TO AND FRO / WITS END - Psalm 107:27

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Deacon, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,968
    Likes Received:
    128
    To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the KJV, I’ll post some common English idioms that have been drawn from older English bible translations, highlighting the Authorized Version's contribution.

    *********************

    TO AND FRO / WITS END - Psalm 107:27

    They reele to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man; and are at their wits end.
    AV 1611

    They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, And are at their wit’s end.
    AV 1863

    they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits’ end.
    ESV

    They are tossed to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and all their cunning is gone.
    Geneva Bible 1587

    They reele to and fro, and they do stacker like a drunken man: and their wysdome fayleth them.
    Bishop's Bible 1568

    They rele to and fro, they stacker like a droncken man, and are at their wittes ende.
    Coverdale Bible 1535

    Thei weren troblid, and thei weren moued as a drunkun man; and al the wisdom of hem was deuourid.
    Wycliffe Bible 1395

    1) TO AND FRO

    Definition: back and forth
    Synonyms: Backwards and forwards, from side to side, here and there, in and out, off and on, up and down

    English Origins:
    1574 Calr. Laing Charters (1899) 225 Ane gait to cum and gang to and fra the same.
    1598 HAKLUYT Voy. I. 109 Messengers going and comming to and fro the Court of Baatu.
    (Source – OED)



    A very common idiom found in most translations
    Looking at the OT where the expression is used; there is no single word or phrase that is used for the expression.

    These are some of the Hebrew words and phrases that the Authorized Version used to translate the idom, “to and fro”.

    1. שׁוּט [shoot] v. (Strong’s #7590) (11x) to rove about, to wander [examples: Jer 5:1; 49:3; Da 12:4; Amos 8:12, many others]
    2. שֹׁוקֵק, שָׁקַק [shaqaq] v. (Strong’s #8264) (4x) to run about, rush, run to and fro, be eager or greedy or thirsty. [examples: Isa 29:8; 33:4; Joel 2:9; Na 2:4]
    3. מַשָּׁק [mashshaq] v. (Strong’s 4944) (1x) running, aggressive rushing, swarming Isa 33:4 {related to #2}
    4. הָלַךְ [halak] v. (Strong’s 1980) (>1500x) to go, walk, come, depart, proceed, move, go away. to walk about.
    5. Hebrew phrase transliterated “ve yatse’ yatso’” “it went out and going out”[Ge 8:7]
    6. A Hebrew phrase transliterated ”ʾechad hennah ve ʾechad hennah” (Strong’s #259 and 208), literally meaning: “once here and once there” [2 Ki 4:25]A
    7. A Hebrew phrase related to #6, transliterated “henna ahath va henna”
    Example:
    Then he returned, and walked in the house *to and fro; and went up, ….”AV 1873 note: * [Heb. once hither, and once thither.] ;-)
    2 Kings 4:35, AV 1873
    8. An addition used to clarify and not in the text of the verse [Eze 27:19]

    The phrase “to and fro” is used 27 X in the AV (25 in the OT+NT and 2 in the Apocrypha] [Ge 8:7; 2 Ki 4:35; 2 Chr 16:9; Job 1:7; 2:2; 7:4; Ps 107:27; Pr 21:6; Is 24:20; 33:4; 49:21; Jer 49:3; Eze 27:19; Da 12:4; Joe 2:9; Am 8:12; Zec 1:10,11; 4:10; 6:7 (x3); Eph 4:14 and Wisdom 3:7; Sir 26:7]

    17 X in the ESV [Ge 8:7; Ex 32:27; 2 Ch 16:9; Job 1:7; 2:2; 28:4; Je 4:24; 5:1; 49:3; Ez
    1:13,14; Da 12:4; Am 8:12; Na 2:4; Zec 7:14; 9:8; Eph 4:14 ]

    14 X in the NRSV / 10 X in the NASB

    The expression “to and fro” is used 1 X in the NLT (Ez 1:14)
    1 X in the Message (Prov 27:8)
    1 X in the TNIV (Psalm 104:26)
    1 X in the NET (Jer 25:16)

    In translations where the expression “to and fro” is not common it is usually replaced with the phrase “back and forth” or “in and out”

    QUESTION: How common is the word, “FRO” other than in the phrase, “to and fro”?
    ****************************************

    2) WIT’S END (an idiom used only this one time in most English versions)

    Meaning: Perplexed; unable to think what to do.

