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"sons" or "son" 1 Chron. 1:41, etc.

Discussion in 'Bible Versions & Translations' started by Logos1560, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. Logos1560

    Logos1560 Active Member

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    1 Chron. 1:41 The son of Anah (Geneva, NKJV) The sons of Anah (KJV)

    1 Chron. 2:7 son (Geneva, NKJV) sons (KJV)

    1 Chron. 2:8 The son also (Geneva) And the sons (KJV) The son (NKJV)

    Did Anah have one son listed (Geneva, NKJV) or sons (KJV) [1 Chron. 1:41]?

    Did Carmi have one son listed (Geneva, NKJV) or sons (KJV) [1 Chron. 2:7]?

    Did Ethan have one son listed (Geneva, NKJV) or sons (KJV) [1 Chron. 2:8]?
     
  2. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    The sons of Anah: Dishon. The sons of Dishon: Hamran, Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran.
    1 Chronicles 1:41 NRSV


    The son of Anah was Dishon. And the sons of Dishon were Hamran, Eshban, Ithran and Cheran.
    1 Chronicles 1:41 NASB95

    The BHS Hebrew reads the plural, “sons”.

    It's not an error in the Hebrew, simply because the practice is of using the plural is observed a number of times in Chronicles.

    Possible reasons:
    1. stylistic
    2. An example of the reductionistic tendencies of genealogical lists.

    Roddy Braun in a footnote in the Word Biblical Commentary writes: The word may be understood with “a broader meaning than “son” in its most literal sense, including on occasion daughters, male descendants of later generations, and possibly also individuals unrelated by blood who became attached to the family through various historical, geographical, and sociological circumstances. If this be the case, a more general term such as “kindred,” “family,” or “descendants” would be more precise. In most cases, however, we are ignorant of the precise relationship of those named, making the use of a term other than the conventional “sons” equally problematic."
    Roddy L. Braun, vol. 14, Word Biblical Commentary : 1 Chronicles, (2002). 18.

    Rob
     
  3. Logos1560

    Logos1560 Active Member

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    Is the plural form of this Hebrew word translated as "son" singular in the KJV at any other verses?


    One edition of Strong's Concordance indicates that this same Hebrew word was translated "son" 1906 times in the KJV and "sons" 1030 times, but perhaps Strong's does not distinguish between the singular and plural forms of the same word.
     
  4. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus Well-Known Member

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    I looked up the Hebrew (yeah yeah it gave me an excuse to pull the ole BHS off the shelf and do some translating...like I needed one...:tongue3:) and the verse is this:

    41 בְּנֵי עֲנָה דִּישֹׁון וּבְנֵי דִישֹׁן חַמְרָן וְאֶשְׁבָּן וְיִתְרָן וּכְרָֽן׃

    You'll notice I bolded the two appropriate terms. They are the masculine, plural constructs for the word "son." It is the Hebrew word ben. The only difference is the vav-consecutive at the beginning of the second but that is more of a conjunction than anything else.

    Now I also looked down the page and noticed there is a textual variant here. Apparently a corrupt reading (it is noted as "Sebir") to be avoided is the singular here.

    I think Braun's comment is appropriate. In the genealogies there is a frequent use of the plural to denote immediate and future progeny.

    I did a quick scan of the genealogy in chaps 1, 2, and 3 and found this is the common way to illustrate a continued bloodline through a generation.

    Just as a point of reference, I never trust Strongs. It misses nuance and important info imho. But that is secondary.:smilewinkgrin:
     
  5. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    It doesn’t look like the new software is any better at displaying the Hebrew vowel points. :(

    Anyway, a similar difficulty is seen in 1 Chronicles 2:8 and 2:31

    Looking through only the first few chapters of Chronicles, the AV consistently translates the Hebrew plural noun in its plural form.

    The AV translates the same word as “children” on occasion, (e.g. 1 Chronicles 1:43; 2:10; 5:11, 14, 23).

    Rob
     
  6. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus Well-Known Member

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    well that was a cut and paste job from Biblegateway.com with a little clean up on this end.

    Hebrew is a funny language. How understand their idioms is tough, particularly in English.
     
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