Ledabbēr Baššelî (2 Sam. 3: 27) “To Talk Peace”

  • Meir Malul


Ledabbēr baššelî in 2 Sam 3:27 seems to be equivalent in its underlying meaning to such a technical expression from the vocabulary of treaty-making as ledabbēr šālôm, and thus it too is to be identified as such a technical expression denoting “to talk peace” in the sense “to negotiate and seal a peace treaty”. These two expressions may then be either synonyms, in which case the hapax šelî would be another word in biblical Hebrew denoting peace; or the word šelî should be emended to šālôm. Since there is in biblical Hebrew the root šlh with its various derivatives, all denoting meanings from the semantic field of peace, quietude and the like, no emendation of the word šelî is needed. It seems then that the common derivation of this word by most commentators from the root šlh is eminently possible.