2 Samuel 1:17-27

2 Samuel 1:17-27
A Women’s Lectionary – Proper 20


17 DavidA intonedB this lamentationC

Notes on verse 17a

A “David” = David. From the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle); the root may mean to boil, which is used figuratively to describe love. So, this implies someone you love such as a friend, a lover, or a close family member like an uncle. David’s name likely means something like “beloved one.”
B “intoned” = qonen. 8x in OT. From qinah (dirge, lamentation; could be a lament with instruments or done while beating one’s breasts). This is a chant or song of lament – the wail during a funeral. It can also refer to mourning women.
C “lamentation” = qinah. Related to “intoned” in v17. 18x in OT. See note B above.

over SaulD and his sonE Jonathan.F 

Notes on verse 17b

D “Saul” = Shaul. From shaal (to ask, inquire, beg, borrow, desire, request; can also mean demand). This is Saul or Shaul, meaning “asked of the Lord.”
E “son” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
F “Jonathan” = Yehonathan. From YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; God, Lord; the self-existent or eternal one); {from havah (to become) or hayah (to be, become, happen)} + natan (to give, put, set, offer; to give literally or figuratively). This is Jonathan or Jehonathan, meaning “the Lord has given.”

18 (He ordered that The Song of the BowG be taughtH to the peopleI of Judah;J

Notes on verse 18a

G “Bow” = qesheth. Perhaps from qush (to set a trap, lure, ensnare) OR from qashah (to be fierce, cruel, dense, tough, severe). This is a bow, arrow, or archer. Bow can be used figuratively for strength.
H “taught” = lamad. Properly, this refers to goading (using a pointed stick to guide or prod one’s flock). By implication, it means teaching or instructing.
I “people” = ben. Same as “son” in v17. Literally, “children.” See note E above.
J “Judah” = Yehudah. Probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judah, meaning “praised.”

Kit is writtenL in the BookM of Jashar.)N

Notes on verse 18b

K {untranslated} = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
L “written” = katab. This is to inscribe, write, record, or decree.
M “Book” = sepher. Perhaps from saphar (to tally or record something; to enumerate, recount, number, celebrate, or declare). This can be writing itself or something that is written like a document, book, letter, evidence, bill, scroll, or register.
N “Jashar” = Yashar. From yashar (to be straight, right, even, smooth, or agreeable; figuratively, to make something pleasant or prosperous). This is straight, right, level. Also, it is pleasing, whether pleasing God or pleasing other people. So, it is upright or righteous.

He said,

19 “Your glory,O O Israel,P lies slainQ upon your high places!R

Notes on verses 18c-19a

O “glory” = tsbiy. From tsabah (to swell, amass like an army). This is beauty, honor, glorious, pleasant. It could refer to a decoration that is silver or gold. It can refer to a gazelle as something that is beautiful or splendor is being readily noticed.
P “Israel” = Yisrael. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.
Q “slain” = chalal. From chalal (to pierce, to wound; figuratively, making someone or something profane or breaking your word; to begin as though one opened a wedge; to eat something as a common thing). This is to pierce, profane or pollute. It can also refer to slain or deadly.
R “high places” = bamah. The root might mean being high. This is height, wave, or elevation.

    How the mightyS have fallen!T
20 TellU it not in Gath;V

Notes on verses 19b-20a

S “mighty” = gibbor. From gabar (to be strong or mighty; to prevail or be insolent). This is strong, mighty, or powerful. This can imply a warrior, hero, or tyrant.
T “fallen” = naphal. This is to fall, whether by accident, to fall prostrate, or to fall in violent death. Figuratively, it can refer to personal ruin or calamity, a city falling, an attack or a falling away. It can also be a deep sleep or wasting away.
U “tell” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.
V “Gath” = Gath. From the same as gath (wine press); {perhaps from nagan (to strike a stringed instrument, to pluck or play it)}. This is Gath, a Philistine city whose name means “wine press.” It shares a root with “Gethsemane.”

    proclaimW it not in the streetsX of Ashkelon,Y

Notes on verse 20b

W “proclaim” = basar. This is being a messenger, to publish, carry, or preach. Properly, this is being fresh, rosy or cheerful as one bearing news.
X “streets” = chuts. Root may mean to sever. So, this is something that is separated by a wall – the outside, the street, a field, highway, or abroad.
Y “Ashkelon” = Ashqelon. 12x in OT. Of foreign origin – Perhaps related to shaqal (to weigh, spend, trade). This is Ashkelon, a city whose name means “a weighing place,” “mart.” The words “scallion” and “shallot” came from the Latin version of Ashkelon (“Ascalonia”). See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashkelon

orZ the daughtersAA of the PhilistinesBB will rejoice;CC
    DDthe daughters of the uncircumcisedEE will exult.FF

