Differences in EETs: 245, 247, or 645? Nehemiah 7:67

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by franklinmonroe, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    These versions seem to agree on the number (7,337) of male & female servants in the first part of the verse but disagree on the number of singers. Nehemiah 7:67 from some early English translations --
    outakun the seruauntis and handmaidis of hem, that weren seuene thousynde thre hundrid and seuene and thretti; and among the syngeris and syngeressis, sixe hundrid and fyue and fourti (Wycliffe 1395)

    besyde their seruauntes and maydes, of whom there were seuen thousande, thre hundreth and seue and thirtye. And they had two hundreth and seuen and fortie synginge men and wemen, (Coverdale 1535)

    Besides their seruantes and their maydes, which were seuen thousand, three hundreth and seuen and thirtie: and they had two hundreth and fiue and fourtie singing men and singing women. (Geneva 1587)

    besyde their seruauntes and maydens, of whom there were seuen thousande, thre hundred and seuen and thirtye. And they had two hundred and seuen and fortye syngynge men and wemen. (Great 1540)

    besyde theyr seruauntes and maydens, of whome there were seuen thousande, thre hundred and seuen and thyrtye. And they had two hundred and seuen and fortye syngynge men and wemen (Matthew's 1549)

    Beside their seruauntes and maydens, of whom there were seuen thousand three hundred thirtie and seuen: And they had two hundred fourtie and fiue singing men and women. (Bishops' 1568)
    There are some other interesting things about this passage which should arise in later posts.
     
  2. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    Taverner's Bible (1539) text also has the number as 247; Douay (1609 Catholic OT) has the number to be 245, as does the Authorized Version (1611). Clearly, differences among Bible texts is not just a modern phenomena.

    It seems that the number of singers at Nehemiah 7:67 stands as 245 in the standard Masoretic texts. All the 'modern' versions (NIV, NASB, ESV, NLT, and even Young, Darby, etc.) I checked have the number of singers as 245 in their text. But is 245 really the number that the writer of Nehemiah originally wrote down on his scroll?
     
    #2 franklinmonroe, Jan 2, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2012
  3. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    The Bible is filled with repetition and redundancy, including lengthy parallel passages. We have such a parallel passage for Nehemiah Chapter Seven; it is found in Ezra Chapter Two. In fact, the Hebrew is virtually identical (some minor spelling variations) for 13 continuous verses except for at least two MAJOR differences. The KJV English is below. Ezra 2:55-67 (above), Nehemiah 7:57-69 (below), most differences shown in Blue --
    The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Peruda,
    The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida,

    The children of Jaalah, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,
    The children of Jaala-, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,

    The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Ami.
    The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Amon.

    All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, [were] three hundred ninety and two.
    All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, [were] three hundred ninety and two.

    And these [were] they which went up ------ from Telmelah, Telhar-s-a, Cherub, Addan, [and] Immer:
    And these [were] they which went up [also] from Telmelah, Telharesha, Cherub, Addon, -and Immer:

    but they could not shew their father's house, and their seed, whether they [were] of Israel:
    but they could not shew their father's house, nor their seed, whether they [were] of Israel.

    The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred fifty and two.
    The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred forty and two.

    And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai;
    And of the ---------------- priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai,

    which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, -------- and was called after their name:
    which took [one]- of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite to wife, and was called after their name.

    These sought their register [among] those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found:
    These sought their register [among] those that were reckoned by genealogy, but - it was - not found:

    therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.
    therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.

    And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood -up- a priest with Urim and with Thummim.
    And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood [up] a priest with Urim and ----- Thummim.

    The whole congregation together [was] forty and two thousand three hundred [and] threescore,
    The whole congregation together [was] forty and two thousand three hundred - and threescore,

    Beside their ---- servants and their maids, ------- of whom [there were] seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven:
    Beside their manservants and their maidservants, of whom [there were] seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven:

    and [there were] among them two hundred --------------- singing men and singing women.
    and ------------------ they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing women.

    Their horses [were] seven hundred thirty and six; their mules, two hundred forty and five;
    Their horses, ------- seven hundred thirty and six: their mules, two hundred forty and five:

    - Their camels, four hundred thirty and five; [their] asses, six thousand seven hundred and twenty.
    [Their] camels, four hundred thirty and five: ------- six thousand seven hundred and twenty asses.
    The two MAJOR differences (in Black) are justified by the underlying Hebrew (as are the spelling variations). But most of the other differences are merely little quirks of the translation. For example, the Hebrew word ebed (Strong's #5650) could be rendered either "servants" or "manservants" in English since it is the same masculine plural word in both passages. There are also several inconsistencies in puncuation, and in the use or nonuse of italics (supposedly an indication of a lack of presence of a supporting Hebrew word).

    Despite the descrepancies in the KJV text above, can there be any doubt that theses passages are actually accountings of the same things?
     
    #3 franklinmonroe, Jan 2, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2012
  4. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    Lots of "and" from verse to verse in the OT. I have not seen an English translation that translates those.
     
  5. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,969
    Likes Received:
    128
    παρὲξ δούλνω αὐτῶν καὶ παιδισκῶν αὐτῶν, οὗτοι τριακόσιοι τριάκοντα ἑπτά• καὶ ᾄδοντες καὶ ᾄδουσαι διακόσιοι τεσσεράκοντα πέντε
    Esdras B 17:67 (LXX Swete)

    …and male singers and female singers two hundred forty five.
     
