[b-hebrew] Shield-bearer 1 Samuel 17:41

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Thu Jul 1 00:10:13 EDT 2004

Dear Brian,

While the NIV is certainly not a very literal translation, it does keep the
meaning intact. "The Philistine went and drew closer to David, and the man
carrying the shield before him."  There are definately two men, the
Philistine (Goliath) and his shield-bearer. That's what the verse says.

As far as WHY Goliath would not have been carrying his own shield into
battle - well, he'd already been doing this for some time now - marching
towards the Israelite camp, and finding that the Israelites were afraid to
challange him. So why should he be worried? I think that the writer
emphasizes that he was not carrying his shield, just to show us how much he
much he disdained the Israelites, since pride goeth before a fall.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian & Laureen Powell" <PowellBrian at omf.net>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, July 01, 2004 4:51 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Shield-bearer 1 Samuel 17:41

> Hi all.
> I'm translating in I Samuel 17 at present, and am unclear why verse 41
> is translated as it is.
> My interlinear for the verse reads 'And-he-came the-Philistine coming
> and-closer to David and-the-man bearing the-shield in-front-of-him'.
> This is rendered in the NIV as 'Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his
> shield-bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David.'
> My confusion is based on how it could have worked that two of them would
> be approaching David. I understand the idea of an armour-bearer to carry
> weapons etc. for a warrior, but surely when he is actually going to
> battle the armour-bearer then gives the armour to the warrior.
> My question is whether the Hebrew necessarily implies two different
> people or whether 'the Philistine' in the first clause and 'the man' in
> the second clause could not be one and the same person. This would lead
> to a translation such as 'The Philistine kept coming closer to David
> bearing his shield before him.'
> Thanks
> Brian
> --
> Brian Powell
> Bible Translator
> Philippines
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