I was reading 1 Samuel 10 in the New Living Translation and found that in the verse 27, there is the following paragraph:

[Nahash, king of the Ammonites, had been grievously oppressing the people of Gad and Reuben who lived east of the Jordan River. He gouged out the right eye of each of the Israelites living there, and he didn’t allow anyone to come and rescue them. In fact, of all the Israelites east of the Jordan, there wasn’t a single one whose right eye Nahash had not gouged out. But there were 7,000 men who had escaped from the Ammonites, and they had settled in Jabesh-gilead.]

After going to a Portuguese version of the Bible (BPT09) I have noticed that that paragraph was not included.

Accordingly to the notes on 1 Samuel 10 (in the NLT) I have seen that the paragraph, is not included in the Masoretic Text, and was found in Dead Sea Scroll 4QSamª.

Was this paragraph found anywhere else?

Why is it shown in some versions and not the others?

3 Answers 3


The Masoretic Text of the Hebrew has 1 Sam 10:27 as per most Bibles. A few Bibles such as NLT have decided to add some text based on 4QSam(a) from the dead sea scrolls.

The text of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS) also lacks this addition. This BHS text dates from about 1000 AD and is the basis of almost all modern Bibles. By contrast the text of 4QSam(a) dates from about 50 BC and is thus about 1000 years older than BHS.

Ancient sources such as Josephus (about 100 AD) used texts very similar to 4QSam(a) with its little additions. Therefore it cannot be easily ignored.

For a longer discussion about this see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Samuel_Scroll especially the final few paragraphs.


As Dottard and User21676 have yet commented, the additional information about the Nahash's cruel behaviour toward Israel are included in 4QSam(a), and confirmed by the account of Josephus [Jewish Antiquities, VI, 68-71].

These extra notes provides an introductory frame to the account. Both Cross and McCarter agreed for the originality of the plus of 4QSam(a) [Emanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, 3d edit., 2012, p. 312]

Tov remarks: "The brutality of Nahash's approach in [the combined evidence of MT + Peshitta + Targum + Vulgate] without any introductory statement [as that provided by the extra data] seems to be out of order in that text" [ibid.]

Tov, again, remind us that "this punishment [the gouging of the right eyes] for arch-enemies or rebels is well known from Assyrian documents" [ibid.]

So, every Bible translation committee may decide on to insert this additional information on some reasonable basis, unless the committee determines - a priori - to ground its Bible translation on the MT (BHS), exclusively.


If the DSS version were right, and assuming that 1 Samuel 12:12a referenced 1 Samuel 11:0-1(the only evident attack/threat by Nahash in Samuel), then the only interpretation of 1 Samuel 12:12 would be that Nahash attacked them before they made Saul king the 'second time'(if it referenced the first time, then it would contradict the place where they made him king first and then were attacked - 1Sa 8:1-4,11:1). The problem with this however is that this second request for a king(1Sa 12:12), either by means of interpolation by Samuel, or by their explicit request/confirmation, was said to have occurred during a time of peace(1Sa 12:11b). Obviously, if Nahash had attacked them with such violence at the first, then they couldn't have been said to have been in state of peace(1Sa 12:11b); this therefore constitutes the theme of a conjectural argument against the validity of the 'interjection'. Besides this also, it is essentially absent in the Septuagint.

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