2 Samuel 18:8

8 The battle spread out over the whole countryside, and the forest swallowed up more men that day than the sword.

Read 2 Samuel 18:8 Using Other Translations

For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.
The battle spread over the face of all the country, and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword.
The battle raged all across the countryside, and more men died because of the forest than were killed by the sword.

What does 2 Samuel 18:8 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
2 Samuel 18:8

For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the
country
Or the warriors were scattered, as the Targum; Absalom's soldiers, their ranks were broken, and they were thrown into the utmost confusion, and ran about here and there all over the field or plain in which the battle was fought, and into the neighbouring wood:

and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured;
there were more slain in it the in the field of battle, what by one thing or another; as by falling into pits and on stumps of trees, and being entangled in the bushes, and could make but little haste, and so were overtaken by David's men, and slain; insomuch that, as Josephus


FOOTNOTES:

F8 observes, there were more slain fleeing than fighting, and perhaps some might perish by wild beasts; so the Targum,

``and the beasts of the wood slew more of the people than were slain by the sword;''

and so the Syriac and Arabic versions render the words to the same purpose.


F8 Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 7. c. 10. sect. 2.)

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