2Samuel 14

 

2Samuel 14:1–14

The Woman of Tekoa/Absalom Returns to Jerusalem


These studies are designed for believers in Jesus Christ only. If you have exercised faith in Christ, then you are in the right place. If you have not, then you need to heed the words of our Lord, Who said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son, so that every [one] believing [or, trusting] in Him shall not perish, but shall be have eternal life! For God did not send His Son into the world so that He should judge the world, but so that the world shall be saved through Him. The one believing [or, trusting] in Him is not judged, but the one not believing has already been judged, because he has not believed in the Name of the only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son of God.” (John 3:16–18). “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life! No one comes to the Father except through [or, by means of] Me!” (John 14:6).


Every study of the Word of God ought to be preceded by a naming of your sins to God. This restores you to fellowship with God (1John 1:8–10). If there are people around, you would name these sins silently. If there is no one around, then it does not matter if you name them silently or whether you speak aloud.


Outline of Chapter 14:

 

Introduction

 

         vv.     1–3           The Woman of Tekoa: the Preparation

         vv.     4–8           The Woman of Tekoa: the Setup in Court

         vv.     9–17         The Woman of Tekoa: the Analogous Situation is Presented

         vv.    18–20         David Realizes That This Has Been Staged by Joab

         vv.    21–24         Absalom Returns to Jerusalem

         vv.    25–27         Absalom’s Attractiveness and his Family

         vv.    28–33         Absalom Forces Joab to Take Him to the King

 

Addendum


Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines:

 

         Introduction         The Four Principal Characters of 2Samuel 14

         Introduction         The Prequel of 2Samuel 14

         Introduction         The Abbreviated Davidic Timeline

         Introduction         Keil and Delitzsch Outline 2Samuel 14

         Introduction         R. B. Thieme, Jr. Outlines 2Samuel 14

 

         v.       1              The Two Interpretations of 2Samuel 14:1

         v.       1              The Parallels Between David and Bathsheba’s Conflicted Emotions

         v.       3              Why Is Joab Doing This?

         v.       3              Why Does Joab Take this Approach?

         v.       4              The Woman from Tekoa: a 3 Act Play Produced by Joab

         v.       7              The Law of Posterity

         v.       7              Superceding Law; Superceding Issues

         v.       7              An Application to Crime and Punishment

         v.       8              The Parallels between the Tekoan Woman’s Case and Absalom

         v.      11              Why Are We Studying 2Samuel 14:1–11?

         v.      12              Summary of the Woman from Tekoa up to 2Samuel 14:12

         v.      13              Commentators on 2Samuel 14:13

         v.      14              Summation of 2Samuel 14:13–14

         v.      14              The Undercurrent of Salvation in 2Samuel 14

         v.      14              There is no Justice in this Chapter

         v.      16              Various Commentators Interpret 2Samuel 14:16

         v.      20              The Woman from Tekoa Shifts the Responsibility to Joab

         v.      20              The Biblical Doctrine of Flattery

         v.      20              How Does the First Half of 2Samuel 14 Apply to Me?

         v.      22              Human Viewpoint Versus Divine Viewpoint

         v.      22              The Abbreviated Doctrine of Forgiveness

         v.      22              Joab’s Human Viewpoint Solution

         v.      24              David Does Not Defer to Justice

         v.      24              Absalom Lacks a Full Pardon

         v.      24              David’s Mistakes

         v.      25              Why Does the Bible Spend an Entire Verse on Absalom’s Attractiveness?

         v.      25              A Summary of 2Samuel 14:1–25

         v.      26              Absalom as a Potential King

         v.      26              Physical Beauty and the Word of God

         v.      26              The Golden Ratio = The Beauty Constant = Phi

         v.      26              The Narcissist Syndrome

         v.      28              What are the Hidden Spiritual Lessons in this Narrative about Absalom?

         v.      28              David is Still in Arrogance

         v.      28              The Pulpit Commentary on the Mental Attitude Sins of Absalom

         v.      28              Scriptures Upon Which Absalom Should Concentrate

         v.      28              Absalom Fails to Rehabilitate Himself

         v.      29              Why Joab Will Not Return Absalom’s Phone Calls

         v.      30              Absalom, Joab and Absalom’s Criminal Behavior

         v.      30              Absalom’s Lack of Growth

         v.      30              Characteristics of the Criminal Mind

         v.      30              How Absalom is Revealed to Have a Criminal Mind

         v.      30              Absalom the Criminal

         v.      32              Absalom’s Wicked Brilliance

 

         Addendum          Josephus’ History of this Time Period

         Addendum          Edersheim Summarizes 2Samuel 14

         Addendum          A Complete Translation of 2Samuel 14


Chapter Outline

 

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

Forward

Doctrines Covered and Alluded to

Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Definition of Terms

Introduction

Text

Addendum

www.kukis.org

 

Exegetical Studies in Samuel


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

Forgiveness

The Davidic Timeline

Interlocking Systems of Arrogance

Joab

 

 

Mental Attitude Sins

 


Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

 

Judges 15

 

1Sam. 25

2Sam. 11

2Sam. 12

2Sam. 13

1Chron. 15


Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 


Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 



Many who read and study this chapter are 1st or 2nd generation students of R. B. Thieme, Jr., so that much of this vocabulary is second nature. One of Bob’s contributions to theology is a fresh vocabulary along with a number of concepts which are theologically new or reworked, yet still orthodox. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with his work, the definitions below will help you to fully understand all that is being said. In addition to this, I will use a number of other more traditional technical theological terms which will be used and therefore defined as well.

Definition of Terms

Authority Arrogance

In authority arrogance, the individual fails to make the most difficult transition of temporal life, which is going from the authority in the home to freedom in life. The home is organized humility. The parents' authority is enforced humility, and the child's response to enforced humility produces genuine humility. Rejection of overt authority in life results in rejection of inward authority of the soul, and that destroys your own self-discipline.

Client Nation

Client-Nation, is a national entity in which a certain number of spiritually mature Christians (the salt of the earth) have formed a pivot sufficient to sustain the nation and through which God specifically protects this nation so that believers can fulfill the divine mandates of evangelism, communication and custodianship of Bible doctrine, providing a haven for Jews, and sending missionaries abroad. The United States is a client-nation to God. A client nation must have freedom: Freedom to seek God, freedom to use one’s own volition and self-determination to succeed or fail, freedom from anarchy and tyranny, freedom for evangelism, freedom for believers to hear Bible teaching without government interference and, therefore, to grow spiritually, and freedom to send missionaries to other nations.

Conspiracy arrogance

Conspiracy arrogance results in a conspiracy to overthrow the purpose, policy, or authority of an organization.

Criminal Arrogance

Criminal arrogance seeks to solve problems by violence and/or by criminal actions. The modus operandi of a person in criminal arrogance is criminal behavior. Believers are susceptible to this kind of arrogance just as unbelievers are.

Crusader arrogance

Crusader arrogance is the self-righteousness arrogance that tries to straighten the world from its error and mistakes. A person places his personal standards above the law or any form of establishment or authority. When criminal arrogance interlocks with crusader arrogance, there is terrorism or revolution.

Divine Viewpoint

God’s thinking.

Doctrinal Rationales

This is taking information from the Word of God and developing a logical rationale as to how God will deal with you in certain circumstances. For instance, we know that God must provide for our needs while we are here on this earth, so that we do not need to worry about what we should eat or what we should wear. God knows about these things and made provision for them in eternity past.

Grace Orientation

Grace is all that God is free to do for mankind on the basis of the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Grace is undeserved mercy and unmerited favor from God to us. Grace is the title of God's plan and His policy for mankind. Orientation is defined as familiarization with a particular person, thing or field of knowledge. To orient means to set right by adjusting to facts or principles; to put oneself into correct position or relation or to acquaint oneself with the existing situation. Grace orientation, therefore, means to become familiar with God's grace plan and grace policies by adjusting to the facts and principles found in the Word of God, which puts you in correct relation to God and others. You will never be grace-oriented until you understand that your personal sins don't condemn you. Adam's original sin, which was imputed to you at birth, is what condemns you (spiritual death). This means that God's grace was operational when He imputed Adam's original sin to you, because condemnation must precede salvation. This is just another part of God's ingenious grace plan of salvation. Footnote

Human Good

Acts which society may see as being good, but things which have no eternal value. For instance, a person may want to give one of Al Gore’s carbon credit companies money to pay for “carbon usage,” and then Al sends out one of his minions to go plant a tree. There are people who would praise this as a great act of self sacrifice, but it means nothing to God.

Human Viewpoint

Man’s thinking apart from Bible doctrine.

Interlocking Systems of Arrogance

The interlocking systems of arrogance refers to many clusters of sins which have a tendency to interlock with one another. That is, a believer who goes into interlocking systems of arrogance through one gate (or entrance), is likely to interlock with another cluster of sins if he remains out of fellowship.

Laws of Divine Establishment

Since the world appears to be made up of mostly unbelievers, God must have some kind of plan for the unbelievers while they are alive. These are called the laws of divine establishment, and they are applicable to both believers and unbelievers. These are the laws which protect the freedom of a nation, and allow for evangelism and for the teaching of the Word of God.

Negative Volition Arrogance

Negative volition is resistance to Bible doctrine on the one hand, or indifference to Bible doctrine on the other hand, based on arrogant preoccupation with self. Arrogance preoccupation with self has many aspects, such as a personality conflict with the teacher of doctrine, or self-pity in interaction with people in the congregation. In this state, you are not antagonistic to doctrine, but simply distracted from it by your own status quo of arrogance. For the believer, this is the most damaging arrogance of then all.

Rebound (Restoration to fellowship with God)

In the New Testament, this is naming your sins to God, so that you are both restored to temporal fellowship with God and are then filled with the Spirit of God. In the Old Testament, naming your sins to God would result in a restoration of fellowship and, in some cases, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit once again (the Holy Spirit was not given to all Old Testament believers).

Reversionism

A state of being or a set of actions where a person reverts back to a former state, habit, belief, or practice of sinning. Reversionism is the status of the believer who fails to execute the plan of God for the Church Age. He returns to his pre-salvation modus operandi and modus vivendi.

Some of these definitions are taken from

http://gracebiblechurchwichita.org/?page_id=1556

http://www.bibledoctrinechurch.org/?subpages/GLOSSARY.shtml

http://rickhughesministries.org/content/Biblical-Terms.pdf

http://www.gbible.org/index.php?proc=d4d

http://www.wordoftruthministries.org/termsanddefs.htm

http://www.realtime.net/~wdoud/topics.html

http://www.theopedia.com/


——————————


An Introduction to 2Samuel 14


I ntroduction: 2Samuel 14 is one of the most unusual chapters in the Word of God, and, insofar as I know, no one has every pointed out why. This is a self-contained chapter, one which is written like a play. It has a prologue: 2Sam. 13; it has an epilogue: 2Sam. 15–19. But it stands by itself as a literary unit, as if a play. There are two unnamed characters: the king and the woman from Tekoa; and two named characters: Absalom and Joab. Of the 33 verses in this chapter, only 6 of them lack dialogue. Three of those verses describe Absalom, as one might describe a character in a play. Interestingly enough, within this play of 4 characters, Joab hires an actress to give a performance for the king, except that, he does not know until the end that this is a performance.


One thing that I have come to observe is, many chapters and books of the Bible have themes or particular literary constructions and understanding these are often key to understanding the chapter or book itself, as well as a mnemonic device which helps one retain the information within.


Let me give you one example of a book that has suddenly become much more clear to me because of understanding that underlying theme: the book of Job. There are 3 men plus Job giving their opinions about Job’s life, his suffering and how God is related to all of this. And my question was, for a very long time, how do you reach into this book and figure out what is true, what is false, what is sort of true? You essentially have a religious bull session which is taking place. This made the book of Job one of the most difficult books to exegete. It is an early book of the Bible, which probably predates even portions of Genesis, yet what are we to get from it? And what did ancient readers get from this book? The key to the book of Job is, the Angelic Conflict. The book opens up with Satan accusing Job; but when Job and his 3 friends discuss what is going on with Job’s suffering, they do not talk about the Angelic Conflict. They lay out many true principles and make many accurate statements, except for the fact that they do not take into consideration the Angelic Conflict when they draw their conclusions. As men, we tend to be very anthropocentric. We think about ourselves, our lives, our trials and tribulations; and we so often relate everything back to ourselves. Believers in Jesus Christ recognize that we are a part of a plan, which is somewhat exciting, if truth be told. Some of us will actually get to catch the winning touchdown pass during the last few seconds on the clock (spiritually speaking). However, in going from point A to point B (from our spiritual birth to our physical death), we need to bear in mind that we are teaching angels and vindicating the truth of God before angels. This is, in a nutshell, the underlying theme and the message of the book of Job.


Here is one of the many fascinating aspects of the Word of God: this short explanation of the book of Job is both revelatory, obvious, and yet has never been explained before, insofar as I know. The fact that this chapter is written like a play is revelatory, obvious, and yet, insofar as I am aware, has never been said before. And yet the Bible is filled with chapters and books that, even at this time, in 2012, have never yet been completely explained, and, therefore, they have never been fully appreciated.


This does not mean that we do not understand the gospel or the life of the believer; these things have been known since our Lord walked on this earth and since Paul expressed this theology in the New Testament epistles. However, there are so many things out there still waiting to be discovered.


I personally learned under the teaching of probably the best expositor of the Bible apart from the Apostle Paul: R. B. Thieme, Jr. Without contradicting or dismissing orthodox theology, Pastor Thieme unearthed a great many principles in the Word of God which had never been clearly laid out before. And he paid his dues in order to be able to do this. In his early studies, like Moses or Joshua, it is clear that Bob, for many years, taught 1 or 2 or more chapters a night; until many principles became suddenly well-defined and clear to him, so that he taught these in subsequent years, expanding his teaching schedule to as many as 10 hours a week (and more during a conference). His own study schedule, which could be 10 or more hours a day, gives insight into his own dedication to the Word of God. Few if any men have equaled Bob’s rigorous schedule. Footnote Whereas Bob taught as many as 10 classes per week, most of those who came up under him, teach 3–4 classes per week.


Back to the topic at hand:


In the previous chapter, Amnon raped his half-sister, Tamar; and Absalom, her full brother, waited in vain for David to act. Finally, Absalom, biding his time, held a gathering at his ranch, calling for all the king’s sons to come to his bbq. Absalom first asked the king, and the king said no; and then he asked that the king send Amnon there, and the king agreed to this. When Amnon and the rest of his half-brothers arrived up in Israel to enjoy a bbq on Absalom’s ranch, Absalom had his servants kill Amnon, and Absalom fled northeast, out of Israel. See 2Sam. 13 (HTML) (PDF).


This particular chapter could be easily divided up into two parts: The Woman From Tekoa (vv. 1–22) and Absalom Returns to Jerusalem (vv. 23–33).


As R. B. Thieme, Jr. told his congregation on 21March 1980, that this is the first time that a congregation in 2000 years will have the chapter taught to them correctly and in detail, and, similarly, this is the first time that this chapter will be covered in print in similar detail. It is unfortunate, but so much of the Bible has never been thoroughly examined and exegeted, whereas God the Holy Spirit wants us to know His Word.


So that there is no misunderstanding, the exegesis of this chapter has not been reproduced from the notes of R. B. Thieme, Jr.’s Bible classes. About 240 pages were written before those notes were ever consulted. Furthermore, the additional pages written after consulting my Bible class notes were not taken directly from those notes. However, when an idea, a short quotation or the inspiration for a doctrine came from those notes, R. B. Thieme, Jr. was properly credited. However, I am clearly standing on Bob’s shoulders in all of the work that I have done over the past 15–20 years.


I have no official connection to Berachah Church, apart from having been a member at one time and I still attend now under R. B. Thieme III’s ministry. Like father and son Thieme, I believe in the power of the Word of God, and present this as the most thorough examination of 2Samuel 14 available in writing. The interpretation is not going to always agree with the work that R. B. Thieme, Jr. has done. Footnote


On the other hand, I have clearly adopted the vocabulary that R. B. Thieme, Jr. developed over a 50+ year ministry. This is one of R. B. Thieme, Jr.’s great contributions to theology, whose vocabulary had become distorted, stale and out-of-date.


Similarly, I have made judicious use of the internet and the work of particular websites in order to develop or supplement the material which is here. In all cases, I give credit to those who work I draw from. Although I believe in original work, I am also not one to reinvent the wheel every time I need a wheel. So, if someone has done a splendid job on, say, the doctrine of regeneration, and that is pertinent to a passage, then I will draw from what that person has done in full or in part, and always with giving proper credit where it is due. At this point in my life, I do not anticipate ever doing this work for money, as God has seen to all of my needs. Therefore, I am not taking someone’s ideas, presenting them as my own, and using this to make a quick buck. Again, this comes under the category of, why reinvent the wheel?


We need to know who the people are who populate this chapter.

The Four Principal Characters of 2Samuel 14

Characters

Commentary

The King

This is King David, the greatest king of Israel and possibly of human history. David is under a decade of pressure and difficulties from God because he committed adultery with Bathsheba and then had her husband murdered. David is called only the king in this chapter; his name is never used.

Absalom

Absalom is David’s third son. David’s first son (and Absalom’s half-brother), Amnon, raped Tamar, Absalom’s sister. David was unwilling to punish or even prosecute Amnon, so Absalom killed him and then fled to Geshur to stay for three years with his grandfather, who was king of Geshur.

Joab

Joab is David’s top general, as well as David’s nephew, and one of the greatest generals of all time. He is also Absalom’s much older cousin. Joab decides to mastermind a plot by which Absalom can be returned to Jerusalem as the heir apparent.

Woman from Tekoa

This is a brilliant actress from Tekoa who can both act from a script and improvise when necessary.

It is somewhat fascinating that this portion of the book of Samuel is written very much like a play. There are a very limited number of participants on stage, and they all have their lines (this is a very “talky” chapter). Of course, the foundation for this chapter is, Joab has gotten this woman from Tekoa to present some performance art in court before the King. So, in some respects, this is a play within a play.

Taking this into consideration, you will note that two people are named and two people have titles. At this point, I am unsure as to what this means. It is Joab and Absalom who are the dynamic characters in this play; and the king and the woman the immutable ones?


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


It is important to understand what has gone before.

The Prequel of 2Samuel 14

We need to recall that David is under installment discipline. That is, what David did by committing adultery with Bathsheba and then killing her husband was so heinous, that, if God gave David all of his discipline at once, it would kill him. So God gives David 4 installments of discipline (see 2Sam. 12:6–7). His son by Bathsheba would die; his daughter Tamar would be raped and forever changed; his firstborn would be killed; and, finally, his son Absalom would rise up in rebellion against him. Nathan, the prophet, only laid out a portion of David’s discipline, which would be the raping of his wives, which Absalom would later do as a part of his rebellion against David. 2Sam. 11 (HTML) (PDF) and 2Sam. 12 (HTML) (PDF) have all the details of this.

Edersheim: Although David was graciously forgiven, and again received into God's favor, neither he nor his government ever wholly recovered from the moral shock of his fall. It is not merely that his further history was attended by an almost continuous succession of troubles, but that these troubles, while allowed of God in judgment, were all connected with a felt and perceptible weakness on his part, which was the consequence of his sin. If the figure may be allowed, henceforth David's hand shook, and his voice trembled; and both what he did and what he said, alike in his own household and in the land, bore evidence of it. Footnote

Application: This ought to particularly catch the attention of the Christian husband (or wife) who is considering having an affair. God will forgive you—God stands ready to forgive you for all of your sins—but the shockwaves from your sin could reverberate for years, as they did for David. David’s acts of adultery and murder resulted in about 10 years of difficulties and pain for him (and this is not taking into consideration how it affected the other members of his family—the lives of Absalom, Amnon and Tamar were shattered because of David’s indifference/indulgence of them). David’s impact on his children’s lives will affect several generations to follow. You will note that Amnon, Tamar and Absalom’s lines go nowhere. Only Absalom has children. What a difference David could have made on each of these person’s lives had he spent time raising them rather than chasing skirt.

Application: God’s forgiveness does not mean that your sin does not have real results in the real world. All of what is happening to David, apart from being David’s own judgment upon himself (2Sam. 12:6), are natural results from exploiting his position of power and prestige.

Application: If you are thinking of having an affair, there is another important consideration: time. We have only so much time on this earth, and God has designed our lives to be fulfilling, meaningful and even fun without us having to sin in order for those things to be a part of our lives. There are things which can take a great deal of time away from you (e.g., a lawsuit, an arrest, a feud with a neighbor), but few things steal time from your life like an affair does. Once the dust settles, you may look around, and five or ten years have passed. Important aspects of your life, such as precious years of your children, your relationship with your spouse, your performance at work, your spiritual life, have sped by, and you missed these things.

So David has, nearly 10 years ago, committed adultery with a beautiful woman named Bathsheba. Because she was pregnant, David arranged to have her husband killed on the battlefield, and Joab, his general, actually set Bathsheba’s husband up to be killed.

Nathan the prophet came to David, asking him about a criminal case, where a rich man steals a poor man’s ewe lamb—a lamb that this poor man loved. David is infuriated and first calls for the rich man’s death, but then backs off to say that he must pay fourfold for the lamb. Then Nathan looks at David square in the eye and says, “You are the man.”

What follows is David paying fourfold for taking Bathsheba from her husband, and murdering him, who was one of David’s greatest soldiers. As a part of this suffering, David’s son Amnon rapes his half-sister, Tamar. David is unwilling to prosecute Amnon, so Absalom kills Amnon and then flees to Geshur, the country of his grandfather, where he stays for three years.

At no time does Absalom speak of his relationship to the God of Israel; at no time does he demonstrate any character. Absalom is handsome, charismatic, and brilliant. But he has no personal character. His plot to kill Amnon is not an example of justice because there is no justice when men do simply what is right in their own eyes. Absalom—very much like Saul—has all the trappings of a great leader, but his tragic flaw, arrogance, makes him a horrible leader of men. Footnote

Joab believes that it would be best for Absalom and David to be reconciled, so he develops a rather intricate plot to get David to allow Absalom back into Israel, and that is what this chapter is all about.

Joab is apparently familiar with all of David’s children and the only one who seems to show leadership potential is Absalom. Joab probably only considered the sons of David who were young adults by this time and, for a man who is great, will make a bad choice when it comes to picking Absalom as David’s best successor.

What appears to be the case—although the Bible does not specifically tell us this—that Absalom is a very popular hero in Israel. Over the years, through rumors, the population of Jerusalem found out about what Amnon did to Tamar, as she wandered the streets after being raped. However, King David did nothing about this. As Tamar’s father and the King of all Israel, this was apparently quite upsetting to a number of people. Therefore, when Absalom killed Amnon, he was seen as a hero who brought the ultimate justice to Amnon, a cad of a human being.

So that there is no misunderstanding, what Absalom did was wrong. There was a legal system in place to deal with Amnon and the legal system failed. There is nothing in the Mosaic Law that tells us to exact our own justice when traditional justice has failed. So Absalom was acting outside of the law when he killed Amnon.

As an aside, Israel did not have professional executioners. The executioners were the closest male relatives to those who have died. They are known as the blood avengers because they are kin with the victim and they seek legal vengeance. Now, such a person could not just go out and kill whom they believed to be the murderer. The sentence must be passed in a court of law and then the convicted criminal would be executed by the blood avenger. However, David never prosecuted this case. Either he or Absalom would have been the blood avengers who would execute the criminal, in this case, the rapist, Amnon.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Ferrar-Fenton dates this chapter 1025 b.c. Reese’s Chronology Bible dates this at 996 b.c. with Klassen at 995 b.c. This chapter takes place over a period of nearly 2.5 years; there are 2 years that Absalom lives in Jerusalem where David will not see him (2Sam. 14:28) and Joab has to spend some period of time writing a script and procuring an actress that David does not know.


Let’s look at a portion of the Davidic Timeline, which mostly pertains to the narrative of David and Bathsheba, and the results of their affair:


The Abbreviated Davidic Timeline

Fenton-Farrar

(F. L. Smith)

Bible Truth 4U

Reese’s Chronology Bible

Scripture

Narrative

 

1040 b.c.

1030 b.c.

Ruth 4:22

David is born.

1063 b.c.

1025 b.c.

 

1Sam. 16:1–17

David is anointed by Samuel (at age 15 by Bible Truth 4U).

1055 b.c.

(c. 1010 b.c.)

1010 b.c.

1025 b.c.

2Sam. 2:1–4

David becomes king over Judah (the southern kingdom). David is 30. 2Sam. 5:4 David was 30 years old when he began to reign. He reigned 40 years.

 

 

c. 1022 b.c.

2Sam. 3:2–5

David is ruling from Hebron with his wives and he is fathering children. Approximate time Absalom is born, as per Reese.

1035 b.c.

