THE HOLY BIBLE, CONTAINING THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS, IN THE COMMON VERSION. WITH AMENDMENTS OF THE LANGUAGE, BY NOAH WEBSTER, LL. D.
THE BOOKS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.
Genesis hath chapters
NEW HAVEN: PUBLISHED BY DURRIE & PECK. Sold by HEZEKIAH HOWE & CO., and A. H. MALTBY, New Haven; and by N.&J. WHITE, New York. ------ 1833 ----------------------------------------------------------- Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1833, By NOAH WEBSTER, LL. D. in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Connecticut. ----------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------ Printed by Hezekiah Howe & Co. ------------------------------ PREFACE. -------- The English version of the sacred scriptures, now in general use, was first published in the year 1611, in the reign of James I. Although the translators made many alterations in the language of former versions, yet no small part of the language is the same, as that of the versions made in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. In the present version, the language is, in general, correct and perspicuous; the genuine popular English of Saxon origin; peculiarly adapted to the subjects; and in many passages, uniting sublimity with beautiful simplicity. In my view, the general style of the version ought not to be altered. But in the lapse of two or three centuries, changes have taken place, which, in particular passages, impair the beauty; in others, obscure the sense, of the original languages. Some words have fallen into disuse; and the signification of others, in current popular use, is not the same now as it was when they were introduced into the version. The effect of these changes, is, that some words are not understood by common readers, who have no access to commentaries, and who will always compose a great proportion of readers; while other words, being now used in a sense different from that which they had when the translation was made, present a wrong signification or false ideas. Whenever words are understood in a sense different from that which they had when introduced, and different from that of the original languages, they do not present to the reader the 'Word of God'. This circumstance is very important, even in things not the most essential; and in essential points, mistakes may be very injurious. In my own view of this subject, a version of the scriptures for popular use, should consist of words expressing the sense which is most common, in popular usage, so that the 'first ideas' suggested to the reader should be the true meaning of such words, according to the original languages. That many words in the present version, fail to do this, is certain. My principal aim is to remedy this evil. The inaccuracies in grammar, such as 'which' for 'who', 'his' for 'its', 'shall' for 'will', 'should' for 'would', and others, are very numerous in the present version. There are also some quaint and vulgar phrases which are not relished by those who love a pure style, and which are not in accordance with the general tenor of the language. To these may be added many words and phrases, very offensive to delicacy and even to decency. In the opinion of all persons with whom I have conversed on this subject, such words and phrases ought not to be retained in the version. Language which cannot be uttered in company without a violation of decorum, or the rules of good breeding, exposes the scriptures to the scoffs of unbelievers, impairs their authority, and multiplies or confirms the enemies of our holy religion. These considerations, with the approbation of respectable men, the friends of religion and good judges of this subject, have induced me to undertake the task of revising the language of the common version of the scriptures, and of presenting to the public an edition with such amendments, as will better express the true sense of the original languages, and remove objections to particular parts of the phraseology. In performing this task, I have been careful to avoid unnecessary innovations, and to retain the general character of the style. The principal alterations are comprised in three classes. 1. The substitution of words and phrases now in good use, for such as are wholly obsolete, or deemed below the dignity and solemnity of the subject. 2. The correction of errors in grammar. 3. The insertion of euphemisms, words and phrases which are not very offensive to delicacy, in the place of such as cannot, propriety, be uttered before a promiscuous audience. A few errors in the translation, which are admitted on all hands to be obvious, have been corrected; and some obscure passages, illustrated. In making these amendments, I have consulted the original languages, and also several translations and commentaries. In the body of the work, my aim has been to 'preserve', but, in certain passages, more clearly to 'express', the sense of the present version. The language of the Bible has no inconsiderable influence in forming and preserving our national language. On this account, the language of the common version ought to be correct in grammatical construction, and in the use of appropriate words. This is the more important, as men who are accustomed to read the Bible with veneration, are apt to contract a predilection for its phraseology, and thus to become attached to phrases which are quaint or obsolete. This may be a real misfortune; for the use of words and phrases, when they have ceased to be a part of the living language, and appear odd or singular, impairs the purity of the language, and is apt to create a disrelish for it in those who have not, by long practice, contracted a like predilection. It may require some effort to subdue this predilection; but it may be done, and for the sake of the rising generation, it is desirable. The language of the scriptures ought to be pure, chaste, simple and perspicuous, free from any words or phrases which may excite observation by their singularity; and neither debased by vulgarisms, nor tricked out with the ornaments of affected elegance. As there are diversities of tastes among men, it is not to be expected that the alterations I have made in the language of the version will please all classes of readers. Some persons will think I have done too little; others, too much. And probably the result would be the same, were a revision to be executed by any other hand, or even by the joint labors of many hands. All I can say is, that I have executed this work in the manner which, in my judgment, appeared to be the best. To avoid giving offense to any denomination of christians, I have not knowingly made any alteration in the passages of the present version, on which the different denominations rely for the support of their peculiar tenets. In this country there is no legislative power which claims to have the right to prescribe what version of the scriptures shall be used in the churches, or by the people. And as all human opinions are fallible, it is doubtless for the interest of religion that no authority should be exerted in this case, except by commendation. At the same time, it is very important that all denominations of christians should use the same version, that in all public discourses, treatises and controversies, the passages cited as authorities should be uniform. Alterations in the popular version should not be frequent; but the changes incident to all living languages render it not merely expedient, but necessary at times to introduce such alterations as will express the true sense of the original languages, in the current language of the age. A version thus amended may require no alteration for two or three centuries to come. In this undertaking, I subject myself to the charge of arrogance; but I am not conscious of being actuated by any improper motive. I am aware of the sensitiveness of the religious public on this subject; and of the difficulties which attend the performance. But all men whom I have consulted, if they have thought much on the subject, seem to be agreed in the opinion, that it is high time to have a revision of the common version of the scriptures; although no person appears to know how or by whom such revision is to be executed. In my own view, such revision is not merely a matter of expedience, but of moral duty; and as I have been encouraged to undertake this work, by respectable literary and religious characters, I have ventured to attempt a revision upon my own responsibility. If the work should fail to be well received, the loss will be my own, and I hope no injury will be done. I have been painfully solicitous that no error should escape me. The reasons for the principal alterations introduced, will be found in the explanatory notes. The Bible is the chief moral cause of all that is 'good', and the best corrector of all that is 'evil', in human society; the 'best' book for regulating the temporal concerns of men, and the 'only book' that can serve as an infallible guide to future felicity. With this estimate of its value, I have attempted to render the English version more useful, by correcting a few obvious errors, and removing some obscurities, with objectionable words and phrases; and my earnest prayer is, that my labors may not be wholly unsuccessful. N. W. New Haven, September, 1833. Note.