2 Samuel 21:19 says that Elhanan the son of Jair the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. 1 Chronicles 20:5 says Elhanan killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. There seems to be a contradiction as to whom Elhanan killed. Do you think he killed both Goliath and Lahmi, and that they both had a spear like a weaver's beam? My study Bible says it was probably a scribal error. Do you have a better explanation?
My version (NET) reads, "On that occasion Elhanan the son of Jair the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite." This may have been adjusted to agree with the Chronicler, since there seems to be some confusion in the manuscript transmission. It must be admitted that scribal errors were not uncommon in the transmission of the books of Samuel and Kings.
The approach taken by Joyce G. Baldwin in 1 & 2 Samuel: An Introduction & Commentary (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries), 286, is intriguing, and I reproduce it in the final paragraph of my response.
"This verse is a difficult one because, on the face of it, David is denied the honor of killing Goliath. 1 Chronicles 20:5 reads 'Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite'; but since 'Lahmi' is part of the Hebrew word 'Bethlehemite', this is likely to be a very early attempt to deal with the problem. The Chronicles verse does, however, suggest that Jaareoregim should be translated 'Jair the weaver' (cf. NIV mg.). The same word occurs at the end of the verse, translated weaver's beam. Who then is this Elhanan? The most likely suggest is that it is David himself, his family's name for him as opposed to his throne name; in that case Jair must be the equivalent of Jesse."
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