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and King David’s spirit for going out against Absalom was spent, for he was comforted concerning Amnon, since he was dead. Bible

“and King David’s spirit for going out against Absalom was spent.” As the years passed, Amnon was long dead and the king tired of thinking of taking revenge on Absalom. The Masoretic Hebrew text reads, “and David longed to go out to Absalom,” but some scholars make a good case that the original text read “and the king’s spirit was spent for going out against Absalom,” in other words, David lost all enthusiasm for trying to do anything to Absalom. A number of things support that alternative reading. For one thing, the verb is feminine, not masculine, and so it would not naturally go with the name “David,” but would go with “spirit,” a reading that is found in the Dead Sea Scroll of Samuel (found in Cave 4), and in the Septuagint. Also, is seems like the context supports this alternative reading better, because when Absalom did return to Jerusalem, David flatly refused to see him, saying, “Let him return to his own house [in Jerusalem], but he is not to see my face” (2 Sam. 14:24). So although David agreed to have Absalom back in Jerusalem, he was still so upset about what Absalom had done that he refused to see him, which makes the reading, “and David longed to go out to Absalom” a bit of a contradiction (cp. The Anchor Bible: II Samuel, by P. Kyle McCarter, Jr.; Everett Fox, The Schocken Bible; Vol. II, The Early Prophets).


Commentary for: 2 Samuel 13:39