--The copy used by the compositors was the quarto Bible, prepared for the press by the late President Witherspoon, and published by the late Isaac Collins, of New York. The proof-sheets were read and compared by another copy, either one published by the American Bible Society, or a copy from the authorized Edinburgh press, or other approved edition. No material differences in the copies have been discovered. INTRODUCTION. The principal alterations in the language of the common version of the Scriptures, made in this edition, stated and explained. 'Who' is substituted for 'which', when it refers to persons. 'Its' is substituted for 'his', when it refers to plants and things without life. 'To' is used for 'unto'. This latter word is not found in the Saxon books, and as it is never used in our present popular language, it is evidently a modern compound. The first syllable 'un' adds nothing to the signification or force of 'to'; but by increasing the number of unimportant syllables, rather impairs the strength of the whole clause or sentence in which it occurs. It has been rejected by almost every writer, for more than a century. 'Why' is substituted for 'wherefore', when inquiry is made; as, "'why' do the wicked live?" Job 21.7. 'My' and 'thy' are generally substituted for 'mine' and 'thine', when used as adjectives. The latter are wholly obsolete. 'Wherein', 'therein', 'whereon', 'thereon', and other similar compounds, are not wholly obsolete, but are considered, except in technical language, inelegant. I have not wholly rejected these words, but have reduced the number of them; substituting ' in which', 'in that' or 'this', 'in it', 'on which', &c. 'Assemble', 'collect', or 'convene', for the tautological words 'gather together'. In some cases, 'gather' is retained and 'together' omitted as superfluous. 'Collection' for 'gathering together'. Gen. 1.10. 'Know' or 'knew', for 'wist', 'wit' and 'wot'. Ex. 16.15. Gen. 21.26, &c. 'Part' for 'deal', as a tenth 'part' of flour. Ex. 29.40. 'Deal', in this sense, is wholly antiquated. 'Bring' for 'fetch', in most cases. 'Suppose' for 'trow'. Luke 17.9. 'Falsehood' for 'leasing'. Ps. 4.2; 5.6. 'Skillful' for 'cunning', when used of 'persons'; and 'curious' for the same word, when applied to things. Gen. 23.27; Ex. 26.1, &c. 'Surely' or 'certainly', for, " of a 'surety'." The latter word is now used exclusively for 'security' against loss, or for the person who gives bail for another. In the phrase 'of a surety', the word is now improper. Gen. 15.13, &c. 'Number' for 'tell', when used in the sense of count. Gen. 15.5, &c. 'Sixty' for 'three score', and 'eighty' for 'four score'. 'Two score' and 'five score' are never used. It appears to me most eligible to retain but one mode of specifying numbers. Uniformity is preferable to diversity. Gen. 25.26; Ex. 7.7, &c. 'Go' or 'depart', for 'get thee', 'get you', 'get ye'. Gen. 12.1; 19.14; 34.10, &c. 'Evening' for 'even' and 'even-tide'. Gen. 19.1, &c 'Expire', generally for 'give' or 'yield up the ghost', Gen. 49.33, &c. or yield the breath. Job 11.20; 14.10. 'Custody', in some cases, for 'ward'. Gen. 40.3, &c. 'Perhaps' or 'it may be', in some cases, for 'peradventure'. Gen. 27.12; 31.31, &c. 'Cows' for 'kine'. The latter is nearly obsolete, and the former is used in several passages of the version; it is therefore judged expedient to render the language uniform. Gen. 32.15, &c. 'Employment' or 'occupation' for 'trade'. The latter, as the word is now used, is improper. Gen. 46.32.34. 'Severe', 'grievous' or 'distressing', for 'sore', and corresponding adverbs, or 'bitterly' for 'sorely'. Gen. 41.56,57,&c. In some passages, a different word is used. See Gen. 19.9; Judges 10.9. 'People' or 'persons', for folk. Gen. 33.15; Mark 6.5, &c. 'Kinsmen' for 'kinsfolk'. Job 19.14; Luke 2.44, &c. 'Male-child' for 'man-child'. Gen. 17.10, &c. 'Interest' for 'usury'. Usury originally signified what is now called 'interest', or simply a compensation for the use of money. The Jews were not permitted to take 'interest' from their brethren for the use of money loaned; and when the Levitical law forbids the taking of 'usury', the prohibition intended is that of any 'gain' or 'compensation' for the use of money or goods. Hence, 'usury' in the scriptures is what we call 'interest'. The change of signification in the word 'usury', which now denotes unlawful interest, renders it proper to substitute 'interest' for 'usury'. Ex. 22.25; Lev. 25.36, &c. 'Hinder' for 'let', Rom. 1.13: 'Restrain'. 2Thess. 2.7. 'Number' for 'tale', when the latter has that signification. Ex. 5.8, &c. 'Button' for 'tache'. Ex. 26.6, &c 'Ate', in many cases, for 'did eat'. Gen. 3.6; 27.25, &c. 'Boiled' for 'sodden'. Ex. 12.9; Lev. 6.28, &c. 'Strictly' for 'straitly'. Gen. 43.7; Ex. 13.19; 1 Sam. 14.28. 'Staffs' for 'staves'. It seems that 'staves', in the translation, is used for the plural of 'staff'; an anomaly, I believe, in our language. The consequence is, in this country, it coincides in orthography with the plural of 'stave', a piece of timber used in making casks, an entirely different word, in modern usage. I have given the word its regular plural form. Ex. 25.13; 40.20, &c. 'Capital' for 'chapiter', the top of a column; the latter being entirely obsolete. Ex. 36.38; 38.28, &c. 'Fortified' for 'fenced' and 'defenced'. 'Fence', 'fenced', are not now used in the sense which they generally have in the present version of the scriptures. As applied to cities and towns, the sense is now expressed by 'fortify', 'fortified'. Deut. 3.5; Num. 32.17; Is. 36.1, &c. 'Repent' for 'repent him'. The latter form is wholly obsolete. Deut. 32.36; Ps. 90.13, &c. 'Invite' for 'bid', when the latter has this signification. Zeph. 1.7; Matt. 22.9; Luke 14.12, &c. 'Advanced' for 'stricken', in age or years. Gen. 18.11; Josh.13.1, &c. 'Encamped' for 'pitched', when applied to troops, companies, or armies; but 'pitched' used of 'tents' is retained. Ex. 17.1; Num. 12.16. 'Explore', in some passages, for 'spy out'. Num. 13.16; 21.32. 'Profane' for 'pollute', in a few instances. See Is. 56.2.6; Jer. 34.16. To 'pollute' the sabbath, to 'pollute' the name of God, are expressions unknown in modern usage. 'Melted' for 'molten', when used as a participle. Ezek. 24.11; Micah 1.4. 'Cover' for 'shroud'. Ezek. 31.3. 'Border' or 'limit', for 'coast'. In present usage, 'coast' is never used to express the border, frontier, or extremity of a kingdom, or district of inland territory. Its application is wholly or chiefly to land contiguous to the sea. Its application in the scriptures is, in most cases, to a border of inland territory. For this word I have therefore substituted, in this sense, 'border' or 'limit'. Deut. 19.8; Ex. 10.14, &c. Its use in most passages of scripture is as improper now, as the 'coast' of Worcester, in Massachusetts, or the 'coast' of Lancaster, in Pennsylvania. 'Creeping animal' for 'creeping thing'. The word 'thing' signifies an event, as in the phrase, "after these things." In popular usage, it is applied to almost any substance, but its application to an animal is improper, and vulgar. Indeed, such application often implies contempt. Besides, this application makes no distinction between an 'animal' and a 'plant'. A 'creeping thing' is more properly a 'creeping plant', than a 'reptile'. Gen. 1.24.26, &c. 'Food' for 'meat'. In the common English version of the scriptures, 'meat' never signifies flesh only, but 'food' in general, provisions or whatever is eaten by animals for nourishment. Fruits, grass, herbs, as well as flesh are denominated 'meat'. Gen. 1.29,30. But the word is now used almost exclusively for flesh used or intended for food for mankind. For this word I have therefore substituted 'food', except in a few cases, where the plural is used, 'food' not admitting the plural number. But I have retained 'meat-offering', though composed of vegetable substances. We have no word in use which can be substituted for it; and it has acquired a kind of technical application, so to speak, which renders it expedient to retain it. See Gen. 1.29,30; Deut. 20.20; Matt. 3.4, &c. 