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And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

15:7 forty. The number “forty” here seems to be a copyist error, since David’s entire reign lasted just forty years. The Septuagint and Syriac translations, as well as Josephus, all agree that it was “four” years, a period which fits more realistically in the account. On the other hand, the “forty years” might conceivably refer to the period of David’s popularity since slaying Goliath, rather than the length of his reign.

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