Translating 2 Samuel 1:18 seems to be a very difficult task. Could anyone please lay a helping hand?
A very accurate solution seems to be:
NET: He gave instructions that the people of Judah should be taught “The Bow.” Indeed, it is written down in the Book of Yashar.
That would be something like a song, a canticle, "The Bow". Just like in:
ASV: and he bade them teach the children of Judah the song of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jashar ...
In other versions there is "the lament of the bow"(see NIV), which is more or less the same idea.
Yet there is so different here:
ISV... he gave orders to teach the descendants of Judah the art of warfare, as is recorded in the Book of Jashar
The ISV is apparently more like an interpetation of the Hebrew, according to Rashi's:
Rashi on II Samuel 1:18 - He said, "To teach the Bnei Yehudah archery. David said, "Now that mighty among Yisroel have fallen, the Bnei Yehudah need to be taught how to make war and how to pull back a bow.
Very similar in the KJV:
KJV: Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.
YET, there are quite a few versions, in which the bow is gone. Lost in translation? See:
ESV: And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and Jonathan his son, and he said it should be taught to the people of Judah; behold, it is written in the Book of Jashar (2 Samuel 1:17-18)
Most likely, these no bow versions are taking into account the LXX, where there is no bow:
LXX: καὶ εἶπεν τοῦ διδάξαι τοὺς υἱοὺς Ιουδα ἰδοὺ γέγραπται ἐπὶ βιβλίου τοῦ εὐθοῦς ...
So, I was wondering what's up here? We have 3 very different translations:
- it is about a song called "the bow" (from the Hebrew)
- it is about the art of using the bow (from the Hebrew)
- there is no bow at all (from the Greek)
From 1 / 2 - which one would be closer to the Hebrew text?
And is it possible that the authors of the LXX have overlooked the bow because of the ambiguity of the Hebrew text?
Or perhaps they used different Hebrew versions of the text with no bow?