NEW HAVEN:

                     PUBLISHED BY DURRIE & PECK.

      Sold by HEZEKIAH HOWE & CO., and A. H. MALTBY, New Haven;
                    and by N.&J. WHITE, New York.


     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.


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

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

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
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

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

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.


  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.

'Know' or 'knew', for 'wist', 'wit' and 'wot'. Ex. 16.15. Gen. 21.26,

'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,

'Hinder' for 'let', Rom. 1.13: 'Restrain'. 2Thess. 2.7.

'Number' for 'tale', when the latter has that signification. Ex. 5.8,

'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,

'Encamped' for 'pitched', when applied to troops, companies, or
armies; but 'pitched' used of 'tents' is retained. Ex. 17.1; Num.

'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

'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

'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

'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;

'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

'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

'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

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',

'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

'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

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

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

'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

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

'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'

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

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.


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

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.