וְאֵלֶּה דִּבְרֵי דָוִד הָאַחֲרֹנִים נְאֻם דָּוִד בֶּן־יִשַׁי וּנְאֻם הַגֶּבֶר הֻקַם עָל מְשִׁיחַ אֱלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב וּנְעִים זְמִרוֹת 23:1 יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
2Sam. 23:1 Now these are the last words of David,
The saying of David son of Jesse,
And the saying of the man raised above,
The anointed of the God of Jacob,
And the sweet singer of Israel:
רוּחַ יְהוָה דִּבֶּר־בִּי וּמִלָּתוֹ עַל־לְשׁוֹנִי׃ 23:2
2Sam. 23:2 The spirit of the Lord declared in me,
And His word is on my tongue.
אָמַר אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לִי דִבֶּר צוּר יִשְׂרָאֵל מוֹשֵׁל בָּאָדָם צַדִּיק מוֹשֵׁל יִרְאַת אֱלֹהִים׃ 23:3
2Sam. 23:3 The God of Israel said,
The Rock of Israel spoke to me:
“A righteous one shall be ruler over men,
With the power of the reverence of God,
וּכְאוֹר בֹּקֶר יִזְרַח־שָׁמֶשׁ בֹּקֶר לֹא עָבוֹת מִנֹּגַהּ מִמָּטָר דֶּשֶׁא מֵאָרֶץ׃ 23:4
2Sam. 23:4 And like the light of the morning of the rising of the sun,
A morning without clouds,
The grass from the earth,
With the brilliance from a rain.”
כִּי־לֹא־כֵן בֵּיתִי עִם־אֵל כִּי בְרִית עוֹלָם שָׂם לִי עֲרוּכָה בַכֹּל וּשְׁמֻרָה כִּי־כָל־יִשְׁעִי וְכָל־חֵפֶץ כִּי־לֹא 23:5 יַצְמִיח׃ַ
2Sam. 23:5 Then is not thus my house with God,
That an everlasting covenant He made to me,
Ordained throughout and preserved,
That is all my salvation and all things desired?
Then will He not make grow?
וּבְלִיַּעַל כְּקוֹץ מֻנָד כֻּלָּהַם כִּי־לֹא בְיָד יִקָּחוּ׃ 23:6
2Sam. 23:6 But the wicked are like thorns to be thrust away,
All of them,
For they cannot be taken with the hand.
וְאִישׁ יִגַּע בָּהֶם יִמָּלֵא בַרְזֶל וְעֵץ חֲנִית וּבָאֵשׁ שָׂרוֹף יִשָּׂרְפוּ בַּשָּׁבֶת׃ 23:7
2Sam. 23:7 So the one to make contact with them must use iron and the shaft of a spear,
And with fire they shall be utterly burned in place.
אֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹת הַגִּבֹּרִים אֲשֶׁר לְדָוִד יֹשֵׁב בַּשֶּׁבֶת תַּחְכְּמֹנִי רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁלִשִׁי הוּא עֲדִינוֹ (הָעֶצְנוֹׁ) [הָעֶצְנִי] 23:8 עַל־שְׁמֹנֶה מֵאוֹת חָלָל בְּפַעַם (אֶחָד) [אֶחָת]׃
2Sam. 23:8 These are the names of the mighty men who were David’s. A Tachchemonite of Josheb-bashebeth, was the highest of the three. He is Adino, the Eznite. He slew more than eight hundred with one stroke.
Two errors in this verse, the first of which contains a vav in place of a yad, and the other is spelled with a daled in place of a tav. It’s as if the first error was an unconscious mistake, the last letter of the incorrect word repeating the last letter of the previous word, the name of Adino. The second error reflects a possible mistake by the scribe in thinking the word for stroke was masculine when it is actually feminine. The word in error there, the adjective modifying stroke is spelled in its masculine form. The respective corrections are in the brackets.
וְאַחֲרוֹ) [וְאַחֲרָיו] אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן־ (דֹּדִי) [דֹּדוֹ] בֶּן־אֲחֹחִי בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה (גִּבֹּרִים) [הַגִּבֹּרִים] עִם־דָּוִד 23:9
בְּחָרְפָם בַּפְּלִשְׁתִּים נֶאֶסְפוּ־שָׁם לַמִּלְחָמָה וַיַּעֲלוּ (אִישׁ) אֲנָשִׁים] יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
2Sam. 23:9 And after him, Eleazar son of Dodo, son of an Achochite was among the three mighty men with David. In their defiance of the Philistines gathered there for battle when the men of Israel went away,
Three recognized errors in this verse, although I acknowledge a fourth! The first error is in the first word, which is missing a yad. The second error is in the name Dodo, which is spelled with a yad in place of a vav. The third error is in the word for the ... mighty men, and is missing a heh prefix. The fourth error is in the word for men, which should be in plural form, not singular. The four respective corrections are in the four sets of brackets.