  6. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    It looks suspiciously like the "forty and five" in Nehemiah 7:67 was scribally appended from the mule count at the end of verse 68. Interestingly, a note in the NET Bible states that Nehemiah 7:68 (bracketed in the JPS Tanakh) is not found in "most" of Hebrew manuscripts. Why do we have a verse in our English Bibles that is doubtful in the Hebrew MSS?
     
    #6 franklinmonroe, Jan 2, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2012
  7. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,969
    Likes Received:
    128
    Well it is some of the Hebrew manuscripts, and must have been in the ones that the translators of the English bible used.
    The verse is also found in the Septuagint and in the Latin Vulgate.

    My guess is during some ages past, a transcriptional err crept into the text resulting in a different number from the one found in Ezra (200).

    Rob
     
  8. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    So, we have two conflicting accounts (one in Ezra, one in Nehemiah) in the English Bible?
     
  9. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    How can these be reconciled? Is this a genuine error in the English Bible?
     
  10. JesusFan

    JesusFan
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    6,356
    Likes Received:
    0
    no, its just that there were "problems" in some of the OT books when was recorded down by the scribes, and there are a few instances where the translators forced to 'reconstruct/make educated guesses" as to what the originals actual said!

    they look at secondary sources, other documents etc, so this is done 'schorly basis", but shows why some good modern versions might have slight disagreements?
     
  11. rsr

    rsr
    Expand Collapse
    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    10,073
    Likes Received:
    101
    As to the first instance:

    Having the same number in the Coverdale, Great and Matthew's Bibles surely arises from the back that they are all mostly Coverdale's work. Where Coverdale acquired 247, I cannot explain.

    I can only hypothesize that the Wycliff number came from the version (or versions) of the Vulgate the translators were using. The Clementine Vulgate and is successors have 245, but I do not know if the pre-Clementine Vulgate, or at least the versions the Wycliffe translators were using, differed.
     
  12. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    But Taverner's also? I wonder if there is only a minute orthographic difference in Hebrew denoting 247 from 245. (Can anyone confirm?) Furthermore, I can speculate that this small difference caused an editorial lapse in the early printed Hebrew critical text used by these translators; or perhaps even a simple typographical error by the printer here.
    Agreed. The Latin must have become corrupt at some point.
     
  13. rsr

    rsr
    Expand Collapse
    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    10,073
    Likes Received:
    101
    My understanding is that Taverner's editing of the OT (which was essentially Coverdale's) consisted mostly of stylistic changes. His forte was Greek, and his revisions of the New Testament may have been more substantive.
     
    #13 rsr, Jan 8, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2012
  14. rsr

    rsr
    Expand Collapse
    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    10,073
    Likes Received:
    101
    Possibly; yet Luther's OT, which was contemporaneous with Coverdale's work, contains "245."

    A likely explanation.
     
  15. Jerome

    Jerome
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,609
    Likes Received:
    44
    It's 245 in the earlier Wycliffe [OP cites later version of Wycliffe]

    Also 245 in Complutensian Polyglot (Hebrew/Latin/Greek)

    Also 245 in Ferrara Bible 1553 (Spanish)
     
  16. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thanks, Jerome! Any ideas on how the later change came about in the Wycliffe?
     
  17. Jerome

    Jerome
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,609
    Likes Received:
    44
    Where could the "sixe hundrid" of Later Wycliffe's v. 67's "sixe hundrid and fyue and fourti" have come from?

    Well, the very next number in Later Wycliffe [in v. 68] begins "sixe hundrid. . ."

    [Contrast the "seven hundred. . ." of other translations]

    Wycliffe reviser Purvey is said to have consulted Nicholas of Lyra's Postillae, which has "sexcenti triginta septem" in v. 68.
     
    #17 Jerome, Jan 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2012
  18. Jerome

    Jerome
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,609
    Likes Received:
    44
    Except Coverdale "translated out of Douche and Latyn in to Englishe"

    At that time, five and seven could look quite similar in English script/type.
    The long s of seven resembled the f of five, and the n at the end of seven was often elided.
    Six also began with long s and ended in e.

    seven:
    [​IMG]

    six:
    [​IMG]
     
  19. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    and [there were] among them two hundred --------------- singing men and singing women.
    and ------------------ they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing women.

    Their horses [were] seven hundred thirty and six; their mules, two hundred forty and five;
    Their horses, ------- seven hundred thirty and six: their mules, two hundred forty and five:
    The Hebrew text of Nehemiah 7:67 actually ends with a number (in Ezra the number is "two hundred"), not with "singing men and singing women" as presented in English text. The English of the very next verse displays a more literal Hebrew word order by ending with the number.

    Therefore, if a Hebrew scribe's eye after briefly leaving verse 67 then returned to "forty five" at the end of verse 68 (following another occurrence of "two hundred") and thus completely passed over the text "their horses" through that "two hundred", the missing verse in Nehemiah and the difference of number here between Ezra and Nehemiah is explained.

    So, should translations insist on including "forty five" in verse 67 (which is in the Hebrew, but probably should not be there), thus contradicting Ezra's account, while at the same time also including text for verse 68 (which is not in the Hebrew, but probably should be there)? Inconsistently, they seem to be covering for one scribal error but not the other.
     
    #19 franklinmonroe, Jan 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2012

Share This Page

Loading...