 

1005 b.c.

c. 1016 b.c. (Klassen)

2Sam. 11:2–25

David’s sin with Bathsheba. He has her husband, Uriah the Hittite, killed in battle.

1034 b.c.

 

1004 b.c.

c.1016 b.c. (Klassen)

2Sam. 11:26–12:23

Psalm 32 51

David marries Bathsheba. David is rebuked by Nathan. David calls for God’s forgiveness and cleansing.

 

1000 b.c.

1003 b.c.

c. 1015 b.c. (Klassen)

2Sam. 12:24–25

Birth of Solomon. David is approximately 40 years old (BT4U).

 

 

 

2Sam. 12:26–31

1Chron. 20:1b–3

Conflict with Ammonites is concluded.

1032 b.c.

990 b.c.

1002 b.c.

2Sam. 13:1–22

David’s son, Amnon, rapes David’s daughter, Tamar.

1030 b.c.

[990–985 b.c.]


1001–999 b.c.998 b.c. (Klassen – date was changed; typo in Reese)

 2Sam. 13:23–39

David’s son Absalom kills Amnon and flees. 2Sam. 13:23 And it happened after 2 full years Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal-hazor, beside Ephraim. And Absalom invited all the king's sons. 2Sam. 13:38 And Absalom fled and went to Geshur, and was there 3 years.

1025 b.c.

[985–983 b.c.]

996 b.c.

995 b.c.

(Klassen)

2Sam. 14

Joab tries to reunite David and Absalom. 2Sam. 14:28 And Absalom lived 2 full years in Jerusalem and did not see the king's face.

The entire David Timeline (HTML) (PDF)

Quite obviously, this timeline helps us to put rough dates on all of the historical incidents found in this chapter along with the ages of those involved. Sometimes the age of a principal can help us to understand their actions.


2Samuel 14 explains how David accepts Absalom back into the city of Jerusalem. It is an odd narrative, which may confuse the reader at first. Joab, David’s #1 general, apparently believes that Absalom should be next in line for the throne, and that it is safer for David if his son Absalom expects to be king as a matter of due course rather than for him to be in a nearby kingdom and contemplate military action against David. So, Joab, who has probably tried previously to talk the king into bring Absalom back; resorted to doing this through an intermediary. Joab brings an actress into the picture, who will cause David to reconsider his decision concerning Absalom. However, it is quite important that we given some thought to why this chapter is here, apart from its historical perspective. Certainly, it would be a leap to have Absalom living in a foreign kingdom in one chapter, and, in the next, be back in Jerusalem fomenting revolution. So, historically, this explains how this happened. However, the Bible is not merely an historical book. Therefore, there must be more to this chapter than simply drawing a straight line from point A to point B (how did Absalom go from being an exile to living in Jerusalem?). So, why we study this chapter will be explained within the exegesis of this narrative.


This is what is happening to David. His country is at peace, national enemies are at bay, and yet David’s life is consumed with the wreckage of his sins of adultery and murder. It does not seem to end. The resultant consequences of his sin wear upon David for a decade. Right now, David has children spread across ages 0 on up to the middle 20's or so. What could be more enjoyable than to have a few years without war, a few years where you can enjoy the children you have produced and the wife (in David’s case, wives) who produced them. However, this thing with Absalom is constantly before David. He is thinking a great deal about Absalom, and David’s feelings are mixed. At a critical time in Absalom’s life when he needed David (his teens), David was not there for him. His father was out chasing skirt instead. At a time when Absalom needed a steady hand to affirm the importance of justice and righteousness, David gave Absalom maudlin sentimentality instead. As a result, Absalom will take years away from David, and finally even lead the country in a revolt against David, forcing David to leave the country.


Application: If you do not take the time to give your children proper training, guaranteed they will take this time and more from you because of their lack of training in later years.


Application: Discipline takes time; particularly if you really screw up. There are some sins you cannot commit, rebound, and then just move on without there being repercussions. Let me give you a simple, related example: adultery. You may commit adultery, and it may last all of a few minutes or a few years; but the effects will go on for many years. You will either be wracked by personal guilt, or your opposite number will find out, and putting your marriage back together will take a long time—and it may not ever be fixed. Before committing one of those big sins, you may want to stop and think, “Do I want my life to be screwed up for the next 5, 10, 15 or 20 years?” It is not unusual for adultery to affect a person’s life (and the lives of his spouse and children) for 20+ years. This can negatively impact the lives of your children and their children as well. That is one of the salient points of this part of David’s life is, he cannot just take this married woman, kill her husband, and then name his sins and it is all over. Life does not work like that. God has completely and totally forgiven David; but he still has to live with the results of his sin.

 

Edersheim writes Footnote of David: Considering the important part which David sustains in the history of Israel, the views expressed by the ancient Synagogue are, on the whole, remarkably free from undue partiality. But beyond this there is a shrewd discernment of real under apparent motives, and a keen appreciation of the moral bearing of actions. The bright side of David's character is dwelt upon his true humility [Tradition instances this curious (if not historically accurate) evidence of it, that the coins which he had struck bore on one side the emblem of a shepherd’s staff and scrip, and on the reverse a tower (Ber. R. 39)], the affectionateness of his disposition, the faithfulness of his friendship, and, above all, his earnest heart-piety, which distinguished him not only from the monarchs of heathen nations, but from all his contemporaries, and made him for all time one of the heroes of faith. So, even though David gets beaten up pretty badly in Scripture, from his sin with Bathsheba and on into this chapter, this does not mean that he is not a great hero of the faith.


As has been discussed in greater detail elsewhere, when David is back in fellowship, which occurs many times during this disciplinary period of time, the discipline is turned to blessing. That is, David will be blessed by these things which occur in his life, although they will certainly be difficult for him to endure. However, equally true is, when David is out of fellowship, the difficulties that he is facing will not benefit him, but frustrate and confuse him, and knock him off balance.


One of the keys to boxing is balance. If you are balanced, you can throw a punch in such a way as to have maximum impact. You can dance and move and avoid a punch, if you are balanced. Your opponent may land a punch, but, if you are balanced, it will have the least amount of effectiveness. Footnote However, that same punch landed while you are off-balance will possibly knock you to the ground.


The Holy Spirit in the life of the Church Age believer along with doctrinal rationales give us balance. When we are filled with the Spirit, this is not some ecstatic experience, but the thing which, along with Bible doctrine, gives us balance. David, as king and as a prophet, must be empowered by God the Holy Spirit. However, when he is out of fellowship, God the Holy Spirit does not work through him. David is clearly out of fellowship in this chapter, although living a life of wild debauchery is not what we observe. What we observe, time and time again, is David is making decisions based upon emotions and not upon the Word of God. He is allowing his feelings to guide him, rather than the justice of God. Whereas, in this chapter, his wisdom and temperance ought to shine through, as David is the judge of the highest court in the land, what we see David doing is, acting in accordance with his feelings. He’s thinking about his son Absalom, but he’s still a little mad, so Absalom can return to Jerusalem, but not come to see his father. And then, a couple years later, Absalom does something which is reprehensible, and David overlooks it, and sees Absalom, after seven years, and is greatly emotional about it. You cannot run a country like this.


This does not mean that, for seven years, David was out of fellowship and worthless to God 24/7. This chapter tells us that, when dealing with his sons, David was unable to be objective. He was unable to act as chief justice of the high court of the land, if his son Absalom was involved. When David thought about his son Absalom, he was off-balance and he could not make a right decision to save his life.


We begin this chapter with Absalom living as an expat in Geshur, an allied country of Israel’s, with his maternal grandparents (2Sam. 13:37–39). Joab would like to get his uncle, King David, to forgive Absalom for killing Amnon, and to bring Absalom back into Israel. Joab waits until 2 years have passed, and David has warmed up to the idea of Absalom coming back to Israel (2Sam. 14:1). However, it is clear that Joab cannot simply go to David and say, “Isn’t it about time that you forgive Absalom?” So Joab hires an actress from Tekoa, who can both read her lines flawlessly and can improvise in character. She will come to King David’s court as a mourning woman with a serious problem (vv. 2–4). She has lost her husband, and her two sons have gotten into a fight and one killed the other (vv. 5–6). Relatives want to execute the remaining son, leaving her husband no seed to his name (v. 7). Although the king agrees to take care of the matter (v. 8), She continues to speak, asking that any guilt be upon her and not upon David (v. 9). David seems to sense that there is some additionally wrong, and tells her to send anyone giving her a hard time to him, and he would sort them out (v. 10). She asks for assurances that the avengers of blood (other family members) would not be allowed to execute her remaining son, and David agrees to this (v. 11). Then the woman asks to say one more thing, and the king agrees to this (v. 12).


The woman then speaks about David’s son, Absalom, not naming him specifically, but speaking of the inevitability of death and how, once water has been spilled, it cannot be taken up again (vv. 13–14). She says that the people have made her afraid that she and her son may never enjoy the inheritance of God (vv. 15–16). Then the woman lays on the flattery thickly (v. 17).


At some point, David had become suspicious and asked the woman straight out whether Joab was behind her request (vv. 16–19a). She admits that Joab put her up to this, and then flatters the king even more (vv. 19b–20).


David, understanding that this is a ruse to bring back Absalom, turns to Joab and tells him that he may bring the boy back, and Absalom falls before the king in obeisance and gratitude (vv. 21–22). Joab rises up to bring back Absalom, and the king makes it clear that Absalom can return to Jerusalem, but he may not come to the king (vv. 23–24).


There is an interlude about Absalom, his attractiveness, his hair and his family (vv. 25–27).


After two years, Absalom becomes impatient and wanting to see the king (v. 28). He sends two messages to Joab to gain entry to the palace and Joab does not reply to him (v. 29). So, Joab burns down Joab’s barley field, and Joab, quite upset, comes to Absalom and confronts him (vv. 30–31). Absalom explains that he has gone through the normal channels of contacting Joab, but without any response, and then asks, “Why am I even here? I would have been better off to remain in Geshur.” (v. 32a). Absalom then concludes, “Take me to the king, and if I am guilty, then he can execute me.” (v. 32b). Joab, therefore, gets Absalom an audience before the king, and Absalom prostrates himself before the king and the king kisses him (v. 33).


As I mentioned, this chapter could be divided into two parts.

Keil and Delitzsch Outline 2Samuel 14

Absalom's Return, and Reconciliation to the King

As David did not repeal the banishment of Absalom, even after he had comforted himself for Amnon's death, Joab endeavoured to bring him back to Jerusalem by stratagem (2Sam. 14:1–20).

When this succeeded, he proceeded to effect his reconciliation to the king (2Sam. 14:21–33). He may have been induced to take these steps partly by his personal attachment to Absalom, but the principal reason no doubt was that Absalom had the best prospect of succeeding to the throne, and Joab thought this the best way to secure himself from punishment for the murder which he had committed.

But the issue of events frustrated all such hopes. Absalom did not succeed to the throne, Joab did not escape punishment, and David was severely chastised for his weakness and injustice.

From Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament; from e-Sword; 2Sam. 14 chapter comments (slightly edited).

There are really two sections to this chapter:

 

The Woman from Tekoa Seeks Justice Before David       vv. 1–22            [Or, The Woman from Tekoa]

Absalom Returns to Jerusalem                                          vv. 23–33          [Or, Absalom]


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


R. B. Thieme, Jr. is one of the few teachers to present this chapter as 3 parts.

R. B. Thieme, Jr. Outlines 2Samuel 14

vv.     1–20         The Lavish Production of the Woman of Tekoa; Producer: Joab.

vv.    21–29         The Return of Absalom to Jerusalem.

vv.    30–33         David’s Arrogance Hangover.

From R. B. Thieme, Jr.’s 1972 David Series, lesson 631_0322.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


In this chapter, Joab will try to get David to grant Absalom a pardon; and this will require us to probe the psyche of Joab because, once Absalom returns and is living in Jerusalem, Joab does not respond to his being called by Absalom. Absalom will eventually burn down Joab’s field, which is next to his, and Joab will respond to that. Much of what the woman from Tekoa says reflects Joab’s thinking—in fact, so much so, that even David will recognize it and ask her, “Did Joab put you up to this?”


Portions of this chapter will be difficult to tie together. The woman from Tekoa appears to come right out and tell David why she is there, and talk to him about Absalom. And then, she begins talking to him about her and her son again, which is a made-up cover story that Joab gave her.


There is also an oddity in this chapter; David’s name is never mentioned. He is always called the king in this chapter, and never by his Christian name. His name is found in every chapter of 2Samuel previous to this. His name is found in every chapter of 2Samuel which follows this chapter. But the proper name David in not found in 2Sam. 14. At this point, I can only theorize here—could this information be culled from the court records, where the king is listed only by title but not by name?


From the divine side of authorship, what does this mean? What did God the Holy Spirit choose this one chapter Footnote to speak of David using only his title, the king? This is what David needed to be in this chapter. He needed to be the king. He needed to be decisive, just and objective. He needed to deal with Absalom objectively, and not as the son of David. This is David’s entire problem with his children: he is an over-indulgent father who cannot deal with the sins of his children. When he needs to be the king, he is a subjective, over-indulgent father. So, God the Holy Spirit uses this title ironically, if you will, concerning what David should be, but is not.


Let’s step back and consider the nation Israel. This ought to be a golden era for the nation Israel. They are, for a time, at peace with their enemies. Joab, the lead general, is at home, enjoying his land and family. Footnote David has sinned, but that sin is a few years old. However, there is this great undercurrent of revolution occurring. David, a man after God’s Own heart (Acts 13:22), is ruling, a man who is perhaps the greatest king in human history. However, while this relationship with Absalom is in flux, many of the people of Israel are turning against David. David, by the decisions he has made and the life he has led, has turned many of the people of Israel off. “If this is David’s God, why should I worship a God like that?” may have been the thinking of some. David’s actions—particularly his lack of justice—during this time period, apparently turned the people not just away from him, but away from his God, Yehowah. We are not going to see much evidence of this in this chapter—this is yet to come—but as we proceed in this chapter, I want this to be in the back of your mind. This helps us to understand how the Jews—many of them, anyway—find it in their hearts to rebel against David, and, therefore, against the God of Israel.


There are clues hidden in this chapter, and let me give you two of them: notice how many times David, Joab and Absalom speak of the character, the essence or the guidance of God in this chapter. They don’t. The other principal of this chapter is the woman from Tekoa, and she speaks of God, but primarily to manipulate David. She is like the person who stands up in a meeting and says, “God told me we ought to go with plan A, so, therefore, we ought to go with plan A.” Although some of what the woman says is valid (e.g., speaking of the inheritance of her late husband as important in God’s eyes), she is using God to get David to go along with her petition. Footnote


The second clue in this chapter that the leadership of Israel is on the wrong track is, there is no justice in this chapter, only familial love and emotion. This is actually the key to this chapter. Dozens of excellent commentators suggest that the problem in this chapter is, David only half-forgives Absalom, and that is the basis for their estrangement and the revolution which will follow. Although half-forgiveness is a moderately important concept in this chapter, the key to understanding this chapter is a lack of applied justice. David does not tie together everything in terms of what is righteous and just. He depends upon his emotions in order to guide him, which means that David’s decisions will be all over the map. Because justice never becomes an issue, we know that the leadership of Israel is lacking, and this lack will affect the entire fabric of national life in Israel.


When you go before a judge, you want that judge to go by the clear laws of the land. You want to depend upon that judge for a just verdict. You want to go before him, argue the clear points of the law, and for him to rule based upon the law, and not based upon how he feels that day. The people of Israel did not have that in David. In any dealings that David had with his sons, he was the indulgent father and not the just judge.


What Amnon did was wrong, and he should have been legally executed; but he was not. David did not apply righteousness and justice. When Absalom had Amnon killed, he was wrong. Again, David did not apply righteousness and justice to the situation. There is one way and one way only to fix what happened: David must hold court, retroactively assess judgment against Amnon, and then pass judgment against Absalom. David is unable to treat his sons objectively, and that will eventually lead to a revolution. As the chief justice of the high court of the land, David needs to act and to apply justice; but as an overindulgent father, David cannot.


One more thing needs to be said: the order of the male births to David was Amnon, Chileab Footnote and Absalom (2Sam. 3:2–3). It seems apparent that Absalom is the heir apparent. Therefore, the logical question is, where’s Chileab? Chileab is found in the genealogy passages only, which suggests that, for whatever reason (probably an early death), he fell out of the running for king. The Bible goes from Amnon to Absalom, so we can only speculate. Obvious other reasons would be, he is born an idiot, he has no interest in the throne, he leaves the kingdom for whatever reason. It is rather sad, whatever the case, because his mother was one of David’s great wives, Abigail (see 1Sam. 25 (HTML) (PDF) for more about Abigail).


——————————


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


The Woman of Tekoa: the Preparation


In order to begin this verse, we need to consider 2Sam. 13:39 (there are no chapter divisions in the original text): So [the spirit of] David the king had come to an end to go out [Greek: And the spirit of the king grew tired to go out] to Absalom, for he had been comforted concerning Amnon for he was dead. To give a more interpretive, but less accurate translation: King David no longer thought to go out to Absalom for justice, for he had been comforted over Amnon because he was dead. The idea is, after time went on, David began to deal with the fact that Amnon was dead and that what he did was a lousy thing (raping his half-sister, Absalom’s full sister). So, David no longer wanted to prosecute Absalom for the murder of Amnon. However, this did not mean that David would do this of his own initiative; nor did this mean that Joab could simply say, “I’ll go get Absalom;” and David replies, “As you wish.”


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And so perceives Joab ben Zeruiah that a heart of the king upon Absalom.

2Samuel

14:1

And Joab, the son of Zeruiah, perceived that the heart of King David [lit., the king] [was] upon [possibly, against] Absalom.

And Joab, the son of Zeruiah, David’s sister, perceived that David was thinking fondly about Absalom [or possibly, David’s thinking was still against Absalom].


Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Ancient texts:                       Note: I compare the Hebrew text to English translations of the Latin, Syriac and Greek texts, using the Douay-Rheims translation Footnote ; George Lamsa’s translation, and Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton’s translation as revised and edited by Paul W. Esposito, respectively. I often update these texts with non-substantive changes (e.g., you for thou, etc.). I often use the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible instead of Brenton’s translation, because it updates the English text.

 

The Septuagint was the earliest known translation of a book (circa 200 b.c.). Since this translation was made before the textual criticism had been developed into a science and because different books appear to be translated by different men, the Greek translation can sometimes be very uneven.

 

When there are serious disparities between my translation and Brenton’s (or the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible), I look at the Greek text of the Septuagint (the LXX) to see if a substantive difference actually exists (and I reflect these changes in the English rendering of the Greek text). I use the Greek LXX with Strong’s numbers and morphology available for e-sword. The only problem with this resource (which is a problem for similar resources) is, there is no way to further explore Greek verbs which are not found in the New Testament. Although I usually quote the Complete Apostles’ Bible here, I have begun to make changes in the translation when their translation conflicts with the Greek and note what those changes are.

 

The Masoretic text is the Hebrew text with all of the vowels (vowel points) inserted (the original Hebrew text lacked vowels). We take the Masoretic text to be the text closest to the original. However, differences between the Masoretic text and the Greek, Latin and Syriac are worth noting and, once in a great while, represent a more accurate text possessed by those other ancient translators.

 

In general, the Latin text is an outstanding translation from the Hebrew text into Latin and very trustworthy (I say this as a non-Catholic). Unfortunately, I do not read Latin—apart from some very obvious words—so I am dependent upon the English translation of the Latin (principally, the Douay-Rheims translation).

 

Underlined words indicate differences in the text.

 

Bracketed portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls are words, letters and phrases lost in the scroll due to various types of damage. Underlined words or phrases are those in the Dead Sea Scrolls but not in the Masoretic text.

 

Latin Vulgate                          And Joab the son of Sarvia, understanding that the king's heart was turned to Absalom,...

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so perceives Joab ben Zeruiah that a heart of the king upon Absalom.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    NOW Joab the son of, Zoriah perceived that the kings heart was reconciled toward Absalom.

Septuagint (Greek)                Now Joab the son of Zeruiah knew that the heart of the king was toward Absalom.

 

Significant differences:           The Hebrew lacks a second verb, and the English translation from Latin and Syriac interpret this to mean turned to, reconciled to.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Absalom is restored

Now Joab, Zeruiah's son, could see that the king's mind was on Absalom.

Contemporary English V.       Joab knew that David couldn't stop thinking about Absalom,...

Easy English (Pocock)           Joab plans to bring Absalom back to Jerusalem

Joab, the son of Zeruiah, knew that King David was constantly thinking about Absalom.

Easy-to-Read Version            Joab son of Zeruiah knew that King David missed Absalom very much.

The Message                         Joab son of Zeruiah knew that the king, deep down, still cared for Absalom.

New Living Translation           Joab Arranges for Absalom's Return

Joab realized how much the king longed to see Absalom.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Now, JoAb (the son of ZeruJah) knew that the king [still loved] AbSalom.

Beck’s American Translation Joab, Zeruiah’s son, knew the king’s mind was on Absalom.

Christian Community Bible     Now Joab son of Zeruiah saw that the king was yearning for Ab salom..

God’s Word                         Joab, Zeruiah's son, knew the king was still thinking about Absalom.

New American Bible              The Wise Woman of Tekoa.

Now Joab, son of Zeruiah, knew how the king felt toward Absalom.

New Jerusalem Bible             Now, Joab son of Zeruiah observed that the king was favourably inclined to Absalom.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             Now it was clear to Joab, the son of Zeruiah, that the king's heart was turning to Absalom.

Complete Jewish Bible           Yo'av the son of Tz'ruyah perceived that the king missed Avshalom;...

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Joab Brings Back Absalom. (b.c. 1027)

And J’oab-ben-Zeruiah knew that the heart of the king was upon Absalom,...

HCSB                                     Joab son of Zeruiah observed that the king's mind was on Absalom.

Judaica Press Complete T.    And Joab the son of Zeruiah knew that the king's heart (longed) for Absalom.

New Advent Bible                  And Joab the son of Sarvia, understanding that the king's heart was turned to Absalom,...

NET Bible®                             David Permits Absalom to Return to Jerusalem

Now Joab son of Zeruiah realized that the king longed to see [Heb "the heart of the king was upon." The Syriac Peshitta adds the verb 'ethre'i ("was reconciled").] Absalom. When it comes to making an actual material change to the text, the NET Bible® is pretty good about indicating this. Since most of these corrections will be clear in the more literal translations below and within the Hebrew exegesis itself, I will not continue to list every NET Bible® footnote.

The Scriptures 1998              And Yoʼab? son of Tseruyah knew that the heart of the sovereign was towards Ab?shalom.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And Joab son of Zeruial knows that the heart of the king [is] on Absalom,...

English Standard Version      Now Joab the son of Zeruiah knew that the king's heart went out to Absalom.

exeGeses companion Bible   WISE WOMAN OF TEQOHA

And Yah Ab the son of Seruyah perceives

that the heart of the sovereign is on Abi Shalom:...

The Geneva Bible                  Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart [was] toward [That the king favoured him.] Absalom.

Hebrew Names Version         Now Yo'av the son of Tzeru'yah perceived that the king's heart was toward Avshalom.

NASB                                     The Woman of Tekoa

Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was inclined toward Absalom.

New King James Version       Absalom Returns to Jerusalem

So Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was concerned about Absalom.

Syndein/Thieme                     {David's 4th Installments of 4 Installments of Discipline - Absalom Revolution (David Rebelled against the Authority of God - His Son Will Revolt Against His Authority)} {Verses 1-20: A Three Act Drama: The Woman from Tekoah}

Now Joab, the son of Zeruiah {David's sister} perceived/knew that the king's {David's} heart . . . {was} against/toward Absalom. {Note: RBT says that this is a change of feelings for David. In the last chapter David longed to see Absalom. David is now unstable - back in his arrogance complex. But Joab now knows that none of David's adult sons are capable of ruling Israel once David passes away. So, he is going to scheme to bring back Absalom. And, he is going to set up a scenario where 1) Absalom can return 2) Absalom will not be stoned to death when he returns, and 3) Absalom will be given over to Joab as his personal responsibility when he does return. So, we will see Joab will be given the 'responsibility' for Absalom when he is permitted to return to Jerusalem. That is why when David will order in the revolution that no one kill Absalom. Joab will violate this order - because HE was responsible for Joab and it was his right and responsibility to kill him when he revolted against David.}.

World English Bible                Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom.

Young's Updated LT              And Joab son of Zeruial knows that the heart of the king is on Absalom.

 

The gist of this verse:          Joab recognizes that David is thinking about his son Absalom.


