it up 
from the ground, a naked sword in his hand without 
arousing in the mind of Amasa the least suspicion of foul 


play (ver. 10 a). For NV Nini we must, of course, read 
with LXX risy torn, viz. the sword from the scabbard, 
which Joab immediately picked up with his left hand 
(= hky" t<3, ver. ic), so as not to arouse Amasa's sus- 
picions, using his right hand for taking hold of Amasa's 
beard (ver. 9 b). 

1 a. I propose with Budde to delete *VGV\ . . . ntO -|B>ta 
as an expanded doublet of the preceding bl ~\W "3 B"xn am 
D5?n. The original of this latter clause may, perhaps, have 
been as follows : vbv tan nyn b IDS? '3 B*sn tOV1. 

13. Targum renders run by noaN, pointing run=vij1n; 
so Pesh. otis^. LXX also takes the verb in an active 
sense — e<j>6aa-ev. This is also the view of Hayyuj and Ibn 
Janah (cited by Kimhi), and of R. Isaiah. 

26. For , ""iton Targum has yipn |DT ntovto, thus 
identifying this Hfy with the one mentioned below, 
23. 26. It is possible, as Rashi and Kimhi remark, that 
the interpretation yipn JDT connects "ntO with TIKD, and 
regards it as synonymous with Wn because of the 
abundance of oil in Tekoa, to which reference is made 
in Babli Menahot 85 b. This, however, shows a confusion 
of the Southern Tekoa with the town of that name in 
the North. 

23. 32. The moderns agree to delete ^3 as a dittography 
of the end of the preceding word ; to join fruini to the next 
verse, supplying |3 before HOP, and to insert ^n after |B", 
in accordance with the reading of Lucian 'Iecraai 6 Tovvi 
for "OlTjn of 1 Chron. 11. 34. yun is identified with the 
Naphtalite family mentioned in Gen. 46. 24 ; Num. 26. 48. 
This identification is, however, improbable, since all the 
other heroes are drawn from the South, whereas Naphtali 
was settled in the extreme North. Instead of Win in 


Chronicles, I would read 'JttDjn, from 1TDJ near Ajalon on 
the border of Philistia, 2 Chron. 28. 18. On the same 
ground I doubt whether, after all, mVD in ver. 36 is 
correct, since Zobah was situated in the far North, and in 
addition was inhabited, it would seem, exclusively by