Jer. 50:39 what were the Iims?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Logos1560, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. Logos1560

    Logos1560
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    At Jeremiah 50:39, the translations on the KJV-only line of good Bibles differ in how they translate a Hebrew word. The 1535 Coverdale’s and 1537 Matthew’s have “apes” as their rendering where the 1540 Great Bible has “lamia” and the 1560 Geneva Bible has “Iims” (a transliteration of the Hebrew word). The KJV used five words to translate this one Hebrew word: “wild beasts of the islands.” At Isaiah 13:22 where this same Hebrew word is found, the 1611 KJV has this marginal note: “Hebrew Iim.” At Isaiah 13:22, the 1568 Bishops’ Bible has “Iim” in the text.

    Is the Hebrew word for islands found in the text in this verse, If not, what were the reasons that the KJV added the phrase “of the islands?“

    Which of these renderings on the KJV-only good line if any is the more accurate translation of the Hebrew?
     
  2. robycop3

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    Many MVs have jackals.
     
  3. Logos1560

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    Benjamin Blayney, a Hebrew scholar and the trusted editor of the Oxford 1769 standard KJV edition, also translated this Hebrew word as ”jackals” in his 1784 translation of Jeremiah and Lamentations (p. 39
     
  4. Jerome

    Jerome
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    The reason that the KJV translators used the phrase "of the islands" is because they saw (a form of?) a Hebrew word for island in the text of the verse.

    From Strong's:

    338 'iy ee probably identical 337 (through the idea of a doleful sound); a howler (used only in the plural), i.e. any solitary wild creature; --wild beast of the islands.

    339 'iy ee from 183; properly, a habitable spot (as desirable); dry land, a coast, an island:--country, isle, island.
     
    #4 Jerome, Jan 4, 2008
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  5. Deacon

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    More likely the KJV translators used the Septuagint for the translation.

    The translation is derived from a corruption of the Masoretic Hebrew text.
    [I can rarely get the Hebrew to copy correctly when I transfer the text to the boards.
    So I’ll write out the letters of the word here.]

    The Hebrew word in question reads:

    vav – bet – aleph – yod – [mem] – yod – final mem

    If you leave out the middle ‘mem’ the word can be translated, ‘and in the isles’.

    (note that the verse is place differently in the LXX)

    διa τοvτο κατοικήσουσιν iνδάλματα eν ταiς νήσοις, καi κατοικήσουσιν eν αuτn θυγατέρες σειρήνων, οu μn κατοικηθῇ οuκέτι εiς τoν αiwνα. Jeremiah 27:39 LXX
    (please pardon my letter substitutions where I've exchanged letters since the Greek accents make my browser show square boxes :( )

    καi … eν ταiς νήσοις = 'and in the isles'

    Rob
     
    #5 Deacon, Jan 5, 2008
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  6. Logos1560

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    That is likely because a number of sources indicate that the Hebrew word referred to them.

    Wilson’s O. T. Studies defined this Hebrew word as “wild beasts called thoes, or jackal, about the size of a fox, so called from their howling” (p. 482). Green’s Concise Lexicon gave as its definition of this Hebrew word the following: “howling beast, jackal” (p. 11). The New Scofield Reference Bible has the following marginal note: “literally howling creatures” (p. 827). The Theological Wordbook of the O. T. defined this word as “jackal” (p. 19). H. B. Tristram maintained that the Hebrew word “Iyim, I.e., ’howlers’” refers to the jackal (Natural History, p. 109). Tristram wrote: “There can be no doubt that iyim stands for ’jackals,’ the howling of which is so well known, and one of the Arabic names of which is also ’the sons of howling” (p. 50). G. E. Post contended that the Hebrew word “is etymologically equivalent to the Arabic benat-awa, which means jackals” (Hastings’ Dictionary, II, p. 526). Edward E. Nourse claimed this animal at Jeremiah 50:39 was the “jackal” (New Standard Bible Dictionary, p. 670). In the Jeremiah volume of The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, A. W. Streane identified these animals at this verse as “the jackals” (p. 328). Jamieson and Fausset’s Commentary agreed that these animals at this verse were “jackals” (I, p. 556). Unger’s Bible Dictionary asserted that “’wild beasts of the islands’ should be jackals” (p. 61). The Encyclopaedia Judaica indicated that the Hebrew word used at Isaiah 13:22 may be a “jackal” (Vol. 3, p. 11). The Companion Bible [KJV] has this note at Isaiah 13:22: “the wild beasts=jackals” (p. 949). In the Harper’s Annotated Bible [KJV], Julius Bewer has this note at Jeremiah 50:39: “Better, jackals” (p. 311).

    Leeser’s 1853 translation and the 1917 English translation of the Masoretic text by Jews also rendered this word as “jackals.”
     
  7. Deacon

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    I spent a bit of time this evening studying this out.
    It's rather technical so after the fashion of TCGreek, I'll number my points.

    (1) This section of Jeremiah is a fascinating portion of Scripture.
    There are words within this section that are very similar; this can’t be conveyed in any translation.

    (2) It is rather unusual for a Hebrew root word to have only one consonant.
    In Hebrew, the word for ‘island’ and ‘jackal’ (verse 39) are formed from a single consonant, Aleph, and a single vowel, Hiriq-yod.

    (3) To make matters more interesting there is another single consonant word formed from the consonant Tsade, and the vowel, Hiriq-yod.
    This word can either be ‘a ship’ [Nu 24:24; Is 33:21; Dn 11:30] or ‘a desert inhabitant‘ (perhaps a hyena?) [Is 13:21; 23:13; 34:14; Je 50:39].

    (4) In English, we make a word plural by adding an ‘s’ at the end of the word.
    To make a Hebrew word plural you also add a suffix (or ending), the vowel, hiriq-yod, and the consonant, a final mem (in English it may sound like “–eem” or “-im”).

    (5) Iim is a plural word meaning either islands or jackals.

    (6) Both single consonent words support or parallel each other in a number of passages, e.g. Isaiah 13:21-22 and Isaiah 34:14.

    (7) Psalm 72:9-10 is interesting because both words occur but not in a parallel context.

    They that dwell in the wilderness (see point #3) shall bow before him;
    And his enemies shall lick the dust.
    The kings of Tarshish and of the isles
    (see point #2) shall bring presents:
    The kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.
    Psalm 72:9-10 AV 1873

    (8) I struggled to find the word “Iamia” used in the Great Bible of 1540.
    The word I mentioned in my previous post was from Jeremiah 50:38.
    It has a different ending however.
    Perhaps in the note, they confused the Hebrew word for water (another single consonant word with the Hebrew letter “mem”): mem [sere-yod] mem [segol] yod – he [qames] = m-imia(h) (mis-using the letter “mem” as a preface).

    In my previous post I studied "Iimim"
    There "Iimim" is uniquely translated as ‘graven images’ [KJV] or ‘idols’ [many MV].
    but "in the isles" in the LXX.
    The root word is related to ‘terror’ or ‘fear’.

    And they shall be ashamed: for it is a land of graven images; and in the islands, [Greek - καὶ ἐν ταῖς νήσοις // Hebrew = aleph – yod – mem – yod – final mem = ‘Iimim] where they boasted.
    Therefore shall idols dwell in the islands,
    [Greek - ἐν ταῖς νήσοις] and the young of monsters shall dwell in it; it shall not be inhabited any more for ever.
    Jeremiah 27:38-39 from Brenton’s translation of the LXX (1851)

    Rob
     
    #7 Deacon, Jan 6, 2008
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  8. Jerome

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    The Great Bible actually reads "lamia (that's lowercase L, not capital I) & catte of mountaynes".
     

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