'Shun' for 'eschew'. Job 1.1.8; 2.3; 1 Pet. 3.11. 'Shun' seems to be a more correct word to express the idea, than 'avoid'; for a person may 'avoid' evil, without intending it; 'shun' implies intention. 'Plant' or 'herb', for 'hay'. Prov. 27.25; Is. 15.6. 'Hay' is dried grass or herbs. The use of 'hay', therefore, in the passages cited is improper. What a strange expression must this appear to be to a farmer in our country. "The 'hay' appeareth, and the tender grass showeth itself." 'Provision' for 'victual' or 'victuals'. In the singular number, 'victual' is now wholly obsolete; and its signification in the plural is much more limited than that in which it occurs in several passages of the scriptures, which extends to provisions in general, whether prepared for eating or not. In present usage, 'victuals' are articles for food dressed or prepared for the table. When the word, in our version, is not thus limited, I have substituted for it 'provisions'. Gen. 14.11; Josh. 1.11 , &c. 'Treated' for 'entreated', when it signifies to use, or entertain. Gen. 12.16; Ex. 5.22. 'Afflict', 'harass', 'oppress', 'distress', or a word of like import for 'vex'. This word has suffered a material change or limitation, since our version of the scriptures was made. In that version, it is equivalent to 'afflict', 'harass', 'distress' , 'grieve', in a general or indefinite sense; in modern usage, it is nearly synonymous with 'irritate', a limited sense, I believe, not intended in any passage of scripture, unless there may be three or four exceptions, in which I have retained the word. Num. 25.17; 20.15; 33.55; Judges 10.8; Lev. 18.18, &c. 'Afflict' for 'plague'. Plague, as used in our version, comprehends almost any calamity that befalls man or beast. But used as a verb, it is now too low or vulgar for a scriptural word. I have therefore used in the place of it, 'afflict'. Gen. 12.17; Ex. 32.35; Ps. 73.5, 14. 'Multiply' for 'increase'. 'Multiply' is properly applied to numbers; 'increase' to size, dimensions, or quantity. Hence, in some passages of the present version, it is improperly used, and I have substituted for it 'increase'. Deut. 8.13. On the other hand, I have, when the sense requires it, inserted 'multiply' for 'increase'. Hosea 10.1. 'Killed' for 'slew'. In Daniel 3.22, we read that the flame of the fire 'slew' the men that threw Shadrach and his companions into the furnace. This use of 'slew' is improper, so much so, that the most illiterate man would perceive the impropriety of it. 'Slay' is used to denote killing by striking with any weapon whatever; but we never say a man is 'slain' by poison, by drowning, or by burning. This distinction proceeds from the original signification of 'slay', which was to 'strike'. See Acts 13.28. 'Diffuse'. "The lips of the wise 'disperse' knowledge." Prov. 15.7. To 'disperse' is to dissipate or scatter so as to destroy the thing. This cannot be the meaning of the author. He meant to say, 'spread' or 'diffuse' knowledge. 'Careful', 'carefulness' had formerly a more intensive sense, that at present. 'Carefulness' is now always a virtue; formerly it had the sense of anxiety, or undue solicitude. Paul says to the Corinthians, "I would have you without 'carefulness'." 1 Cor. 7.32. But certainly the apostle did not mean to condemn the due caution now expressed by that word. The distinction in the uses of this word is clearly marked in Phil. 4. verses 6, 10. In verse 6th the apostle writes "Be 'careful' for nothing;" yet in verse 10th he commends the Philippians for being 'careful'. These apparent discrepancies are easily removed by substituting 'anxious' or 'solicitous' for careful, when it evidently has this signification. See Jer. 17.8; Ezek. 12. 18,19; Luke 10.41; 1 Cor. 7.32,33,34. 'Furniture' for 'carriage'. The word 'carriage', in our common version, signifies 'that which is carried', or in our present usage, 'baggage'; such things as travelers and armies carry for their accommodation. It never signifies a vehicle on wheels, although I am convinced that it is thus understood by men of good common education. I have substituted for it 'furniture', judging 'baggage' not to be a suitable word to be introduced into the text. I have, however, inserted an explanatory note in the margin, Judges 18.21; 1 Sam. 17.22. If the word 'carriages', used Isa. 46.1, was intended to signify 'vehicles', it is a mistake; it is not the sense of the Hebrew. And if intended for 'loading', then the following words are improper. 'Revive' or 'vivify' for 'quicken'. The latter word in scripture signifies to 'revive', to 'give new life' or 'animate'. It is now used in the sense of 'accelerate'. 'Quick' is sometimes used in scripture for 'living', as the 'quick' and dead. I have , for the verb, substituted 'revive' or 'vivify', and for the adjective, 'living'. Ps. 71.20; Acts 10.42, &c. 'Terrify' or 'drive away' for 'fray'; the latter being entirely obsolete, and not generally understood. Deut. 28.26 ; Jer. 7.33; Zech. 1.27. 'Vomit' for 'spew'. Lev. 18.28; Rev. 3.16, &c. 'Avenge' for 'revenge'. These words seem to have been used synonymously in former times; but in modern usage, a distinction between them is, if I mistake not, well established; 'revenge' implying malice, and 'avenge' expressing just vindication. If so, the use of 'revenge', as applied to the Supreme Being, is improper. I have therefore substituted for it 'avenge'. Nahum 1.2. 'Deride' for 'laugh to scorn'. The latter phrase is nearly obsolete. 2 Kings 19.21; Nehem. 2.19, &c. 'Fornication'. This word, in modern laws and usage, has acquired a technical meaning more limited than its signification in the scriptures. For which reason among others, I have generally substituted for it a word of more comprehensive signification, generally 'lewdness'. 'Uncover', 'make bare', 'open', 'disclose', reveal', for 'discover'. The original and proper sense of 'discover' is to 'uncover', and there are phrases in which it is still used in that sense. But its present signification most generally is, to 'find', 'see', or 'perceive' for the first time. In most passages in our version of the scriptures, it has the sense of 'uncover', 'make bare', or 'expose' to 'view'. In Micah 1.6, the Lord says by the prophet, "I will 'discover' the foundations" of Samaria. But surely the all-seeing God had nothing to find or see for the first time. The sense of the word is to uncover, to lay bare. See Prov. 25.9; Isa. 3.17: Lam. 4:22; Job 12.22 Ezek. 13.14, &c. Two or three other alterations of this word would have been made, had the propriety of them occurred to me in due season. 'Ask', or 'inquire', for 'demand'. The French original of this word properly signifies simply to 'ask'; but usage has, in some measure, altered its signification in English. In our language, the word implies 'right', 'authority', or 'claim' to an answer, or to something sought. Thus in Exodus 5.14, the inquiry made, implies an authority assumed by the task-masters of Egypt, or a right to know the reason why the Israelites had not performed their tasks. So Daniel 2.27; Job 38.3; 40.7. But in 2 Samuel 11.7, David did not demand of Uriah, but simply 'inquire'. In Luke 3.14, the improper use of 'demanded' is more striking. That the soldiers should 'demand' any thing from Christ is not to be supposed. So Luke 17.20; Acts 21.33. But the most objectionable instance of the use of 'demand' is in Job 42.4, where Job, addressing the Supreme Being, says, "I will 'demand' of thee, and declare thou to me." I have, in such instances, used 'ask' or 'inquire', which is the true sense of the original. 'Would God', 'would to God'. These phrases occur in several passages in which they are not authorized by the original language, in which the name of the Supreme Being is not used; but the insertion of them in the version, has given countenance to the practice of introducing them into discourses and public speeches, with a levity that is incompatible with a due veneration for the name of God. In Job 14.13, the same Hebrew words are rendered 'O that', the common mode of expressing an ardent wish; and I have used the same words in other passages. See Ex. 16.3; Deut. 28.67. 