2Samuel 14:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâdaʿ (יָדַע) [pronounced yaw-DAHĢ]

to know, to perceive, to acquire knowledge, to become acquainted with, to know by experience, to have a knowledge of something; to see; to learn; to recognize [admit, acknowledge, confess]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3045 BDB #393

Yôwʾâb (יוֹאָב) [pronounced YOH-awbv]

Yah is father and is transliterated Joab

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3097 BDB #222

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Tserûwyâh (צְרוּיָה) [pronounced tzeroo-YAW]

transliterated Zeruiah

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6870 BDB #863

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471


Translation: And Joab, the son of Zeruiah, perceived that... Joab is David’s nephew, the son of his sister; and Joab is David’s lead general. He and David are probably as close as any two adult men could be, with a great deal of mutual respect. After Jonathan, Saul’s son who was dead, David was probably closest to Joab.


Also, you will note that Zeruiah, Joab’s mother, is mentioned often in connection with Joab. This indicates that she did an excellent job raising her sons, who all became generals in David’s army, not through nepotism, but as a result of their true abilities.


Joab and David were apparently close enough for Joab to recognize when the time was right to reconcile David to his son Absalom (who had killed Amnon, heir to the throne).


The complete Doctrine of Joab may be found at http://kukis.org/Doctrines/Joab.htm (or, the PDF version).


2Samuel 14:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lêb (לֵב) [pronounced laybv]

heart, inner man, mind, will, thinking; midst

masculine singular construct

Strong's #3820 BDB #524

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over; on the ground of, because of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, with, by, besides, in addition to, to, toward, together with, in the matter of, concerning, as regards to

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

Gesenius breaks down the prepositional use of ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl] into 4 categories: (1) It is used much like the Greek preposition ἐπὶ, when one thing is placed upon, over, on something else. This can be different things, when one is over the other; or it can refer to the top part of something being over the bottom part. This can refer to clothing being on a person; as well as something which is super-added to another thing. (2) This preposition can be used to express a relationship between two things that are not touching, with the idea of impending, being high, being suspended over something else. (3) ʿAl can be used to express neighborhood or continuity. It can be translated at, by, near. (4) Finally, ʿal can denote motion unto or towards something. One thing can rush upon, towards, to, against another thing.

ʾĂbîyshâlôwm (אֲבִישָלוֹם) [pronounced ub-ee-shaw-LOHM]

my father is peace and is transliterated Absalom

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #53 BDB #5

An alternate form of this word is ʾAbeshâlôwm (אַבְשָלוֹם) [pronounced ahbe-shaw-LOHM] is found here.

Keil and Delitzsch understand this to mean that David’s heart was against Absalom, Footnote which is a perfectly good interpretation, given the preposition found here (and a parallel usage in Dan. 11:28). However, upon is a more common rendering of this preposition and context suggests more that David is thinking about Absalom rather than stewing in anger over Absalom.


Translation: ... the heart of King David [lit., the king] [was] upon [possibly, against] Absalom. With the previous section, this gives us: And Joab, the son of Zeruiah, perceived that the heart of King David [lit., the king] [was] upon [possibly, against] Absalom. As you will notice, there are two very different ways of understanding that final preposition.


What we have here are nearly opposite ways of understanding this verse.

The Two Interpretations of 2Samuel 14:1

Interpretation

Text/Commentary

1st Interpretation

There are two ways to read and interpret this final phrase: David’s heart could be upon Absalom and it might be against Absalom. Now, if David’s heart is upon Absalom, then this means that he is thinking of this young man, but his pride or anger made it too difficult for David to simply pardon him and bring him back to Jerusalem.

2nd Interpretation

The other interpretation is, And Joab perceived that the king’s heart was against Absalom. Joab is at home from war, and he is David’s closest friend, taking the place, to some degree, of Jonathan. This would mean that, at some point in time, Joab broached the subject of Absalom, and was immediately rebuffed.

Translations with 1st

NASB                                          Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was inclined toward Absalom.

New King James Version            So Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was concerned about Absalom.

World English Bible                     Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom.

Young's Updated LT                   And Joab son of Zeruial knows that the heart of the king is on Absalom.

Translations with 2nd

R. B. Thieme, Jr., Keil and Delitzsch and Edersheim are those who take this the other way: Edersheim writes: there seems no doubt that Joab had repeatedly interceded for Absalom; until at last he felt fully assured that "the heart of the king was against Absalom." In a footnote, Edersheim then notes, This is certainly the correct translation. Compare the similar use of the expressions in Dan. 11:28. If, as the Authorised Version puts it, the king’s heart had been “toward” Absalom, there would have been no need to employ the woman of Tekoah, nor would the king have afterwards left Absalom for two full years without admitting him to his presence (2Sam. 14:28). Footnote

What is very common is, when there can be two ways of understanding a verse, nearly everyone lines up behind the King James Version (also called the Authorized Version). So, if there is any translation that is in opposition to this approach, then I missed it in the gathering of the various translations.

There is a 3rd way of understanding this, and Joab perceives that David’s heart is upon and against Absalom. He is thinking about his son Absalom, but much of this thinking is against him. Therefore, Joab has to do something in order to turn David away from thinking harshly about Absalom. The idea is, David is conflicted about his son Absalom. Even in within the period of a minute, David might be thinking favorably about Absalom, but then think about the murder of Amnon, and suddenly, be angry with Absalom.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


At this point, we get the content of Joab’s thought concerning his Uncle David. Generally speaking, when there is a missing verb, and nothing around to suggest its meaning, we after go with some form of the verb to be. So all that is here is, Joab knows that David is thinking about Absalom. For a year or two, David was very angry over what had happened, but he is apparently getting over that.


As time passed, David began to mourn less and less for Amnon, whom Absalom killed. After all, he was somewhat of a loser who raped his own half-sister, and then treated her even more shabbily after that. It should be made clear that David does not see Amnon in this light. David has not yet reconciled himself to the idea that, Amnon was a bad seed. However, Amnon has been dead for three years. So, even though there is this sentimentality in all of this, David’s emotion is no longer driving him to seek justice by prosecuting Absalom.


On the other hand, this does not mean that David’s thoughts were not against Absalom. How could he possibly think of his son Absalom without seeing him kill his other son Amnon? The two things go together—any thinking about Absalom must then associate with Amnon’s death. To say that David was conflicted is an understatement.


Think about this: Bathsheba was David’s right woman, because he apparently spends his time with her and he also apparently makes an attempt to properly raise their children together. However, he had her husband killed. Now, David may have never admitted to this, but, isn’t that convenient that, after Uriah returned to Jerusalem for a few days (Bathsheba no doubt found out about this, as a meal was delivered to her home the first night Uriah was in town), that Uriah is killed in battle. She does not have to admit to her affair with David; David does not have the problem of Uriah returning home to a pregnant wife (pregnant by someone else). Do you think that Bathsheba may have had conflicted feelings about David? Now David cannot be a proper judge when dealing with Absalom, because of his conflicted feelings. We are not told much about David and Bathsheba when they first became a couple, but there may have been times, for say, as long as a few years, before Bathsheba was able to let go of her past and her previous husband.


When God teaches us the hard way, He wants for it to stick in our brains.

The Parallels Between David and Bathsheba’s Conflicted Emotions

1.      David was conflicted about Absalom and Amnon. Every time he thought about Absalom, he thought about his sons Ammon, whom he could not think about objectively.

2.      Bathsheba was probably conflicted about David and Uriah. Although we do not know much about their relationship, we do know that Uriah was a faithful and brave man.

3.      Every time Bathsheba looked at David, she thought about Uriah.

4.      It did not matter that she was never told any details about David’s involvement with Uriah’s death; everything was just too convenient.

5.      It takes David about 5 years to get to a point where he could accept Absalom.

6.      It is reasonable to suppose that it took Bathsheba that long, or longer, to get to a point where she was not conflicted about David.

So, as you see, there are more parallels between David’s evil acts and what you realized.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


With regards to his own children, David was subjective, sentimental, indulgent, conflicted, indecisive, weak and biased. For about 20 years, David had seen Amnon as his successor, and he loved that boy, despite all of his shortcomings. David was unable to look at Absalom objectively. He loved Absalom, but was upset over his killing Amnon. I know that for many of us, it seems like an easy call—Amnon raped his own half-sister and there is not enough evil that could befall such a person. Absalom having Amnon killed when he was half-drunk was, if anything, too kind to Amnon. However, David could not objectively see Amnon in this light. He chose not to even bring this case to court, even though it was superficially investigated (2Sam. 13:21) . David was simply unwilling to hear what really happened and take it in, and then to make an official ruling.


Absalom killing Amnon left David very conflicted. He was very emotional about both of these boys. At best, David had come to a point where he was thinking about Absalom, but he was unable to act. He was unable to clear all of this up in court. In fact, what we observe with David is love without justice.


David’s inability to be objective concerning his sons affected his judgment for much of his life. David has some great children: Solomon, Tamar and Nathan (we are making educated guesses with regards to the latter two); but David has some clear favorites (Amnon, Absalom, and Solomon). David’s lack of objectivity means that he cannot properly evaluate what these children do as young adults. Like it or not, David should have looked at the rape of Tamar by Amnon and both investigated and made a ruling in this matter. He did not. David apparently heard some preliminary reports (2Sam. 13:21), but he did not choose to push for a complete investigation and arrest. David’s love for Amnon precluded him from acting justly. David knew the end result of a trial—if Amnon was found guilty, then he would be executed, because this is the law (which would be an application of Deut. 22:25–26).


Another example of how David did not treat his sons objectively: none of them are military heroes, insofar as we know. David’s sister, Zeruiah raised 3 of her boys to become soldiers and they became three of David’s greatest soldiers. Now, David was a former military man, and he involves himself in military actions even to this day (2Sam. 8:1–8 10:17–19 12:26–31 18:1–8). But, where do we hear of any of his sons engaging in warfare, other than Absalom revolting against David?


Application: David, as King of Israel, could give his sons the finest education in all of the land, and provide for all of their needs. However, this is not the key to their success or to their personal character. David’s sister, on the other hand, appears to be raising three boys on her own, and these three boys become great and honorable young men, serving their country with great patriotism (2Sam. 23:18, 24). But what sons of David populate this list of great military heroes? None.


Application: Often mothers will attempt to influence their sons not to join the military, fearing for their life and limb. If these sons are believers in Jesus Christ and if they have doctrine in their souls, then God will take care of them. It won’t matter if they have a safe room in their house and they spend half of their lives in that safe room, God will remove them from this earth when it is time. Keeping a child out of the military does not protect or prolong that child’s life, nor is this in keeping with the plan of God. See the Laws of Divine Establishment (HTML) (PDF).


Application: The most lovely child in the world has a sin nature. Your child, despite all of his good points—and there are many—has a sin nature. You, as a parent, must be aware of that sin nature and deal with your child’s wrong actions with righteousness and justice. You do your child no favors by being unrealistic, emotional and conflicted. I cannot tell you how many parents I met with as a teacher, and they had no concept as to what their child was like. They could not admit to themselves that their child had done wrong. When dealing with a parent like that, there was little that you could do as a team on behalf of their child. I recall one whose child drew marijuana leaves on everything; but when I suggested that the kid was doing drugs, “Oh, no! Not my little Johnny.”


So, David needs to deal with Absalom, and he needs to deal with Absalom in justice. That means all that happened needs to be laid out in court and acknowledged as true. Absalom can be pardoned, but only if the rape of Tamar is accepted, the crime of Amnon acknowledged, and the blood avenger Absalom recognized. This is all related to justice, which includes the fact that, Amnon was a worthless layabout and that he had to die for his crime.


Application: We need to see ourselves objectively as well. How can a person see the value of Jesus dying for his sins if he does not believe that he sins? If you cannot see yourself objectively as a person who has done and will do some awful things, then how can you see Jesus’ death for your sins as being meaningful and necessary? The same thing is true after salvation. Although the concept of sinless perfection seems to be rare nowadays, there are believers who are so filled with self-righteousness that they cannot objectively view their own lives and actions. You cannot be restored to fellowship without acknowledging your sins (1John 1:9). In other words, some objectivity is needed both for salvation and for the Christian walk.


Joab, David’s nephew, knows David quite well, and is probably David’s closest friend after Jonathan, who has died. No doubt they have dined together on many occasions, and Joab has been mindful of David’s thinking.


There are some assumptions that we will reasonably need to make. Joab quite obviously believes that it is best for Absalom to return to Jerusalem, simply because Joab goes to a great deal of trouble to make this happen (that is what this chapter is all about). We do not know exactly what motivates Joab, because he does not appear to have a close relationship with Absalom (which will become clear in this chapter). So Joab must be looking over the other sons of David; he must have heard input from his soldiers, and he may have an idea as to the mood of the country. Taking all of these things into account, Joab wants Absalom to be brought back to Jerusalem. It is possible that Absalom recognizes so much David in Absalom that he does not want Absalom to become the king or lead general for a neighboring country, even though that country is an ally.


Secondly, we must assume that Joab has already talked to David on this subject of bringing Absalom back, and David finally said, “Enough; you will not speak to me again of Absalom.” We make this assumption because Joab will go through quite an elaborate ruse to bring Absalom back. He does not, in this chapter, go to David and say, “Here is why you need to bring Absalom back...” Therefore, we assume that Joab has already tried that and it did not work.

 

The Pulpit Commentary notes: Joab was not a mere military man, whose range of observation was limited by his profession. He had his eyes wide open to notice, in their bearing one on the other, the various incidents in the history of Israel, embracing both the private and public life, king and people. The remark that he perceived that the king"s heart was adverse to Absalom is but an index of the man"s character. Some generals would simply have confined their attention to military duties, paying little or no heed to what passed in the mind of the king, and what was the effect of his attitude on the nation. The widely and minutely observant eye is a great blessing, and, when under the government of a holy purpose, is a means of personal and relative enrichment. All men astute in affairs have cultivated it with zeal, and its activity and range account in part for the superiority they have acquired over their fellow creatures. Human life is a voluminous book, ever being laid, page by page, before us; and he who can with simple and steady glance note what is there written, and treasure up the record for future use, has procured an advantage, which, in days to come, will be converted into power. "The wise man"s eyes are in his head; but the fool walks in darkness.” (Eccles. 2:14). Footnote


The Pulpit Commentary also notes that Joab, on many occasions, is looking ahead, making an attempt to read the present situation, and then to forecast future events, and then making provision for such events (e.g. 2Sam. 11:16, 18-20 12:28 13:19). Footnote


We have not yet studied the Doctrine of Absalom. That will probably be found in 2Sam. 18 or 19.


This verse reads: And Joab, the son of Zeruiah, perceived that the heart of King David [lit., the king] [was] upon Absalom. Or, less literally: And Joab, the son of Zeruiah, David’s sister, perceived that David was thinking fondly about Absalom [or possibly, David’s thinking was still against Absalom]. So, Joab has been watching his Uncle David carefully and recognizes that David might be persuadable at this point, but that he cannot just come out and say, “Let’s bring Absalom back.” Therefore, the assumption that Joab has tried that approach and it did not work.


Joab is going to act at this point, because he knows that David is unable to. David cannot be objective about his own children, so he cannot act decisively concerning them. We do not know Joab’s motivation, but this verse suggests what it is in part: And Joab, the son of Zeruiah, perceived that the heart of King David [lit., the king] [was] upon Absalom. Joab can tell that David is thinking about Absalom. However, whenever Joab suggests that David simply bring Absalom back into the kingdom, this receives a negative response. One thing that you do not do is, you do not nag a king. A king’s decisions are important and not made lightly; so when a king like David says, “And Absalom can rot in Geshur, for all that I care”; then Joab cannot asked the king every month, “Have you changed your mind yet?” That would imply that King David cannot make a good decision regarding Absalom (which is true, but still something which no one would want to imply). Therefore, based upon this verse, Joab wants to bring Absalom back into Jerusalem because this would be good for David emotionally. It would resolve this situation which has been in a perpetual limbo because David cannot apply justice or completely forgiveness to this situation.


——————————


So, that Joab does not nag King David concerning this situation, he develops a rather extravagant plot to get David to see this situation more objectively. Joab is going to hire an actress, one who is unknown to David, and she will come into the court of David and give the performance of her career. Her performance will be so good that even David does not realize that she is acting (until the very end).


You may say to yourself, particularly as we go deeper into this chapter, “This is awfully convoluted. What can’t Joab simply lay it all out for David? Let’s get a couple verses into this chapter, then I will explain.


And so sends Joab Tekoa-ward and so he takes from there a woman wise and so he says unto her, “Mourn please and put on, please, garments of mourning and do not anoint [yourself] [with] oil. You have been like a woman that days many mourning upon dying.

2Samuel

14:2

Then Joab sent [servants] to Tekoa and he took from there a skillful woman. He said to her, “Pretend to mourn, I request of you, and put on garments of mourning, if you would. Do not anoint [yourself] with oils. You will be like a woman who is mourning many days on account of [one] dying.

Joab then sent servants to Tekoa and he took a skilled actress from there. He said to her, “Pretend to mourn, I request of you, and put on mourning garments, if you would. Do not put on oils or perfume; you will be like a woman who has been mourning for many days because of one who has died.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          Sent to Thecua, and fetched from there a wise woman: and said to her: Pretend to be a mourner, and put on mourning apparel, and be not anointed with oil, that you may be as a woman that had a long time been mourning for one dead.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so sends Joab Tekoa-ward and so he takes from there a woman wise and so he says unto her, “Mourn please and put on, please, garments of mourning and do not anoint [yourself] [with] oil. You have been like a woman that days many mourning upon dying.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And Joab sent to Tekoah, and fetched from there a wise woman and said to her, Pretend to be a mourner and put on mourning apparel, and do not anoint yourself with oil, but be as a woman who has been mourning many days for the dead.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Joab sent to Tekoa, and took from there a cunning woman, and said to her, Mourn, and put on mourning apparel, and anoint yourself not with oil, and you shall be as a woman mourning for one that is dead thus for many days.

Brenton’s Septuagint             And Joab sent to Thecoe, and took thence a cunning woman, and said to her, Mourn, I pray thee, and put on mourning apparel, and anoint thee not with oil, and thou shalt be as a woman mourning for one that is dead thus for many days.

 

Significant differences:           The English translation from the Latin assumes the subject Joab from the previous verse. BDB allows to verb to mourn to also be translated play the mourner.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           So Joab sent someone to Tekoa and brought a wise woman from there. He said to her, "Pretend to be in mourning. Dress in mourning clothes. Don't anoint yourself with oil. Act like a woman who has spent a long time mourning over someone who has died.

Contemporary English V.       ...and he sent someone to bring in the wise woman who lived in Tekoa. Joab told her, "Put on funeral clothes and don't use any makeup. Go to the king and pretend you have spent a long time mourning the death of a loved one." Then he told her what to say.

Easy English                          So Joab sent for a wise woman from the town called Tekoa. Joab said to her, `Pretend that someone has died. And pretend that you are very sad about this. Wear the clothes that you wear at a funeral. Do not put oil on your face to make it look pretty. Behave like a woman who has been sad for a long time.

Easy-to-Read Version            So Joab sent {messengers} to Tekoa to bring a wise woman from there. Joab said to this wise woman, “Please pretend to be very sad. Put on clothes of sadness. Don’t dress up. Act like a woman who has been crying many days for someone that died.

Good News Bible (TEV)         ...so he sent for a clever woman who lived in Tekoa. When she arrived, he said to her, "Pretend that you are in mourning; put on your mourning clothes, and don't comb your hair. Act like a woman who has been in mourning for a long time.

The Message                         So he sent to Tekoa for a wise woman who lived there and instructed her, "Pretend you are in mourning. Dress in black and don't comb your hair, so you'll look like you've been grieving over a dead loved one for a long time.

New Berkeley Version           So Joab sent to Tekoa and from that place he summoned a certain wise woman. He requested of her, “Come, play the part of a mourner; dress yourself now in mourning clothes; do not anoint yourself with oil, but be like a woman who has been many days in mourning over someone dead.

New Century Version             So Joab sent messengers to Tekoa to bring a wise woman from there. He said to her, "Pretend to be very sad. Put on funeral clothes and don't put lotion on yourself. Act like a woman who has been crying many days for someone who died.

New Life Bible                        So Joab sent for a wise woman from Tekoa, and said to her, "Pretend to be filled with sorrow. Dress as if you were filled with sorrow, and do not pour oil on yourself. Dress like a woman who has been filled with sorrow for the dead many days.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

God’s Word                         So Joab sent someone to Tekoa to get a clever woman from there. He told her, "Please act like a mourner, and dress in mourning clothes. Don't rub olive oil on yourself, but act like a woman who has been mourning for the dead for a long time.

NIRV                                      So Joab sent someone to Tekoa to have a wise woman brought back from there. Joab said to her, "Pretend you are filled with sadness. Put on black clothes. Don't use any makeup. Act like a woman who has spent many days sobbing over someone who has died.

New Jerusalem Bible             Joab therefore sent to Tekoa for a wise woman. 'Pretend to be in mourning,' he said. 'Dress yourself in mourning, do not perfume yourself; act like a woman who has long been mourning for the dead.

New Simplified Bible              Joab sent someone to Tekoa to get a wise woman from there. He told her: »Please act like a mourner. Dress in mourning clothes. Do not use any cosmetic lotions. Act like a woman who has been mourning for the dead for a long time.

Revised English Bible            ...so he sent for a wise woman from Tekoa and said to her, ‘Pretend to be a mourner; put on mourning garb, go without anointing yourself, and behave like a woman who has been bereaved these many days.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And Joab sent to Tekoa and got from there a wise woman, and said to her, Now make yourself seem like one given up to grief, and put on the clothing of sorrow, not using any sweet oil for your body, but looking like one who for a long time has been weeping for the dead:...

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 ...so J’oab sent to Thiquah and brought clever woman from there, and said to her, “I want you to disarrange yourself, and clothe yourself in widow’s weeds, and not tidy yourself with oil, but seem like a woman distressed for a long time over death.

HCSB                                     So Joab sent someone to Tekoa to bring a clever woman from there. He told her, "Pretend to be in mourning: dress in mourning clothes and don't put on any oil. Act like a woman who has been mourning for the dead for a long time.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               ...so Joab sent to Tekoa and brought a clever woman from there. He said to her, “Pretend you are in mourning; put on mourning clothes and don’t anoint yourself with oil; and act like a woman who has grieved a long time over a departed one.

NET Bible®                             So Joab sent to Tekoa and brought from there a wise woman. He told her, "Pretend to be in mourning [The Hebrew Hitpael verbal form here indicates pretended rather than genuine action.] and put on garments for mourning. Don't anoint yourself with oil. Instead, act like a woman who has been mourning for the dead for some time [Heb "these many days."].

NIV – UK                                So Joab sent someone to Tekoa and had a wise woman brought from there. He said to her, `Pretend you are in mourning. Dress in mourning clothes, and don't use any cosmetic lotions. Act like a woman who has spent many days grieving for the dead.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

LTHB                                     And Joab sent to Tekoah and took a wise woman from there, and said to her, Pretend yourself to be a mourner now, and please put on garments of mourning. And do not anoint yourself with oil, and you shall be a woman mourning for one who died these many days.

New RSV                               Joab sent to Tekoa and brought from there a wise woman. He said to her, `Pretend to be in mourning; put on mourning garments, do not anoint yourself with oil, but behave like a woman who has been mourning many days for the dead.

Syndein                                  {Verses 2-3: Joab Stages a Drama - A 3 Act Scenario}

And Joab sent {shalach} {someone} to {the town of} Tekoah {T@qowa`} {means Joab did not go himself - apparently he knew this woman and she owes him a big favor - Tekoah is a town 6 miles south of Bethlehem}, and he brought from there a 'technically skilled' {chakam} woman {from the context, apparently she was a skilled actress}, and he {Joab} said to her, please/'I pray you', pretend that you are in mourning {the actress' role}, and please dress in mourning clothes {the costuming/wardrobe}, but do not put on any cosmetics/'cosmetic oils or lotions' {will make her look really bad and to be pitied - wearing cosmetics is normally very acceptable - is a volitional choice of the woman}, and instead act like a woman who has for many days been mourning for the dead {Joab is the producer of this play}.

World English Bible                Joab sent to Tekoa, and fetched there a wise woman, and said to her, please act like a mourner, and put on mourning clothing, Please, and don't anoint yourself with oil, but be as a woman who has a long time mourned for the dead:...

Young’s Updated LT             And Joab sends to Tekoah, and takes thence a wise woman, and says unto her, “Feign yourself a mourner, I pray you, and put on, I pray you, garments of mourning, and anoint not thyself with oil, and you have been as a woman these many days mourning for the dead.

 

The gist of this verse:          Joab sends for an actress from Tekoa to come to Jerusalem and play the part of a mourner, and to look as if she has been mourning for a long time.


