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14 Sheba[a] traveled through all the tribes of Israel to Abel of[b] Beth Maacah and all the Berite region. When they had assembled,[c] they too joined him. 15 So Joab’s men[d] came and laid siege against him in Abel of Beth Maacah. They prepared a siege ramp outside the city that stood against its outer rampart. As all of Joab’s soldiers were trying to break through[e] the wall so that it would collapse, 16 a wise woman called out from the city, “Listen up! Listen up! Tell Joab, ‘Come near so that I may speak to you.’”

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  1. 2 Samuel 20:14 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Sheba) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  2. 2 Samuel 20:14 tc In keeping with the form of the name in v. 15, the translation deletes the “and” found in the MT.
  3. 2 Samuel 20:14 tc The translation follows the Qere, many medieval Hebrew mss, and the ancient versions in reading וַיִּקָּהֲלוּ (vayyiqqahalu, “and they were gathered together”) rather than the Kethib of the MT וַיִּקְלֻהוּ (vayyiqluhu, “and they cursed him”). The Kethib is the result of metathesis.
  4. 2 Samuel 20:15 tn Heb “they.” The following context makes it clear that this refers to Joab and his army.
  5. 2 Samuel 20:15 tc The LXX has here ἐνοοῦσαν (enoousan, “were devising”), which apparently presupposes the Hebrew word מַחֲשָׁבִים (makhashavim) rather than the MT מַשְׁחִיתִם (mashkhitim, “were destroying”). With a number of other scholars Driver thinks that the Greek variant may preserve the original reading, but this seems to be an unnecessary conclusion (but see S. R. Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Books of Samuel, 346).

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