pledge loyalty

The Hebrew that is translated in English versions as “pledged their loyalty to Absalom,” or “the hearts have gone after Absalom” was translated into Afar as ‘Ku kabut gacennooh ko’lih rabenno’ ‘yaanam axcuk yenen.: “They were saying, ‘We will go with you and we will die with you.’ (Direct speech is used instead of general descriptions of speech acts. The pledge to even die with one’s leader in battle is a typical expression of loyalty.)


The name that is transliterated as “David” in English is translated in Spanish Sign Language with the sign signifying a sling and king (referring to 1 Samuel 17:49 and 2 Samuel 5:4). (Source: John Elwode in The Bible Translator 2008, p. 78ff.)

“David” in Spanish Sign Language (source )

In German Sign Language it is only the sling. (See here ).

“David” in German Sign Language (source )

The (Protestant) Mandarin Chinese transliteration of “David” is 大卫 (衛) / Dàwèi which carries an additional meaning of “Great Protector.”

Click or tap here to see a short video clip about David (source: Bible Lands 2012)

Translation commentary on 2 Samuel 15:33

It may be that instead of saying go on with me, it will be more natural in a few languages to use the plural pronoun “us.” But the focus is very much on David.

You will be a burden to me: this has been stated negatively in Good News Translation as “you will be of no help to me,” while La Bible du Semeur says “you will be my responsibility,” and New Century Version has “you will be just one more person to take care of.” Contemporary English Version has the same sort of meaning: “you might slow us down.” Some scholars have supposed that Hushai must have been very old and ill suited for rigorous travel.

Quoted with permission from Omanson, Roger L. and Ellington, John E. A Handbook on the First and Second Books of Samuel, Volume 2. (UBS Helps for Translators). New York: UBS, 2001. For this and other handbooks for translators see here .