2Samuel 14:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâlach (שָלַח) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for [forth, away], to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth, to stretch out, to reach out

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

Yôwʾâb (יוֹאָב) [pronounced YOH-awbv]

Yah is father and is transliterated Joab

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3097 BDB #222

Teqôwaʿ (תְּקוֹעַ) [pronounced tehk-OH-aģ]

blast of a wind instrument (trumpet); a pitching [of tents]; to thrust, to clap; to fasten; transliterated Tekoa, Tekoah

proper singular noun/location; with the directional hê

Strong’s #8620 BDB #1075


Translation: Then Joab sent [servants] to Tekoa... A series of wâw consecutives followed by imperfect verbs usually refers to a set of consecutive actions, and the length of time to complete each action is not in view. Based upon David’s change of heart toward Absalom, Joab formulates a plan to get David to accept Absalom back into his kingdom. He first needs to go out of town. Does this mean there are no women from Jerusalem who could do this? Certainly not; Joab needs to find a woman that David does not know.


The verb to send implies that a servant or servants will carry a message elsewhere. So, trusted servants of Joab’s will go to Tekoa, the purpose being, to find a skilled actress that David does not know.


Tekoa is south of Jerusalem about 6 miles from Bethlehem. Footnote According to St. Jerome, this is a small city 12 miles south of Jerusalem. Footnote These views would seem to be in line in 2Chron. 11:6, where Tekoa and Bethlehem are both mentioned in the same breath; and consistent with Neh. 3:6, 27 where those originally from Tekoa help in the building of the walls of Jerusalem. It is possible that this is equivalent to Eltekon, mentioned as one of the cities in Judah in Joshua 15:59. However, some disagree; Kimchi has this in Asher and others place this among the tribes of Benjamin. Footnote In any case, her hometown was far enough away, so that David would not want to send investigators there to delve more deeply into her story.


Although the city of Tekoa is mentioned several times in Scripture, it is most famous for being Amos’ hometown (Amos 1:1). It is also mentioned in 2Sam. 23:26 2Chron. 20:20 Neh. 3:27 Jer. 6:1.


Essentially, Joab is going to produce a play, Footnote although this will be live theater where the audience does not realize that they are witnessing a play. Joab needs for King David to believe that this is real. Why is Joab going to such trouble? Can’t he just talk to David and convince him? It is reasonable to assume that Joab has already tried this, and one does not spend multiple occasions attempting to prove to the sovereign of the land that he has made a wrong decision. David has earlier been able to rethink his actions when Nathan the prophet spoke to him about the poor man and his ewe lamb (2Sam. 12:1–7). Furthermore, David is a reasonable and intelligent man; so Joab believes that he can reach David in a similar way.


2Samuel 14:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

shâm (שָם) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine singular noun

Strong's #802 BDB #61

châkâm (חָכָם) [pronounced khah-KAWM]

capable of knowing [judging]; intelligent, wise; skillful, adept, proficient; subtle, crafty

feminine singular adjective

Strong’s #2450 BDB #314

This word tends to be applied in a very positive way, even when those being spoken of might not be highly regarded in God’s eyes. The Pharaoh of Egypt called in wise men in Ex. 7:11, just as the pharaoh of Joseph’s day called in wise men in his era (Gen. 41:8). However, Joseph is proclaimed wise by the pharaoh in Gen. 41:39. This word can be applied to craftsmen who are well-skilled in their craft (Ex. 35:10). This word is used over and over again in the book of Proverbs (Prov. 3:5–7, 35) in a very positive sense. However, in 2Sam. 13:3, it is clearly used of a man who is intelligent, whose advice is accurate, but the intention is evil.


Translation: ...and he took from there a skillful woman. Although many translate this a wise woman, Joab is looking for a great actress. He wants someone who is skillful as a thespian. Although the word found here can mean capable of knowing [judging]; intelligent, wise; skillful, adept, proficient; subtle, crafty; context will indicate that her skills are that of an actress.


It is possible that Joab has had some sort of relationship with this woman from Tekoa. However, we really have no idea about this. She is never named; nothing is ever said about a prior relationship. In fact, we do not even know if Joab had someone specifically in mind when he sent his messengers to Tekoa. The Hebrew, if it read, and Joab sent [messengers] to Tekoa to take from there a skillful woman... that would suggest that Joab had someone specifically in mind. However, the Hebrew has Joab sending messengers to Tekoa and then he takes from there a skillful woman. Does the he refer to Joab, acting through his messenger? Or does he simply refer to a singular messenger? The language is non-specific enough, to allow for this to have been a particular woman already known to Joab; but not necessarily so.


It is curious that Joab dispatches men to Tekoa, but this, at most, suggests that Joab believes that an actress can be found there specifically. However, Tekoa could be far enough away to simply choose a woman that David does not know.


Interestingly enough, this woman is never named. She shows up, she will give a great performance, and then she will leave. We will never hear from her again. Always known to us as the woman from Tekoa, or, perhaps, the mourning woman from Tekoa. Perhaps this is God’s opinion of actors in general? I should not allow that statement to stand. We are all the same before God—we are fallen and sinful, and those of us who are saved, are saved only by His grace.


The woman will invoke the name of God in this chapter (the only person to do so in this chapter), but that appears to be a veiled attempt to manipulate David. It appears to be a part of her performance, rather than coming from her own thinking. These were words on the page spoke eloquently, rather than an expression of her belief in the God of Israel.


2Samuel 14:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39


Translation: He said to her,... Joab did not go to her directly; he sent one of his most trusted servants. He spoke to this woman, but giving her Joab’s directions. He probably had a script with him, and he explained to her exactly what needed to be said and done.


2Samuel 14:2d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾâbal (אָבַל) [pronounced awb-VAHL]

to mourn, to act like a mourner, to go through the motions a ceremonies of mourning

2nd person feminine singular, Hithpael imperative

Strong’s #56 BDB #5

nâʾ (נָא) [pronounced naw]

now; please, I pray you, I respectfully implore (ask, or request of) you, I urge you

a primitive particle of incitement and entreaty

Strong's #4994 BDB #609


Translation:... “Pretend to mourn, I request of you,... Joab’s servant uses the particle of entreaty twice; and therefore, many translators reasonably translate this the same way. I translated it slightly differently each time for stylistic reasons. Joab (through his servant) asks her to mourn.


We are not given details with regards to the search in Tekoa. Did Joab have someone in mind? Had he seen a play there? None of this is known to us, although some of the verbiage of this verse seems to indicate that Joab knew this woman. In the end, Joab would be happy with this particular woman and her performance.


The part this woman would play is laid out first: “You will be a mourner.”


2Samuel 14:2e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâbash (לָבַש) [pronounced lawb-VAHSH]

to put on, to clothe, to be clothed, to wear

2nd person feminine singular, Qal imperative

Strong’s #3847 BDB #527

nâʾ (נָא) [pronounced naw]

now; please, I pray you, I respectfully implore (ask, or request of) you, I urge you

a primitive particle of incitement and entreaty

Strong's #4994 BDB #609

begâdîym (בְּגָדִים) [pronounced be-gaw-DEEM]

garments, clothes, clothing, apparel

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #899 BDB #93

ʾêbel (אֵבֶל) [pronounced AY-behl]

mourning [for the dead]; the rites of mourning; mourning clothing; a period of mourning

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #60 BDB #5


Translation: ...and put on garments of mourning, if you would. She is also to put on clothing that a mourner would wear. Today, this would be black, brown or lavender clothing. I do not know the proper attire for the ancient world. In any case, the woman had to be in costume.


Seems like I recall a story of Jack Nicholson telling Michael Keaton when they were filming Batman, "Let the wardrobe do the acting, kids." This is not true in our case, as what this woman says and how she says it will determine whether David will allow his son Absalom back into Jerusalem.


2Samuel 14:2f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾal (אַל) [pronounced al]

no, not; nothing; none; neither, nor; do not, let not [with a verb];; let there not be [with an understood verb];

adverb of negation; conjunction of prohibiting, dehorting, deprecating, desire that something not be done

Strong’s #408 BDB #39

çûwke (סוּך׃) [pronounced sook]

to anoint [oneself, another], to rub on oil [lotion]; to pour when anointing

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5480 BDB #691

shemen (שֶמֶן) [pronounced SHEH-men]

fat, oil

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #8081 BDB #1032


Translation: Do not anoint [yourself] with oils. There were a great many oils in the ancient world, and some would be used to moisturize the skin and others would be used as a perfuming or deodorizing lotion. These are oils a person would use from day to day, just as we use deodorant, lotions and makeup. However, in a time of mourning, we tend not to use these things quite as much to accent our personal appearance.


Have you ever seen a movie, and the actress is just waking up in the morning (in the movie), and her makeup is subtle and perfect and there is not a hair out of place? That is not what Joab wants. He does not want this woman to appear glamourous in any way. Joab knows David. He does not want David to become distracted with this woman’s beauty or perfumes; so she is toning down her appearance as much as possible.


Joab knows that David’s weakness is women; that a sympathetic woman can get nearly anything from David she wants, if she knows how to play her cards right. So, Joab wants this woman to appear to be very sympathetic but not made-up.


2Samuel 14:2g

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

2nd person feminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

kaph or ke (כְּ) [pronounced ke]

like, as, just as; according to, after; about, approximately

preposition of comparison, resemblance or approximation

No Strong’s # BDB #453

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine singular noun

Strong's #802 BDB #61

zeh (זֶה) [pronounced zeh]

here, this, this one; thus; possibly another

masculine singular demonstrative adjective

Strong’s #2088, 2090 (& 2063) BDB #260

All BDB definitions for zeh (זֶה): 1) this, this one, here, which, this...that, the one...the other, another, such; 1a) (alone); 1a1) this one; 1a2) this...that, the one...the other, another; 1b) (appos to subst); 1b1) this; 1c) (as predicate); 1c1) this, such; 1d) (enclitically); 1d1) then; 1d2) who, whom; 1d3) how now, what now; 1d4) what now; 1d5) wherefore now; 1d6) behold here; 1d7) just now; 1d8) now, now already; 1e) (poetry); 1e1) wherein, which, those who; 1f) (with prefixes); 1f1) in this (place) here, then; 1f2) on these conditions, herewith, thus provided, by, through this, for this cause, in this matter; 1f3) thus and thus; 1f4) as follows, things such as these, accordingly, to that effect, in like manner, thus and thus; 1f5) from here, hence, on one side...on the other side; 1f6) on this account; 1f7) in spite of this, which, whence, how.

yâmîym (יָמִים) [pronounced yaw-MEEM]

days, a set of days; time of life, lifetime; a specific time period, a year

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

rab (רַב) [pronounced rahbv]

many, much, great (in the sense of large or significant, not acclaimed)

masculine plural adjective

Strong's #7227 BDB #912

ʾâbal (אָבַל) [pronounced awb-VAHL]

mourn, lament, go through the motions and ceremonies of mourning

feminine singular, Hithpael participle

Strong’s #56 BDB #5

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over; on the ground of, because of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, with, by, besides, in addition to, to, toward, together with, in the matter of, concerning, as regards to

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

mûwth (מוּת) [pronounced mooth]

dying, perishing; one who is dying [perishing]

Qal active participle

Strong's #4191 BDB #559


Translation: You will be like a woman who is mourning many days on account of [one] dying. When this woman comes to Jerusalem, she is to give the appearance of a woman who has been mourning for a long time. Such a woman would be in mourning clothes without regards to perfumes or oils.


Because of some of the verses in this chapter, it appears as though Joab has talked to David about Absalom before, but this has gone nowhere. Then Joab recalled that Nathan the prophet was able to get through to David, despite David’s foray into interlocking systems of arrogance, and that by using a parable that was presented to David as a true story. Therefore, Joab is going to try the same thing, but he will kick it up a notch, because this will be live theater before David. Joab won’t go to David, as Nathan did, and say, “What about this particular case?” David would see through Joab in about a minute. But, put this professional actress before David, and David will be completely drawn into her story.


In a previous chapter, we have discussed the Interlocking Systems of Arrogance (HTML) (PDF) (WPD). Although David appears to be recovering from this spiritual problem, he does seem to drift back in from time to time. Joab believes the best way to reach David and to reason with him is to get beyond David’s made-up mind.


Application: Although it is difficult to convince most people of anything, particularly when their mind is made up, sometimes the best approach is a completely new approach. Nathan used a court case; and here, Joab also uses a court case.


Interestingly enough, even though drama is thought to have its inception in 5th century b.c. Greece, this is a curious chapter, suggesting that there may have been some actual drama which existed in ancient Israel. We know that we had music, as well as pomp and circumstance, in Jewish culture. For all intents and purposes, Joab is functioning as the producer of a play, all centered around the mourning woman of Tekoa, and Joab will pull into this drama an unsuspecting David.


Some plays are known for this. I recall seeing a play which took place in a late-night café in New York City, and, before the play started, the actors, in costume and in character, went through the audience and fleeced us of our money. It was about half-way through the play when I realized that there was not going to be a raffle for a jacket that I had bought a raffle ticket for.


——————————


And you have gone unto the king and you have said unto him as the words the these.” And so he places the words in her mouth.

2Samuel

14:3

You will go to the king and you will speak to him these words.” Then Joab told her what to say [lit., and so he places words in her mouth].

You will go to the king and say these things to him.” Then Joab told her exactly what to say.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And you will go in to the king, and will speak to him in this manner. And Joab put the words in her mouth.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And you have gone unto the king and you have said unto him as the words the these.” And so he places the words in her mouth.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And come to the king and speak in this manner to him. So Joab prepared the words and put them in her mouth.

Septuagint (Greek)                And you shall go to the king, and speak to him according to this word. And Joab put the words in her mouth.

 

Significant differences:           This manner, as found in the Latin and Syriac, is probably a reasonable translation of these words. So Joab prepared appears to be an additional phrase in the Syriac. However, in order for him to have a script for her, he had to prepare it at some point in time.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Easy-to-Read Version            Go to the king and talk to him using these words {that I tell you}.” Then Joab told the wise woman what to say.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Then go to the king and say to him what I tell you to say." Then Joab told her what to say.

The Message                         Then go to the king and tell him this . . . " Joab then told her exactly what to say.

New Berkeley Version           Then appear before the king and address him as follows,” and Joab put the words into her mouth.

New Living Translation           Then go to the king and tell him the story I am about to tell you." Then Joab told her what to say.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          So, she went to the king and said the words that JoAb told her to say...

Christian Community Bible     ...and go to the king with this message.” And Joab told her what to say.

God’s Word                         Go to the king, and tell him this...." Then Joab told her exactly what to say.

NIRV                                      Then go to the king. Give him the message I'm about to give you." And Joab told her what to say.

Revised English Bible            Then go to the king and repeat what I tell you.’ He told her exactly what she was to say.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And come to the king and say these words to him. So Joab gave her words to say.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Then go to the king and speak to him this speech.”

Then Joab put words into her mouth.

NET Bible®                             Go to the king and speak to him in the following fashion." Then Joab told her what to say [Heb "put the words in her mouth" (so NASB, NIV).].


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And go to the king and speak thus to him. And Joab told her what to say.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and come to the sovereign

and word this word to him.

- and Yah Ab sets the words in her mouth.

LTHB                                     And you shall go to the king and speak with him according to this word. And Joab put the words into her mouth.

New RSV                               Go to the king and speak to him as follows.' And Joab put the words into her mouth.

Syndein                                  {The Full Rehearsal}

And when you have gone to the king, you will speak to him 'in this manner'/ 'words like these' {the scenario}. Consequently, Joab put in her mouth these words {the script}. {Note: Joab is not only the producer, he is also the director. He is not only giving her the script, but also the scenario - meaning not only what to say, but how to say it - the inflection . . . how to look when saying it - posture . . . going over all the possible responses of his Uncle David and how to respond to each.}.

World English Bible                ...and go in to the king, and speak on this manner to him. So Joab put the words in her mouth.

Young’s Updated LT             And you have gone unto the king, and spoken unto him, according to this word;” and Joab puts the words into her mouth.

 

The gist of this verse:          Joab tells the woman to go before the king and he tells her what to say.


2Samuel 14:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter, to advance

2nd person feminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572


Translation: You will go to the king... Often, a command is in the imperfect; however, this is more of a request, and Joab is mostly telling her what she will say after going to the king. So, her going to the king is somewhat incidental to what will follow.


Again, this is a trusted servant of Joab’s who goes to this woman. We do not know anything about the selection process, what fees she was paid, or anything like that. Whether Joab had a particular woman in mind, whether Tekoa was known for its actors, we just don’t know these things.


2Samuel 14:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

dâbar (דָּבַר) [pronounced dawb-VAHR]

to speak, to talk [and back with action], to give an opinion, to expound, to make a formal speech, to speak out, to promise, to propose, to speak kindly of, to declare, to proclaim, to announce

2nd person feminine singular, Piel perfect

Strong’s #1696 BDB #180

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

kaph or ke (כְּ) [pronounced ke]

like, as, just as; according to, after; about, approximately

preposition of comparison, resemblance or approximation

No Strong’s # BDB #453

debârîym (דְּבָרִים) [pronounced dawb-vawr-EEM]

words, sayings, doctrines, commands; things, matters, reports

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #1697 BDB #182

zeh (זֶה) [pronounced zeh]

here, this, this one; thus; possibly another

masculine singular demonstrative adjective with a definite article

Strong’s #2088, 2090 (& 2063) BDB #260


Translation: ...and you will speak to him these words.” Joab has apparently developed a script or something very nearly like a script, which will give her the right words to say, the general idea of who and what she is to David, and she has enough of a narrative in order to improvise, depending upon what David says.


So, she has a script to go from, but, she cannot speak from this script exclusively. Whether there was any training or directing by Joab’s messenger, we do not know.


2Samuel 14:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

sîym (שִׂים) [pronounced seem]; also spelled sûwm (שׂוּם) [pronounced soom]

to put, to place, to set; to make; to appoint

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7760 BDB #962

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

debârîym (דְּבָרִים) [pronounced dawb-vawr-EEM]

words, sayings, doctrines, commands; things, matters, reports

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #1697 BDB #182

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

peh (פֶּה) [pronounced peh]

mouth [of man, animal; as an organ of speech]; opening, orifice [of a river, well, etc.]; edge; extremity, end

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #6310 BDB #804


Translation: Then Joab told her what to say [lit., and so he places words in her mouth]. Joab tells her exactly what to say, in order to gain an audience with David and to penetrate his thick skull.


Joab is thinking politics and who would be the best political candidate for the future; but he should be thinking instead is Bible doctrine; he should be thinking about divine viewpoint.

David, as an alpha male, does not easily take correction. He is hardheaded, and once he makes up his mind, it is difficult to get him to change it. Furthermore, he is king. This is something which many of us have a difficult time understanding, because not many of us are in charge of a large operation, like the CEO of a 5000 employee company or the leader of a city or state. A king cannot make one decision on one day; and then reverse himself the next day. King David has already made a ruling with respect to Absalom; and Joab cannot keep going back to him to see if he has changed his mind.


Therefore, David has to be taken out of the realm of his own personal situation and identify with the problems or situation of another person. When he makes a judgment in favor of that person, this also helps him to see the error of his own ways as well.


It appears that, it was not difficult to get an audience before the king, as per 2Sam. 15:2 1Kings 3:16. We may find it impossible to speak to the President or to our governor; but most of us, which some persistence, could see the mayor of our city; and certainly, appear before a judge.


Why doesn’t Joab let sleeping dogs lie? David has made a decision, more or less, about Absalom; why not just let that decision stand? Why not let David change his own mind when he is ready to?

Why is Joab Doing This?

1.      First of all, Joab is probably the closest man to David. Jonathan would have been that, had things been different, but Jonathan did not separate from his father, King Saul.

2.      Joab was usually at war. Joab usually had a very fulfilling, time-consuming job, leading Israel’s troops into battle. So, Joab had little time for anything else when on the battlefield.

3.      However, at this point in time, Israel was not at war; Joab was David’s #2 man, but he had little to do.

4.      It is clear to Joab that David is thinking about his son Absalom. And Joab, the son of Zeruiah, perceived that the heart of King David [lit., the king] [was] upon [possibly, against] Absalom.

5.      So, to some degree, Joab was being a busybody. He knew that David was thinking about Absalom, but that he did not have the decisiveness and objectivity to bring Absalom back to Jerusalem; therefore, Joab would make this happen.

6.      So that there is no misunderstanding, Joab likes David. He is doing this for David.

7.      Joab is also acting as a patriot. He is one of the great patriots of his era. He is looking out for client nation Israel.

8.      Also, Absalom is next in line for the throne and, apparently, a reasonably popular young man among the people. Therefore, it is logical and reasonable for Absalom to be in Jerusalem, and not in Geshur, a foreign country. Joab can apparently see this, while David appears to be conflicted on this issue.

9.      Joab has had time to see all of David’s boys, and the only one who appears to be worth a damn is Absalom. He has David’s charisma and dashing good looks. He also has the heart of the people.

10.    What is wrong with David’s other sons?

         a.      The other sons, at a very young age, when they saw Absalom call for Amnon’s death, they just hopped on their mules and rode out of there. They could not get out of there fast enough.

         b.      Secondly, none of David’s sons have distinguished themselves in the military—it appears as though none of them even joined the military.

         c.      Finally, which of David’s sons can you name? Which of them have you heard of, besides Nathan (not the prophet) and Solomon? Only if you are a Bible scholar could you name 2 other sons of David off the top of your head. That is because they are fairly worthless, and, therefore, are only named in David’s genealogies; but never as having distinguished themselves in any way.

11.    It is likely that there is a political calculation in all of this. Joab recognizes that Absalom could become a powerful political force. He wants Absalom to be a powerful political force within Israel; he does not want him to be a powerful leader in another country.

12.    What Joab misses is, David’s very young son, Solomon. It does not occur to Joab that this young boy, who is around 5 years old, could be David’s true successor. In fact, as an aside, even when Solomon becomes a man, Joab will back the wrong son of David against Solomon, which will result in Joab’s death.

13.    The problem with Absalom is, at a young age, he set up his soul to behave as a criminal. That is, he spent 2 years being angry with his father, being angry with the judicial system, and holding all of that inside of him, as he plotted revenge against Amnon. In a young soul, setting up such precedents can mark that person for life. When his sister Tamar was raped, Absalom was probably a fairly good kid with a good outlook on life. However, by the time he killed Amnon, he had begun to seal his soul with criminal arrogance.

         a.      As an aside, criminal arrogance is when a person seeks to solve problems by violence and/or by criminal actions. The modus operandi of a person in criminal arrogance is criminal behavior. When the law did not do what it was supposed to do, Absalom slipped into criminal arrogance.

         b.      Absalom was both secretive and deceptive for two years; his brain reveled in mental attitude sins against Amnon (much the same way a man might think about fornication with an attractive woman), and then Absalom order the execution of Amnon. These acts and thoughts which took place affected the soul of Absalom, not just placing him into criminal arrogance, but marking him as a criminal for the rest of his life.

         c.      At the same time, Absalom was probably suffering from mental attitude arrogance, negative volition arrogance; and these gates were later interlock with conspiratorial arrogance and crusader arrogance. See the Interlocking Systems of Arrogance (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

14.    As another tangent, do not think that God will not remove you from this life, if you have, say, led this great spiritual life up until this point. You cannot retrogress and think that everything is going to be fine.

15.    Application: Joab is thinking politics and who would be the best political candidate for the future; but he should be thinking instead is Bible doctrine; he should be thinking about divine viewpoint.

This along with an incident at the end of Joab’s life tells us that Joab is not good with geopolitics. He is one of the greatest generals in the history of Israel, and, apparently, a masterful playwright and producer. However, when it comes to making political decisions, this is an area where Joab comes up short.

Application: This does not mean that a great general should not be a ruler. In the case of Joab, that is true, and he seems to recognize this deficiency within himself, as he never attempts to assume more authority than he is given. However, it ought to be clear that persons with one set of skill sets does not make them competent in a different arena. The most glaring example of that today is, actors and celebrities ought not to be political commentators. They are so far out of their depth, that it is just sad to watch. However, because they are celebrities, many people in our celebrity-obsessed culture will actually listen to them and even give them some credence.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


What Joab has done so far, and what will transpire will seem awfully convoluted. He is going to bring an actress into the courtroom in order to get David to act decisively concerning Absalom. This will explain why Joab has chosen this approach.

Why Does Joab Take this Approach?

1.      Joab has no doubt broached this subject with David before.

2.      However, David is king, famous for making just decisions (as all kings should be), and Joab is second-in-command.

3.      Because of the importance of a king making good and righteous decisions, these decisions cannot be brought up before the court again and again and again.

4.      When David was content to let Absalom remain in exile, this was not a topic that Joab could revisit again and again. Joab cannot go to David and say, “Well, how do you feel about Absalom today?” That would imply that David sucks as a king.

5.      Nathan came to David and told him of a situation involving a rich man and a poor man, and how the poor man had this one little ewe lamb which he loved, and the rich man came along and stole it from him. David was so upset, he wanted that rich bastard executed. Then Nathan told David, “You are the man.”