'God forbid', is a phrase which may be viewed in the same light as the foregoing. It is several times used in the version, and without any authority from the original languages, for the use of the name of God. The Greek phrase thus rendered in the New Testament, signifies only "Let it not be," or "I wish it not to be." I cannot think it expedient to suffer the phrase "God forbid," to stand in the text, for the reason assigned in the foregoing paragraph. And it is to be regretted that a practice prevails of using it in common discourse. I have followed Macknight in using for these words, 'By no means'. 'God speed'. 2 John 10.11. This phrase must originally have been "God speed you;" that is, God give you welfare or success, or it is a mistake for 'good speed'. It could not have been the first, for then the whole phrase must have been, "Bid him God speed you." The fact undoubtedly is, the phrase was originally 'good speed'. In Saxon, 'good' and God' are uniformly written alike; 'god', the adjective, we now write 'good', and we write goodman, Goodwin, although the English write 'Godwin'. In the phrase used in scripture, which seems to have been formerly proverbial, the Saxon 'god' for 'good' has continued to be written with a single vowel, and the word being mistaken for the name of the Supreme Being, it came to be written with a capital initial, 'God'. The Greek word is a term of salutation; the same word is used, Luke 1.28, in the address of the angel to Mary, where it is rendered 'Hail', and in Matt. 28.9, 'All hail'. But 'God speed', as now used, is as improper as 'God welfare', 'God success', or 'God happiness'. In a grammatical point of view, nothing can be mote absurd; it is neither grammar nor sense. And it is to be regretted, that such an outrage upon propriety continues to be used in discourse. 'Prevent'. This word is many times used in the version, but not in the sense in which it is now universally used. Indeed, so different are its scriptural uses, that probably very few readers of common education understand it. I have had recourse to the ablest expositors, English and German, to aid me in expressing the sense of the word in the several passages in which it is used. 2 Sam. 22.6; Job 3.12; and 30.27; Ps. 18.5,18; 21.3; 59.10; 119. 147,148; Isa.21.14. 'Take no thought'. It is probable that this phrase formerly had a more intensive signification than it has at present. In Matt. 6.25, 27,31,34, the phrase falls far short of the force, or real meaning of the original. I have expressed the idea by 'Be not anxious'. So in Luke 12.22,26. 'By and by'. This phrase as used in the scriptures denotes 'immediately', without an interval of time. In present usage, it seems rather to indicate 'soon', but not 'immediately'. Matt. 13.21; Luke 17.7; and 21.9. 'Presently'. This word in the scriptures signifies 'immediately'. Matt. 21.19. 'Insane' for 'mad'. In our popular language, 'mad' more generally signifies 'very angry', which is not always its signification in the common version. I have therefore, in some instances expressed the sense by 'insane' or 'enraged', words less likely to be misapprehended by our common people than 'mad'. John 10.20; Acts 12,15; and 26.11,24; 1 Cor. 14.23. 'Healed' for 'made whole'. When persons recover from sickness, we never say they are 'made whole'. This phrase is proper only when some part of the body is broken. John 5.6. 'Whole' is not the proper word to be set in opposition to 'sick'. It should be 'well' or 'in health'. Matt. 9.12. 'Conversation'. This word, in our version, never has the sense of 'mutual discourse', which is its signification in present usage. It now retains the signification it had formerly, chiefly as a technical law term, as in indentures. Its sense in the Bible comprehends the whole moral conduct in social life, and I have used in the place of it 'manner of life', or 'deportment', chiefly the former, as 'deportment', in ordinary use, is, perhaps, not sufficiently comprehensive. When it occurs, however, it is intended to embrace all that is understood by 'manner of life', or 'course of conduct'. Ps. 37. 14; 2 Cor. 1.12; Gal. 1.13, &c. 'Offend'. I have, in some passages, substituted for this word, the words, 'cause to sin', or 'to fall into sin'. In other places I have explained it in a marginal note. 'Close vessel' for 'bushel'. Matt. 5.15, &c. There is now, I believe, no vessel of the measure of a bushel, in common use. The Jews used lamps, not candles, which such a measure would extinguish. I have, therefore, substituted 'close vessel'. 'Vessel' is used Luke 8.16. 'Agitate', or 'stir', for 'trouble'. The application of 'trouble' to water or other substance, in the sense of 'stirring', is wholly obsolete. John 5.4,7; Ezek. 32.2; Prov. 25.26. Yet from the scriptures we retain the phrase "troubled waters." 'Travail', with this orthography, is now used only or chiefly for the labor of child-birth. In other senses, I have substituted for it 'labor' or 'toil'. Eccl. 1.13; 2.23; 1 Thess. 2.8. Hungry for 'an hungred'. Matt. 25.35, &c. 'Convicted' for 'convinced'. James 2.9. See also John 8.46; Jude 15. 'Strain out a gnat'. Matt. 23.24. The words in our version are "strain 'at' a gnat." It is unaccountable that such an obvious error should remain uncorrected for more than two centuries. The Greek signifies to 'strain out a gnat', as by passing liquor through a colander or a filter. It is not a doubtful point. 'At' may have been a misprint for 'out', in the first copies. 'Foresaw', in Acts 2.25, is a mis-translation. The sense is not 'saw beforehand', but 'before' in place, or in presence. I have omitted the prefix, 'fore'. The propriety of this is determined by the original passage. Ps. 16.8. 'Constrain, for 'compel'. Matt. 5.41. 'Compel' may or does imply physical force; 'constrain' implies moral as well as physical force, and this seems to be the most proper word. 'Froward', Ps. 18.26, appears to me improperly applied to the Supreme Being. In its present signification, it seems to be not merely harsh, but irreverent, and incorrect. I have therefore substituted for it, 'thou wilt contend'. See also 2 Sam. 22.27. 'Earnestly' for 'instantly'. Luke 7.4. 'Man' for 'fellow'. The latter word is several times inserted in our version, without any authority in the original: it implies contempt, which may have been felt, but a translator should not, I think, add to the original what is not certainly known to have been the fact. I have in the place of it inserted 'man'. Gen. 19.9; Matt. 12.24, &c. 'Body of soldiers'. The troops with which Claudius rescued Paul, Acts 23.27, cannot be called an 'army', as the word is now understood. 'Many people' are the words substituted for 'much' people. Numb. 20.20; Mark 5.21, &c. 'The door shall be opened'. Matt. 7.7. The word door is not in the original, but is necessarily implied in the verb. 'Staff'. Matt. 10.10. The original Greek word is in the singular number. 'Master of the house'. Luke 22.11. The phrase, 'good man of the house', is not warranted by the original, which signifies 'master of the house'. At the time the Bible was translated, it was customary to call men by the title, 'good man', instead of 'Mr'. It is seen on the records of the first settlers in New England; but if it was ever proper in our version, which can hardly be admitted, it is now improper. 'Sat at meat'. This phrase is improper on more accounts than one. The ancients did not 'sit' at table, but lay down or reclined on the left elbow. I have retained the word 'sit' or 'sat', however, but have inserted in the margin an explanatory note. 'At meat', is obsolete, and I have substituted 'at table' or 'eating'. 'Foreign' for 'strange'. The latter word often signifies 'foreign' or 'not native', and in a few instances I have substituted for it 'foreign'. In doubtful cases, no change is made. Heb. 11.9; Acts 7.6. See Ezra 10.2; Acts 26.11; 1 Kings 11.1,8. 'Boat for 'ship'. In the New Testament, the words designating the vessels which were used on the lake of Tiberias, are generally rendered 'ship'. This is wholly improper. Those vessels were 'boats', either with or without sails. No 'ship', in the present sense of this word, could be used on a small lake. Besides, we have evidence from the facts stated in the evangelists, that the vessels were small; otherwise they would not have been "covered with the waves," Matt. 8.24; nor "rowed" with oars, Mark 6.48. In Luke 5, it is said that both ships were filled with the fish taken in a net, so that they began to sink. Surely these were not 'ships'. In John 6.22,23, these 'ships' are called 'boats', which is the most proper word, and that which I have used. 