1:15 and the Sabeans 1 swooped down 2 and carried them all away, and they killed 3 the servants with the sword! 4 And I – only I alone 5 – escaped to tell you!”
1:17 While this one was still speaking another messenger arrived and said, “The Chaldeans 6 formed three bands and made a raid 7 on the camels and carried them all away, and they killed the servants with the sword! 8 And I – only I alone – escaped to tell you!”
[1:15] 1 tn The LXX has “the spoilers spoiled them” instead of “the Sabeans swooped down.” The translators might have connected the word to שְָׁבָה (shavah, “to take captive”) rather than שְׁבָא (shÿva’, “Sabeans”), or they may have understood the name as general reference to all types of Bedouin invaders from southern Arabia (HALOT 1381 s.v. שְׁבָא 2.c).
[1:15] sn The name “Sheba” is used to represent its inhabitants, or some of them. The verb is feminine because the name is a place name. The Sabeans were a tribe from the Arabian peninsula. They were traders mostly (6:19). The raid came from the south, suggesting that this band of Sabeans were near Edom. The time of the attack seems to be winter since the oxen were plowing.
[1:17] 6 sn The name may have been given to the tribes that roamed between the Euphrates and the lands east of the Jordan. These are possibly the nomadic Kaldu who are part of the ethnic Aramaeans. The LXX simply has “horsemen.”