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1 Chron. 12:8

Discussion in 'Bible Versions & Translations' started by Logos1560, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. Logos1560

    Logos1560 Active Member
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    Oct 22, 2004
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    There is an interesting difference between the pre-1611 English Bibles and the KJV at 1 Chronicles 12:8.

    Matthew's Bible, the 1540 Great Bible, and the 1568 Bishops' Bible have "shield and spear" while the 1560 Geneva Bible has "spear and shield" where the KJV has "shield and buckler."

    The KJV itself translated the same Hebrew word for "buckler" as "spears" 9 times, "spear" 3 times, "javelin" 1 time, and "lancets" 1 time.

    Does anyone know why the KJV changed "spear," the rendering of the pre-1611 English Bibles, to "buckler?"

    I did notice that the Geneva Bible has a marginal note for its rendering "spear" "or buckler." Did the KJV translators follow the marginal note of the Geneva Bible at this verse?
  2. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    Aug 23, 2002
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    "Buckler" is used in 16 verses of the Authorized Version.
    [The NASBU and the ESV use the word 6 times, in Ps. 35:2; 91:4; Jer. 46:3; Ezek. 23:24; 38:4; and 39:9]
    It is derived from the French word bouclier, a small shield (WIKI article)

    The phrase in the AV is not the word order of the Hebrew but apparently it was common phraseology at the time the AV was made.

    Interesting article: The Sword & Buckler Tradition by J. Clements [LINK]

    Here are 10 verses in the AV where ‘buckler’ and ‘shield’ or ‘sword' are used together.

    The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skilful in war, were four and forty thousand seven hundred and threescore, that went out to the war.
    1 Chronicles 5:18 AV 1873

    And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains:
    1 Chronicles 12:8 AV 1873

    Moreover Jehoiada the priest delivered to the captains of hundreds spears, and bucklers, and shields, that had been king David’s, which were in the house of God.
    2 Chronicles 23:9 AV 1873

    Take hold of shield and buckler,
    And stand up for mine help.

    Psalm 35:2 AV 1873

    He shall cover thee with his feathers,
    And under his wings shalt thou trust:
    His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

    Psalm 91:4 AV 1873

    Thy neck is like the tower of David
    Builded for an armoury,
    Whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.

    Song of Solomon 4:4 AV 1873

    Order ye the buckler and shield, and draw near to battle.
    Jeremiah 46:3 AV 1873

    And they shall come against thee with chariots, wagons, and wheels, and with an assembly of people, which shall set against thee buckler and shield and helmet round about: and I will set judgment before them, and they shall judge thee according to their judgments.
    Ezekiel 23:24 AV 1873

    and I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
    Ezekiel 38:4 AV 1873

    And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:
    Ezekiel 39:9 AV 1873

    I'll have to look at the Hebrew later on.
    1 Chronicles 12:8 = BHS 12:9

    #2 Deacon, Mar 13, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2009
  3. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    Aug 23, 2002
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    Just a quick look at the Hebrew, facinating study!
    I'll have to research it more fully some time.

    Hebrew Implements of War and Defence

    (1) Spear – [רֹמַח ] romach, a lance [AV – lancet], a spear (of heavy armed troops) (Gesenius 770) with a long shaft (1 Kings 18:28)

    also [חֲנִית] hanit (Ps 35:2; 1 Sam 13:9) spear, spear-shaft

    (2) Sword [חֶרֶב] hereb - a implement with a sharp edge, as … sword (Genesis 3:24), axe (Ezek 26:9), dagger (Judges 3:16), chisel (Exodus 20:25)

    (3) Javelin [סָגַר] sagar – generally meaning ‘to close’, sealed against attack (Ps 35:2)

    (4) Shield [מָגֵן] magan smaller sized shield [Gesenius, 448]

    (5) Shield [צִנָּ֖ה] tsin-nah a large rectangular shield covering the whole of the soldier, (Gesenius 713)

    (6) Buckler [מָגֵן] magan [as in ESV/NAS Psalm 35:2]

    (7) Armor [סִרְיֹן] sirynˊ - coat of mail, scale armor (Jer. 46:4; 51:3) (Gesenius 595)

    Re: 1 Chronicles 12:8, I think the AV translators were loose in their translation, using a phrase that held the proper meaning in their time but has since lost its meaning to us.

    I'd render it, "large body shield and spear".

    Then again, all the versions seem a bit loose in their translating of some these words; there seems to be a bit of interpretational play when these words are employed.

  4. EdSutton

    EdSutton New Member

    Jan 9, 2006
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    (At least currently) absent one of "the usual suspects," we shall see where this thread goes, IMO.

  5. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe Active Member

    Aug 2, 2006
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    There is a significant difference between these early English translations at 1 Chronicles 12:8 --
    And of the Gadites there seperated themselues some vnto Dauid into the houlde of the wildernesse, men of might and men apt for the warre, & that coulde handle shielde and speare, whose faces were lyke the faces of lions, and they were as swyft as the Roes in the mountaynes. (Bishops')
    A shield is a defensive item, while a spear is an offensive weapon.
    Of the Gaddites resorted there vnto Dauid to the castell in the wyldernesse, mightie Worthies and men of armes, which hadled speares and swerdes, and had faces like lios, & were as swifte as the Roes vpon ye mountaynes. (Coverdale)
    Both spears and swords are primarily offensive armament.
    And of the Gadites there separated themselues vnto Dauid, into the hold to the wildernesse, men of might, and men of warre, fit for the battel, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of Lyons, and were as swift as the Roes vpon the mountaines: (AV1611)
    The shield and buckler are both primarily a means of defense. It is inconceivable to go into battle without a cutting or piercing implement, and so it seems more likely that in the context it is a reference to a instrument of aggression (rather than a duplication of protection).
    BUCK'LER, n. A kind of shield, or piece of defensive armor, anciently used in war. It was composed of wood, or wickers woven together, covered with skin or leather, fortified with plates of brass or other metal, and worn on the left arm. On the middle was an umbo, boss or prominence, very useful in causing stones and darts to glance off. The buckler often was four feet long, and covered the whole body. (Websters 1828)​
    The king's revisers certainly were aware that the English word "buckler" was a kind of shield and so translated magen the vast majority of its' 63 occurrences as "shield" (48 times) and "buckler" (9 times). The AV translators also seemed to be fully convinced that the Hebrew word romach (the word found in 1 Chronicles 12:8) was a spear-like weapon.