6.      So, Nathan was able to reach David and make him see himself objectively because of that story.

7.      In the ancient world, the king did not just make the law; the king was the law. So, by the very definition of kingship, David could not break the law—but he clearly did.

8.      Nathan, by bringing this parable to David (presenting it to him as a real case), Nathan got David to see his own actions (which Joab was well aware of) in an objective light.

9.      Therefore, Joab is going to try the same thing. Joab is going to attempt to get David to see the circumstances of his children in an objective light.

Joab saw that this worked with Nathan. Nathan was able, through a parable, to get David to see himself objectively. Joab decided to take a similar approach.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


It would be nice to make a parallel for Joab as the intercessor between David and Absalom, but the problem is, there is no thought given to justice. Absalom receives a half-forgiveness and this is not even done in an open court with Absalom present. How David felt was the issue. Justice did not enter into any of this calculation.

When the Lord Jesus Christ intercedes on our behalf, it is based upon God’s righteousness and justice.


When the Lord Jesus Christ intercedes on our behalf, it is based upon God’s righteousness and justice. Rom. 8:32–34 reads: Truly He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he condemning? It is Christ who has died, but rather also who is raised, who is also at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. (MKJV). Jesus is raised from the dead to indicate that His perfect sacrifice was acceptable to God; He was a sweet savor coming up to God. Intercession requires justice, not just simple sentimentality. Isa. 53:12 Therefore I will apportion to Him with the great, and He shall divide the spoils with the strong; because He has poured out His soul unto death; and He was reckoned among the transgressors; and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors (VW). See also Heb. 7:25–27 1John 2:1–2.


V. 3 reads: You will go to the king and you will speak to him these words.” Then Joab told her what to say [lit., and so he places words in her mouth]. This woman’s performance has to be flawless. Joab cannot coach her from the side; she cannot forget her lines; and if David seems to take things in a different direction, then she has to go in that direction.


Joab has to achieve two objectives with this scheme: he needs to get Absalom back to Jerusalem; and he needs to see to it that Absalom is not prosecuted for murder of Amnon. Now, this could have been done using Bible doctrine; but that is not what Joab chooses to do. There is a legitimate way out of this situation, but it involves the justice of God. Unfortunately, neither Joab nor David approaches this from the standpoint of justice. Justice is the key to this entire chapter; it is the key to Absalom’s lack of character, and the key to wrong approach to this problem made by both Joab and David. And, because there is no justice, the victims of these crimes are forgotten. All enactments of justice must include justice for the victim.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


The Woman of Tekoa: the Setup in Court


Although I try to avoid taking too many quotes from R. B. Thieme, Jr., I have to include this.

The Woman from Tekoa: a 3 Act Play Produced by Joab

Scripture

Text/Commentary

Title:

The Woman from Tekoa

Producer, director and writer:

Field marshal Joab

Cast:

The woman from Tekoa and the King (this is a reality show)

Act I

The woman from Tekoa enters the king’s supreme court and makes her case, making and emotional plea to follow civil law rather than criminal law. vv. 4–8.

Act II

The woman from Tekoa calls assurances from the king. vv. 9–10

Act III

The woman takes David’s decision and throws it back in his face, telling him to follow this himself. vv 11–17

The epilogue

The woman reveals that Joab is responsible for this production. vv. 18–20

This has been taken, in part, from R. B. Thieme, Jr.’s 1972 David series, lesson 631_0326, and edited.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


And so speaks [possibly, went] the woman, the Tekoaite, unto the king. And so she falls upon her nostrils ground-ward and so she does obeisance. And so she says, “[Let you] help, the king.”

2Samuel

14:4

So the woman, the Tekoaite, spoke [possibly, went] to the king. So she falls on her face upon the ground and she does obeisance [to him]. Then she said, “Help [me], O king.”

So the Tekoaite woman went to the king. She first fell upon the ground on her face and did obeisance to King David. She then pleaded, “Please help me, O king.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And when the woman of Thecua was come in to the king, she fell before him upon the ground, and worshipped, and said: Save me, O king.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so speaks [possibly, went] the woman, the Tekoaite, unto the king. And so she falls upon her nostrils ground-ward and so she does obeisance. And so she says, “[Let you] help, the king.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And when the woman of Tekoah came to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance and said, Deliver me, O my lord the king.

Septuagint (Greek)                So the woman of Tekoa went in to the king and fell upon her face to the earth, and bowed down before him, and said, Help, O king, help.

 

Significant differences:           In the Hebrew, we go directly from the woman receiving directions from Joab’s servant to speaking to the king. In the Greek, Latin and Syriac, we have her going to the king (I confirmed this in the Greek, but not in the Latin or Syriac—there, I accepted their English translations as accurate). This will be discussed further in the Hebrew exegesis.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       The woman from Tekoa went to David. She bowed very low and said, "Your Majesty, please help me!"

Easy English                          The woman from Tekoa went to the king. She gave him honour. She bent down and she put her face on the ground. She said, `My king, please help me.'

Easy-to-Read Version            Then the woman from Tekoa talked to the king. She bowed with her face to the ground. Then she said, “King, please help me!”

Good News Bible (TEV)         The woman went to the king, bowed down to the ground in respect, and said, "Help me, Your Majesty!"

New Century Version             So the woman from Tekoa spoke to the king. She bowed facedown on the ground to show respect and said, "My king, help me!"

New Living Translation           When the woman from Tekoa approached the king, she bowed with her face to the ground in deep respect and cried out, "O king! Help me!"


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          ...this ThecoEthite woman went in to the king, fell with her face to the ground, bowed before him, and said, 'Save me, oh king! Save me!'

Ancient Roots Translinear      The woman of Tekoa fell bowing to the king with nose toward to the ground, ||saying||, "Save me, king!"

Beck’s American Translation The woman of Tekoa went in to the king, bowed down to the ground to show her respect for him. “Help, O king,” she said.

God’s Word                         The woman from Tekoa came to the king and immediately bowed down with her face touching the ground. "Help me, Your Majesty," she said.

 

New Jerusalem Bible             So the woman of Tekoa went to the king and, falling on her face to the ground, prostrated herself. 'Help, my lord king!' she said.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And the woman of Tekoa came to the king, and falling on her face, gave him honour and said, Give me help, O king.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 The woman of Thiquah accordingly appealed to the king, and fell on her face to the earth, and lay there, and exclaimed, “Save me, King!”

HCSB                                     When the woman from Tekoa came to the king, she fell with her face to the ground in homage and said, "Help me, my king!"

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               The woman of Tekoa came to the king, flung herself face down to the ground, and prostrated herself. She cried out, “Help, O king!” The LXX adds the phrase “and all his courtiers who were standing by him rent their clothes.” [According to the JPS footnote].

NET Bible®                             So the Tekoan woman went [The translation follows many medieval Hebrew mss in reading וַתַּבֹא (vattavo’, “and she went”) rather than the MT וַתֹּאמֶר (vatto’mer, “and she said”). The MT reading shows confusion with וַתֹּאמֶר later in the verse. The emendation suggested here is supported by the LXX, the Syriac Peshitta, some mss of the Targum, and Vulgate.] to the king. She bowed down with her face to the ground in deference to him and said, "Please help me [The word "me" is left to be inferred in the Hebrew text; it is present in the Syriac Peshitta and Vulgate.], O king!"

NIV – UK                                When the woman from Tekoa went [Many Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts spoke] to the king, she fell with her face to the ground to pay him honour, and she said, `Help me, Your Majesty!'

The Scriptures 1998              And when the woman of Teqowa spoke to the sovereign, she fell on her face to the ground and did obeisance, and said, “Save, O sovereign!”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And the woman of Tekoah speaks unto the king, and falls on her face to the earth, and does obeisance, and said, `Save, O king.

English Standard Version      When the woman of Tekoa came to the king, she fell on her face to the ground and paid homage and said, "Save me, O king."

exeGeses companion Bible   And the woman Teqohiy says to the sovereign;

and she falls on her nostrils to the earth

and prostrates and says,

Save, O sovereign.

LTHB                                     And the woman of Tekoah spoke to the king, and fell on her face to the earth, and bowed and said, Save, O king!

Syndein                                  {Woman's Acting Before Supreme Court Judge King David}

Now when the woman of Tekoa 'received an audience before'/'went before' the king, she fell with her face to the ground, and 'did homage'/'prostrated herself', and said, "Help/Deliver, O king". {Note: She had to practice falling to the ground just right. They she had to prostrate herself before David to look like the true damsel in distress. Finally, she does not lift her eyes to him or he might be able to tell she was faking. She is a very talented actress here, playing her role well! All real men desire to help a woman in need. This Act is intended to play on the emotions of King David.}.

World English Bible                When the woman of Tekoa spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, Help, O king.

Young’s Updated LT             And the woman of Tekoah speaks unto the king, and falls on her face to the earth, and does obeisance, and says, “Save, O king.”

 

The gist of this verse:          The woman of Tekoa has an audience with King David and she prostrates herself before him asking for his help.


2Samuel 14:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

The chief function of the wâw consecutive is to mark the continuation of a piece of narrative or discourse over at least one but more often several stages. The sequence they establish is essentially chronological, though not necessarily one of strict succession. This sequence of frequently logical as well. Footnote It is also common for wâw consecutive to link together a series of imperfect tense verbs. What is being emphasized is a chronological are logical narrative rather than continuous action. Footnote When dealing with a narrative of chronological succession, it may be reasonable to translate the wâw consecutive later, afterward, subsequently.

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

The NET Bible says that this verb should be:

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter, to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

From the NET Bible notes: The translation follows many medieval Hebrew mss in reading וַתַּבֹא (vattavo’, “and she went”) rather than the MT וַתֹּאמֶר (vatto’mer, “and she said”). The MT reading shows confusion with וַתֹּאמֶר later in the verse. The emendation suggested here is supported by the LXX, the Syriac Peshitta, some mss of the Targum, and Vulgate. Footnote

The overall meaning here is not drastically changed; and the idea that we have and she went makes much more sense. We would expect the woman to speak only after doing obeisance to him.

From Keil and Delitzsch; it is not necessary that you read this: The woman did this. All the old translators have given as the rendering of האשּה ותּאמר “the woman came (went) to the king,” as if they had read ותּבא. This reading is actually found in some thirty Codices of De Rossi, and is therefore regarded by Thenius and the majority of critics as the original one. But Böttcher has very justly urged, in opposition to this, that ותּאמר cannot possibly be an accidental corruption of ותבא, and that it is still less likely that such an alteration should have been intentionally made. But this remark, which is correct enough in itself, cannot sustain the conjecture which Böttcher has founded upon it, namely that two whole lines have dropped out of the Hebrew text, containing the answer which the woman of Tekoah gave to Joab before she went to the king, since there is not one of the ancient versions which contains a single word more than the Masoretic text. Consequently we must regard ותּאמר as the original reading, and interpret it as a hysteron-proteron, which arose from the fact that the historian was about to relate at once what the woman said to the king, but thought it desirable to mention her falling down at the feet of the king before giving her actual words, “Help, O king,” which he introduces by repeating the word ותּאמר. Footnote

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #802 BDB #61

Teqôwʿîy (תְּקוֹעִי) [pronounced tehk-oh-EE]

a pitching of tents; trumpet blast, blast of a horn; loud sound of an instrument, transliterated Tekoite

gentilic singular adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #8621 BDB #1075

The meanings given by BDB and Gesenius for the city and the gentilic designation are very different. The trumpet blast appears to be the correct meaning.

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Interestingly enough, even when I was not fully aware of the textual problem here, I had already rendered the more relaxed translation as So the Tekoaite woman went to the king. She first fell upon the ground on her face and did obeisance to King David. She then pleaded, “Please help me, O king.”


Translation: So the woman, the Tekoaite, spoke [possibly, went] to the king. Most of the time that we find this word for to say, we expect the content of what is said to follow; however, we do not find that here. The woman goes to speak to King David, as she has been commissioned to do by Joab.


It is possible—and this is conjecture based upon the words found here—that she began to speak, and one of David’s armed guards pointed to the ground and gave her a mean look. So, she began to speak, and then realized that she ought to be following protocol and bowing before the king. And, it is possible that all of this is a part of Joab’s plan. However, what appears to be more likely, is that the verb to say here ought to be to go instead (see the Hebrew exegesis above).


I should further note that, when there are textual problems, this sort of textual problem is the most common. Most readers, at this point, are saying, “I get it, I get it; let’s move on.” Almost never is there an important doctrinal distinction between different readings of a text. I point this out over and over, so that no one ever thinks that the Catholic church or some other Christian (or Jewish) organization got access to early Biblical manuscripts and changed them to fit their views. That sort of allegation is poppycock.


2Samuel 14:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâphal (נָפַל) [pronounced naw-FAHL]

to fall, to lie, to die a violent death, to be brought down, to settle, to sleep deeply; to desert

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5307 BDB #656

Extended Qal meanings: to fall [to the ground, in battle], to die, to die a violent death; a man felled [by sickness]; [a building] falling down [in decay]; about to fall, about to come to ruin; [a fetus] falling out [or, being born, being aborted]; to fall away [used of members of a body]; [a face being] cast down [in sorrow], to fall down, to come down [from heaven], to descend; [sleep, terror, calamity] to fall upon [anyone]; to throw onself, to cast onself; to rush upon; to fall prostrate, to prostrate oneself; to fall upon someone [in affection]; to fall upon [an enemy], to attack; to alight [from a beast or chariot], to let oneself down; to encamp [as an army]; [a prayer] to fall before [someone for consideration, to be heard]; to fall away, to desert, to defect. Footnote I hope that the relationship is clear between the basic meaning, to fall, and the extended understanding of this verb.

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over; on the ground of, because of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, with, by, besides, in addition to, to, toward, together with, in the matter of, concerning, as regards to

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

ʾaphayim (אַפַיִם) [pronounced ah-fah-YIM]

face; noses, nostrils, but is also translated brows, face; anger, fierce anger, fierce wrath

masculine dual noun with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #639 BDB #60

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earthward (all or a portion thereof), on [toward, upon] the earth; on [upon, toward] the land [territory, country, continent; ground, soil]

feminine singular noun with the directional hê

Strong's #776 BDB #75


Translation: So she falls on her face upon the ground... She falls with her face to the ground, giving proper respect to the king. Now, is this the way that we believers are to react when meeting President Obama (or whomever is the president now)? What we are seeing here is the culture of that day; so she is just acting within the parameters of what is expected of her.


2Samuel 14:4c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâchah (שָחַה) [pronounced shaw-KHAW]

to bow down, to prostrate oneself, to do obeisance to; to honor [with prayers]; to do homage to, to submit to

3rd person feminine singular, Hithpael imperfect

Strong’s #7812 BDB #1005


Translation: ...and she does obeisance [to him]. For me, I would think that falling on the ground is enough; but, apparently, there is more to this obeisance than simply falling face-first on the ground. It appears that the person first falls to the ground with their face on the ground, and then there is something that they say or do more than that which indicates obeisance to the king. The wâw consecutive combined with the imperfect verb suggests that these things are different but successive acts.


Falling on one’s face before a king or before someone who is in power was common in those days (2Sam. 1:2 1Sam. 20:41 25:23). We tend to be less formal, but we still have a degree of formality. Most newsmen, even when questioning George W. Bush, whom many of them did not like, still prefaced nearly every question with, “Mr. President.” Although this is a long ways from falling on one’s face before a magistrate, it still indicates respect for the office of the presidency. This woman was showing her respect for King David, as sovereign of the land.


2Samuel 14:4d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

yâshaʿ (יָשַע) [pronounced yaw-SHAHĢ]

to deliver, to save; to set free, to preserve; to aid, to give relief, to give help to

2nd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperative with the voluntative hê

Strong’s #3467 BDB #446

The hê at the end is called a voluntative hê and the verb itself is known as a cohortative and is often translated with the additional word let, may, might, ought, should.

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572


Translation: Then she said, “Help [me], O king.” This appeals to David, because he is a man who takes note of any woman in distress. He simply likes women and he is naturally concerned with their welfare in his kingdom. So, even if she possibly did not show him the proper obeisance at first, David, no doubt, overlooked that.


This also gives us a clue as to how Joab may have come up with this scheme. David’s second wife, Abigail, did something similar: she fell down before David when David was going to exact a pound of flesh from her husband. She put herself at his mercy, falling before him, helpless. Joab would have been with David at that time, and he apparently made a mental note of it.


The 2nd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperative (with the voluntative hê) is הוֹשִעָה [pronounced ho-seeģ-AW], which we transliterate Hosanna (see also Psalm 118:25). However, this comes into the New Testament to mean something entirely different. Hosanna is a Greek transliteration of this Hebrew word, it appears to have taken on the concept of praise rather than of a request for deliverance. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" (Matt. 21:9—ESV; see Mark 11:9–10 and John 12:13 as parallel passages; and the reaction of the chief priests and scribes who heard this in Matt. 21:15). Perhaps the connection is, Jesus is seen as the Great Deliverer, and is worthy of praise for that reason?


The entire verse reads: So the woman, the Tekoaite, spoke [possibly, went] to the king. So she falls on her face upon the ground and she does obeisance [to him]. Then she said, “Help [me], O king.” Or, less formally, So the Tekoaite woman went to the king. She first fell upon the ground on her face and did obeisance to King David. She then pleaded, “Please help me, O king.” Although we do not know the whole story yet, it is likely that David assumed that she had come to him on appeal over some matter which has already been decided on in a lower court. Most people did not go to the king over each and every matter; but they would go to him on appeal, just as we do in our own court system. We do not know much about this process, but it would be reasonable that someone close to the court, like Joab, would put some cases on the docket, and they would come before King David based upon someone else’s recommendation. David will later ask, “So, did Joab put you up to this?” Part of what possibly caused David to ask this question is, he looks at the paperwork before him on this lady, and he sees Joab’s name as the advocating official. Although this is all conjecture, it is reasonable in order to understand all of the things which are occurring within this narrative.

 

The Pulpit Commentary on this issue: Though Absalom subsequently (2Sam. 15:4) complained of the lax administration of justice in the realm, yet evidently this woman had the right of bringing her suit before the king; and we may be sure that Joab would take care that nothing unusual was done, lest it should awaken the king"s suspicions. But possibly there was a want of method in judicial matters, and very much was left in the hands of the tribal officers, such as we find mentioned in Joshua 24:1. Footnote


So the Tekoaite woman went to the king. She first fell upon the ground on her face and did obeisance to King David. She then pleaded, “Please help me, O king.” Joab knows, the way to appeal to David is by means of a helpless woman. When there is a woman in front of him who has no other advocate but him, David will take notice and he will do something about it.


——————————


And so says to her the king, “What to you?” And so she says, “Truly a woman a widow me and so is dying my man.

2Samuel

14:5

The king said to her, “What [is] [the problem] to you?” And she said, “Indeed, I [am] a woman, a widow—my man has died.

The king said to her, “What is your problem?” And she answered, “Indeed, I am a widow; my husband has died.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And the king said to her: What is the matter with you? She answered: Alas, I am a widow woman: for my husband is dead.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says to her the king, “What to you?” And so she says, “Truly a woman a widow me and so is dying my man.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And the king said to her, What ails you? And she answered, I am indeed a widow, my husband is dead.

Septuagint (Greek)                And the king said to her, What is the matter with you? And she said, I am indeed a widow woman, and my husband is dead.

 

Significant differences:           We do not find the words the matter in the Hebrew. The first words out of her mouth can be translated in a myriad of ways, so the words alas and indeed, as found above, are reasonable. The translation is dead is reasonable.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           "What is wrong?" the king asked her.

"It's terrible!" she said. "Advocate am a widow; my husband is dead.

Contemporary English V.       David asked, "What's the matter?" She replied: My husband is dead, and I'm a widow.

Easy-to-Read Version            King David said to her, “What’s your problem?”

Good News Bible (TEV)         "What do you want?" he asked her. "I am a poor widow, sir," she answered. "My husband is dead.

The Message                         He said, "How can I help?" "I'm a widow," she said. "My husband is dead.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And the king asked her, 'What's wrong?'

And she said, 'I'm now a widow, because my husband just died,...

Ancient Roots Translinear      The king said to her, "What is with you?" She said, "I am nevertheless a widow woman, for my man died.

God’s Word                         The king asked her, "What can I do for you?" She answered, "I'm a widow; my husband is dead.

New American Bible              The king said to her, "What do you want?" She replied: "Alas, I am a widow; my husband is dead. 2 Kgs 6:26-28.

Today’s NIV                          The king asked her, "What is troubling you?"

She said, "I am a widow; my husband is dead.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Consequently, the king asked her, “What is your affair?”

And she answered, “I am a desolate widow woman whose husband died.

HCSB                                     "What's the matter?" the king asked her. "To tell the truth, I am a widow; my husband died," she said.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               The king asked her, “What troubles you?” And she answered, “Alas, I am a widow, my husband is dead.

NET Bible®                             The king replied to her, "What do you want [The word "me" is left to be inferred in the Hebrew text; it is present in the Syriac Peshitta and Vulgate.]?" She answered, "I am a widow; my husband is dead.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And the king said to her, `What--to you?' and she said, `Truly a widow woman [am] I, and my husband dies,...

English Standard Version      And the king said to her, "What is your trouble?" She answered, "Alas, I am a widow; my husband is dead.

exeGeses companion Bible   And the sovereign says to her, What - to you?

And she says,

I am truly a widow woman; and my man dies:...

LTHB                                     And the king said to her, What shall be to you? And she said, Truly I am a widow woman, and my husband died.

New King James Version       Then the king said to her, "What troubles you?"

And she answered, "Indeed I am a widow, my husband is dead.

Syndein                                  And the king said unto her, "What is your grievance?" Then she {the plaintiff} replied, "Truly, I am a 'widow woman' . . . and my husband is dead. {Note: This is setting up the Law of Posterity - a civil law to ensure that a man's name would pass from generation to generation. It only applies to 'true widows' where the husband has died. It does not apply to 'grass widows' - those who are divorced from their husbands (making their husband's 'dead' to them under the law). Joab is setting up non-pertinent civil law where the case between Absalom and Amnon was a criminal matter.}.

World English Bible                The king said to her, What ails you? She answered, Of a truth I am a widow, and my husband is dead.

Young’s Updated LT             And the king says to her, “What—to you?” and she says, “Truly a widow woman am I, and my husband has died,...

 

The gist of this verse:          David asks the woman what is her problem, and she begins by telling him that her husband has died.


2Samuel 14:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

mâh (מָה) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why; what [thing]; anything, something, whatever

interrogative; exclamatory particle; indefinite pronoun; relative pronoun

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person feminine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: The king said to her, “What [is] [the problem] to you?” David essentially uses two words (one with a suffix), which is literally translated, “What to you?” He is asking her, what is the matter; what is her problem?


It may be that “What to you?” is idiomatic for “What is your case?” or “What is the matter with you?” This could be the common parlance of the court. Many generally literal translations tried to handle this, resulting in translations such as: What's the matter, What troubles you, What do you want, What is your grievance, What ails you, etc. The first particle is usually understood to be an interrogative particle.


2Samuel 14:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ʾăbâl (אֲבָל) [pronounced uhb-AWL]

 truly, indeed, verily, surely; this adverb has corrective power, as in: but, however, howbeit; on the contrary, contrariwise, nay rather (negative)

adverb

Strong’s #61 BDB #6

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine singular noun

Strong's #802 BDB #61

ʾalemânâh (אַלְמָנָה) [pronounced ale-maw-NAW]

widow; desolate house, desolate place

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #490 BDB #48

ʾânîy (אָנִי) [pronounced aw-NEE]

I, me; in answer to a question, it means I am, it is I

1st person singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #589 BDB #58


Translation: And she said, “Indeed, I [am] a woman, a widow—... She begins by saying that she is a widowed woman. She also does not use a verb, to indicate how difficult this is to say.


She would be following Joab’s script almost exactly at this point. The first thing that she needs to do is to elicit sympathy from David, immediately. In Scripture, widows are treated with great respect and they are one of the few classes of people that the Jews were told to take care of (widows and orphans—Ex. 22:22 Deut. 10:18 24:17–21 26:12–13 27:19).


Application: As an aside, the Mosaic Law did not suggest that they throw a lot of money at unwed mothers. In fact, a society where a huge proportion of mothers are unwed is a relatively new thing on this earth. In our society, some possibly very well-meaning people were concerned about such mothers, apparently not realizing that, when you subsidize something, you get more of it.


2Samuel 14:5c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

mûwth (מוּת) [pronounced mooth]

to die; to perish, to be destroyed

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun (sometimes found where we would use a plural); with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #376 BDB #35


Translation: ...my man has died. She states the obvious, that her husband has died. However, she puts this in the imperfect tense to give this great meaning and impact to her life today. This suggests that his death was recent and difficult for her. The AEB coveys this with the translation: And she said, 'I'm now a widow, because my husband just died,...