'Go thy way, he went his way'. These and similar forms of expression occur often in the version; but in the New Testament, and sometimes in the Old, the words 'thy way, his way, your way', are not in the original, which is simply 'go'. The additional words were introduced probably from the Hebrew phraseology, or in conformity to popular use; but they are wholly redundant. I have not been very particular in rejecting the superfluous words; but have done it in some instances. Luke 9.61. The words 'at home' are redundant. The phrase in Greek is simply 'at my house'. 'Scribe's penknife', Jer. 36.23. The translators have omitted the word 'scribe' or 'secretary', which is in the Hebrew. It is supposed that in former times, no person had a penknife, but a secretary; or the word 'pen' was supposed to include or imply the word 'scribe'. I am surprised however that men, so careful generally to translate every Hebrew word, should have omitted this. In the present age, the omission would doubtless be a fault. 'Safe and sound'. Luke 15.27. This is another instance in which the translators have followed popular use, instead of the original Greek, which signifies simply 'well' or in 'health'. 'Living beings'. Rev. 4.6,7. &c. The word 'beast', in the low sense the word has in present use, is considered to be very improper in various passages of the Apocalypse. The word signifies animals or living beings; and I have used the latter word as more becoming the dignity of the sacred oracles. 'Passover' for 'Easter'. Acts 12.4. The original is 'pascha', passover. 'Men, brethren'. Acts 13.15. &c. The translators have erred by inserting 'and' between these words, which tends to mislead the reader into the opinion that these are addressed as different characters; whereas the sense is 'men, brethren, men who are brethren'. 'How that'. These words are frequently used very improperly, where 'manner' is not expressed in the original. The original is simply 'that'. This is another instance of an inconsiderate use of popular phrases. 1 Cor. 10.1; 15.3. A still more objectionable use of popular language occurs in employing the past tense 'might' instead of 'may'. When Christ asked the blind man what he desired to have done for him, he replied, "Lord, that I 'might' receive my sight." MarK 10.51. So Luke 8.9. What 'might' this parable mean? This mode of expression is still common among a certain class of people, who ask a stranger, "Pray, sir, what 'might' I call your name?" There are many examples of this improper use of 'might', where the sense is more correctly expressed by the present tense, 'may'. See John 10.10. The old word 'yea' is used, in some cases, where it is not warranted by the original; and when the original authorizes some word in this sense, it would be better to substitute for it 'even', 'indeed', 'truly', or 'verily'. 'Yes' is used in the New Testament, in two or three passages, and I have introduced it for 'yea', in several passages of both Testaments. Deut. 20.18. The present order of words in this verse may give a sense directly opposite to that which is intended. The Israelites were directed to destroy the Hittites and other heathen nations, to 'prevent' the Israelites from adopting their idolatries and vices; but the passage, as it now stands, is, that they, the heathen, may teach the Israelites 'not to do' after their own abominations. Surely the heathen would not teach the Israelites to avoid their own practices. By transposing not and placing it before 'teach', the ambiguity is removed. 'Holy Spirit'. The word 'ghost' is now used almost exclusively for an 'apparition', except in this phrase, Holy Ghost. I hare therefore uniformly used 'Holy Spirit'. 'Demon'. In the scriptures, the Greek daimon is rendered 'devil'; but most improperly, as 'devil' and 'demon' were considered to be different beings. I have followed the commentators on the New Testament, in substituting 'demon' in all cases where the Greek is daimon. I cannot think a translator justified in such a departure from the original, as to render the word by 'devil'. The original word for 'devil' is never plural, there being but one devil mentioned in the scriptures. 'Hell'. The word 'hell' in the Old Testament, and sometimes in the New, is used, not for a place of torment, but for the 'grave', 'region of the dead', 'lower' or 'invisible world'; 'sheol' in Hebrew, 'hades' in Greek. I have in most passages retained the word in the text, but have inserted an explanatory note in the margin. In Ezekiel 31, I have rendered the word 'grave' in two or three verses, to make the version conformable to verse 15. 'Master'. This word is frequently used in the New Testament for 'teacher'; doubtless in conformity with the popular or vulgar practice of calling teachers of schools 'masters'. I have retained the word, but have added an explanatory note in the margin. 'Provoke'. This word formerly had, and sometimes still has, the sense of 'incite', 'excite', or 'instigate'. In modern usage, it is generally used in the sense of 'irritate'. This requires the substitution of another word for it in 1 Chron. 21.1; Heb. 10.24; 2 Cor. 9.22, in which I have used 'incite' or 'excite'. Ps. 4. 8. The word 'only' is misplaced, and thus it gives a wrong sense. I have placed it next after 'thou'. 'Lord' for 'Jehovah'. When the word 'Lord' is in small capitals, it stands for 'Jehovah' of the original. I have not altered the version, except in a few passages, where the word JEHOVAH seems to be important; as in Isaiah 51.22, where "thy 'Lord', the LORD," seem to be at least awkward, if not unintelligible, to an illiterate reader. See also Jer. 32.18, where there is a peculiar propriety in expressing the true name of the Supreme Being. See also Jer. 23.6, and 33.16. Ezekiel 38.5. I have followed the Hebrew in the names 'Cush' and 'Phut'. Matt. 27.66. I have transposed the words, in order to place the expression of 'security' directly before the means, that is, the watch or guard. This is in accordance with the sense of verse 65. The word 'sure' is not the proper word to be used, but 'secure'. In 1 Thes. 1.4, I have introduced the marginal construction into the text, in accordance with Macknight, and with the punctuation of Griesbach. See 2 Thess. 2.13. 'On', 'upon', for 'in', 'into'. In the present version, 'in' is often used in the Latin sense, for 'on', or 'upon': so also 'into'; as 'in' the earth; 'into' a mountain. Gen. 1.22; 19.30. This is not good English, according to present usage. 'Against' for 'by'. 1 Cor. 4.4. 'By' in this verse must signify 'against', or the translation is erroneous. But 'by' has not that signification in present usage; I have therefore substituted 'against'. There are many passages in which the translators have inserted and improperly, between clauses which are in apposition, and ought not to be made distinct. In 1 Cor. 4.13, the words 'and are' appear to give a sense not intended by the apostle. "We are made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things." So stands the original; but by the insertion of 'and are', the apostle is made to say not only that we are in estimation made as the filth of the world, but that 'we actually are' the offscouring of all things. 'Testimony' is substituted for 'record', the latter, in this sense, being entirely obsolete. 'Testimony' is often substituted for 'witness', as modern usage inclines to limit the application of 'witness' to the person testifying. 'Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time'. Matt. 5.21,27,33. In our version the passage is, "was said 'by' them." Dr. Campbell remarks that all the older versions have 'to'; as the Vulgate, Montanus, Erasmus, Castalio, Calvin, Luther and others; and I may add, this is the rendering in the Italian of Diodati, and in the French version published by the American Bible Society. That 'to' is the true rendering, seems to be probable, from the fact, that when the original is clearly intended to express the sense of 'by', the Greek words are a preposition followed by a noun in the genitive; whereas in the passages under consideration, the noun appears to be in the dative, like other nouns after a verb, signifying to 'say' or 'speak'. Examples in the same Evangelist may be seen in Matt. 2.15,17,23; 3.3; 4.14; 8.17; 12.17; 13.35; 21.4; 27.9; 22.31. The affirmation however must be true, with either rendering; for what was said 'by' one person, must have been said 'to' another. 'Burden'. Isaiah 13.1. The verb from which the Hebrew word is formed, signifies to 'bear', and the noun, 'that which is borne' or 'conveyed'. But in Latin we find examples of words signifying 'to bear' or 'carry', from which is derived the sense of 'speaking', of which 'fero' is an instance: 'Fertur', it is said. So from 'porto' we have 'report'. I would suggest that, in like manner, the Hebrew word rendered 'burden', may be rendered 'report' or 'message'; which, if correct, would be better understood. I have retained 'burden' in the text, but have suggested this amendment in the margin. 