2 Samuel 12:31
Parallel Verses
New International Version
and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes, and he made them work at brickmaking. David did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then he and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.

King James Bible
And he brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brickkiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem.

Darby Bible Translation
And he brought out the people that were in it, and put them under the saw, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brickkilns. And so did he to all the cities of the children of Ammon. And David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

World English Bible
He brought forth the people who were therein, and put them under saws, and under iron picks, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick kiln: and he did so to all the cities of the children of Ammon. David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

Young's Literal Translation
and the people who are in it he hath brought out, and setteth to the saw, and to cutting instruments of iron, and to axes of iron, and hath caused them to pass over into the brick-kiln; and so he doth to all the cities of the Bene-Ammon; and David turneth back, and all the people, to Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 12:31 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

He brought forth the people - And put them under saws. From this representation a great cry has been raised against "David's unparalleled, if not diabolic, cruelty." I believe this interpretation was chiefly taken from the parallel place, 1 Chronicles 20:3, where it is said, he cut them with saws, and with axes, etc. Instead of וישר vaiyasar, he sawed, we have here (in Samuel) וישם vaiyasem, he put them; and these two words differ from each other only in a part of a single letter, ר resh for ם mem. And it is worthy of remark, that instead of וישר vaiyasar, he sawed, in 1 Chronicles 20:3, six or seven MSS. collated by Dr. Kennicott have וישם vaiyasem, he put them; nor is there found any various reading in all the MSS. yet collated for the text in this chapter, that favors the common reading in Chronicles. The meaning therefore is, He made the people slaves, and employed them in sawing, making iron harrows, or mining, (for the word means both), and in hewing of wood, and making of brick. Sawing asunder, hacking, chopping, and hewing human beings, have no place in this text, no more than they had in David's conduct towards the Ammonites.

It is surprising, and a thing to be deplored, that in this and similar cases our translators had not been more careful to sift the sense of the original words by which they would have avoided a profusion of exceptionable meanings with which they have clothed many passages of the sacred writings. Though I believe our translation to be by far the best in any language, ancient or modern, yet I am satisfied it stands much in need of revision. Most of the advantages which our unbelievers have appeared to have over certain passages of Scripture, have arisen from an inaccurate or false translation of the terms in the original; and an appeal to this has generally silenced the gainsayers. But in the time in which our translation was made, Biblical criticism was in its infancy, if indeed it did exist; and we may rather wonder that we find things so well, than be surprised that they are no better.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

and put them. Rather, as the particle () frequently signifies, `And he put them {to} saws, and {to} harrows, and {to} axes,' as we say, {to put a person to the plough, to the anvil, to the last, etc.}

1 Chronicles 20:3 And he brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes...

2 Samuel 8:2 And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death...

Psalm 21:8,9 Your hand shall find out all your enemies: your right hand shall find out those that hate you...

Library
David and Nathan
'And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin.'--2 SAMUEL xii. 13. We ought to be very thankful that Scripture never conceals the faults of its noblest men. High among the highest of them stands the poet- king. Whoever, for nearly three thousand years, has wished to express the emotions of trust in God, longing after purity, aspiration, and rapture of devotion, has found that his words have been before him. And this man
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Blessings of Noah Upon Shem and Japheth. (Gen. Ix. 18-27. )
Ver. 20. "And Noah began and became an husbandman, and planted vineyards."--This does not imply that Noah was the first who began to till the ground, and, more especially, to cultivate the vine; for Cain, too, was a tiller of the ground, Gen. iv. 2. The sense rather is, that Noah, after the flood, again took up this calling. Moreover, the remark has not an independent import; it serves only to prepare the way for the communication of the subsequent account of Noah's drunkenness. By this remark,
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

The Preparatory Service; Sometimes Called the Confessional Service.
In our examination of the nature and meaning of the Lord's Supper, we have found that it is indeed a most important and holy Sacrament. It is in fact the most sacred of all the ordinances of the Church on earth. There is nothing beyond it--nothing so heavenly, on this side heaven, as this Feast. Nowhere else does the believer approach so near to heaven as when he stands or kneels, as a communicant at this altar, the Holy of Holies in the Church of Christ. What a solemn act! To approach this altar,
G. H. Gerberding—The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church

The Voice of Stern Rebuke
[This chapter is based on 1 Kings 17:8-24; 28:1-19.] For a time Elijah remained hidden in the mountains by the brook Cherith. There for many months he was miraculously provided with food. Later on, when, because of the continued drought, the brook became dry, God bade His servant find refuge in a heathen land. "Arise," He bade him, "get thee to Zarephath, [known in New Testament times as Sarepta], which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee."
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

Cross References
Hebrews 11:37
They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated--

1 Chronicles 20:2
David took the crown from the head of their king --its weight was found to be a talent of gold, and it was set with precious stones--and it was placed on David's head. He took a great quantity of plunder from the city

1 Chronicles 20:3
and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes. David did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then David and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.

Jeremiah 43:9
"While the Jews are watching, take some large stones with you and bury them in clay in the brick pavement at the entrance to Pharaoh's palace in Tahpanhes.

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