I - Chapter 20

1At the turn of the year, the season when kings go out [to battle], Yoav led out the army force and devastated the land of Ammon, and then besieged Rabbah, while David remained in Yerushalayim; Yoav reduced Rabbah and left it in ruins.

vai-HEE l'-AYT t'-shu-VAT ha-sha-NAH l'-AYT TZAYT ha-m'-la-KHEEM va-yin-HAG yo-AV et KHAYL ha-tza-VA va-yash-KHAYT et E-retz b'-NAY a-MON va-ya-VO va-YA-tzar et ra-BAH v'-da-VEED yo-SHAYV bee-ru-sha-LA-im va-YAKH yo-AV et ra-BAH va-ye-her-SE-ha

אוַיְהִי לְעֵת תְּשׁוּבַת הַשָּׁנָה לְעֵת צֵאת הַמְּלָכִים וַיִּנְהַג יוֹאָב אֶת־חֵיל הַצָּבָא וַיַּשְׁחֵת אֶת־אֶרֶץ בְּנֵי־עַמּוֹן וַיָּבֹא וַיָּצַר אֶת־רַבָּה וְדָוִיד יֹשֵׁב בִּירוּשָׁלָ ִם וַיַּךְ יוֹאָב אֶת־רַבָּה וַיֶּהֶרְסֶהָ׃

 20:1   The turn of the year

In this verse, the beginning of the year is called teshuvat hashanah, (תשובת השנה) which literally means “the turn of the year.” The year is cyclical in nature, and the holidays, which are the focus of the Jewish year, are repeated at the same time each year. In a certain sense, the beginning of a new year is in fact a return to previous years, going back to the times of Moshe and the Exodus from Egypt which many of the holidays commemorate. Furthermore, the Jewish New Year focuses on God’s judgement and man’s repentance. The word teshuva (תשובה), which means ‘return’, also means ‘repentance’. Hence, the expression “Teshuvat Hashanah” also refers to the time of year when we are obligated to repent.

2David took the crown from the head of their king; he found that it weighed a kikar of gold, and in it were precious stones. It was placed on David's head. He also carried off a vast amount of booty from the city.

בוַיִּקַּח דָּוִיד אֶת־עֲטֶרֶת־מַלְכָּם מֵעַל רֹאשׁוֹ וַיִּמְצָאָהּ מִשְׁקַל כִּכַּר־זָהָב וּבָהּ אֶבֶן יְקָרָה וַתְּהִי עַל־רֹאשׁ דָּוִיד וּשְׁלַל הָעִיר הוֹצִיא הַרְבֵּה מְאֹד׃

3He led out the people who lived there and he hacked them with saws and iron threshing boards and axes; David did thus to all the towns of Ammon. Then David and all the troops returned to Yerushalayim.

גוְאֶת־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר־בָּהּ הוֹצִיא וַיָּשַׂר בַּמְּגֵרָה וּבַחֲרִיצֵי הַבַּרְזֶל וּבַמְּגֵרוֹת וְכֵן יַעֲשֶׂה דָוִיד לְכֹל עָרֵי בְנֵי־עַמּוֹן וַיָּשָׁב דָּוִיד וְכָל־הָעָם יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם׃

4After this, fighting broke out with the Philistines at Gezer; that was when Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Sippai, a descendant of the Rephaim, and they were humbled.

דוַיְהִי אַחֲרֵיכֵן וַתַּעֲמֹד מִלְחָמָה בְּגֶזֶר עִם־פְּלִשְׁתִּים אָז הִכָּה סִבְּכַי הַחֻשָׁתִי אֶת־סִפַּי מִילִדֵי הָרְפָאִים וַיִּכָּנֵעוּ׃

5Again there was fighting with the Philistines, and Elchanan son of Yair killed Lahmi, the brother of Goliath the Gittite; his spear had a shaft like a weaver's beam.

הוַתְּהִי־עוֹד מִלְחָמָה אֶת־פְּלִשְׁתִּים וַיַּךְ אֶלְחָנָן בֶּן־יעור [יָעִיר] אֶת־לַחְמִי אֲחִי גָּלְיָת הַגִּתִּי וְעֵץ חֲנִיתוֹ כִּמְנוֹר אֹרְגִים׃

6Once again there was fighting at Gath. There was a giant of a man who had twenty-four fingers [and toes], six [on each hand] and six [on each foot]; he too was descended from the Raphah.

ווַתְּהִי־עוֹד מִלְחָמָה בְּגַת וַיְהִי אִישׁ מִדָּה וְאֶצְבְּעֹתָיו שֵׁשׁ־וָשֵׁשׁ עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבַּע וְגַם־הוּא נוֹלַד לְהָרָפָא׃

7When he taunted Yisrael, Yehonatan son of David's brother Shimea killed him.

זוַיְחָרֵף אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיַּכֵּהוּ יְהוֹנָתָן בֶּן־שִׁמְעָא אֲחִי דָוִיד׃

8These were descended from the Raphah in Gath, and they fell by the hands of David and his men.

חאֵל נוּלְּדוּ לְהָרָפָא בְּגַת וַיִּפְּלוּ בְיַד־דָּוִיד וּבְיַד־עֲבָדָיו׃