הוּא קָם וַיַּךְ בַּפְּלִשְׁתִּים עַד כִּי־יָגְעָה יָדוֹ וַתִּדְבַּק יָדוֹ אֶל־הַחֶרֶב וַיַּעַשׂ יְהוָה תְּשׁוּעָה גְדוֹלָה בַּיּוֹם 23:10 הַהוּא וְהָעָם יָשֻׁבוּ אַחֲרָיו אַךְ־לְפַשֵּׁט׃
2Sam. 23:10 he endured and struck among the Philistines until when his hand was exhausted, yet his hand cleaved to the sword, and the Lord wrought a great victory on that day, but the people returned after that only for spoil.
וְאַחֲרָיו שַׁמָּא בֶן־אָגֵא הָרָרִי וַיֵּאָסְפוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים לַחַיָּה וַתְּהִי־שָׁם חֶלְקַת הַשָּׂדֶה מְלֵאָה עֲדָשִׁים וְהָעָם 23:11 נָס מִפְּנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים׃
2Sam. 23:11 And after him was Shammah son of Age, the Ararite. When the Philistines were gathered to be a troop, and there was a portion of land full of lentils, and the people fled from the face of the Philistines,
וַיִּתְיַצֵּב בְּתוֹךְ־הַחֶלְקָה וַיַּצִּילֶהָ וַיַּךְ אֶת־פְּלִשְׁתִּים וַיַּעַשׂ יְהוָה תְּשׁוּעָה גְדוֹלָה׃ 23:12
2Sam. 23:12 then he remained in the midst of the portion and defended it and slew the Philistines as the Lord wrought a great victory.
ַוַיֵּרְדוּ (שְׁלֹשִׁים) [שְׁלֹשָׁה] מֵהַשְּׁלֹשִׁים רֹאשׁ וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל־קָצִיר אֶל־דָּוִד אֶל־מְעָרַת עֲדֻלָּם וְחַיַּת 23:13 פְּלִשְׁתִּים חֹנָה בְּעֵמֶק רְפָאִים׃
2Sam. 23:13 And the three of the thirty of the highest went down, and came at the harvest to David to the cave of Adullam, and a troop of Philistines was camped in the valley of Rephaim.
There’s an error in the second word of this verse. The word in parentheses would be translated as thirty rather than three, and should be modified as shown in the brackets.
וְדָוִד אָז בַּמְּצוּדָה וּמַצַּב פְּלִשְׁתִּים אָז בֵּית לָחֶם׃ 23:14
2Sam. 23:14 And David was then in the stronghold and the garrison of Philistines was then in Bethlehem.
וַיִּתְאַוֶּה דָוִד וַיֹּאמַר מִי יַשְׁקֵנִי מַיִם מִבֹּאר בֵּית־לֶחֶם אֲשֶׁר בַּשָּׁעַר׃ 23:15
2Sam. 23:15 And David desired, and said, “Who would bring me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem, that is near the gate?”
Alternate translations for what David says here are offered in many bibles: “Oh, that someone would give me water to drink ...” or “Would that one would give me water to drink ....” These translations make the expression more of a wish than a request, as if David were thinking out loud. I wonder if this kinder treatment is in anticipation of the next two verses. See my remarks regarding v. 23:17 below.
וַיִּבְקְעוּ שְׁלֹשֶׁת הַגִּבֹּרִים בְּמַחֲנֵה פְלִשְׁתִּים וַיִּשְׁאֲבוּ־מַיִם מִבֹּאר בֵּית־לֶחֶם אֲשֶׁר בַּשַּׁעַר וַיִּשְׂאוּ 23:16 וַיָּבִאוּ אֶל־דָּוִד וְלֹא אָבָה לִשְׁתּוֹתָם וַיַּסֵּךְ אֹתָם לַיהוָה׃
2Sam. 23:16 Then the three mighty men broke into the camp of the Philistines and drew water from the well of Bethlehem that is near the gate, and took and brought to David, but he was not willing to drink it, and poured it out to the Lord.
