There's a translational error in one of these...

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Snitzelhoff, Oct 11, 2006.

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  1. Snitzelhoff

    Snitzelhoff
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    I'm just not sure which.

    Here, we have II Kings 23:29 in the KJV:

    "In his days Pharaohnechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him."

    And, here, in the NKJV:

    "In his days Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt went to the aid of the king of Assyria, to the River Euphrates; and King Josiah went against him. And Pharaoh Necho killed him at Megiddo when he confronted him."

    Now, in my research on this verse, both of these are lexically correct. The Hebrew wording can mean "go to the aid of", "go up to," or "go up against". From other sources I've read, I'm thinking that the NKJ is historically correct, as well. However, I'm open to correction and therein lies my inquiry:

    Did Necho actually join with Assyria at the Battle of Carchemesh (see the parallel passage in II Chronicles 35), or did he fight against Assyria? I'm aware that the Egyptians and Assyrians didn't get along so well later on, but it seems strange to me that Judah would've had anything to do with helping Babylon. The correct translation here is, of course, the one that relates what actually happened. I'm not entirely certain (conflicting sources and all) which translation that is. Any help any of you could offer would be much appreciated, especially as I'm "Bible shopping" currently and going through a process of comparing translations.

    Michael
     
  2. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    2 Kings 23:29 (KJV1611 Edition):
    In his dayes, Pharaoh Nechoh king of Egypt,
    went vp against the king of Assyria to the riuer Euphrates:
    and king Iosiah went against him, [1]
    and hee [2]
    slew him at Megiddo, [3]
    when he [4]
    had seene him. [5]

    Three people are discussed here:
    Pharaoh Nechoh (KJV1611, or Necho KJV1679)
    king of Assyria
    king Iosiah (KJV1611, or Josiah KJV1679).

    There are five pronouns referring to the three people.
    (not to mention one pronoun referring tosomeone
    before this verse)

    The pronouns are NOT in the Greek text.
    This verse is very confusing.
    The meaning of this verse has absolutely no
    doctrinal value.

    Here is Ed's doctrine:

    The Written Word of God is inerrant & perfect in
    ALL ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS.

    So, both verses are correct, figure it out amongst
    yourselves :)
    This verse is very confusing.
    The meaning of this verse has absolutely no
    doctrinal value.
     
  3. Snitzelhoff

    Snitzelhoff
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    Ed, thanks for your comments, but I'm afraid they didn't speak to the particular issue with the verse I'm dealing with. The issue is with the verb, not the nouns or pronouns--KJV says "went up against" and NKJV said "went to the aid of." The same Hebrew word is translated both ways, and my question pertains to which translation is correct.

    You are right, however, that there's no doctrinal value in that, and the only significance is the historical accuracy of the passage.

    Michael
     
  4. Deacon

    Deacon
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    The Judean military force would presumably have been against both the Assyrians and against the Pharoah Necho:
    yet to go to battle against Necho would be to the benefit of the Assyrians.
    The incident is recorded more fully and with additional information in 2 Chr 35:20–27.

    The NKJV rendering of the verse is distinctly against the norm here.

    Rob
     
  5. robycop3

    robycop3
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    From several sources, I remember reading that Necho reigned from 601-595 BC, and that he fought AGAINST Babylon, as the Assyrian empire had crumbled by then, and that an Assyrian general & his loyal troops were the last holdouts against Babylon. Necho was actually headed for HARRAN, a town between Damascus and Carchemish. (Not the Biblical Haran where Laban lived) I once read that Josiah had pledged fealty to Babylon & thus marched against Necho as he crossed Judah to reach Harran, refusing to believe Necho's message that he had been sent by GOD against Babylon. Josiah died in the fight against Necho, and Necho then took control of Judah.(2 Chron. 35)

    The battle against Babylon was indecisive, but four years later, Necho tried again at Carchemish, and was decisively routed. The Assyrians were dispersed, Bobylon took control of Judah, and Necho retreated back to Egypt to strengthen it against Babylonian attacks. However, he also had to contend with attacks by Cimmerians, Scythians, and Greeks.

    His grandson was Pharaoh Hophra(Apries) of the Bible.

    I believe a search of history shows that Necho was marching to team up with the Assyrians in hope of defeating Babylon, as part of God's overall plan to both end the power of the Assyrians & weaken Egypt, eventually placing Assyria, Egypt, and Judah under Babylonian rule.

    Let's lookit some of the uses of against in the KJV.


    And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept. (Gen. 21:16)

    This is from the story of Hagar and Ishmael in the desert. Plainly, against here means "away from".

    Genesis 43:25
    And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there.

    This is about Joseph brothers in Egypt before they knew Joseph was the vizier with whom they were dealing. Here, against means "for".

    Exodus 7:15
    Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river's brink against he come; and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thine hand.

    Here, it plainly means "where he shall".

    I don't think either the KJV or the NKJV is wrong; I believe the difference is in the use of "against" 400 years ago. While the KJV also uses "against" as WE do, that is, in opposition to, competition with, or comparison, we see it's used in several other senses in the Elizabethan English.
     
  6. franklinmonroe

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    Perhaps it is better to have ambiguity when unsure, rather than be potentially in error. I notice that some versions do not place Josiah in either a positive or negative position in relation to Necho...

    In his days Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt went up to the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates. King Josiah went to meet him, and Pharaoh Neco killed him at Megiddo, as soon as he saw him. - ESV

    In his days Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt went up to the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates. And King Josiah went to meet him, and when {Pharaoh Neco} saw him he killed him at Megiddo. -NASB

    Another possibility is that along the way Josiah changed his mind about how he should position himself with regard to Egypt.
     
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