Wind or stringed instrument--Dan. 3:5

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Logos1560, Jun 18, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Logos1560

    Logos1560
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2004
    Messages:
    3,127
    Likes Received:
    2
    Some of the translations on the KJV-only view’s line of good Bibles vary in how they translate a word at Daniel 3:5. Wycliffe’s Bible has “sambuke,” Coverdale’s and Matthew’s Bibles have “shawmes,” Bishops’ Bible has “shawme,” and the Geneva and KJV have “sackbut.” Luther’s German Bible has “Geigen” [violin]. Which of these renderings on this line if any is the better or more accurate rendering of the Aramaic word sabbeka? Was the musical instrument according to the word in the original languages referring to a wind instrument or a stringed instrument?


     
  2. greek geek

    greek geek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    the verse you are asking about is written in aramaic. several times in the aramaic portions of daniel we have lists of musical instruments, and frankly we don't really know what most of them. most of the times the understanding of the instruments are educated guesses.

    the particular word you are asking about is sbch'. it is used in later jewish aramaic for a net for a woman's hair, a thicket. the syriac cognate sebaka' is "net-veil" and the septuagint translates it by using a greek word that indicates a four-stringed muscial instrument that was triangular in shape with a bright tone, i.e. a four stringed harp (HALOT, 1984)

    the educated guess from the syriac cognate and the later jewish aramaic word would seem to indicate a stringed instrument. as for the greek translation in the septuagint - that was an educated guess. we have no early records of what the word actually meant in the phase of aramaic that daniel was written in. so in other words...just take your pick on how you want to translate it.

    the wycliffe translation is a transliteration of the greek or latin (both similar). i don't know where the kjv got "sackbut" since that's a trombone like instrument. there is no textual variants that list any other word, all manuscripts have this word (although sometimes it is spelled slightly different). so i don't know where the kjv translators got their translation. that would be interesting to find out.
     
    #2 greek geek, Jun 18, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2006
  3. Logos1560

    Logos1560
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2004
    Messages:
    3,127
    Likes Received:
    2
    The KJV seems to have got "sackbut" from the 1560 Geneva Bible. The only reason that I have found so far for the Geneva Bible's rendering is the following:

    The Oxford English Dictionary noted: “Coverdale 1535 (for what reason is not clear) renders the word by shawmes, thus taking it to denote a wind instrument; the Geneva translators, accepting this view, seem to have chosen the rendering ‘sackbut’ on account to its resemblance in sound to the Aramaic word” (XIV, p. 333). Laurence Vance, a KJV-only author, wrote: “The word was first used by the Geneva Bible for the obscure instrument in Nebuchadnezzar’s band due to its resemblance in sound to the underlying Aramaic word” (Archaic Words, p. 296).
     
  4. greek geek

    greek geek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    thanks for that information. that's quite interesting.
    of course even though a word study seems to indicate that it had something to do with strings, for all we know it could have been some type of percussion instrument. so even though i find this quite interesting to study and try and figure out, my theology won't be affected if it wasn't a stringed instrument. :)
     
  5. Logos1560

    Logos1560
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2004
    Messages:
    3,127
    Likes Received:
    2
    Several sources I have checked maintain that the word used here in the original languages referred to a stringed instrument. For example, Wilson’s O. T. Word Studies defined the word as “a stringed instrument of music having four strings” (p. 364). The Davis Dictionary of the Bible asserted that “the name is evidently identical with the Greek sambuke, which was an instrument of music somewhat like the harp or lyre, but with only four strings” (p. 702). The Encyclopaedia Judaica suggested that the word sabbekha at Daniel 3:5 was Aramaized version of the Greek word sambyke (Vol. 12, p. 565). Theological Wordbook of the O. T. pointed out that “it is not sure whether the Greek borrowed from the Semitic or vice versa” (II, p. 1075). Either way, the Aramaic word and the Greek word would be referring to the same musical instrument. M’Clintock and Strong noted that “the sambuca was a triangular instrument with four or more strings played with the fingers” (Cyclopaedia, IX, p. 211). The Ryrie Study Bible [KJV] described it as “a triangular instrument with four strings that played high notes” (p. 1271). Fairbairn’s Standard Bible Encyclopaedia affirmed that it “was a stringed instrument” (Vol. IV, p. 313). Young’s Analytical Concordance defined or described sabbeka as a “harp-like instrument” (p. 829). Bridges and Weigle maintained that the Aramaic word sabbeka “means a ’trigon,’ a triangular lyre or harp with four strings” (KJB Word Book, p. 294). In his commentary on Daniel, John Walvoord identified it as a stringed instrument (p. 84). The Liberty Annotated Study Bible [KJV] has a marginal note “lyre” for “sackbut” (p. 1274). Furthermore, even the definition and note in Waite’s Defined KJB acknowledged that the word in the original languages referred to “a triangular musical instrument with four strings, similar to a lyre” (p. 1170). The Oxford English Dictionary pointed out that the rendering sackbut “is a mistranslation of Aramaic sabbeka, which the LXX and Vulgate render (doubtless correctly) by Greek sambuke, Latin sambuca, the name of a stringed instrument” (XIV, p. 333).



     
  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,219
    Likes Received:
    194
    I believe it is a Japanese samisen! :smilewinkgrin: :tongue3:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Loading...