וַיֹּאמֶר חָלִילָה לִּי יְהוָה מֵעֲשֹׂתִי זֹאת הֲדַם הָאֲנָשִׁים הַהֹלְכִים בְּנַפְשׁוֹתָם וְלֹא אָבָה לִשְׁתּוֹתָם אֵלֶּה 23:17 עָשׂוּ שְׁלֹשֶׁת הַגִּבֹּרִים׃
2Sam. 23:17 And he said, “Far be it for me, O Lord, to have done this! The blood of the men who were going in jeopardy of their lives!” So he was not willing to drink it. These things the three mighty men did.
What do you think of this little episode? Was David being foolish when he asked for that special water (in v. 23:15)? Was he being even more foolish, thoughtless, and selfish to spill the hard-earned water on the ground after the three had risked their lives to get it? Or was he now recognizing the foolishness of his request and refusing to drink, so as to punish himself? You decide. The sages, however, look at the word for poured in v. 23:16, and point out that this word is used elsewhere to refer to the drink offering. Thereby they claim that David imagined this water to be too sacred to drink, and thus poured it onto the ground. Does this seemingly valid explanation ignore or fail to acknowledge David’s apparent foolishness in his asking?
2Sam. 23:18 And Abishai, brother of Joab son of Zeruiah, he was higher than the three. When he lifted up his spear, he slew over three hundred, so he had a name among the three.
The error in this verse is in the word for the three, which is spelled with a yad in place of a heh. As usual, the correction is in the brackets.
מִן־הַשְּׁלֹשָׁה הֲכִי נִכְבָּד וַיְהִי לָהֶם לְשָׂר וְעַד־הַשְּׁלֹשָׁה לֹא־בָא׃ 23:19
2Sam. 23:19 He was more honorable than the three, so he was to be their captain, but up to the three he did not attain.
וּבְנָיָהוּ בֶן־יְהוֹיָדָע בֶּן־אִישׁ־ (חַי) [חַיִל] רַב־פְּעָלִים מִקַּבְצְאֵל הוּא הִכָּה אֵת שְׁנֵי אֲרִאֵל מוֹאָב 23:20וְהוּא יָרַד וְהִכָּה אֶת־ (הָאֲרִיַה) [הָאֲרִי] בְּתוֹךְ הַבֹּאר בְּיוֹם הַשָּׁלֶג׃
2Sam. 23:20 And Benaiah son of Jehoiada, son of a man of valor of mighty deeds from Kabzeel, he smote the two lion-hearted men of Moab, and he went down and slew the lion in the midst of a pit on a day of snow.
Two errors in this verse: The first error is in the word for valor, which is missing a lamed. The second error is in the word for the lion, which has an extra heh. Both errors are corrected in the respective sets of brackets.
וְהוּא־הִכָּה אֶת־אִישׁ מִצְרִי (אֲשֶׁר) [אִישׁ] מַרְאֶה וּבְיַד הַמִּצְרִי חֲנִית וַיֵּרֶד אֵלָיו בַּשָּׁבֶט וַיִּגְזֹל 23:21 אֶת־הַחֲנִית מִיַּד הַמִּצְרִי וַיַּהַרְגֵהוּ בַּחֲנִיתוֹ׃
2Sam. 23:21 And he slew an Egyptian, a good looking man, and a spear was in the hand of the Egyptian. But he went down to him with a staff and tore the spear from the hand of the Egyptian and slew him with his own spear.
The error in this verse is mildly strange and quite unusual. The word for man is found to be a different word, one that would be hard to misspell. It might be the result of a worn spot on an ancient scroll, or a slip of the pen by the scribe. In place of the word that should be translated as man, the word for that is found. I suspect the scribe may have gotten distracted at this point in his task. The correct word is in the brackets.
אֵלֶּה עָשָׂה בְּנָיָהוּ בֶּן־יְהוֹיָדָע וְלוֹ־שֵׁם בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה הַגִּבֹּרִים׃ 23:22
2Sam. 23:22 These things Benaiah son of Jehoiada did, and he had a name among the three mighty men.
