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Now that first slaughter that Jonathan and his armor-bearer made was about 20 men, in, as it were, half a furrow length of a team of oxen plowing in a field. Bible other translations

“in, as it were, half a furrow length of a team of oxen plowing in a field.” The Hebrew text is idiomatic. Many English versions use the word “acre,” and the idea for that translation comes from the tradition that an acre of land was the amount of land that a team of oxen could plow in one day. Similarly, the Hebrew “furrow (“furrow’s length”) had the same basic idea; the length of a furrow that oxen would plow in a day if they went back and forth and plowed a plot of land. However, the exact area indicated by the Hebrew text is unclear because it is unknown how many times the farmer would go back and forth. If he went only a few times, the furrow could be quite long, while if he went back and forth many times the furrow would be shorter. So we really do not know the area in which Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some 20 men, but it would not have been very large, and perhaps very close to half an acre.


Commentary for: 1 Samuel 14:14