Badgers or sea cows/seals

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by robycop3, Oct 24, 2006.

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  1. robycop3

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    The KJV and several older versions render 'tachash' in Exodus 25:5 as badgers, while later versions render it as sea cows(dugongs), porpoises, or seals.

    ALL the above critters seem unlikely candidates, as there were no badgers in the area Israel crossed to Canaan, nor in Egypt. And land porpoises were even more scarce, being on the Amorite Protected Species list.

    According to a rabbi I know, the meaning of 'tachash' is unclear.

    The reason I ask is because a one-version-onlyist I know insists that 'badgers' is right because his version says so.
     
  2. Anti-Alexandrian

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    Sounds like one is a Bible believer and the other is a man follower.
     
  3. Ed Edwards

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    Exodus 25:5 (KJV1769 Edition with Strong's numbers):
    And rams'352 skins5785 dyed red,119 and badgers'8476 skins,5785
    and shittim7848 wood,6086

    Tee Hee! look what Strong's says:

    H8476
    תּחשׁ
    tachash
    takh'-ash
    Probably of foreign derivation; a (clean) animal
    with fur, probably a species of antelope:
    - badger.

    Tee, hee, another place where Strong throws in the
    KJV translation at the end as a total non sequitur.
     
  4. Jim1999

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    [​IMG]

    The honey badger shown here is common to Israel and Africa.

    Most commentators think this is really a sea creature of sorts, the hide used for making footwear. The Honey badger wold also fill the bill. I have never researched whether they were around in biblical times.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  5. Deacon

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    Which one is the man follower, the badger or the porpose?

    In any case it's a fine quality leather.

    Quick summary:

    KJV, NKJV, YLT, Darby - badger
    NAS - porpose
    NIV - sea cow
    ESV, NLT, RSV - goatskin
    HCSB - manatee
    Message - dolphin
    ASV - sealskin
    CEV, GNT, NCV, NRSV, NET - fine leather

    and IMO, the best version:

    New American Bible - tahash skins

    Rob
     
  6. Jerome

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    Early English Bibles rendered the word as jacynth, violet, taxus("badger"), tarus("bull"?), doe, and badger.

    Luther used dachs, derived from Latin taxus "badger"

    Friedrich Delitzsch discussed this extensively 120 years ago in Prolegomena eines neuen hebräisch-aramäischen Wörterbuchs zum alten Testament, p. 76ff, concluding that the word was related to an Assyrian word for a type of ram.

    Which certainly makes more contextual and logical sense than badger or manatee hides.
     
  7. Inadequate in Myself

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    the relationship to the translation "dolphin, manatee, or sea cow" is drawn from an etymological comparison to the Arabic duhas.

    a more likely comparison, however, is the Egyptian verb ths which means to "stretch" and is most commoly applied to leather. the noun form in the biblical text would derive its meaning accordingly to simply refer to that type of leather. the resulting translation would be something akin to "fine Egyptian leather." KBL
     
  8. Inadequate in Myself

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    Back to the op - the difficulty of translating such words does set some the limits of what one can say about any translation in relation to inerrancy (hence the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy's Article X:

    "We affirm that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.

    We deny that any essential element of the Christian faith is affected by the absence of the autographs. We further deny that this absence renders the assertion of Biblical inerrancy invalid or irrelevant."
     
  9. Jim1999

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    Right on mate. How we translate this difficult Hebrew word does not matter. It does not change the essence of the passage.

    It should be a lesson for us, though, showing our inadequacies, and should humble us before God for His truth in Christ Jesus.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  10. robycop3

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    Right, Jim. As I said in the OP, I started this thread because some advocates of one version try to tell me that only badger could be right. I don't know if the old Hebrew has a specific word for badger or not, and I certainly don't see calling 'tachash' the badger being set in stone. I believe all the animals known to the ancient Hebrews had specific Hebrew names for each, while 'tachash' seems to be a general word for a kosher animal with fur.

    The honey badger is so named because it sometimes RAIDS BEEHIVES. It is NOT invulnerable to stings, and men have occasionally found a honey badger stung to death. It's also one of the toughest, baddest pound-for-pound animals on earth, and even a large predator will usually look for easier prey. Most Americans have heard of the toughness of the American badger, and the honey badger, while smaller, is said to be much-tougher. I dunno how the ancient people coulda killed this animal w/o damaging its hide.

    Given the uncertainty of the definition of 'tachash', we cannot rule out the possibility of any of the various candidates named in various BVs as being the tachash, including the badger. And we must keep in mind that badgers are very common in England, certainly not unknown to the AV translators.
     
