[b-hebrew] Detained before the LORD 1 Sam 21: 7/8

Maurice A. O'Sullivan mauros at iol.ie
Thu Jul 22 07:02:23 EDT 2004

At 02:19 22/07/2004, Brian & Laureen Powell wrote:

>Translations and commentaries in English vary on what this means. Some 
>suggest he was forcibly restrained (ie. some kind of imprisonment), whilst 
>others suggest that he had some kind of religious obligation that was 
>keeping him there, or perhaps he was ritually unclean so could not perform 
>whatever religious ceremony he had intended to do, so was waiting for the 
>time when he would have been considered clean again.

I agree that most modern lexicons share the sense of "compulsorily 
detained", but one very old one [   Gesenius' Hebrew and Chaldee lexicon to 
the Old Testament Scriptures ] has this:
 >> to be gathered together (from the idea of restraining, compelling, , 
especially to a festival . 1 Samuel 21:8, <<

However, in Scherman, Nosson, ed. The Early Prophets. Vol. 2 I-II Samuel. 
New York: Mesorah Publications, 2002, there is no suggestion of any 
compulsion. Rather, there the translation begins:
 >> Now there on that day was one of Saul's servants, who lingered before 
Hashem .....<<

Bearing in  mind that the full title of this volume is " The Early Prophets 
with a commentary anthologized from the rabbinic writings ", the footnote 
to 21:8 reads:
 >>At the sanctuary in Nob was a man who was so highly regarded that 
Ahimelech spoke freely in his presence, which turned out to be a mistake 
with tragic consequences. The man was Doeg, a prominent Jew who was called 
the Edomite, because he lived across the border  in the territory of Edom. 
Doeg had come to Nob with a group of people to bring offerings, and after 
his friends left, he _lingered before Hashem_ to bring more offerings ( 
Radak) or to study Torah ( Rashi ) undisturbed in that sacred place.<<


Maurice A. O'Sullivan  [ Bray, Ireland ]
mauros at iol.ie

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