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17 When Joab had come near her, the woman said, “Are you Joab?” And he replied, “Yes.” She said to him, “Listen to what your servant has to say.” He replied, “I am listening.” 18 Then she went on to say: “There is a saying from long ago,[a] ‘Let them ask if they will in Abel or in Dan whether loyalty is finished 19 or ended in Israel.’ You are seeking to batter down a city that is a mother in Israel. Why do you wish to swallow up the heritage of the Lord?”(A)

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  1. 20:18–19 This proverbial expression is obscure but seems to reflect a tradition that this Danite town was associated with oracles or other sorts of revelation. Cf. Mt 16:13–17; and the intertestamental Testament of Levi 2:3.

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