Since we do not have several wâw consecutives followed imperfect verbs, this is not simply an ongoing narrative; but the imperfect tense does not mean that her husband is on life-support right now and in the midst of dying, but that he has died in the past, but there are effects of his death which continue until today.


Even though it is possible that some of these facts of the woman’s life are true, as Clarke Footnote suggests, that is really never an issue in this chapter. With excellent actors, what is real and what is not is not an issue. Therefore, Josephus’ understanding that this was an elderly woman Footnote is also a non-issue.


What is an issue is, she seems to be authentic to David. David knows, through His study of the Word, which was discussed and explained when he moved the Ark of God successfully in 1Chron. 15 (HTML) (PDF). Therefore, he probably feels a natural sympathy toward this woman as well as a legal obligation to look out for her. Joab, who has produced this whole affair, would have been aware of these things. He needs to have David make a legal decision where civil matters trump criminal acts.


——————————


You may notice the odd separate here of the verses; it is not what we would have expected. The woman begins to speak in v. 5, a verse that she shares with David. How much more sense it would have made to begin this verse with the woman speaking. There are times I haven’t even a clue as to why these verses were so separated.


And to your handmaid a pair of sons and so they struggle a pair of them in the field and [there is] not a deliverer between them. And so strikes him, the one the one, and so he kills him [or, causes his death].

2Samuel

14:6

Your handmaid [had] two sons and they both struggled in the field, but [there was] no one to stand between them [lit., no savior between them]. Consequently, one struck him, the [other] one, and he caused him to die.

Your maidservant had two sons who got in a fight in the field, but there was no one who stand between them. Consequently, one of them struck the other and caused him to die.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And your handmaid had two sons: and they quarrelled with each other in the field, and there was none to pare them: and the one struck the other, and slew him.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And to your handmaid a pair of sons and so they struggle a pair of them in the field and [there is] not a deliverer between them. And so strikes him, the one the one, and so he kills him [or, causes his death].

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And your handmaid had two sons, and they two quarrelled together in the field, and there was none to part them, and one was stronger than the other and slew him.

Septuagint (Greek)                And moreover your handmaid had two sons, and they fought together in the field, and there was no deliverer to part them; and the one struck down the other, his brother, and killed him.

 

Significant differences:           The Hebrew has that no savior (or deliver) stood between the two boys; the English translation from the Latin and Syriac simply have none. However, the English translation from the Greek was the same way, yet the Greek did use the word deliverer.

 

The English translation from the Syriac also says that one boy was stronger than the other, but the Hebrew has one striking the other.

 

At the very end, the Greek inserts his brother, which does not add any new information, but is not found in the Hebrew.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       I had two sons, but they got into a fight out in a field where there was no one to pull them apart, and one of them killed the other.

Easy-to-Read Version            I had two sons. They were out in the field fighting. There was no one to stop them. One son killed the other son.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Sir, I had two sons, and one day they got into a quarrel out in the fields, where there was no one to separate them, and one of them killed the other.

The Message                         I had two sons. The two of them got into a fight out in the field and there was no one around to step between them. The one struck the other and killed him.

New Berkeley Version           ...and your maidservant had two sons. But the two fought each other in the field; there was nobody to separate them, and one of them struck the other down and killed him.

New Living Translation           My two sons had a fight out in the field. And since no one was there to stop it, one of them was killed.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          ...and your servant has two sons. Well, they started arguing while they were out in the fields, and there was no one to break it up. Then the one hit the other and killed him.

Ancient Roots Translinear      Your handmaid had two sons. The two bickered in the field, and none delivered between them. One smote one, and he died.

New Jerusalem Bible             Your servant had two sons and out in the fields, where there was no one to intervene, they had a quarrel. And one of them struck the other one and killed him.

Revised English Bible            I had two sons; they came to blows out in the country where there was no one to part them, and one struck the other and killed him.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And I had two sons, and the two of them had a fight in the field, and there was no one to come between them, and one with a blow put the other to death.

Complete Jewish Bible           ...my two sons were out in the field; and they got into a fight with each other. There was no one to separate them, and one hit the other and killed him.

HCSB                                     "Your servant had two sons. They were fighting in the field with no one to separate them, and one struck the other and killed him.

NET Bible®                             Your servant [Here and elsewhere (vv. 7, 12, 15a, 17, 19) the woman uses a term which suggests a lower level female servant. She uses the term to express her humility before the king. However, she uses a different term in vv. 15b-16. See the note at v. 15 for a discussion of the rhetorical purpose of this switch in terminology.] has two sons. When the two of them got into a fight in the field, there was no one present who could intervene. One of them struck the other and killed him.

New Heart English Bible        Your handmaid had two sons, and they both fought together in the field, and there was no one to part them, but the one struck the other, and killed him.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      And your servant had two sons, and they quarreled with one another in the field. There was no one to separate them, and one struck the other and killed him.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and your maid has two sons

and the two strive in the field

and there is no rescuer between them,

and the one smites the first and deathifies him:...

Syndein                                  {Basis for the Supposed Grievance}

And {your Honor} your 'female subject/citizen' {setting up the principal that Supreme Court Judge David had jurisdiction over this case and this woman} had two sons. {of course these will turn out to be Amnon and Absalom} Now the two of them were fighting each other in the field, and there was no one to separate and pull them apart. Consequently, the one stuck and killed the other. {Note: Now under the Jewish law, Amnon should have been tried for the rape of Tamar. As Tamar's closest male relative, Absalom would have been the rightful 'avenger of blood' - the Jewish form of executioner - whose duty it would have been to put Amnon to death. But since love blinded David, there was no justice (no one to separate the two brothers) so there was no justice in the land for Tamar. Because of David's failure Absalom's murder was individual vengeance and also illegal punishable by death. The only ones here under David who are forgotten are the victims! But, two wrongs do not make a right!}.

World English Bible                Your handmaid had two sons, and they two strove together in the field, and there was none to part them, but the one struck the other, and killed him.

Young’s Updated LT             And your maid-servant has two sons; and they strive both of them in a field, and there is no deliverer between them, and the one strikes the other, and puts him to death.

 

The gist of this verse:          She tells David that her two sons quarreled in the field, and no one was there to step between them. Finally, one hit the other and killed him.


2Samuel 14:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

shiphechâh (שִפְחָה) [pronounced shif-KHAW]

maid, maid-servant, household servant, handmaid, female slave

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #8198 BDB #1046

R. B. Thieme, Jr. says that this ought to be translated your female subject.

The NET Bible says Here and elsewhere (vv. 7, 12, 15a, 17, 19) the woman uses a term which suggests a lower level female servant. She uses the term to express her humility before the king. However, she uses a different term in vv. 15b-16.

shenêy (שְנֵי) [pronounced shen-Ā]

two, two of, a pair of, a duo of

dual numeral construct

Strong’s #8147 BDB #1040

bânîym (בָּנִים) [pronounced baw-NEEM]

sons, descendants; children; people; sometimes rendered men

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119


Translation: Your handmaid [had] two sons... This woman who is speaking to David is a stranger to him, and all that she is saying is scripted by Joab. The idea is to get David to think impartially and unemotionally about Absalom. So, she has two sons just like David had Amnon and Absalom.


She calls herself a shiphechâh (שִפְחָה) [pronounced shif-KHAW], which means, a maid, maid-servant, household servant, handmaid, female slave. Interestingly enough, she will use two different words for maidservant when referring to herself in this chapter. This suggests the rank of a very low-level female servant. R. B. Thieme, Jr. suggests that, in this context, it is a reference to the woman as a citizen of Israel and the common parlance of the court.


2Samuel 14:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâtsâh (נָצָה) [pronounced naw-TSAW]

to contend [struggle, strive] with one another; to lay waste [to a land], to strip a land bare in war]; to make desolate

3rd person masculine plural, Niphal imperfect

Strong’s #5327 BDB #663

shenêy (שְנֵי) [pronounced shen-Ā]

two, two of, a pair of, a duo of

dual numeral noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #8147 BDB #1040

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

sâdeh (שָׂדֶה) [pronounced saw-DEH]

field, land, country, open field, open country

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #7704 BDB #961


Translation: ...and they both struggled in the field,... At some point in time, these two sons got into a fight. The word used here can be used of a contention, a struggle or an out-and-out fight. David, having had two sons who were both strong-willed young men, probably got into a fight now and again. It is unclear whether David thought about his sons Amnon and Absalom as he listened to this woman.


2Samuel 14:6c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾêyn (אֵין) [pronounced ān]

nothing, not, [is] not; not present, not ready; expresses non-existence, absence or non-possession; [there is] no [none, not one, no one, not]

particle of negation; substantive of negation

Strong’s #369 BDB #34

nâtsal (נָצַל) [pronounced naw-TSAHL]

deliverer, savior; one to deliver [rescue, to snatch out of danger, to preserve]

masculine singular, Hiphil participle

Strong’s #5337 BDB #664

bêyn (בֵּין) [pronounced bane]

in the midst of, between, among; when found twice, it means between

preposition with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #996 BDB #107


Translation: ...but [there was] no one to stand between them [lit., no savior between them]. At the time that they got into a fight, there was no one there to come between them, to de-escalate the situation. Ideally speaking, the woman is painting a picture for David, and he can see this occurring.


Although there were several brothers there who observed Absalom’s servants kill Amnon, they were too young to do anything. As you may recall, they saddled up and rode as fast as they could away from Absalom’s ranch.


In the woman’s story, the suggestion is, there are not any witnesses to this, which further casts doubt upon intent. Now, whereas, with Absalom and Amnon, there was clearly intent and forethought, Absalom would have some reasonable justification for acting as he did—namely, Amnon raped his sister.


2Samuel 14:6d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâkâh (נָכָה) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat, to conquer, to subjugate

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong #5221 BDB #645

ʾechâd (אֶחָד) [pronounced eh-KHAWD]

one, first, certain, only; each, every; but it can also mean a composite unity; possibly particular; anyone

numeral adjective with the definite article

Strong's #259 BDB #25

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʾechâd (אֶחָד) [pronounced eh-KHAWD]

one, first, certain, only; each, every; but it can also mean a composite unity; possibly particular; anyone

numeral adjective with the definite article

Strong's #259 BDB #25


Translation: Consequently, one struck him, the [other] one,... Their strong disagreement led to blows. One son struck the other.


The analogy is, Absalom struck down his brother Footnote Amnon because Amnon raped Absalom’s sister. So David is aware that two brothers can have a legitimate beef with one another.


2Samuel 14:6e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

mûwth (מוּת) [pronounced mooth]

to kill, to cause to die, to put to death, to execute

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

him; untranslated mark of a direct object; occasionally to, toward

affixed to a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #853 BDB #84


Translation: ...and he caused him to die. Although the verb here can mean to kill, it can also mean to cause to kill; so there was not this intention, necessarily, from the outset of one man to kill the other. It is just what things escalated to. Although the Hiphil of this verb can certainly indicate an execution, which is intentional; the Hiphil is the causal stem. Therefore, this can suggest that there was no intent to kill. He hit him and caused him to die.


V. 6 reads: Your handmaid [had] two sons and they both struggled in the field, but [there was] no one to stand between them [lit., no savior between them]. Consequently, one struck him, the [other] one, and he caused him to die. Not only is this woman helpless, but she has something in common with him: a son whom she loves, who is dead.


At first, this analogy seems to break down. One of the widow’s sons kills the other, and he was caused to die, implying that there was no intent. However, the exact same verb in this stem can also mean to execute, and Absalom essentially did what the law required—he executed Amnon. So, even though there is not an exact parallel between these two situations, there are mitigating factors. In the story of the woman, the mitigating factors are, the sons fought and there was no one to stand between them; and one caused the other to die, which may not have been intentional. With regards to Absalom and Amnon, the mitigating factor is, Amnon was deserving of death (Deut. 22:25–27).


There are many phrases which can be taken in more than one way. I recall a movie, based upon a real case (if memory serves), and the key line was, one criminal told another, who was holding a gun, “Let him have it” referring to a police officer (my memory of this is somewhat vague). The first criminal might be saying, “Hand over the gun” or he might be saying, “Shoot him.” Unless you are there, what he said—let him have it—would have been difficult to figure out. So, either one son intentionally killed the other or he caused his death, but did not mean to.


Your handmaid [had] two sons and they both struggled in the field, but [there was] no one to stand between them [lit., no savior between them]. Consequently, one struck him, the [other] one, and he caused him to die. The woman minimizes the responsibility of her living son; there was no one to stand between them. She is implying that, her husband, had he not been dead, would have been there between them, teaching them how to work out their differences. However, since he is not there, two boys who don’t know any better took their fighting too far.


If David was going to judge rightly, the first thing he would do is stop the trial and demand that the living son be brought in, along with any other witnesses, both to the killing and to the character of the boy. He is trusting the testimony of this woman; David will make a ruling on what this woman says, and that is a mistake. She has an agenda, and, since David is assuming that all of this is real, her testimony is going to slanted in such a way as to get her way. There are laws on the books that deal with murder and with unintentional homicide, and David is taking the word of this woman who apparently did not even witness the killing (again, David believes this to be a real case; we know that Joab just made it up).


However, if the remaining son killed his brother intentionally, then he is guilty of murder and has forfeited his own freedom. When you murder another person, you take away their freedom; therefore, your freedom is removed and you are executed. This law predates the Mosaic Law; and was given shortly after the Great Flood (Gen. 9:6). This is the primary issue at hand, and David, out of sympathy for this woman, is putting it aside.


Back in 2Sam. 11, we spoke of the Interlocking Systems of Arrogance (HTML) (PDF) (WPD), and that David was caught in the interlocking systems of arrogance because of sexual arrogance. David had done more than simply give in to sexual desire a few times; sexual desire ruled him as an addiction, and this impaired his judgment. This does not mean that his judgment was always impaired; but there were times when he was unable to judge rightly, and that is very problematic for one of the greatest kings in human history. Bear in mind that his foray into adultery and a compromised mind was over 5 years ago, and yet it still affects his thinking in some ways. He is unable to be objective concerning this woman.


This also tells us something about Joab: Joab is David’s greatest general and probably his closest friend. However, Joab is behind all of this. Not only did Joab have a good idea what David was up to, but, this was confirmed when David sent an honorable soldier back to the battlefield with a private note to Joab telling him to see that this man is killed (2Sam. 11:14). The fact that Joab went along with this suggests that his judgment was also impaired, which is confirmed by his scheme before us. This is a problem: the two top men in the land of Israel, and they lack the ability to make certain sound decisions.


This helps to explain how Israel would rebel against David and his general, Joab.


——————————


And behold has risen up all the family upon your handmaid. And so they say, ‘Give [over] the one striking his brother and we will kill him in a soul of his brother whom he killed. And we should annihilate also an heir.’ And they will extinguish my coal that remained to not leave to my man name and remnant upon faces of the ground.”

2Samuel

14:7

Now, listen, my family has risen up against your handmaid, and they said, ‘Give over the one who struck his brother and we will kill him on account of the soul of his brother whom he killed. Moreover, we will annihilate the heir [of your husband].’ Consequently, they will extinguished my coal that remains, to not leave to my husband [his] name nor a remnant [of him] on the face of the earth.”

Please listen: my family has risen up against your maidservant demanding, “Give over the one who struck his brother and we will execute him on behalf of his dead brother. Moreover, we will completely wipe out your husband’s estate.’ Consequently, they would destroy the only remaining heir, so that my husband would not have a name or a remnant of him preserved on this earth.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And behold the whole kindred rising against your handmaid, says: Deliver him that has slain his brother, that we may kill him for the life of his brother, whom he slew, and that we may destroy the heir: and they seek to quench my spark which is left, and will leave my husband no name, nor remainder upon the earth.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And behold has risen up all the family upon your handmaid. And so they say, ‘Give [over] the one striking his brother and we will kill him in a soul of his brother whom he killed. And we should annihilate also an heir.’ And they will extinguish my coal that remained to not leave to my man name and remnant upon faces of the ground.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And behold, the whole family is risen against your handmaid, and they say, Deliver to us the man who slew his brother that we may kill him for the life of his brother whom he slew; so they want to destroy the heir also; moreover they want to quench the spark of life which is left for me, that they may not leave to his father either name or family upon the earth.

Septuagint (Greek)                And behold, the whole family rose up against your handmaid, and they said, Give up the one that struck down his brother, and we will put him to death for the life of his brother, whom he killed, and we will take away your heir. So they will quench my coal that is left, so as not to leave my husband a remnant or name upon the face of the earth.

 

Significant differences:           The preposition against (in the Greek, Syriac and Latin) is a reasonable translation for the Hebrew preposition found here. The preposition for (as found in the Greek, Latin and Syriac) conveys the idea of on account of, which is a legitimate translation of the bêyth preposition, which is found here.

 

The English translation from the Syriac has they, instead of we, which may simply be a matter of smoothing the translation out. Similarly, we find in the English translation for me which probably replaces the 1st person singular suffix which is found in the Hebrew.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Now the entire clan has turned against your servant. They say, `Hand over the one who killed his brother so we can execute him for murdering his brother, even though we would destroy the heir as well.' So they would snuff out the one ember I have left, leaving my husband without name or descendant on the earth."

Contemporary English V.       Now all of my relatives have come to me and said, "Hand over your son! We're going to put him to death for killing his brother." But what they really want is to get rid of him, so they can take over our land. Please don't let them put out my only flame of hope! There won't be anyone left on this earth to carry on my husband's name.

Easy English                          Now my whole family is against me. They say, "Bring the son to us who killed his brother. We will kill hi m because he murdered his brother. Then neither son will be able to receive what belonged to their father." He is like the last piece of coal in my fire. He is all that I have left. If they kill him, my husband's family and name will disappear.'

Easy-to-Read Version            Now the whole family is against me. They said to me, ‘Bring us the son who killed his brother and we will kill him. Why? Because he killed his brother.’ My son is like the last spark of a fire. If they kill my son, then that fire will burn out and be finished. He is the only son left alive to get his father’s property. So my {dead} husband’s property will go to someone else and his name will be removed from the land.”

Good News Bible (TEV)         And now, sir, all my relatives have turned against me and are demanding that I hand my son over to them, so that they can kill him for murdering his brother. If they do this, I will be left without a son. They will destroy my last hope and leave my husband without a son to keep his name alive."

The Message                         Then the whole family ganged up against me and demanded, 'Hand over this murderer so we can kill him for the life of the brother he murdered!' They want to wipe out the heir and snuff out the one spark of life left to me. And then there would be nothing left of my husband--not so much as a name--on the face of the earth.

New Century Version             Now all the family group is against me. They said to me, 'Bring the son who killed his brother so we may kill him for killing his brother. That way we will also get rid of the one who would receive what belonged to his father.' My son is like the last spark of a fire. He is all I have left. If they kill him, my husband's name and property will be gone from the earth."

New Life Bible                        Now the whole family has come against your woman servant. They say, 'Give us the one who killed his brother. We must put him to death for the life of his brother whom he killed.' So I would be without a son to receive what belonged to his parents when I die. They would put out the last of the fire which is left to me. My husband would be left without a name and with no children on the earth."

New Living Translation           Now the rest of the family is demanding, `Let us have your son. We will execute him for murdering his brother. He doesn't deserve to inherit his family's property.' They want to extinguish the only coal I have left, and my husband's name and family will disappear from the face of the earth."


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Now, {Look} the whole family is against your servant, because they're telling me to hand over my son so they can kill him for murdering his brother. But if they do that, they'll be taking away my only heir and extinguish the little spark [of hope] that remains of leaving my husband a name and property on the face of the earth.'

Ancient Roots Translinear      All the family here rose toward your handmaid, saying, 'Give him that smote his brother to die for the soul of his brother that he slew. We will annihilate both the heirs.' They will quench my coal which remains, and never set my man's name as a remnant over the face of the earth."

Beck’s American Translation Then all the relatives rose against me. ‘Give us the one who killed his brother,’ they said, ‘so we can kill him because he took his brother’s life, and we’ll not let him be the heir.’ So they will put out my burning coal that is left and not let my husband have a name or anyone after him on the earth.”

Christian Community Bible     Now the entire family demand that I give up the one who struck his brother. And they say: ‘We will kill him and avenge his brother’s death.’ So they want to quench my remaining hope; with this they will leave my husband without name or posterity on the earth.”

God’s Word                         Then the entire family turned against me. They said, 'Give us the man who killed his brother so that we can kill him because he took his brother's life. We're going to destroy the one who now would be the heir.' In this way they wish to extinguish the one burning coal that is left for me. They will not let my husband's name or descendants remain on the face of the earth."

New American Bible              Then the whole clan confronted your servant and demanded: `Give up the one who struck down his brother. We must put him to death for the life of his brother whom he has killed; we must do away with the heir also.' Thus they will quench my remaining hope* and leave my husband neither name nor posterity upon the earth." Nm 35:19.

New Jerusalem Bible             And now the whole clan has risen against your servant. "Give up the man who killed his brother," they say, "so that we can put him to death, to atone for the life of the brother whom he has murdered; and thus we shall destroy the heir as well." By this means, they will extinguish the ember still left to me, leaving my husband neither name nor survivor on the face of the earth.'

New Simplified Bible              »All my relatives have turned against me and are demanding that I hand my son over to them. They want to kill him for murdering his brother. If they do this, I will be left without a son. They will destroy my last hope. They will leave my husband without a son to keep his name alive.«

Today’s NIV                          Now, sir, the kinsmen have confronted me with the demand, “Hand over the one who killed his brother, so that we can put him to death for taking his brother’s life, and so cut off the succession.” If they do this, they will stamp out my last live ember and leave my husband without name or descendant on the earth.’


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And now all the family is turned against me, your servant, saying, Give up him who was the cause of his brother's death, so that we may put him to death in payment for the life of his brother, whose life he took; and we will put an end to the one who will get the heritage: so they will put out my last burning coal, and my husband will have no name or offspring on the face of the earth.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 ...so all the clan arose against your servant and said, ‘Give up the murderer of his brother! And we will kill him, for the life of his brother whom he has murdered!’ Thus the property will be desolated; and my heir will be destroyed, and the only coal left to me to continue my husband’s name, will be extinguished on the ground.”

HCSB                                     Now the whole clan has risen up against your servant and said, 'Hand over the one who killed his brother so we may put him to death for the life of the brother he murdered. We will destroy the heir!' They would extinguish my one remaining ember by not preserving my husband's name or posterity on earth."

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               Then the whole clan confronted your maidservant and said, ‘Hand over the one who killed his brother, that we may put him to death for the slaying of his brother, even though we wipe out the heir.’ Thus they would quench the last ember remaining to me, and leave my husband without name or remnant upon the earth.”

NET Bible®                             Now the entire family has risen up against your servant, saying, 'Turn over the one who struck down his brother, so that we can execute him and avenge the death [Heb "in exchange for the life." The Hebrew preposition ??? (bÿ, "in") here is the so-called bet pretii, or bet (???) of price, defining the value attached to someone or something.] of his brother whom he killed. In so doing we will also destroy the heir.' They want to extinguish my remaining coal [My remaining coal is here metaphorical language, describing the one remaining son as her only source of lingering hope for continuing the family line.], leaving no one on the face of the earth to carry on the name of my husband."


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      And now the whole clan has risen against your servant, and they say, 'Give up the man who struck his brother, that we may put him to death for the life of his brother whom he killed.' And so they would destroy the heir also. Thus they would quench my coal that is left and leave to my husband neither name nor remnant on the face of the earth."

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and behold,

the whole family rises against your maid

and they say,

Give him who smote his brother - to deathify him

for the soul of his brother he slaughtered;

and we desolate his successor also:

and so they quench my coal which survives

and set neither name nor survivors to my man

on the face of the soil.

The Geneva Bible                  And, behold, the whole family is risen against thine handmaid, and they said, Deliver him that smote his brother, that we may kill him, for the life [Because he has slain his brother he ought to be slain according to the law, (Gen. 9:6; Ex. 21:12).] of his brother whom he slew; and we will destroy the heir also: and so they shall quench my coal which is left, and shall not leave to my husband [neither] name nor remainder upon the earth.

