Fulfilled or accomplished? Ezra 1 & II Chr. 36

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by franklinmonroe, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
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    Compare Ezra 1:1-3a (above) and II Chronicles 36:22-23 (below) from KJV --

    Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia,
    Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia,
    that the word of the LORD ---------by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled,
    that the word of the LORD [spoken] by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished,
    the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia,
    the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia,
    that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom,
    that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom,
    and [put it] also in writing, saying,
    and [put it] also in writing, saying,

    Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia,
    Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia,
    The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth;
    All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me;
    and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem,
    and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem,
    which [is] in Judah.
    which [is] in Judah.

    Who [is there] among you of all his people?
    Who [is there] among you of all his people?
    --------- his God -be- with him, and let him go up
    The LORD his God [be] with him, and let him go up.

    Notice that in the first verse comparison the king's revisers felt compelled to insert the word "spoken" in II Chronicles but not in Ezra. Is "spoken" really neccessary here? Then the translators decided to use "fulfilled" in Ezra but "accomplished" in II Chronicles for the same Hebrew word kalah (Strong's #3615) which can be rendered in proper context variously as: accomplish, cease, consume, determine, end, fail, finish, or complete.

    In the second verse comparison there is a difference between "at" and "in" before the name of the Holy City. Also the phrases "the LORD God of heaven" and "all the kingdoms of the earth" are reversed with the words "hath" and "given me" deployed differently.

    In the thrid verse comparison notice that the translators indicate that they inserted the English word "be" (in print by italicizing but here as [brackets]) in II Chronicles but have "be" in just ordinary text in Ezra. Should "be" actually be there, or it should not be there?

    Examining the Hebrew to the best of my ability, I have found just 6 minor differences between the two passages. Three variations affect the spelling of the proper names of Jeremiah, and Cyrus (twice) which obviously are not reflected in the KJV translation. There is an isolated extra Hebrew character marking the end of II Chronicles 26:22 which seems to be untranslated. Another minor difference is a single letter altering the Hebrew word to mean either 'from-mouth-of' (Ezra) or 'in-mouth-of' (II Chr.), which in any case is not noticed in the KJV rendering of "by the mouth". The significant discrepancy is caused by the addition of a single letter to a Hebrew 3-letter word meaning 'he-shall-be' (untranslated in Ezra) to become the Tetragrammaton or 'yehweh' ("the LORD" in II Chronicles); could this explain why the KJV did not capitalize "his" the first word of the next sentence (following the question mark)?

    The word order is same in both passages, so there seems to be no justification for one of the renderings resulting in the reversing of the two phrases noticed in the second verse comparison (II Chronicles follows the preserved Hebrew word sequence).
     
    #1 franklinmonroe, Apr 4, 2009
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  2. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
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    Overall, between these two parallel passages the KJV translation is much more consistent than the Bishops' rendering (shown below). However, notice some peculiar similarities suggest that elements from the Bishops' text were retained in the revision. More interestingly, notice that the Bishops' Bible includes "the Lord" in Ezra.

    In the first yere of Cyrus king of Persia
    (that the worde of the Lord spoken by the mouth of Ieremia might be fulfilled)
    the Lorde stirred vp the spirite of Cyrus king of Persia,
    that he caused to be proclaymed throughout all his empyre,
    and to be written, saying,

    Thus saith Cyrus the king of Persia:
    The Lorde God of heauen hath geuen me all the kingdomes of the earth,
    and hath commaunded me to build him an house at Hierusalem,
    which is in Iuda.

