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

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Thu Jul 1 23:03:11 EDT 2004

Dear Brian: 
In the passage, twice it is mentioned that Goliath was going back and 
forth between the two encampments, "going and approaching" with his 
shield bearer in front of him. The last time omits mention of the 
shield bearer. 
I remember reading in Xenophon's Anabasis that slingers were an 
integral part of the army, and that a well placed stone was deadly. 
Presumably Goliath saw the sling so he was ready for a battle, so he 
would be carrying the shield himself the last time. 
Karl W. Randolph. 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Brian & Laureen Powell <PowellBrian at omf.net> 
> Hi all. 
> I'm translating in I Samuel 17 at present, and am unclear why verse 
> 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 
> be approaching David. I understand the idea of an armour-bearer to 
> 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' 
> the second clause could not be one and the same person. This would 
> 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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