Syndein                                  Now, behold, the entire clan/family has risen up against your 'female subject', and they said/'have demanded', "'Hand over'/Deliver up' the one who killed his brother, in order that we may put him to death, for the life of his brother whom he murdered. {Note: In Israel there were no public executioners. These close relatives would have been obligated to enforce the law and be 'avengers of blood'. And, this would also be the right of Amnon's 50ish brothers. This tells us that David has 'tried Absalom in absentia' and Absalom would be executed by his brothers if he returned.} Furthermore, we will destroy {shamad} the heir. {Note: Joab through this actress is introducing a false issue. That of the law of posterity - see Genesis 38:8. All the names of the families who escaped Egypt via the Exodus were to be perpetuated through the male heir. This is a very important civil law particularly since all lands were to return to the original families every 50 years - unless the line of posterity had been broken.} {Note: Now shamad here in the Hiphil stem indicates the false motivation of the supposed avengers of blood. Really, Joab is telling us the motivation of Amnon's 50 brothers in wanting Absalom now dead also - they all think then they would be the heir apparent. Their motivation is evil. Human good plus arrogance = evil (same as sin plus arrogance = evil)} Therefore, they {the avengers of blood} will extinguish my spark/'burning coal'/posterity which is left {introducing the false issue of the law of posterity} and cause my {dead} husband to be without a name nor posterity on the face of the earth. {Note: When a law is not pertinent, a person has to appeal to the emotion of the judge. And, since David is emotionally charged, he will fall for the trap. Therefore, again with Absalom as with Amnon, the punishment for his crime will not be imposed. When laws are not enforced, revolution will follow.} {Note: See Psalm 38:28. David probably wrote this psalm afterward this event to remind all of us that the prosperity of the evil SHOULD be cut off!}.

Updated Bible Version 2.11   And, look, the whole family has risen against your female slave, and they say, Deliver him who struck his brother, that we may kill him for the life of his brother whom he slew, and so destroy the heir also. Thus they will quench my charcoal which is left, and will leave to my husband neither name nor remainder on the face of the earth.

A Voice in the Wilderness      And now the whole family has risen up against your handmaid, and said, Deliver him who struck his brother, that we may execute him for the soul of his brother whom he killed; and we will destroy the heir also. Thus they would extinguish my ember that is left, and leave to my husband neither name nor remnant upon the face of the earth.

World English Bible                Behold, the whole family is risen against your handmaid, and they say, Deliver him who struck his brother, that we may kill him for the life of his brother whom he killed, and so destroy the heir also. Thus will they quench my coal which is left, and will leave to my husband neither name nor remainder on the surface of the earth.

Young’s Updated LT             And lo, the whole family has risen against your maid-servant, and say, Give up him who strikes his brother, and we put him to death for the life of his brother whom he has slain, and we destroy also the heir; and they have quenched my coal which is left—so as not to set to my husband a name and remnant on the face of the ground.”

 

The gist of this verse:          There are relatives remaining who want the boy who killed the other turned over to them so that they can execute him. This, complains the woman, would leave her husband’s name without an heir remaining.


2Samuel 14:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hinnêh (הִנֵּה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, note, take note; pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

qûwm (קוּם) [pronounced koom]

to stand, to rise up, to get up; to establish, to establish a vow, to cause a vow to stand, to confirm or to fulfill a vow

3rd person feminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #6965 BDB #877

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

the whole, all of, the entirety of, all; can also be rendered any of

masculine singular construct followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

mishepâchâh (מִשְפָּחָה) [pronounced mish-paw-KHAWH]

family, clan, tribe, sub-tribe, class (of people), species [genus, kind] [of animals], or sort (of things)

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #4940 BDB #1046

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

shiphechâh (שִפְחָה) [pronounced shif-KHAW]

maid, maid-servant, household servant, handmaid, female slave

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #8198 BDB #1046

R. B. Thieme, Jr. says that this ought to be translated your female subject.

The NET Bible says Here and elsewhere (vv. 7, 12, 15a, 17, 19) the woman uses a term which suggests a lower level female servant. She uses the term to express her humility before the king. However, she uses a different term in vv. 15b-16.


Translation: Now, listen, my family has risen up against your handmaid,... David is a champion of the weak, and this woman makes it seem as if she is facing all manner of odds against her. All those in her family—which appear to be those on her side of the family (v. 9)—have risen up against her.


Although the woman never says so, there is the veiled suggestion that her family may desire the inheritance which her boys can no longer inherit (one was killed by the other; and then the other would be executed). The Mosaic Law deals with a problem like this in Num. 26:1–11 and 36:1–12. Had David been studying the Mosaic Law, he would have been aware of this and brought it up as an issue.


Essentially, Joab wants David to overlook criminal law; and he hopes to do this by this woman eliciting sympathy from David, as a woman who has the world against her. She is a sympathetic figure, because none of what has happened is her fault. You will notice that Joab did not bring in a male actor to play the remaining son. He is a much less sympathetic figure, and David may have had him executed on the spot.


Since Joab has simply invented this entire scenario, the entire family here parallels all of David’s other sons who witnessed the murder of Amnon. They may not have known about the rape, or fully understood the rape of Tamar, but they certainly understood the killing of Amnon, as they all witnessed it. Therefore, these impressionable young men would have been opposed to Absalom returning to the kingdom of Israel. They would have possibly even been afraid for their own lives. It is possible that their influence partially bolstered David’s resolve against Absalom’s return.


Since I have mentioned these sons, let’s consider Joab’s motivation. Joab knew David, respected David; and he knew David’s sons. Joab could see Absalom is a natural leader, as a man very similar to David. Although we do not know it yet, it will become apparent that Absalom has a lot of chinks in his armor, which Joab misses.


Joab has to consider the population of Israel as well. Absalom was very popular among the people, who, as described in previous chapters, probably knew about Amnon raping Tamar. To them, someone like Absalom was a hero—he did the right thing. Joab knew David’s other sons, those who rode their donkeys back from Absalom’s ranch together. There did not seem to be a leader among them. They left together and they arrived in Jerusalem together. They might make good soldiers, but they would not be good generals.


2Samuel 14:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

nâthan (נָתַן) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set; to make

2nd person feminine singular, Qal imperative

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

nâkâh (נָכָה) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

the one striking [assaulting, hitting]; striking, hitting; defeating, conquering, subjugating

Hiphil participle

Strong #5221 BDB #645

ʾâch (אָח) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26


Translation: ...and they said, ‘Give over the one who struck his brother... She tells David what her family members are saying: “Give us the one who struck his brother.” There are two brothers: the one who hit the other; and the other who is dead. So they call for the remaining brother.


2Samuel 14:7c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

mûwth (מוּת) [pronounced mooth]

to kill, to cause to die, to put to death, to execute

1st person plural, Hiphil imperfect with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; among, in the midst of; at, by, near, on, before, in the presence of, upon; with; to, unto, upon, up to; in respect to, on account of; by means of, about, concerning

primarily a preposition of proximity; however, it has a multitude of functions

No Strong’s # BDB #88

nephesh (נֶפֶש) [pronounced NEH-fesh]

soul, life, living being, desire, volition

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #5315 BDB #659

ʾâch (אָח) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

hârag (הָרַג) [pronounced haw-RAHG]

to kill, to slay, to execute; to destroy, to ruin

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect; pausal form

Strong's #2026 BDB #246


Translation: ...and we will kill him on account of the soul of his brother whom he killed. This is the family’s right and duty, to execute the one who has killed a family member. He is often called an avenger of blood (Num. 35:19 Deut. 19:12 Joshua 20:3). In this situation, it is one family member who would kill another.


So there is no confusion here: if one member of a family is wronged, other members do not simply go after the one who wronged him. Involved in criminal matters is a court and witnesses. I recall old movies where some posse of angry townspeople go after someone who has not been properly handled by the court system, and they quote the Bible, often snarling, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life.” (Ex. 21:24 Deut. 19:21). And, because they are quoting the Bible, they always look half-crazed. However, these are words which simply describe punishment appropriate to the crime. These words are not designed to be used by some group of lawless vigilantes.


2Samuel 14:7d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shâmad (שָמַד) [pronounced shaw-MAHD]

to destroy, to lay waste, to annihilate, to exterminate

1st person plural, Hiphil imperfect, with the voluntative hê

Strong's #8045 BDB #1029

The hê at the end is called a voluntative hê and the verb itself is known as a cohortative and is often translated with the additional word let, may, might, ought, should.

gam (גַם) [pronounced gahm]

also, furthermore, in addition to, even, moreover

adverb

Strong’s #1571 BDB #168

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

yârash (שיָרַ) [pronounced yaw-RASH]

possessing, occupying [a geographical area by driving out the previous occupants], taking possession [of people or their goods]; inheriting; expelling, driving out; those possessing; the ones driving out; those inheriting; heirs

Qal active participle with the definite article

Strong’s #3423 BDB #439


Translation: Moreover, we will annihilate the heir [of your husband].’ There is an implication at this point; the implication is, either the wife’s family or the deceased husband’s family is just as interested in her husband’s estate as they are justice. So, they are killing off, annihilating, exterminating the only heir of her husband. She is using very strong language here to illicit sympathy from David, who naturally would have sympathy toward this woman.


The woman never outright states, “My family members are simply after my inheritance.” However, she strongly implies this with the use of the word heir.


There is no doubt that Joab knows David and this is working. David is quite concerned for this woman. Just as the concept of an execution in order to gain this inheritance has occurred to me, it certainly occurred to David. The woman would be wrong to state, “Here is what they are after, my deceased husband’s inheritance.” She does not want to impute motives when she cannot read the minds of her (pretend) family members. Joab knows that David is going to consider this himself. David was a brilliant man, so he is way ahead of this woman, thinking about the motivations of those who want to execute her son.


Again, what Joab hopes to accomplish is for David to set aside criminal law and subordinate it to civil law. He expects to be able to do this by getting David emotionally entangled with this very sympatric widow.


This is done in our court system all of the time. When Lucy Van Pelt brings suit against Charley Brown, her cause of action may be weak; however, if Lucy appears to be sympathetic to the jury, whereas Charley is not, Lucy will often be awarded the victory.


Application: If you are on jury duty, you go by the law, not by the way that you feel. It should not matter if Lucy Van Pelt is the most sympathetic person in the world, and Charley Brown seems mean. You go by the law.


2Samuel 14:7e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kâkâh (כָּכָה) [pronounced kaw-KAW]

to quenched, to extinguish, to put out; to perish

3rd person plural, Piel perfect

Strong’s #3518 BDB #459

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

gacheleth (גַּחֶלֶת) [pronounced gah-KHEH-leth]

coal, burning coal; fiery (or, hot) coals, embers

feminine singular noun with the 1st person plural suffix

Strong’s #1513 BDB #160

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

shâʾar (שָאַר) [pronounced shaw-AHR]

to remain, to be left over

3rd person feminine singular, Niphal perfect

Strong’s #7604 BDB #983


Translation: Consequently, they will extinguished my coal that remains,... This woman has one remaining heir; one remaining son. He is called here, my coal. Her in-laws threaten to extinguish him. It is as if he is her last and only hope, and her family does not care.


The words extinguish my coal are simply poetic language. Similar language is found in 2Sam. 21:17 and Psalm 132:17. We should always interpret the Bible literally except when it is clear that some sort of figure of speech is being used. This clears up so many so-called Biblical contradictions. Many things which God does are described in language of accommodation. When He executes His justice over some subset of people, He may be called wrathful or angry. This does not mean that God is wrathful or angry; these are words which we understand, and it helps us to better understand God’s motivation.


2Samuel 14:7f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

biletîy (בִּלְתִּי) pronounced bille-TEE]

not

adverb/particle of negation

Strong’s #1115 BDB #116

shâʾar (שָאַר) [pronounced shaw-AHR]

to be left, to remain

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #7604 BDB #983

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun (sometimes found where we would use a plural); with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #376 BDB #35

shêm (שֵם) [pronounced shame]

name, reputation, character

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #8034 BDB #1027

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Owen left out the conjunction here.

sheʾêrîyth (שְאֵרִית) [pronounced sheay-REETH]

rest, residue, remnant, remainder; survivor

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #7611 BDB #984

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

pânîym (פָּנִים) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces, countenance; presence

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular)

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, ʿâl and pânîym mean upon the face of, facing, in front of, before (as in preference to), in addition to, overlooking.

ʾădâmâh (אֲדָמָה) [pronounced uh-daw-MAWH]

ground, soil, dirt, earth, tillable earth, land, surface of the earth

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #127 BDB #9


Translation: ...to not leave to my husband [his] name nor a remnant [of him] on the face of the earth.” And she presents this as if there is no one and nothing that remains of her husband. He will not continue his name or anything of him on this earth. It will be as if this man never existed. Through no fault of his own, this man’s life and inheritance would be completely gone if his only remaining son is executed.


Again, this is all a made-up scenario, a play produced for David by Joab, that David believes to be real.


What does the law say? The brother needs to be, at the very least, tried for what he did. Were there blows exchanged? Does he have any markings as a result of their struggle? Has this been an ongoing animosity between them? These are legal issues which should be taken up in a criminal court. None of these things are of interest to David, who sees the civil matter here as being more important.


Joab does not want David to ponder the legalities of this matter; he wants David to focus in on this woman and to be feeling great sympathy for her. Because of his sympathies toward this woman, Joab wants David to give a ruling in favor of the civil issues over the criminal issues.


There is an actual civil issue involved here: the Mosaic Law sought to preserve as many lines of Israel as possible (see Deut. 25:5–6 Ruth 2:20). There is nothing magical or weird about that; God desired to have as many Israelites as possible believe in Him and be preserved; so the preservation of the individual families actually pointed to God’s desire that all be saved (1Tim. 2:4 2Peter 3:9).


What David has to choose between is the clear reading of criminal law, where the one son must be brought to justice; versus civil law, where God would prefer all bloodlines to be permanent.


Another issue not discussed, but likely on David’s mind—what about this widow? Who will take care of her? She needs her son to take care of her in her old age. However, Joab does not want the widow to introduce this issue. He trusts that David will consider this without her bringing it up.


This gives us 3 civil issues: the preservation of this woman’s husband’s line, the heirship of her husband’s property, and protection and care for the widow in her old age. What will sway David’s decision is having this very sympathetic woman standing before him in court.


This, again, gives us a peek into Joab’s mind. By his thinking, David had no decent heirs apart from Absalom (otherwise, he would not have conceived such a complex plot as this to bring Absalom back). His other children were not king material, at least, not from Joab’s vantage point. Sadly, Joab will later choose to back another of David’s sons against Solomon (2Sam. 12:24), which will result in Joab’s death (1Kings 2:28–34).


V. 7 reads: Now, listen, my family has risen up against your handmaid, and they said, ‘Give over the one who struck his brother and we will kill him on account of the soul of his brother whom he killed. Moreover, we will annihilate the heir [of your husband].’ Consequently, they will extinguished my coal that remains, to not leave to my husband [his] name nor a remnant [of him] on the face of the earth.” There is an implication in what she says; she is suggesting that they want to kill her son, not so much for justice, but for the inheritance. This is not stated, but it is strongly implied. They have told her twice that they want to kill the boy, but the second time, they speak of him as an heir. What appears to be the case is, they have controlling interest of the land which belonged to her husband and, with the boy out of the way, they would keep the land, because there is no male heir.


The woman from Tekoa is appealing to David on the basis of the law of posterity. This is in the Bible and it ought to be something that David is familiar with; however, because he allows his sympathy for her to outweigh a correct assessment of her case, he is going to let her appeal to the law of posterity stand.


Because this woman is making an argument based upon the Law of Posterity, we ought to know what that law is.

The Law of Posterity

1.      God desires for all to be saved, which meant all Jews as well. Therefore, this was suggested by the Law of Posterity. According to the law of posterity, the name of every family who came into the land of promise was to be preserved along with a plot of land that was to remain in their family forever.

2.      What this represented was, all those of the Exodus generation were saved; and God wanted for their sons and grandsons to be saved, so that they could inherit the earth.

3.      This was based upon the fact that the land which God gave Israel was to be their possession forever. Deut. 6:18 11:9

4.      Knowing that people have unequal abilities in the realm of business, God even provided for this land to revert back to the original family every 50 years (Lev. 25:10, 13 Joshua 14:2 15:1). This is not because God is a socialist or a social justice God. This represented God’s faithfulness to each family; to every believer of Israel. This represents their eternal reward.1 Once you are saved, no one can snatch you out of the hand of God (John 10:28).

5.      If a man died out without heirs, then there would be no one to whom the land could revert back to. Instead of the land being an eternal inheritance, it became an eternal loss to that family. This is representative of not teaching your children about Yehowah Elohim. If they did not believe in the God of Israel, then they lost their inheritance.

6.      The way a name was preserved is, if a woman’s husband died without producing a male heir, the brother would raise up seed in this woman in her husband’s name. This is also known as the Levirate Law (levir is the Latin word for husband’s brother). Deut. 25:5–10

7.      This was actually a carry-over from an old-world custom, which may have been commanded by God (Gen. 38:8–10). A man, whose brother had died, was supposed to “raise up seed” in the wife of his deceased brother. He had sex with the wife, but ejaculated onto the ground. This passage is too often quoted as an argument against birth control. However, the problem was not that they younger brother used an early withdrawal to avoid making his sister-in-law pregnant, but that he did not fulfill his duty to his brother who had died, to preserve his brother’s name.

8.      The book of Ruth is based upon this law of inheritance. Boaz, by marrying Ruth, allowed her deceased husband (Mahlon), a Jew, to have his name continued. By this act of kindness and love, the line of our Lord passed through Boaz and Ruth. See Ruth 4:9–10

9.      The sadducees used this law of posterity to try to trip up our Lord. They said, what happens if we have brother, after brother, after brother marry this woman, then which one is her husband in heaven? Jesus explains to them that there is no marriage in heaven. Luke 20:27–34

10.    What this woman from Tekoa was attempting to do was to cause David to favor the law of posterity over criminal law. 2Sam. 14:5–7

Also, even though this is a little-studied doctrine, this suggests that there may have been a more extensive moral code prior to the Law of Moses. This doctrine explains both the book of Ruth and the question of the sadducees. It also explains why the Catholic church is wrong about birth control. Footnote Finally, the underlying meaning explains that those who believed in Yehowah Elohim had an eternal inheritance with God, undefiled, that does not fade away (1Peter 1:4).

1 Much of the Old Testament runs on two tracks. That is, there is the actual narrative which is presented, which is true historical factual information. However, this history often represents something else. The most common example of this are all of the animal sacrifices which the Jews offered up (Lev. 1–6). These are real animals that were really sacrificed to God. However, they represented Jesus Christ, Who would come in the flesh and die for our sins as the Lamb of God (Lev. 10:17 Isa. 53:11 Matt. 20:28 John 1:29 Gal. 1:4 Heb. 1:3). Related to this is the fact that there are two authors of nearly every portion of the Word of God: the human author and God the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it is not a stretch to imagine that David, for instance, had one thing in mind when he wrote this or that psalm; and God the Holy Spirit had something else in mind in guiding David to choose the right words.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


There are two things which ought to be competing for David’s attention: criminal law versus the law of posterity. However, all he can think of is this woman standing in front of him, and she needs his help.

Superceding Law; Superceding Issues

1.      Every day we face issues of what ought to take precedence over what. Most of these are simple issues; work late at the office or show up for time for dinner at home.

2.      Many of these choices may go one way one day, and another way the next.

3.      If David’s mind was in the game, then he would realize that he should be considering two separate issues: is the one boy guilty of murder or not; and should the line of his older brother be continued or not. If both of these things cannot be decided on simultaneously, then David has to make a choice as to which takes precedence.

4.      However, what is key in David’s decision is, the blood relatives appear to be more intent on the heirship situation, which suggests that they will be able to keep the land due to the remaining son because there is no remaining male heir. So they are not motivated by justice, but by greed.

5.      David should make his decision based upon the law, however, and not based upon the motivations of others who are involved.

6.      By the law of posterity, the land originally belonging to the woman’s husband would come back to him or to his son in the year of Jubilee. However, if there is no male heir, then the land will not revert back to him.

7.      Judges face these issues all of the time: the rights of the accused must be balanced against the need for justice. Charlie Brown must be afforded every opportunity to defend himself, even though Lucy Van Pelt has been murdered.

8.      The problem in our text is, we have David, who is unable to make a good judicial decision coupled with Joab who wants to simply consider the best political decision, in his own estimation.

9.      This suggests that Joab may have had his own values corrupted by David when David asked him to have Uriah the Hittite killed (Uriah was Bathsheba’s husband) and he did so.

10.    Therefore, based upon what we read in this chapter, both men were making a series of bad decisions and there was one in particular where David’s concern for criminal law and criminal prosecution should have superceded his desire to make this woman happy.

11.    As a result of all of this, Absalom will be brought back to Jerusalem, but without being cleared of a criminal act. David still won’t talk to him and David will not apply any principle of justice.

12.    Because of this and because of Absalom’s soul, Absalom will lead a rebellion against David.

David, quite obviously, was not considering the nuances of the case or the application of the Mosaic Law; he was most concerned for this widow.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


V. 7 reads: Now, listen, my family has risen up against your handmaid, and they said, ‘Give over the one who struck his brother and we will kill him on account of the soul of his brother whom he killed. Moreover, we will annihilate the heir [of your husband].’ Consequently, they will extinguished my coal that remains, to not leave to my husband [his] name nor a remnant [of him] on the face of the earth.” The woman from Tekoa appeals to David on the basis of sympathy; he is sympatric toward her as a widowed woman, and as a woman who may lose her only remaining son? She is not looking to appeal to David on the basis of justice; she needs for David to set justice aside for a moment and think about her plight.


Man, as society progressed and changed, and more people found themselves living side-by-side, had to determine how to deal with one another—particularly how does a corporate body like a society deal with individuals who fall outside of the boundaries of society, through crime or disobedience to the laws of the land. Organizing a system to deal with this was on the mind of many rulers soon after the great flood; and God set out a system of laws for His country, Israel, as well.

An Application to Crime and Punishment

1.      There must be an ultimate penalty for any system, and it must be used freely and appropriately.

2.      For the military, a person can be court marshaled or drummed out of the army; for the church, a person can be ex-communicated; from a school, a person should be able to be disciplined, and, if necessary, expelled; and in society, we must be able to exact capital punishment.

3.      There must be a clear delineation of how one can face the ultimate punishment.

4.      The ultimate punishment must be strongly feared.

         a.      As an aside, I gave the example of school and expulsion. Let’s explore that:

         b.      If school is a desired place to be, expulsion will be feared. If school is sentence of punishment in itself, then expulsion will not be feared.

         c.      One of the lame things done here in Texas is the establishment of alternative schools and how these alternative schools must be found in every school district.

         d.      If the ultimate punishment is sending you to an easier school, and there is little else that is done, then this is not much of an ultimate punishment.

         e.      In the past, if Charlie Brown got tossed out of one school district, he could enroll in another. This would be difficult, time consuming, and possibly costly. Also, parents would have to drive that kid from their home to the school, which often involved a 30 minute drive one way to the school, every morning. Now, what would be the conversation? For the first few weeks, for most of those 30 minutes, the parent would nag the kid and tell him how much he (or she) hated to spend this extra time having to drive him to a different school district. In case you don’t realize it, one of the greatest psychological pain for a teen is to listen to one of his parents talk for 30 minutes straight about how he had better behave. That is painful.

         f.       Such a system got the parent involved in the kid’s life, which often resulted in a more pliable kid.

5.      The application of such punishment must be fair and unbiased. One kid cannot be a daily troublemaker and receive little or not punishment, while another stubs his toe, says “Damn” and is expelled.

6.      Furthermore, these levels of punishment ought to be feared; and as they punishment intensifies, the fear ought to intensify.

7.      A buck private may balk at having latrine duty, but the idea of 20 years in a military prison is far more disconcerting.

8.      The punishment ought to fit the crime. That is what “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is all about. It means an appropriate punishment is found for the crime committed.

9.      Crime is the enemy of freedom. It takes away our rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Therefore, crime must be dealt with.

10.    Our freedom is essential to the Angelic Conflict. Without freedom of choice, our existence is quite meaningless. There are a variety of means used to remove our freedom, and crime is one of those. Therefore, God demands that crime be dealt with.

11.    The ultimate punishment must be exercised when warranted. Sentencing a person to death has little meaning if the person then dies in prison after 20 or 30 years.

12.    If the criminal is not punished then society is punished instead. This does not matter whether the criminal is in jail or out of jail; a criminal in jail with a life sentence or a death sentence can be ruthless and have nothing to lose. A criminal who has not been punished has little reason to change his behavior.

13.    There must be laws of evidence, rules of evidence, and a reasonable allowance of defense for the accused. This will vary as to the nature of the crime and the institution. A kid found with a marijuana joint in his hand ought to be summarily expelled from school. However, a recruit accused of thievery might have more of a chance to defend himself. The amount of time spend on an offense ought to be appropriate to the crime committed and the institution involved. A crime involving the greatest punishment ought to have clearly damning evidence.

14.    Without such things in place to insure lawfulness within the institution, when authority is maintained and respected, that institution cannot function and produce whatever it is supposed to produce (soldiers, students, citizens, etc.).

Essentially, we are talking about some of the Laws of Divine Establishment here. There are forces of evil which attempt to dissuade others from adhering to these laws. That is, evil will continually attempt to break down our schools, our military and our society.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Satan is the enemy of the laws of divine establishment, and he will try to break them down in any way possible. He is always looking to supplant true justice with his own philosophy (aka, the cosmic system).