'Dodanim'. Gen. 10.4. I have retained this name in the text, although I am well satisfied it ought to be 'Rodanim'. My reasons are these. 1. The Hebrew 'Resh' is easily mistaken for a 'Daleth', as the letters have a near resemblance. 2. The most ancient versions of the Pentateuch have Rodanim, particularly the Septuagint and Syriac. 3. It is not easy to give any probable account of Dodanim. The name is evidently different from 'Dedan'. 4. The sacred penman places this name among the sons of Javan, (Ionia, Dan. 11.2,) which shows that the name belongs to Greece or Europe, not to Africa; and the other names Elishah, Tarshish and Kittim belong to the south of Europe; Elishah being probably Hellas, or interior Greece; Kittim, certain isles in the Levant; and Tarshish, being Tartessus in Spain. I therefore infer that 'Rodanim' is 'Rodan', [Rhodanus] the original name of the 'Rhone', with the termination of Hebrew plural nouns. If so, 'Rodanim' signifies the inhabitants of the Rhone or of Gaul, now France. The translation of the tenth chapter of Genesis, by the use of the word 'sons', instead of 'descendants', has, in many instances, led to a misunderstanding of several parts of the chapter. Many of the names of those called 'sons' are plural, and represent nations, or tribes, not individuals. 'On the east side of Jordan'. Deut. 1.1.4; 4.46. The translations of the scriptures differ in the rendering of the Hebrew word for 'over', 'beyond', 'on the other side'. In the Septuagint and Vulgate, this word, in the passages under consideration, is rendered 'beyond', [peran, trans.] In the English and several other modern translations, the word is rendered 'on this side'; the translations being thus contradictory. This difference has proceeded from the supposed place of the writer of the book of Deuteronomy; the early translators supposing the writer of the passages cited to have been on the 'west' side of the Jordan; and the modern translators supposing the writer to have been on the 'east' side of that river. With regard to the author of the book in general, there can be no question. But it is most obvious that the first five verses of the first chapter, and the last six verses of the fourth, were written by the compiler; those in the first chapter serving as an introduction to the narrative of Moses, which begins at the sixth verse. That Moses was on the east side of Jordan is certain; but is it not a strange supposition that Moses, addressing the Israelites, should tell them repeatedly on which side of the river he was? In the 47th and 49th verses of chapter fourth, we are informed that the place was on the side of Jordan, 'eastward, towards the sun-rising'. As there is no question with respect to the fact, and as the different translations mean the same thing, I have removed all uncertainty on the subject, by using the words, 'on the east side of Jordan'. 'Red Sea'. This appellation of the gulf of Suez, or Arabian Sea, has been so long and generally used, that it may not be expedient to change it. It was first used by the Greeks, and introduced into the Septuagint, from which our translators have adopted it. It is probable that this gulf was formerly called the 'Sea of Edom', from the Edomites who inhabited the country on the east of it, which the Greeks called 'Idumea'; and as 'Edom', in Hebrew, signifies red, the Greeks translated the word 'red', and gave to this gulf the appellation of 'Red Sea'; a name of no appropriate significancy, as applied to that gulf, for the waters of it are no more red than the water of any other sea, or of the ocean. 'Suf'. Deut. 1.1. In this passage, the English translators following the Septuagint, have rendered the Hebrew word 'Suf', Red Sea; (not 'Zuph', as printed in the margin of our Bibles.) This word signifies 'sea-weed', and this sense it retains to this day in some of the Gothic dialects. The same word is used in Exodus, with reference to the 'Red Sea'; but always in connection with the Hebrew word for 'sea'. In the first verse of Deuteronomy, it is used without the Hebrew word for 'sea'; and of course the use of 'sea' in our translation is not authorized by the original. Now in the fifth verse, we are informed that the Israelites were then in the land of Moab, which was on the east side of the 'Salt' or 'Dead Sea'; two, three, or four hundred miles from the Red Sea, and in a different latitude. The Israelites then could not have been 'over against the Red Sea', commonly so called. This would be like saying 'Albany is over against Pittsburg'. In the loose way in which the Bible is often read, especially those parts of it which do not immediately concern our salvation, this mistake may have passed unnoticed by most readers; though not by inquisitive commentators. But our young people now study the scriptures with maps of Syria and Egypt. Let any person inspect a good map of those countries, and first see the position of the land of Moab, and then that of the gulf of Suez, and he will perceive at once that the Israelites were 'not' over against the Red Sea; and of course he will be embarrassed, or inclined to question the truth of the narrative. It may be that the word 'Suf' was intended for the Dead or Salt Sea. At any rate, by introducing this Hebrew word into the English version, we are sure to be right, and not expose the scriptures to the charge of error or apparent contradiction. If the same word in Num. 21.14, refers to the same place, it ought not to be rendered 'Red Sea'. 'Cush' for 'Ethiopia'. Gen. 2.13. By following the Septuagint, in rendering the Hebrew Cush by 'Ethiopia', the translators have introduced confusion into the geography of the Bible; and laid the foundation for many mistakes and much skepticism. I well remember that when I supposed 'Ethiopia', here mentioned, to be the country now called by this name, my faith in the authenticity of the scriptures was shaken; for I could not conceive how the Euphrates and the Nile, whose sources are several thousand miles distant, could both proceed from Eden. Yet so ignorant of geography were the Greeks and Jews, that even Josephus expressly refers the river Gibon, which "encompassed the whole land of Ethiopia," to the Nile. But there is no difficulty in determining this to be a great mistake. 'Cush' in Hebrew is in Chaldee 'Cuth', and the word in the passage under consideration is undoubtedly the 'Cuthah' and 'Cuth', mentioned in 2 Kings 17.24.30, the country from which Salmaneser drew inhabitants to re-people Samaria, after the captivity of the ten tribes. It is very probable that the 'Cossei' mentioned by Pliny, Lib. vi.27, were the inhabitants of the same country. This author informs us that the Cossei inhabited the country eastward of the 'Susiani' in Persia. He also mentions the river Eulaeus, the Ulai of Daniel, the prophet; and says that this river separates the Elymais from the Susiani. In Isaiah 11.11, we read that the Israelites were to be recovered from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from 'Cush', and from Elam, and from Shinar. 'Cush' is here named in connection with Elam and Shinar, as well as with Egypt; and Ethiopia, now so called, cannot be intended by 'Cush', as the Israelites were never dispersed into that country; at least, not to any extent, at that period. In Isaiah 37.9, we find mention made of Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia, or Cush, which must have been the same country, as this king was making war upon the king of Assyria. Now if 'Cush' here mentioned was the modern Ethiopia, then the Ethiopians of Abyssinia had made war upon Sennacherib, which cannot be supposed. There was another 'Cush', which is frequently mentioned in the scriptures. This was in Arabia. Moses, when in Midian, near the Red Sea, married a woman called an Ethiopian, but really a 'Cushite', one of that nation in Arabia, which invaded Judea in the reign of Asa, with an immense army. These people or their country are mentioned by the prophets in connection with Egypt and Midian. Gen. 10.6; Hab. 3.7; Is. 43.3. With Philistia and Tyre. Ps. 87.4. With the Lubims and Libyans. 