And he brought out the people that were in it, and put them to work with saws, and with picks of iron, and with axes. Even so dealt David with all the cities of the children of Ammon. And David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.
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George Leo Haydock
Harrows. Hebrew, "cut them with saws, and with harrows; (Haydock) or, rollers of iron, and with saws. "But some other term was probably used, as we find saws before. (Calmet)
Protestants have "axes. "This exemplary punishment was in consequence of the violation of the law of nations. Abulensis pronounced it lawful. Tirinus accuses David of a grievous sin of cruelty; observing that he was at this time involved in the sin of adultery: and people easily fall from one abyss into another. Cruelty and lust often go together. Yet it seems best to suspend our judgment. (Haydock)
David might only treat the most guilty in this manner. (Du Hamel)