Notes on verse 20c

Z “or” = pen. Perhaps from panah (to turn, face, appear). This is lest, if, or.
AA “daughters” = bat. Related to “son” in v17. From ben (see note E above). This is daughter in a literal or figurative sense.
BB “Philistines” = Pelishti. From Pelesheth (Philistia); from palash (to mourn, wallow, maybe roll in). This is Philistines. Their name may mean “griever” or “burrower” or “weakener.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Philistine.html.
CC “rejoice” = samach. This is to rejoice or be glad. Properly, it is to brighten up in a literal or figurative sense.
DD {untranslated} = pen. Same as “or” in v20. See note Z above.
EE “uncircumcised” = arel. From arel (to strip or expose, restrain; to remove in a literal or figurative sense). This is uncircumcised, unskilled, exposed, forbidden.
FF “exult” = alaz. 16x in OT. This is to jump for joy, rejoice, triumph, or be jubilant.

21 You mountainsGG of Gilboa,HH
    let there be no dewII or rain upon you
    nor bounteousJJ fields!KK

Notes on verse 21a

GG “mountains” = har. From harar (hill or mountain). This is mountain, hill, hilly region.
HH “Gilboa” = Gilboa. 8x in OT. Perhaps from gal (wave, billow, rock pile; something rolled; a spring of water); {from galal (to roll, roll away, wallow, commit, remove; rolling in a literal or figurative sense)} + ba’ah (to inquire, search, boil, or swell out; figuratively, could be to sincerely desire). This is Gilboa, a mountain whose name may mean “fountain of ebullition.”
II “dew” = tal. Perhaps from talal (to cover, roof, strew). This is dew or mist as something that covers plants.
JJ “bounteous” = terumah. From rum (to be high, rise, exalted, become proud, display, offer, present, set apart, extol; to rise in a literal or figurative sense). This is offering, gift – a sacred offering. It could also be a tribute or a bribe.
KK “fields” = sadeh. This is literally field, ground, soil, or land. It can be used to mean wild like a wild animal.

For there the shieldLL of the mighty was defiled,MM
    the shield of Saul, anointedNN with oilOO noPP more.

Notes on verse 21b

LL “shield” = magen. From ganan (to surround, cover, defend, protect). This is a shield, defense, or figuratively a protector. It can also be used for a crocodile’s hide.
MM “defiled” = gaal. 10x in OT. This is to abhor, defile, or reject.
NN “anointed” = mashiach. From mashach (to smear or anoint; to run oil on, to consecrate). This is the anointed or consecrated one. So, it could refer to a king, priest, or saint. It is also the root of the word “messiah.”
OO “oil” = shemen. From shamen (to shine, which implies being oily, growing fat). This is fat, oil, grease, olive oil – often with perfume. Used figuratively for fertile, lavish, rich.
PP “no” = beli. From balah (to grow old, wear out, waste away, consume, spend). This is properly a failure. So, it could mean without, not yet, unawares, lacking, something that wears out, or because not.

22 From the bloodQQ of the slain,
    from the fatRR of the mighty,
the bow of Jonathan did not turnSS back,TT

Notes on verse 22a

QQ “blood” = dam. Perhaps from damam (to cease, be or become mute, silent, still, cut off, hold peace, be astonished, die). This is blood, bloodshed, bloodguilt, lifeblood, and death. It is used for people and animals. More often blood from a wound or the blood of the innocent. Used figuratively for violence or for wine. Closely tied to life and death.
RR “fat” = cheleb. This is fat, finest, marrow. It is fat in a literal or figurative sense. It refers to the richest or best part.
SS “turn” = sug. 1x in OT. From the same as sug (to turn back, aside, or away; properly, to flinch, which implies moving away or going back; literally, can mean retreat or, figuratively, backslide i.e. apostatize). This is to turn i.e. retreat.
TT “back” = achor. From achar (to be behind, delay, be late, procrastinate, continue). This is the back, behind, backward, time to come. It can also refer to facing to the north or the west.

    nor the swordUU of Saul returnVV empty.WW

Notes on verse 22b

UU “sword” = chereb. From charab (to attack, slay). This is any sharp instrument like a sword, dagger, axe, or mattock.
VV “return” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”
WW “empty” = reqam. 16x in OT. From riq (this is to be empty or to make empty; also vanity, emptiness, something worthily, in vain); from ruq (to pour out in a literal or figurative sense, hence, to be or make empty). This is emptily, empty-handed, without cause, in vain, ineffectually, or undeservedly.

