Let’s continue with translating the “Annals” of Sa`id ibn Bitriq, the Melkite patriarch of Alexandria in the 10th century.
1. After him reigned David, son of Yassà. From the departure of the sons of Israel from Egypt to the kingdom of David there had passed 606 years; from Abraham to the kingdom of David, 1,113 years; from Fāliq to the reign of David, 1,654 years; from the flood to the kingdom of David, 2,185 years; from Adam to the kingdom of David, 4,441 years. At the age of thirty David, son of Yassà, reigned over all the tribes of Israel. He reigned forty years and six months, of which seven and six months were at Hibrūn, and thirty-three at Jerusalem. The head of Saul’s soldiers was Abnīr, son of Nīr. Abnir killed ‘Ashā’il (1), brother of Yuwāb. Yuwāb then went out with his men and killed three hundred and sixty men of Abnīr’s, burying his brother ‘Ashā’īl at Bethlehem. After the killing of Saul, Abnīr took Yasūsit (2), son of Saul, and proclaimed him at Ğal’àd, as king of the sons of Ephraim and of the sons of Israel. Yasūsit was forty years old at the time he began to reign. Between the soldiers of Saul and those of David there were many wars and many deaths. Saul had a concubine named Risfà (3). Abnīr took her for himself, but Yasūsit, son of Saul, forbade him. Abnīr became irritated and went over to David asking for his protection. David accepted him and left him at liberty. Yuwāb, son of Sāruyā (4) and husband of David’s sister, took Abnīr, who was the commander of David’s soldiers, and had him killed to avenge the death of ‘Ashā’īl, brother of Yuwāb. David became very annoyed when he learned of it, and he ordered all his soldiers to tear their clothes and weep over Abnīr. Then he had him buried at Hibrūn. There were two brothers among the commanders of Saul, one named Rihāb and the other named Bā‘anā, of Rimmūn (5), of the tribe of Beniamin. When they heard that Abnīr had been killed, they went at night (6) to the house of Yasūsit, son of Saul, and they set fire to the door, went in and killed him. They then took his head and brought it to David. But David had their hands and feet cut off, had them killed and hanged. The head of Yasūsit, son of Saul, was buried in the tomb of Abnīr.
2. David founded the city of Ūshā and he called it the city of David, which is now Sihyūn (7). When the kings of the foreign tribes heard that David had become king, they gathered to fight him. David confronted them with his army, killed them and annihilated them, thus consolidating the foundations of his reign. The counselor of David was called Yūshàfāt, son of Akhlīq (8). Hīram, king of Sūr (9), sent him as a gift wood of cedar and fir, with which David built a temple. He gathered the chiefs of the sons of Israel and he went to the house of Abīnādāb. He brought out the ark and placed it on a cart. The wagon was led by ‘Uzza and Ahyū, sons of Abīnādāb (10), two Israelites of the descendants of Qāhāt, son of Levi, because no one else of the Israelites could carry the ark apart from the descendants of Levi. In loading the ark on the cart they covered it with fabric, and between the ark and the people there was a distance of a thousand cubits. ‘Uzzā and Ahyū had already loaded the ark onto the cart when the bullocks leaned on their legs and the ark threatened to fall. ‘Uzza then grabbed the ark but he fell dead to the ground. David was frightened and he had the ark brought to the house of ‘Ubaydādūm the Hittite (11). The ark remained with him for three months. David later took the ark away from the house of ‘Ubaydādūm. Around the ark there were seven rows of men with trumpets, flutes and all sorts of musical instruments. David wore a colorful robe, and he danced and strutted before the ark. He then placed the ark in the middle of the tent that David himself had raised at Giluwā (12). David slaughtered many heifers and rams. The ark was made of cedar wood, it was long, wide and tall a cubit and a half and all covered with gold.
- The text seems to be corrupt here.↩