Application: We have a wonderful legal system in the United States, but it is constantly under attack. Prosecutors and defense attorneys become far more interested in their own records than they do in justice. Our laws are constantly being added to in such a way as to corrupt the system rather than to improve it (e.g., hate laws, as if mental attitude sins are under the jurisdiction of the state).


Application: It ought to be clear to you, if you are a believer with some doctrine and have lived as such for over five years, that there is a constant attack against freedom and against the laws of divine establishment. I saw this as a school teacher over a period of nearly 30 years. No matter how good a school system was, there were continual attempts to “fix it” which meant, to make it much worse. These attempts came from all directions: the parents, the courts, the principals, the teachers and the legislature. I taught in a school district for most of my teaching career which was nearly perfect. In the 20+ years that I was there, I witnessed all of those sorts of attacks which did, in my opinion, eventually bring the system down.


——————————


And so says the king unto the woman, “Go to your home and I [even] I will give charge upon you.”

2Samuel

14:8

So the king said unto the woman, “Go to your home and I [even] I will issue orders concerning you.”

Then the king answered the woman, “Go to your home and I will issue orders concerning you.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And the king said to the woman: Go to your house, and I will give charge concerning you.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says the king unto the woman, “Go to your home and I [even] I will give charge upon you.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And the king said to her, Go to your house, and I will give orders concerning you.

Septuagint (Greek)                And the king said to the woman, Go in peace to your house, and I will give orders concerning you.

Brenton’s Updated LXX        And the king said to the woman, Go in peace to your house, and I will give commandment concerning you.

 

Significant differences:           The Syriac has the king saying to her (rather than to the woman). The Greek appears to have the noun and verb together which mean go in peace; however, the words used at this point are not found in the NT.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           The king said to the woman, "Return home, and I will issue an order in your behalf."

Contemporary English V.       "Go on home," David told her. "I'll take care of this matter for you."

Easy English                          The king said to the woman, `Go home. I will deal with the problem for you.'

Easy-to-Read Version            Then the king said to the woman, “Go home. I will take care of things for you.”

Good News Bible (TEV)         "Go back home," the king answered, "and I will take care of the matter."

New Berkeley Version           The king assured the woman, “Go back to your house, and I will give orders on your behalf.”

New Life Bible                        Then the king said to the woman, "Go to your house. I will say what should be done about your trouble.”

New Living Translation           "Leave it to me," the king told her. "Go home, and I'll see to it that no one touches him."


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And the king said to the woman, 'Don't worry; just go back home and I'll handle this matter for you.'

Ancient Roots Translinear      The king said to the woman, "Go to your house, and I will command over you."

God’s Word                         "Go home," the king told the woman. "I will order someone to take care of this matter."

NIRV                                      The king said to the woman, "Go home. I'll give an order to make sure you are taken care of."

Revised English Bible            ‘Go home,’ said the king to the woman, ‘and I shall settle your case.’


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And the king said to the woman, Go to your house and I will give orders about this.

Complete Jewish Bible           The king said to the woman, "Go back home; I myself will decide what to do about you."

HCSB                                     The king told the woman, "Go home. I will issue a command on your behalf."

NET Bible®                             Then the king told the woman, "Go to your home. I will give instructions concerning your situation [Heb "concerning you."]."

NIV – UK                                The king said to the woman, `Go home, and I will issue an order on your behalf.'


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      Then the king said to the woman, "Go to your house, and I will give orders concerning you."

exeGeses companion Bible   And the sovereign says to the woman,

Go to your house and I misvah concerning you.

LTHB                                     And the king said to the woman, Go to your house, and I will give command concerning you.

Syndein                                  So the king said to the woman, {David is allowing social action law to bury the relevant criminal law - his decision will 'manufacture criminals' since law is not respected - and revolution will result} "Go home {an order} . . . and I will 'issue an order' . . . on your behalf {protecting her son from the legitimate 'avengers of blood' - no execution}." {Note: This will set a legal precedent that will be used in Absalom's case to distort justice.}.

Young’s Updated LT             And the king says unto the woman, “Go to your house, and I give charge concerning you.”

 

The gist of this verse:          The king assures the woman that he will make a reasonable ruling on this matter.


2Samuel 14:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #802 BDB #61


Translation: So the king said unto the woman,... You will notice that there has been a change here; at first, the king spoke to the woman; and now he is speaking unto the woman, which suggests respect or deference. This means that the woman has won him over. Her sympatric situation has influenced David, which is revealed by the very tiny prepositional change.


2Samuel 14:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

go, come, depart, walk; advance

2nd person feminine singular, Qal imperative

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person feminine singular suffix

Strong's #1004 BDB #108


Translation:...“Go to your home... David’s first order is for the woman to go home. She would, of course, leave his particulars with the court (and she may have done this already).


2Samuel 14:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾânîy (אָנִי) [pronounced aw-NEE]

I, me; in answer to a question, it means I am, it is I

1st person singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #589 BDB #58

tsâvâh (צָוָה) [pronounced tsaw-VAW]

to commission, to mandate, to lay charge upon, to give charge to, charge, command, order; to instruct [as in, giving an order]

1st person singular, Piel imperfect

Strong's #6680 BDB #845

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over; on the ground of, because of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, with, by, besides, in addition to, to, toward, together with, in the matter of, concerning, as regards to

preposition of proximity with the 2nd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752


Translation: ...and I [even] I will issue orders concerning you.” David uses the personal pronoun where it is not necessary, which means that he is giving great emphasis here. The idea is, David is guaranteeing that he will personally see this matter to its final conclusion. However, this is not good enough for the woman from Tekoa; she needs to have specific assurances made by David in open court.


David may have decided what he is going to do in his own mind, and the woman may be fairly certain of what it is he has decided, but that is not good enough. She needs for David to give the exact ruling in open court; everyone there must hear what the ruling is. She needs to be able to tie this to Absalom’s acquittal in some way, and what has been said so far will not quite get us to there.


As we know, the case of the Tekoan woman is just made up. Joab wrote the script for it and the woman is simply acting a part. However, we will speak of this as a real case.

The Parallels between the Tekoan Woman’s Case and Absalom

The Tekoan Woman

Absalom

The woman has two sons who get into an argument.

Absalom had a serious problem with Amnon, his half-brother because Amnon raped Absalom’s full sister.

This argument became a fight in the field. There was no mediator to stand between them.

This problem was not resolved by David, who would be the proper mediator between Absalom and Amnon.

One son killed the other when he struck him.

Absalom killed Amnon at a brothers’ bbq.

This parallel is the most important, because the Tekoan woman’s son and Absalom are guilty of the same crime. So, if David would issue a pardon for the woman’s son, then surely, he can do no less for his own son.

Her remaining son is her last remaining heir.

Absalom is David’s only reasonable heir (to Joab’s way of thinking).

Retaining an inheritance for her husband takes precedence over what is nothing more than a sibling rivalry that went bad.  

Retaining the Davidic line takes precedence over a sibling rivalry where Absalom had good reason to kill Amnon.

Pardoning the woman’s son would be for her own personal benefit.

Pardoning Absalom would be for the benefit of nation Israel.

There is one more thing that Joab has inserted here, which is exceedingly cleaver. Let’s say that the court determines that the son is guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Then he must go to a city of refuge and remain there. Even in this scenario, the grandparents who want his land would be able to take it.

At best, the law would decide that the son is guilty of involuntary manslaughter and have to take up residence in a city of refuge. In a city of refuge, he is not able to access his inheritance (which is the land that would remain in the hands of the grandparents).

This is equivalent to Absalom remaining in Geshur; he cannot inherit David’s throne from Geshur.

David will both pardon the woman’s son and allow him to inherit his father’s parcel of land. The son will not be required to stay in a city of refuge. This is the precedent that David is setting.

David should similarly pardon Absalom and allow him to inherit the kingdom when the time comes. By setting the precedent of not requiring the woman’s son to live in a city of refuge, David must similarly allow his own son Absalom to return to Jerusalem from his being banished to Geshur.

The idea is, there will be enough similarities between these two cases so that, if David grants immunity in the first case, he will logically have to grant it in the second.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


The woman never says, “And I need my son to take care of me as I grow old.” She does not even imply such a thing. There is a reason for this: if David grants pardon to her son on the basis of her needs, then the analogy to Absalom breaks down. David certainly does not need Absalom to see him through his old age. So, even though this thought may have entered into David’s thinking, in making this ruling, it is never made an issue by the woman. This is intentional. She cannot have David say, “I recognize that you need your son to see you through your old age, and I will grant him pardon for that reason.” No one needs Absalom. Therefore, the woman never made an issue of her personal needs in this regard.


This verse reads: So the king said unto the woman, “Go to your home and I [even] I will issue orders concerning you.” Without any further investigation, David is essentially agreeing to rule in favor of this woman. It is possible, however, because David is not specific here, that he will simply launch an investigation and then give her the ruling she desires if what she said was an accurate representation of the facts.


Because this woman’s case is phoney, she knows that she cannot just let it go at that. She is not looking to have David rule in her favor, she is looking to get David to grant pardon to Absalom in open court. Therefore, she has to get David to make a definitive ruling concerning her case, that everyone understands and then she will need to then speak of Absalom. When she speaks of Absalom after David makes a definitive ruling, David will have boxed himself such that, he will have no logical choice but to pardon his own son.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


The Woman of Tekoa: the Analogous Situation is Presented


And so says the woman the Tekoaite unto the king, “Upon me, my lord [lit., adonai] the king, the iniquity and upon a house of my father; and the king and his throne clean.”

2Samuel

14:9

And the woman, the Tekoaite, said unto the king, “Upon me, my lord [lit., adonai] and king, the iniquity, and upon my father’s house [as well]. The king and his throne [shall remain] free from guilt.”

And the woman from Tekoa said to the king, “Let the iniquity be upon me and my father’s house, my lord the king; and let the king and his throne be free from any guilt.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And the woman of Thecua said to the king: Upon me, my lord be the iniquity, and upon the house of my father: but may the king and his throne be guiltless.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says the woman the Tekoaite unto the king, “Upon me, my lord [lit., adonai] the king, the iniquity and upon a house of my father; and the king and his throne clean.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    But the woman of Tekoah said to the king, My lord, O king, let this iniquity be on me and on my father's house; and the king and his throne be guiltless.

Septuagint (Greek)                And the woman of Tekoa said to the king, On me, my lord, O king, and on my father's house be the iniquity, and the king and his throne be guiltless.


 

Significant differences:           The English translations from the Latin, Syriac and Greek all insert a verbs half way through and at the end, which is implied in the Hebrew.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       The woman said, "I hope your decision doesn't cause any problems for you. But if it does, you can blame me [Or "May I speak some more?"]."

Easy English                          But the woman from Tekoa said to the king, `My master and my king, I and my father's family are guilty. The king and his royal family are not guilty.'

Easy-to-Read Version            The woman of Tekoa said to the king, “Let the blame be on me, my lord and king! You and your kingdom are innocent.”

Good News Bible (TEV)         "Your Majesty," she said, "whatever you do, my family and I will take the blame; you and the royal family are innocent."

The Message                         "I'll take all responsibility for what happens," the woman of Tekoa said. "I don't want to compromise the king and his reputation."

New Berkeley Version           But the Tekoa woman persisted with the king, “On me be the guilt and on my father’s house, my master and king, while the king and his throne stand innocent.” A pardon from David for an unpremeditated crime would not have been sufficient to urge the king as reason why he should forgive Absalom. She therefore induced David to grant a pardon against the more serious guilt and to confirm ti by invoking God in an oath. She thus left him no valid excuse for not similarly receiving Absalom back.

New Living Translation           "Oh, thank you, my lord the king," the woman from Tekoa replied. "If you are criticized for helping me, let the blame fall on me and on my father's house, and let the king and his throne be innocent."


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And the ThecoEthite woman said to the king, 'O my lord the king, may this lawlessness be on me and on the house of my father, not on the king and his throne.'

Beck’s American Translation “My lord the king,” the woman from Tekoa said to the king, “let me and my father’s family be responsible for the wrong, and the king and his throne be free of it.”

Christian Community Bible     But the woman of Tekoa said to the king, “Let me and my family be blamed, my lord the king, and let the king and his throne not be criticized for this.”

NIRV                                      But the woman from Tekoa said to him, "You are my king and master. No matter what you do, I and my family will take the blame for it. You and your royal family won't be guilty of doing anything wrong."


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      The woman of Tekoa said to the king, "The iniquity is over me, my lord and king, and over my father's house. The king and his throne are innocent."

Bible in Basic English             And the woman of Tekoa said to the king, My lord, O king, may the sin be on me and on my family, and may the king and the seat of his kingdom be clear of sin!

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Then the Thiquoan woman answered the king, “Let the fault fall upon me, your Majesty, and on the house of my fathers, and let the King and his throne be innocent.”

NET Bible®                             The Tekoan woman said to the king, "My lord the king, let any blame fall on me and on the house of my father. But let the king and his throne be innocent!"

NIV – UK                                But the woman from Tekoa said to him, `Let my lord the king pardon me and my family, and let the king and his throne be without guilt.'

The Scriptures 1998              And the woman of Teqowa said to the sovereign, “My master, O sovereign, let the crookedness be on me and on my fatherʼs house, and the sovereign and his throne be guiltless.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And the woman of Tekoah said unto the king, `On me, my lord, O king, [is] the iniquity, and on the house of my father; and the king and his throne [are] innocent.

English Standard Version      And the woman of Tekoa said to the king, "On me be the guilt, my lord the king, and on my father's house; let the king and his throne be guiltless."

The Geneva Bible                  And the woman of Tekoah said unto the king, My lord, O king, the iniquity [Concerning the breach of the Law which punishes blood, let me bear the blame.] [be] on me, and on my father's house: and the king and his throne [be] guiltless.

Syndein                                  {Verses 9-11: Act 1 Beginning of Dialog by which Absalom's Freedom will be Obtained}

But the woman of Tekoah said to the king, "Oh my lord the king . . . let the guilt be on me . . . and on my father's family' {literally: "Upon me . . . my lord king, be the iniquity . . . and on the house of my father}. {Note: This is strange. David ruled incorrectly in her favor. Why this? What is SHE guilty of? Principal: when a woman in distress changes something and it does not make sense . . . BEWARE . . . you are about to be had!}. But let both the king and his throne/government be free from guilt. {Note: Now the woman saying to David 'it is NOT your fault' and David can not know HOW it ever could have been his fault!!! He has to be spinning mentally!}

Young’s Updated LT             And the woman of Tekoah says unto the king, “On me, my lord, O king, is the iniquity, and on the house of my father; and the king and his throne are innocent.”

 

The gist of this verse:          There is certainly guilt involved where one brother kills another. However, she calls for this guilt to be upon her family. Essentially, the woman is taking responsibility for the brother.


2Samuel 14:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #802 BDB #61

Teqôwʿîy (תְּקוֹעִי) [pronounced tehk-oh-EE]

a pitching of tents; trumpet blast, blast of a horn; loud sound of an instrument, transliterated Tekoite

gentilic singular adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #8621 BDB #1075

The meanings given by BDB and Gesenius for the city and the gentilic designation are very different. The trumpet blast appears to be the correct meaning.

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572


Translation: And the woman, the Tekoaite, said unto the king,... At this point, we would have expected the woman to say, “Thank you, my good king” and wander off. However, she continues to speak. David has given a disposition on this matter, and it appears to be in her favor, however, what he has said is not specific. He has simply told that woman that he will take care of it. Therefore, she continues to speak.

 

To quote R. B. Thieme, Jr.: The man who thinks an issue is completed when dealing with a woman means that you do not know anything about life. Footnote


So there is no misunderstanding, the woman is not being impertinent here. Most of us would say, “Yes, your honor; thank your, your honor.” So, she is not speaking out of turn. She just has to make this case personal for David.


2Samuel 14:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]

Lord (s), Master (s), my Lord (s), Sovereign; my lord [master]; can refer to the Trinity or to an intensification of the noun; transliterated Adonai, adonai

masculine plural noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #113 & #136 BDB #10

There are actually 3 forms of this word: ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]; ʾădônay (אֲדֹנַי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]; and ʾădônîy (אֲדֹנִי) [pronounced uh-doh-NEE].

This is a form of Strong’s #113, where there are three explanations given for the yodh ending: (1) this is a shortened form of the plural ending, usually written -îym (נִים) [pronounced eem], an older form of the pluralis excellentiæ (the plural of excellence), where God’s sovereignty and lordship are emphasized by the use of the plural; (2) this is the actual, but ancient, plural of the noun, which refers to the Trinity; or (3) this is the addition of the 1st person singular suffix, hence, my Lord (the long vowel point at the end would distinguish this from my lords).

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

ʿâvôwn (עָווֹן) [pronounced ģaw-VOHN]

iniquity, crime, offense, transgression, depraved action, guilt, punishment from wrongdoing

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5771 BDB #730


Translation:...“Upon me, my lord [lit., adonai] and king, the iniquity,... This ought to get the king’s attention, at this point. She asks for the iniquity to be upon her and her father’s house. So, the wrong committed by her son and any wrong that proceeds out of this is on her shoulders.


2Samuel 14:9c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular construct

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

ʾâb (אָב)[pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household, clan or tribe; founder, civil leader, military leader

masculine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3


Translation: ...and upon my father’s house [as well]. She also puts this guilt upon her father’s house. She is giving the impression of a split between the house of her husband, who want this man, her son, to be executed; and her family, who want this son to live. Footnote My understanding of what we have here is, she and her family want the child to live; therefore, any guilt would be upon her and her family. The husband’s family want the remaining son to pay the ultimate price for killing his brother. Therefore, she is asking for any guilt to be on her and her father’s house. Essentially, she is saying that she and her family will take responsibility for the boy. “Your ruling may free the boy, but we will assume responsibility for him.” This is not unlike a judge today releasing a young man into the custody of his parents rather than putting him in juvenile hall.


This introduces one more analogy: although David does not want Absalom dead, he is satisfied for him to live in exile. No doubt, Absalom’s family (his mother and sister) would prefer that he is there.


2Samuel 14:9d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kiççêʾ (כִּסֵּא) [pronounced kis-SAY]

throne, seat of honor; seat of judgment; royal dignity, authority, kingdom, power

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3678 BDB #490

nâqîy (נָקִי) [pronounced naw-KEE]

acquitted, clean, cleared, free from [guilt, obligations, punishment], unpunished, guiltless, innocent

masculine singular adjective

Strong’s #5355 BDB #667


Translation: The king and his throne [shall remain] free from guilt.” And she tells David that nothing about this is his fault; that he is doing exactly what he ought to do. She and her family would take care of matters from this point on.

 

R. B. Thieme, Jr. comments: This woman has just uttered a lie which has no bearing on the prologue at all. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, she begins to talk about guilt. When a woman stops making sense, then the plot is thickening. She now has your full attention. David is playing Sir Galahad, also known as the chump. Footnote

 

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown: The woman's language refers to a common precaution taken by the Hebrew judges and magistrates, solemnly to transfer from themselves the responsibility of the blood they doomed to be shed, either to the accusers or the criminals (2Sam. 1:16 3:28); and sometimes the accusers took it upon themselves (Matt. 27:25). Footnote


And the woman, the Tekoaite, said unto the king, “Upon me, my lord [lit., adonai] and king, the iniquity, and upon my father’s house [as well]. The king and his throne [shall remain] free from guilt.” At first, I thought this an odd statement from this Tekoan women, but she is simply indicating that this would not occur again; that she and her family are taking responsibility for this boy. We find language similar to this throughout the Bible: Gen. 27:13 1Sam. 25:24 Matt. 27:25. In the illustration which I gave earlier, the two parents take responsibility for their errant son, and he is given probation and put into their care—at that point, the responsibility for this kid’s future behavior is on them (this is the theory, of course; not the actual practicality of the matter).


However, what is not theoretical is Jesus taking our sins upon Him and paying for them. He took sole responsibility for our sins; He bore the actual penalty for our sins. That was very real. Although this was a similar judicial imputation, the pain, suffering, and judgement were all very real.


There are a lot of things like this throughout the Bible. Above, 6 passages were mentioned where the guilt or iniquity was either transferred from person A to person B; or someone clearly took on the responsibility of the guilt or iniquity of some act. The Bible mentions this so many times because this is central in theme to Scripture. Our responsibility for our actions in time is fundamental to the Christian life; the Lord taking on our sins in His Own body on the cross is fundamental to our salvation.


And the woman, the Tekoaite, said unto the king, “Upon me, my lord [lit., adonai] and king, the iniquity, and upon my father’s house [as well]. The king and his throne [shall remain] free from guilt.” Essentially, the woman is saying, “I realize that you are giving me a break here, and I will take this responsibility very seriously. For all intents and purposes, David has released the criminal into the care and responsibility of his mother, rather than applying the law.


——————————


And so says the king, “The one speaking unto you, and you bring him unto me and he will not add again to touch in you.”

2Samuel

14:10

So the king said, “[Regarding] anyone speaking to you—bring him to me and he will not continue to violate you any more.”

So the king said, “Regarding anyone who might be speaking harshly to you—just bring him to me and I will see to it that he will not continue to violate you.” [or, “If anyone has a problem with my ruling, have him speak to me directly.”]


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And the king said: If any one shall say ought against thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says the king, “The one speaking unto you, and you bring him unto me and he will not add again to touch in you.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And the king said to her, Whosoever says anything to you, bring him to me and he shall not touch you any more.

Septuagint (Greek)                And the king said, Who was it that spoke to you? You shall bring him to me, and one shall not touch him anymore.

 

Significant differences:           The English translation from the Greek makes it sound as if David perceives that there is someone in particular who was giving the woman a hard time. That does not appear to be the gist of the Hebrew. The Greek, Latin and Syriac all have anymore at the end of this sentence. That appears to be a translation of the verb to add.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       He said, "If anyone gives you any trouble, bring them to me, and it won't happen again!"

Easy-to-Read Version            King David said, “If someone is saying bad things to you, then bring that person to me. He won’t bother you again.”

Good News Bible (TEV)         The king replied, "If anyone threatens you, bring him to me, and he will never bother you again."

The Message                         "Bring the man who has been harassing you," the king continued. "I'll see to it that he doesn't bother you anymore."

New Century Version             King David said, "Bring me anyone who says anything bad to you. Then he won't bother you again."

New Living Translation           "If anyone objects," the king said, "bring him to me. I can assure you he will never complain again!"


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And the king said, 'Who was the one that spoke to you? Bring [your son] to me, and don't let anyone touch him!'

God’s Word                         The king said, "If anyone says anything against you, bring him to me. He'll never harm you again."

NIRV                                      The king replied, "If people give you any trouble, bring them to me. They won't bother you again."

New Jerusalem Bible             'Bring me the man who threatened you,' the king replied, 'and he shall never hurt you again.'

Revised English Bible            The king said, ‘If anyone says anything more to you, bring him to me and he will not trouble you again.’


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And the king said, If anyone says anything to you, make him come to me, and he will do you no more damage.

Complete Jewish Bible           The king answered, "If anyone says anything to you, bring him to me; and he won't bother you any more."

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 So the king replied, “Whoever threatens you, bring him to me, and he shall never again injure you.”

HCSB                                     "Whoever speaks to you," the king said, "bring him to me. He will not trouble you again!"

NET Bible®                             The king said, "Bring to me whoever speaks to you, and he won't bother you again!"


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And the king said, `He who speaks [aught] unto you, and you have brought him unto me, then he does not add any more to come against you.

English Standard Version      The king said, "If anyone says anything to you, bring him to me, and he shall never touch you again."

exeGeses companion Bible   And the sovereign says,

Bring me whoever words to you,

that he not add to touch you.

New King James Version       So the king said, "Whoever says anything to you, bring him to me, and he shall not touch you anymore."

Syndein                                  Then the king replied, "If anyone 'threatens'/'tries to intimidate' you, then you will cause him {the offender} to be brought me, and he will not bother/annoy/harass/disturb you any more. {Note: This is David's second bad decision. Not only did he allow his sympathy for this woman to allow a criminal to be pardoned and therefore no justice for the victim, but now, his second decision is to completely protect the criminal from society (so now who protects society? No one.)} {Note: Principals coming up: Crusaders plus criminals = revolution. Crusader arrogance plus human good = evil. Human good + evil = revolution.}. Alternate: The king said [Then the king replied], "If anyone says anything to you [speaks to you, intimidates you, threatens you], bring him to me [then cause him to be brought to me], and he shall never touch [annoy, bother] you again."

World English Bible                The king said, Whoever says anything to you, bring him to me, and he shall not touch you any more.

Young’s Updated LT             And the king says, “He who speaks aught unto you, and you have brought him unto me, then he does not add any more to come against you.”

 

The gist of this verse:          David tells the woman not to worry and, if anyone is troubling her, to bring that man before him, and David will sort it all out.


2Samuel 14:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572