    Whosoeuer nowe among you is of his people,
    the Lord his God be with him,
    and let him go vp
    (Ezra 1:1-3a)

    And the first yere of Cyrus king of Persia
    (when the worde of the Lorde spoken by the mouth of Ieremia was finished)
    the Lorde stirred vp the spirite of Cyrus king of Persia,
    that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdome,
    and that by wryting, saying:

    Thus sayth Cyrus king of Persia,
    All the kingdomes of the earth hath the Lorde God of heauen geuen me,
    & hath charged me to buylde hym an house in Hierusalem,
    that is in Iuda:
    Wherfore whosoeuer is among you of all his people,
    the Lorde his God be with him,
    and let hym go vp.
    (2 Chronicles 36:22-23)​
    Wycliffe and Coverdale also have "the Lord" in Ezra; the Geneva Bible does not have those words. Note that the first editions of the AV (1611) also included parenthesis around the statement that begins "that the word of the Lord ..."; also those first AV editions did not have the word "spoken" identified (in 'Roman' typeface) as an inserted word by the translators.
     
    #2 franklinmonroe, Apr 6, 2009
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  3. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
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    The Darby version renders these two passages identically with one exception: the addition of "Jehovah" in II Chronicles.

    And in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia,
    that the word of Jehovah by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished,
    Jehovah stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia,
    and he made a proclamation throughout his kingdom,
    and also in writing, saying,

    Thus says Cyrus king of Persia:
    All the kingdoms of the earth has Jehovah the God of the heavens given to me,
    and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem,
    which is in Judah.

    Whosoever there is among you of all his people,
    ------- his God be with him,
    and let him go up
    (Ezra 1:1-3a)

    And in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia,
    that the word of Jehovah by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished,
    Jehovah stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia,
    and he made a proclamation throughout his kingdom,
    and also in writing, saying,

    Thus says Cyrus king of Persia:
    All the kingdoms of the earth has Jehovah the God of the heavens given to me,
    and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem,
    which is in Judah.
    Whosoever there is among you of all his people,
    Jehovah his God be with him,
    and let him go up.
    (2 Chronicles 36:22-23) ​
    BTW, the word "heavens" does seem to be literally plural in the Hebrew.
     
    #3 franklinmonroe, Apr 6, 2009
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  4. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
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    Both KJV passages would have been translated by the same men of the First Cambridge Company (they were responsible for I Chronicles though the Song of Solomon).
     
  5. franklinmonroe

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    I offer the above information for the examination of those that may be struggling with the false doctrine of KJV-perfectionism, that is, that only one Bible version is 'perfect' (other terms used: trustworthy, authentic, etc.). The above comparison is not the KJV text set against a different translation, but the work of the KJV translators compared with their own translational results.

    What we find is that the king's revisers did come to slightly different translation results in English based upon (virtually) the same Hebrew. In other words, there is more than one acceptable way to express the Hebrew in English (such as "fulfilled/accomplished" and "at/in"). I have demonstrated this with other passages on the BB (here is one previous http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=57806 ). It seems that if there were only one perfect set of words for English translation then these two passages would result in identical renderings (wherever the Hebrew is actually the same).

    Besides this, the comparison between Ezra 1:1-3a and II Chronicles 36:22-23 also refutes several KJV-perfectionist claims. For example, KJV-perfectionist authors must assert that words inserted into the text by the KJV translators (usually identified by italic typeface in print) were also 'perfect' (practically if not actually 'inspired' by God). It is neccessary & desireable to complete the sense of the source text by inserting words into the English translation which do not have a corresponding Hebrew word. But those unsupported words are just as much a matter of subjective choice as the words chosen to represent the underlying ancient original language words. In this passage we see that the KJV translators decided to insert "spoken" into text on one occassion but not in the other; they KJV men seem to be undecided whether "be" is required or not actually required by the Hebrew text they are translating. Another example is that KJV-perfectionist proponents will often insist that every word (even every jot and tittle) cannot be lost and must be 'literaly' translated. But in fact, the KJV men (like translators before and after them) did not translate every letter or even every word found in the manuscripts.

    Personally, I think that the KJV translation of the passages here are good & acceptable, but probably not even the best.
     
    #5 franklinmonroe, Apr 8, 2009
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