2 Chr. 16.8; Dan. 11.43. Ezek. 29.10. "I will make the land of Egypt waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene to the border of Ethiopia." This Ethiopia, Cush, cannot be the modern Ethiopia, for Syene was at the extreme border of Egypt on the south, nearly contiguous to Ethiopia, and if the word Cush had been intended for the modern Ethiopia, the district of country here described would not have included Egypt, the country to which the prophecy was applied. In 2 Chr. 21.16, we read of Arabians that were 'near' the Ethiopians. We have then clear evidence that the word 'Cush', in the scriptures, refers to two countries, one in Persia, and the other in Arabia; neither of which was the modern Ethiopia. Whether the word, in any passage, refers to the modern Ethiopia, is a question that it is not necessary to discuss in this note. The modern Ethiopians are descendants of Arabians. This fact I can affirm from some knowledge of their language, no small part of which is Arabic. The name Abyssinia is modern. It is stated to be formed from an Arabic word 'habas' or 'chabas', to be black, and a derivative from this is said to signify a mixed multitude. See Castel's Heptaglot Lexicon. However this may be, the modern Ethiopians are descendants from Arabians; but whether they bore the name 'Cush', as being the offspring of the Arabian 'Cushim', or on account of their color, is not a question of much importance. To prevent any mistake from a mistranslation of the name, I have uniformly introduced, into the text of this work, the Hebrew 'Cush', except in one instance, Jer. 13.23, where the word refers to color only, without reference to place. The word 'Cush' is said to signify black, and if so, 'Ethiops', black face, is a translation of the name. By introducing 'Cush' into the text, we are sure to be correct. But as no country except Abyssinia is now known as Ethiopia, if the reader of the Bible understands Ethiopia as referring to that country only, he will be many times led into error. Most of the passages of scripture in which 'Cush' is mentioned, certainly have reference to a country in Persia, or to a territory in Arabia. 'Shadow'. There is an established distinction in the significations of 'shade' and 'shadow', which is entirely disregarded in our version of the scriptures. Perhaps the distinction was not known in England, at the time the version was made. 'Shadow' is the obscurity made by the interception of light by an object, in the figure or shape of the object. 'Shade' is a like obscurity without reference to figure. 'Shade' is used when protection only from the rays of the sun is intended. The farmer, to cool and refresh himself, says, I will go into the 'shade' of a tree--never into the 'shadow'. Hence, when there is no reference to figure, but to protection only, the word 'shade' should always be used. Hence the impropriety of the phrase 'shadow of death'. Death is the absence of life, a mere negation of being. In the phrase, 'shadow of death', shadow is a figurative word denoting total darkness, deep gloom, and for this idea, the established usage now requires the plural, the 'shades of death'. 'Shadow' in the sense of a faint resemblance is correct, as it has reference to form, or figure. Col. 2.17; Is. 4.6; 25.4; Dan. 4.12; Hosea 4.13; Jonah 4.5,6; Heb. 8.5; 10.1. 'Of'. In the use of this word, a great change has taken place, since the present version was made. Its original signification is 'from'; but in present use in the scriptures, it is equivalent, in many passages, to 'concerning'; in many others, to 'by'; in others, to 'from'; and in some passages, its signification is, at first view, ambiguous. Thus, 'to be sick' of a thing, is generally understood to mean, to be 'disgusted' with it or 'tired' of it; but to be sick 'of' a fever or 'of' love, in scripture, is to be affected by it as the cause. In the latter sense, I have substituted 'with' for 'of'. Cant. 2.5; Matt. 8.14. In numerous passages, 'of' has the sense of 'concerning'. See Acts 13.29; Jude 3. In many passages, it signifies 'by'. Acts 23. 10; 2Cor. 3.2. In Matt. 2.15, it must be rendered 'from'. "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken 'of' the Lord by the prophet." What was spoken was 'from' the Lord 'by' the prophet. In many passages, its meaning may be easily mistaken. Jer. 34.4. "Thus saith the Lord 'of' thee;" not Zedekiah's Lord, but 'concerning thee'. See also chap. 36.30, and John 7.17,18; 2 Tim. 2.2, and numerous other passages. 'Of' sometimes denotes belonging to, or apart of. 1 Cor. 12.15. The substitution of another word for 'of', in order to present the true meaning at first view, is necessary in a multitude of passages. In many phrases, however, the word continues to retain its original sense. 'Tenses'. At the time the present version of the scriptures was made, the form of the verb which most of our English Grammars arrange in the present tense of the subjunctive mode was in more general use than it has been for the last century; thus, if thou 'be', if he 'be', though he 'have'. This form of the verb is most common in the version of the scriptures; but is far from being uniformly used. The translators seem to have been guided by no rule; and their discrepancies are numerous. James 1.26. "If any man among you 'seem' to be religious and 'bridleth' not his tongue." See Gen. 4.7; Job 35.6; Deut.24.3.7; Gen.47.6; Lev. 25.14; 6.2,3; Prov. 22.27; 24.10,11,12; 1 Cor. 7.12,13; John 9.31, and many other passages. So familiar was the subjunctive form of the verb to the translators, and so little regard had they to any rule for using it, that in the New Testament they have usually rendered the Greek indicative by the English subjunctive; as if thou 'be', for if thou 'art'. See Matt 4.6; 5.29,30, and numerous other passages. In this subjunctive form of the verb, no distinction is made between the present and future time of an action. If thou 'be', may stand for if thou 'art' or if thou 'shalt be'. And such is the fact in a multitude of passages. More generally, the subjunctive form is really an elliptical future. Lev. 25.14. "If thou 'sell aught to thy neighbor;" si vendideritis, if thou shalt sell. Matt. 7.9. "If thy son 'ask' bread;" si petierit panem. But so heedless of rules were the translators, that in the verse just cited from Leviticus, they have in the second clause given the indicative, "If thou 'sell' aught, or 'buyest' aught." This subjunctive form of the verb in the present tense had, to a great extent, fallen into disuse, in the days of Addison, who, with the best authors of that and the next generation, generally used the indicative form of the verb to express acts, conditional or hypothetical, in present time. I have followed their example, as it is conformable to the most general usage of the present age; and by using 'shall' or 'will' to express future time, have attempted to render obvious a real distinction in time, which is not so obvious in the subjunctive form of the verb. In the language of modern statutes, both in Great Britain and in the United States, the practice is uniformly to use 'shall'. If a man 'shall' trespass, if he 'shall' be guilty of theft. In the use of 'shall' and 'should' for 'will' and 'would', the errors of the version are very numerous. 'Shall', in the first person, foretells, in the second and third, it promises, determines, threatens or commands. The phrases, you 'shall' go, he 'shall' go, imply authority in the speaker to promise what the person shall do, or to command him. Hence we never use such language to superiors. No person says to his father, or to a ruler, you 'shall' do this or that. Such language is used only to inferiors or persons subject to authority. Hence the extreme impropriety of such phrases as the following, Gen. 41.16, God 'shall' give Pharaoh an answer of peace. Neh. 4.20, "Our God 'shall' fight for us." When Christ said to Peter, "Before the cock crow, thou 'shalt' deny me thrice," he did not command him, nor promise, nor determine; he simply foretold the fact, and therefore the word 'will' should be used. But the translators, evidently, were guided by no rule; for they often vary the phrase, using 'shall' in one clause of a sentence and 'will' in another. See Deut. 7.12.13; Luke 5. 37; and 21.7; Ps. 37.4,5,6, compared with Ps. 41.1,2,3; See Ps. 16.10; and Acts 13.35, in which 'will' is used in the former and 'shall' in the latter. A great number of similar discrepancies occur in the version, and it is probable that in my attempts to correct them, some have been overlooked. In Ps. 17.15, 'will' is used for 'shall', "I 'will' behold." Equally faulty is the use of 'should' for 'would' in many passages; but this fault is less frequent than the use of 'shall' for 'will'. Heb. 8.4. "For if he were on earth, he 'should' not be a priest;" verse7, "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then 'should' no place have been sought for the second." John 13.11, "For he knew who 'should' betray him." Such use of 'should' is not good English, nor does it express the true sense, as 'should' implies duty, equivalent to 'ought'. See Job 13.5; John 6.64,71; Acts 23.27; 28.6. 