What is the correct way to understand 1 Samuel 13:14?

I particularly want to know about the words "איש כלבבו". Do these words translate to "a man after his own heart" or should it be "a man with a heart like his"

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    – Scimonster
    Feb 13, 2015 at 12:59

1 Answer 1


Targum Yonatan, the chief traditional translator of the books of the Prophets, translates this phrase into Aramaic as "גְבַר עָבֵיד רְעוּתֵהּ", which means "a man who does His will." So, "a man after His own heart" would be a reasonable colloquial and literal translation, and indeed is the one chosen by the JPS 1917 translation that was linked into the question.

  • On what basis do you attribute capitalization to Yonasan?
    – msh210
    Feb 15, 2015 at 9:21
  • @msh210, the antecedent of that pronoun seems obvious, in context.
    – Isaac Moses
    Feb 16, 2015 at 4:03

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