  11. Allan

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    I guess if it were one version only, we can finally put to rest the myth of the unicorn since it is ascribed to one particular version. :tongue3:
     
  12. robycop3

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    The AV men & the translators before them had no reason to not believe the unicorn existed. This beast was depicted in the royal coat-of-arms of Scotland, and was added to the British coat-of-arms by KJ. We cannot fault those translators for this. However, we have a lotta room to question the rendering of 'tachash' as 'badger', and lots more room to disagree with those who say 'badger' is set in stone.

    And i agree 100% that no doctrine is changed in either case. The tabernacle was covered with some kinda leather, and the re'em was some kinda big, strong animal, be it a unicorn, rhino, or King Kong.

    But none of these renderings are set in stone. Those who claim their fave BV is the only perfect, inerrant one are the people who are trying to pour concrete around them. But lemme ask...Did GOD tell the translators the tachash is a badger, or the re'em is a creature that never existed, the unicorn? Or, did they simply make guesses at their meanings? After all, today's Hebrew experts don't know the exact definitions of those words, either.
     
  13. av1611jim

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    Someone mentioned the toughness of the honey badger. They are tough. But I know of a creature MUCH tougher. The Germans developed this creature in the middle ages to help farmers who were plagued with those pesky and tough badgers. They were so successful that they gave this creature a name befitting its ferocious nature. They called it (in English) Badger Dog. This little short legged fellow was so tenacious that he would literally follow the badger into its burrow and drag him out of it so the farmer could then dispatch the badger. You all know him as the Dachshund. Tough dog!!!

    I have four of them and they make great family pets. Very loyal and protective.

    Thought you might like to know.

    Granted, this has NOTHING to do with the discussion, but I couldn't resist.

    Continue.....
     
  14. Jim1999

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    Unicorn! Why have you never heard the song by the Irish Rovers?

    There were cat and rats and elephants, and sure as you were born,
    We cannot forget the unicorn.....

    Now, there is proof positive. Surely!

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  15. av1611jim

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    I remember that song!

    They made Noah popular again!

    Or did they?:confused: :rolleyes:
     
  16. EdSutton

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    Personally, I got no clue to what this should be, was, or should have been translated. All I know is that that was some go-o-o-od shoe-leather!
    And good material, for the clothes, as well! Uh- do these verses mean if I had eaten no bread in the last 40 years (since I didn't drink any wine), I coulda' looked like I did at when I was 18, as well? :tongue3: :D

    Mebbe, if only I'da known?? :confused: Just askin'! :laugh:

    Ed
     
  17. Keith M

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    Now THAT'S absolutely positive proof (said with tongue in cheek - ouch!)
     
  18. AVBunyan

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    Porpoise ?

    Hey folks…Mind if I join in? Was looking at the “summary” below and it got my attention.

    “Quick summary:

    KJV, NKJV, YLT, Darby - badger


    NAS - porpoise
    NIV - sea cow
    ESV, NLT, RSV - goatskin
    HCSB - manatee
    Message - dolphin
    ASV - sealskin
    CEV, GNT, NCV, NRSV, NET - fine leather”

    Some observations on the above:
    1. The list divides into 2 schools of thought, generally. KJV and company says a land creature while the others lean towards sea creatures thus demonstrating these two “families” or “schools of thought” came from 2 completely different set of manuscripts which is what we have been saying all along. One came from Asia Minor area while the other from Egypt.

    2. Let’s be practical here – what would be easier to secure for the average Jew in a desert environment, a badger, a manatee, a seal, a dolphin, or a porpoise?!?!?

    Maybe Rick Warren’s book should have been titled, “The Porpoise Driven Life”.

    The AV is so practical.

    God bless
     
  19. EdSutton

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    Shouldn't this post have been in the Humor Forum and the 'Pun Thread'? :rolleyes:

    Ed
     
  20. robycop3

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    Ever hunted badgers? While later hunters used dachshunds to go after them in their burrows, more than one dog met its fate doing so. It woulda been a daunting task for the Israelis to have located enuff badgers to have made the Tabernacle covering, let alone successfully hunted them.

    Again, why couldn't the Egyptians have given sea animals' hides to the Israelis as they made their exodus? Or, for that matter, badger hides? Lemme make that porpoisition.

    Unless/until we find out the exact meaning of tachash, we cannot rule out any animal found in that parta the world(including the seas, lakes, or rivers) which has a hide that can be made into leather. I was perhaps hoping that some Hebrew expert who's read other old hebrew literature could chip in with an answer.
     
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