    The phrase’s first noted appearance in the English language was in the pamphlet, Piers Ploughman (~1377)

    A literal Hebrew translation is their wisdom was swallowed-up or their wisdom was confused as translated in the. Bishop's Bible 1568

    … their wysdome fayleth them

    Happy new year!

    Rob
     
    #1 Deacon, Jan 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2011
  2. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm liking these kind of discussions- thanks, Rob!
     
  3. David Lamb

    David Lamb
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,982
    Likes Received:
    0
    I hope you won't think I'm nit-picking - that's not my intention - but I am wondering what you can mean by "some common English idioms that have been drawn from older English bible translations, highlighting the Authorized Version's contribution." It seems as if you are suggesting that phrases like"to and fro" and "wits end" began their life in the AV of 1611, but you then go on to date the origin of "wits end" and "to and fro" as 1377 and 1574.:confused:
     
  4. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,968
    Likes Received:
    128
    Draw your own conclusions from each instance.
    Some did originate with the KJV, some didn't...

    The KJV's contribution perhaps was to make these expressions popular in the common language of the people.

    Rob
     
  5. David Lamb

    David Lamb
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,982
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, Rob. That is clearer. I apologise for misunderstanding first time round.
     
  6. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    Didn't all of these idioms originate in the original languages?
     
  7. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,968
    Likes Received:
    128
    Good question!

    You could use Strong’s Concordance and Lexicon to make a list of where the idiom is used and look at the original language.

    A definition of IDIOM is "A speech form or an expression of a given language that is peculiar to itself grammatically or cannot be understood from the individual meanings of its elements."

    Each language has its own idioms.
    We borrow them sometimes but not all the time.

    The idiom, "to and fro" apparently isn't one of them.

    I mentioned Jeremiah 17:10 in the thread on Hebrew Lexicons

    The word for “mind” is really “kidneys”, a Hebrew idiom that doesn’t translate well for us.

    Rob
     
  8. Logos1560

    Logos1560
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2004
    Messages:
    3,127
    Likes Received:
    2
    Present KJV editions vary at this verse in whether they have wits as singular possessive or plural possessive.

    Psalm 107:27
    wits’ end (Oxford Classic, SSB, NPB) [1865, 1869, 1872, 1887, 2005 Cambridge, CCR, CSTE, DKJB] {1879 London} (1791, 1793 Edinburgh) (1911 TCE) (1990’s, 2010 LCBP) (1999 Collins) (DSB) (ROASB) (2006 PENG)

    wit’s end (1769 Oxford, SRB) [1743, 1747, 1760, 1763B, 1765, 1768, 1769, 1773, 1778, 1790, 1795, 1817, 1822, 1824, 1833, 1837, 1844, 1873 Cambridge] {1772, 1795, 1824, 1825, 1838, 1860, 1877, 1976 London} (1789, 1810, 1820, 1842, 1851, 1858 Edinburgh) (1866 Glasgow) (1791 Collins) (1791 Thomas) (1810, 1826, 1828 Boston) (1815 Walpole) (1816 Albany) (1819, 1829, 1843, 1853, 1854, 1855, 1868, 1894, 1902, 1954, 1957, 1963, 1971, 1988, 2008 ABS) (1832 PSE) (1846 Portland) (1895, 1997 NPC) (1897 ABU) (1958 Hertel) (1966 SC) (1968 Royal) (1975, 1985 Open) (1976 BH) (1979, 1996 Holman) (CSB) (RRB) (1987 IBS) (1975, 1978 GID) (1984, 1991 AMG) (LASB) (KJRLB) (CB) (FWP) (VB) (EB) (RSB) (TCRB) (Nave’s) (Dake’s) (CHSB) (1976, 1987, 1989, 1991, 2003 TN) (1984, 1994, 2000, 2002 ZOND) (1987 Dugan) (LPB) (Life) (HPB) (2008 HEND) (2008 Pilot) (2010 BEAMS) (2010 BRO) (ASB) (1833 WEB)
     
  9. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    To wit, two other 'wits'. Proverbs 8:12 (KJV) --
    ¶ I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
    and Wisdom 8:19 (AV1611 Apocrypha) --
    For I was a wittie child, and had a good spirit.
     
    #9 franklinmonroe, Jan 13, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2011
  10. BobinKy

    BobinKy
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Deacon...

    Very nice OP. I am sorry I am late in telling you so. No images or songs this time.

    ...Bob
     

Share This Page

Loading...