The 2001 Translation

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2001 Translation


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    1 Samuel 24:3 – Was Saul preparing himself, having a sleep, or having a poo?

    The Greek text says that Saul entered the cave to “make preparation,” while the Hebrew says he went in to “cover his feet.” What does this mean?

    Some say that that the Hebrew expression refers to taking off your outer garments to lie down and sleep. After all, David is then spoken of as creeping up to him and cutting off part of his garment. It would make sense if he was asleep. So this may be correct.

    However, feet are often used as a euphemism for your nether regions, much like the word loins. And why not just say ‘sleep?’ Why would an expression be needed? And why would the Greek Septuagint say something completely different, unless the translators was using an equivalent Greek-language euphemism? Saul was, of course, King. If he wore many layers, he may have had to remove his outer coat and set it aside before easing nature. There was also an entire army outside, and the noise generated by it may have helped David to sneak up and cut Saul’s garment without Saul hearing.

    So it may be a euphemism for answering a call of nature. Since the Hebrew text implies pulling down underclothes to cover the feet, it seems likely that this was not just for urination, but to empty the bowels.

    However, we don’t know for sure.

    Saul may indeed have been sleeping. If Saul was easing nature, then it may add to our understanding of the account, showing why David refused to strike Saul. Not only would he be killing the King, but he would be killing him in the most humiliating way possible. Saul would have forever been known as the King who was killed while having a poo.