23 Saul and Jonathan, belovedXX and lovely!YY
    In lifeZZ and in deathAAA they were not divided;BBB

Notes on verse 23a

XX “beloved” = aheb. This is to love, beloved, friend. It is to have affection for sexually or otherwise.
YY “lovely” = na’iym. 13x in OT. From na’em (to be pleasant or lovely; to surpass in beauty; to be delightful in a literal or figurative sense). This is sweet, lovely, or delightful.
ZZ “life” = chay. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.
AAA “death” = mavet. From muth (to die in a literal or figurative sense). This can be death, deadliness, the dead, or the place where the dead go. It can be used figuratively for pestilence or ruin.
BBB “divided” = parad. This is to divide, break through, scatter, sever, stretch, to spread oneself, or to be out of joint.

they were swifterCCC than eagles;DDD
    they were strongerEEE than lions.FFF

Notes on verse 23b

CCC “were swifter” = qalal. This is to be little, insignificant, swift. It can also mean to bring down in esteem, create contempt, curse.
DDD “eagles” = nesher. This is an eagle or vulture – some kind of large bird of prey. Its root may mean lacerate.
EEE “were stronger” = gabar. Related to “mighty” in v19. See note S above.
FFF “lions” = ari. From arah (to gather or pluck). This is a young lion.

24 O daughters of Israel, weepGGG over Saul,
    who clothedHHH you with crimson,III in luxury,JJJ

Notes on verse 24a

GGG “weep” = bakah. This is to weep, complain, or lament.
HHH “clothed” = labash. This is to wrap around, which implies clothing oneself or someone else. This is wrapping around in a literal or figurative way.
III “crimson” = shani. This is crimson or scarlet. It can also refer to the insect that the red dye is made from (coccus ilicis), the color of that dye, or things dyed with it (like thread).
JJJ “luxury” = eden. 5x in OT. From adan (to luxuriate, revel; also, to be pleasant or soft). This is delicate, luxury, or a delight.

    who putKKK ornamentsLLL of goldMMM on your apparel.NNN

Notes on verse 24b

KKK “put” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
LLL “ornaments” = adi. 13x in OT. From adah (adorning oneself with ornaments, decorate). This is decoration, beauty, jewels, ornaments, an outfit, something excellent.
MMM “gold” = zahab. Root may mean to shimmer. This is gold or something that has the color of gold like oil. It can also refer to a clear sky – to good weather.
NNN “apparel” = lebush. Related to “clothed” in v24. From labash (se note HHH above). This is clothing literally or figuratively. It can be used as a euphemism for a wife.

25 How the mighty have fallen
    in the midstOOO of the battle!PPP

Jonathan lies slain upon your high places.
26     I am distressedQQQ for you, my brotherRRR Jonathan;

Notes on verses 25-26a

OOO “midst” = tavek. This is among, middle, in the midst, the center. Perhaps, properly, to sever.
PPP “battle” = milchamah. From lacham (to eat or feed on; figuratively, to battle as a kind of consumption/destruction). This is battle, war, fighting, or one who fights (i.e. a warrior).
QQQ “am distressed” = tsarar. This is to bind, restrict, narrow, be cramped, an adversary.
RRR “brother” = ach. This is brother, kindred, another, other, like. It is literally brother, but it can also be someone who is similar, resembling, or related to.

greatlySSS beloved wereTTT you to me;
    your loveUUU to me was wonderful,VVV
    passing the love of women.WWW

Notes on verse 26b

SSS “greatly” = meod. Perhaps from the same as uwd (firebrand, a poker). This is very, greatly, exceedingly. It can also mean vehemence, force, abundance.
TTT “beloved were” = na’em. Related to “lovely” in v23. 8x in OT. See note YY above.
UUU “love” = ahabah. Related to “beloved” in v23. From ahab (love or affection); from aheb (see note XX above). This is love as a noun.
VVV “was wonderful” = pala. From pele (wonder, miracle, wonderful, marvelous thing). This is to be extraordinary, to arise, to be great or accomplish.
WWW “women” = ishshah. From ish (man); perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is woman, wife, or female.

27 How the mighty have fallen,
    and the weaponsXXX of warYYY perished!”ZZZ

Notes on verse 27

XXX “weapons” = keli. From kalah (to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed). This is something that was prepared – any implement, utensil, article, vessel, weapon, or instrument. Also includes jewels, weapons, bags, carriages, and furniture.
YYY “war” = milchamah. Same as “battle” in v25. See note PPP above.
ZZZ “perished” = abad. To wander off, lose self. This implies to perish, destroy, die, vanish, or be broken or corrupt.

Image credit: “Cochlear Language” by Alice Alicja Cieliczka, 2017.

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