2Sam. 23:23 From the thirty he was most honorable, though he did not attain to the three, so David set him over his guard. [Return to 1Chr. 11:11]
עֲשָׂה־אֵל אֲחִי־יוֹאָב בַּשְּׁלֹשִׁים אֶלְחָנָן בֶּן־דֹּדוֹ בֵּית לָחֶם׃ 23:24
2Sam. 23:24 Asahel, brother of Joab, was among the thirty, Elchanan son of Dodo of Bethlehem,
שַׁמָּה הַחֲרֹדִי אֱלִיקָא הַחֲרֹדִי׃ 23:25
2Sam. 23:25 Shammah, the Harodite, Elika, the Harodite,
חֶלֶץ הַפַּלְטִי עִירָא בֶן־עִקֵּשׁ הַתְּקוֹעִי׃ 23:26
2Sam. 23:26 Helez, the Paltite, Ira son of Ikkesh, the Tekoite,
אֲבִיעֶזֶר הָעַנְּתֹתִי מְבֻנַּי הַחֻשָׁתִי׃ 23:27
2Sam. 23:27 Abiezer, the Annathothite, Mebunnai, the Hushathite,
צַלְמוֹן הָאֲחֹחִי מַהְרַי הַנְּטֹפָתִי׃ 23:28
2Sam. 23:28 Zalmon, the Achochite, Maharai, the Netophathite,
חֵלֶב בֶּן־בַּעֲנָה הַנְּטֹפָתִי אִתַּי בֶּן־רִיבַי מִגִּבְעַת בְּנֵי בִנְיָמִן׃ 23:29
2Sam. 23:29 Heleb son of Baanah, the Netophathite, Ittai son of Ribai from Gibeah of the children of Benjamin,
חֵלֶב בֶּן־בַּעֲנָה הַנְּטֹפָתִי ס אִתַּי בֶּן־רִיבַי מִגִּבְעַת בְּנֵי בִנְיָמִן׃ 23:30
2Sam. 23:30 Benaiah, a Perathonite, Hiddai from Nachale-gaash,
אֲבִי־עַלְבוֹן הָעַרְבָתִי עַזְמָוֶת הַבַּרְחֻמִי׃ 23:31
2Sam. 23:31 Abi-albon, the Arbathite, Azmaveth, the Barchumite,
אֶלְיַחְבָּא הַשַּׁעַלְבֹנִי בְּנֵי יָשֵׁן יְהוֹנָתָן׃ 23:32
2Sam. 23:32 Eliachba, the Shaalbonite of the sons of Jashen, Jonathan,
שַׁמָּה הַהֲרָרִי אֲחִיאָם בֶּן־שָׁרָר הָארָרִי׃ 23:33
2Sam. 23:33 Shammah, the Hararite, Achiam son of Sharar, the Ararite,
אֱלִיפֶלֶט בֶּן־אֲחַסְבַּי בֶּן־הַמַּעֲכָתִי אֱלִיעָם בֶּן־אֲחִיתֹפֶל הַגִּלֹנִי׃ 23:34
2Sam. 23:34 Eliphelet son of Achasbai son of the Maacathites, Eliam son of Achitophel, the Gilonite,
2Sam. 23:35 Hezro, the Carmelite, Paarai, the Arbite,
There is thought to be an error in this verse. I’m curious as to why the word in “error,” which is the name Hezro, is spelled as it is in the parentheses and considered an error, when the same name is found in 1Chr. 11:37 and is spelled there the same way. There it is not considered an error. The supposed correction, which incidentally appears no where else in the bible, is in the brackets. I don’t count this as one of the errors in this chapter.
יִגְאָל בֶּן־נָתָן מִצֹּבָה בָּנִי הַגָּדִי׃ 23:36
2Sam. 23:36 Igal son of Nathan from Zobah, Bani, the Gadite,
צֶלֶק הָעַמֹּנִי ס נַחְרַי הַבְּאֵרֹתִי (נֹשְאֵׂי) [נֹשֵׂא] כְּלֵי יוֹאָב בֶּן־צְרֻיָה׃ 23:37
2Sam. 23:37 Zelek, the Ammonite, Nacharai, the Beerothite, weapon bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah,
The last error in this chapter is in the word for bearer, which appears here in an incorrect form with an extra yad. The correct spelling is in the brackets.
עִירָא הַיִּתְרִי גָּרֵב הַיִּתְרִי׃ 23:38
2Sam. 23:38 Ira, the Ithrite, Gareb, the Ithrite,
אוּרִיָּה הַחִתִּי כֹּל שְׁלֹשִׁים וְשִׁבְעָה׃ 23:39
2Sam. 23:39 Uriah, the Hittite. All were thirty-seven.