[b-hebrew] 2 Samuel 8:18 “khmym”

Hedrick Gary GaryH at cjfm.org
Thu Sep 15 16:02:44 EDT 2011

Karl, I think you mean "khnym."

In any case, here's a pertinent note from A.A. Anderson in the Word Biblical Commentary:

The statement that David’s sons were priests is often altered or toned down in the versions (cf. G, Syr., Tg.). Already 1 Chr 18:17 calls them “chief officials” (הראשנים) next to the king or, perhaps, “… the elder sons of David … were next to the king” (cf. McCarter, 254). The reason for these and other changes may have been the wish to avoid the implication that there could have been legitimate non-levitical priests. No indication is given as to whether or not the priestly function of David’s sons was different from that of Zadok and Ahimelek (or Abiathar). In any case, this office of the sons of David was, apparently, a temporary arrangement (cf. 20:26; 1 Kgs 4:1–6).

Hope this helps.

Gary Hedrick
San Antonio, Texas USA

On Sep 15, 2011, at 1:31 PM, K Randolph wrote:

> B-Hebrew haburim:
> This phrase, ובני דוד כהנים היו has always puzzled me. At first blush, it
> looks as if it is saying that David’s sons became priests. The problem is
> that in Israel’s religion, only the descendants of Aaron may become priests,
> so on the surface that seems to be an unlikely reading.
> Possible resolutions:
> כהנים had a broader meaning than just priest as we understand it, the
> position taken by the LXX which translated it as αυλαρχαι or palace
> officials.
> Another possibility is copyist error.
> Any other ideas?
> What do you all think?
> Karl W. Randolph.
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