'Should' is used for 'would', Ezra 10.5. This improper use of the auxiliaries renders the translation inaccurate in hundreds of instances. 'Plunder' for 'spoil'. The verb 'to spoil' is susceptible of different senses. In our version, it generally signifies to 'plunder', 'pillage' or 'lay waste'; but in our popular use, it signifies to injure so as to render useless, by any means. To "'spoil' a tent," would not always suggest to an unlettered reader the sense of 'plundering'. I have therefore, in some passages, substituted 'seize', 'plunder' or 'lay waste'. Isa. 13.16; 33.1; and others. 'Edom' for 'Idumea'. In two passages, our version has 'Idumea' for 'Edom', the Greek for the Hebrew. I have retained the Hebrew word, as this will prevent the unlearned reader from supposing Edom and Idumea to be different countries. Isa. 34.5,6. 'Lord of the whole earth'. In Micah 4.13, there is a misprint in the present version; the word 'Lord' in the last line being in capitals, as if the original were 'Jehovah'. This is a mistake. I have inserted 'Jehovah' in the former part of the verse, according to the Hebrew, and 'Lord', in small letters, in the latter part. 'Meeting'. 1 Sam. 9.14. The importance of avoiding the use of words and phrases of equivocal signification must be obvious. When I was examining the proof sheets of this work, my grand daughter, fourteen years of age was reading the passage above referred to; at the words "Samuel came out against them," she remarked that it was strange "Samuel should come out against Saul," when they were friends. Her first impression was, that the words express enmity, as that is the most obvious signification of the phrase. I availed myself of the suggestion, and inserted the word 'meeting' before 'them'. 'Benjaminite'. Benjamin, son of the right hand. What could have induced the translators to reject a part of the last syllable, a component part of the word, and write 'Benjamite'? I have reinstated the rejected letters, and added the usual termination. In 2 Chron. 13.19, there a is mistake in the English, French and Italian versions, 'Ephraim' for the Hebrew 'Ephron', which I have corrected. The Septuagint is correct. In our version of the scriptures, as in most British books, a very common error is to use intransitive verbs in the passive form, as he 'is perished'; they 'were escaped'; he 'is fled'; the year 'was expired'; they 'were' departed. There is no error in British writers so common and so prominent as this, borrowed probably from the French, in which it is the established usage. Dr. Lowth noticed this fault sixty or seventy years ago, but the practice continues. The passive form of the verb always implies the action of an agent. When a word 'is' spoken or written, the implication is, that some person has spoken or written it. But when we say " The day 'was' expired," the question occurs, who expired it? When it is said "counsel 'is' perished," the question is, who perished it? 'Escape' and 'return' are sometimes transitive and sometimes intransitive. 'Return', when transitive, admits of the passive form. "The 'letter was' returned." But the passive form of the verb when intransitive, is improper, as, "If she 'is' returned to her father's house." 'Escape', though sometimes transitive, never I believe, admits the passive form. It is remarkable that the people of this country, at least in the northern states, in which my observations have been most extensive, rarely fall into this error. Even our common people uniformly say, he 'has' perished, he 'has' returned, the time 'has' expired, the man 'has' fled. I have corrected this error in the present edition of the Bible; with the exception in some instances of the passive form of 'come' and 'gone', and occasionally of one or two others, which seems to be too generally used and well established, to be wholly rejected. It has been justly observed by Dr. Campbell, that the words 'kingdom of heaven' and 'of God', have different significations in the New Testament, which ought to be distinguished. I have not altered the text, but have, in some instances, inserted an explanatory note in the margin, corresponding with his ideas. In the language of our version, many small words are used, which, in my opinion, are superfluous. In such a phrase as "go forth out of," 'forth' and 'out of', are synonymous, or so nearly so as to render the use of both unnecessary. I have in some cases retrenched a word in such phrases; and further retrenchments may be made with advantage. The employment of many small words in this manner, when not necessary to convey the meaning, serves to impair the force of expression. There are some passages in which the construction is very awkward; and in a few instances, it leads to a wrong signification. In such cases, I have transposed the clauses in such a manner as to place together the parts of a sentence which are closely connected in sense. See 2 Chr. 32.23; Ps. 4.8 ; Jer. 5.17; 32.30; John 19.16,20; Luke 23.8;32.53; Matt. 16.12; 14.9; Rom. 15.31; Deut. 21.8; Isa. 15.5; John 1.45. In the New Testament I have altered the Greek orthography of a few names, and made them conformable to the orthography of the Old Testament; as, that of 'Elias' to 'Elijah'; 'Esaias' to 'Isaiah'; 'Osee' to 'Hosea', &c. This will prevent illiterate persons, who compose a large part of the readers of the scriptures, from mistaking the characters. Every obstacle to a right understanding of the scriptures, however small, should be removed, when it can be done in consistency with truth. There are many verbal alterations which, it is believed, will appear so obviously proper, that no explanation need be offered. A few other alterations would have been made had the propriety of them occurred, before the sheets were printed. Rom. 8.19,20,21. I have been perhaps over-cautious in retaining the present version of this passage. It is obvious to me that the pointing of the Greek copies is wrong. There should be no point between the last word in verse 20 and the first in verse 21, and the word 'that' should be substituted for 'because'. The mistake doubtless proceeded from considering the Greek 'oti' as a conjunction; a mistake that has been the cause of hundreds of errors in the Vulgate. So in our version, Luke 1.45. Euphemisms. In no respect does the present version of the scriptures require amendments, more than in the use of many words and phrases which cannot now be uttered, especially in promiscuous company, without violence to decency. In early stages of society, when men are savage or half civilized, such terms are not offensive: but in the present state of refinement, the utterance of many words and passages of our version is not to be endured; and it is well known that some parents do not permit their children to read the scriptures, without prescribing to them the chapters. To retain such offensive language, in the popular version, is, in my view, injudicious, if not unjustifiable; for it gives occasion to unbelievers and to persons of levity, to cast contempt upon the sacred oracles, or call in question their inspiration; and this weapon is used with no inconsiderable effect. Further, many words and phrases are so offensive, especially to females, as to create a reluctance in young persons to attend Bible classes and schools, in which they are required to read passages which cannot be repeated without a blush; and containing words which, on other occasions, a child could not utter without rebuke. The effect is, to divert the mind from the 'matter' to the 'language' of the scriptures, and thus, in a degree, frustrate the purpose of giving instruction. Purity of mind is a christian virtue that ought to be carefully cherished; and purity of language is one of the guards which protect this virtue. I have attempted to remove, in a good degree, this objection to the version. It was my wish to make some further alterations in this particular; but difficulties occurred which I could not well remove. See Gen. 20.18; 29.31; 30.22; 34.30; 38.9,24; Exod. 7.18; 16.24; Levit. 19.29; 21.7; Deut. 22.21; 23.1; 28.57; Judges 2.17; 1 Sam. 1.5; 1 Kings 14.10; 16.11; 21.21; 2 Kings 9.8; 18.27, Job 3.10,11,12; 40.17; Ps. 22.9,10; 38.5; 106.39; Eccles. 11.5; Isa. 36.12; Ezek. ch. 16 and 23; John 11.39; Eph. 5.5, &c.