Ezekiel 38:2 “CHIEF prince of Meshech”
Is this an error in the King James Bible?
There is another self appointed Bible corrector, pastor David Hocking, who has a teaching on Youtube about Gog and Magog.
This man tells us at the 10:30 minute mark and onward that the King James Bible is wrong for translating the Hebrew word “rosh” as an adjective. He says the KJB translators got this from the Latin Vulgate, but he emphatically affirms that the word is a noun and not an adjective. He says it should be translated as “ROSH”, and that it refers to a place.
Some versions do it this way, but most do not, as well shall soon see. The ASV 1901 says: “Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince OF ROSH, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him”. Also reading this way are Youngs 1898, the NASB 1995 and The Hebrew Roots Bible 2014.
He goes on the affirm that “we have absolutely no evidence of “rosh” ever being used as an adjective. There is no example of this in Hebrew of treating this as an adjective.”
As is usually the case, Bible correcting “experts” are their own authority, and in most cases they simply don’t know what they are talking about. Such is the case with David Hawking.
In the King James Bible and in most bibles the word Rohsh # 7218 is never translated as a place called Rosh, but it does have a multitude of meanings, and MANY TIMES it IS used as and adjective as well as a noun.
The word is variously translated as “head, top, chief, sum, principal (both noun and adjective forms), beginnings, highest part, and excellent.” There are many times where this word is used as an adjective in all bible versions I have checked, including many of the Jewish translations.
Here are some examples where the word is used as an adjective -
Rosh used as an adjective -
Exodus 30:23 “Take thou unto thee PRINCIPAL spices…” (Jewish Publication Society Bible 1917, Judaica Press Tanach 2004 “finest”, The New Jewish Bible 1985 - “CHOICE spices”, The Orthodox Jewish Bible 2011, The Complete Jewish Bible 1998, ESV 2011 - FINEST spices, NIV, NASB, Holman, NKJV, etc.)
Numbers 31:26 - “And the CHIEF fathers of the families of the children of Gilead”
Numbers 32:28 - “and the CHIEF fathers of the tribes”
Numbers 36:1 - “the CHIEF fathers”
2 Kings 25:18 - “And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the CHIEF priest” (JPS 1917, Judaica Press Tanach “the HEAD priest” (adjective), The New Jewish Bible 1885 - the CHIEF priest, The Complete Jewish Bible 1998, NIV, NASB, ESV, Holman, NKJV, etc)
1 Chronicles 9:34 - “These CHIEF fathers of the Levites”
1 Chronicles 24:31 - “even the PRINCIPAL fathers”
1 Chronicles 26:12 - “the divisions of the porters, even among the CHIEF men” (JPS 1917)
1 Chronicles 27:1 - “the CHIEF fathers and captains of thousands”
1 Chronicles 27:5 - “Benaiah the son of Jehoida, a CHIEF priest” (The New Jewish Bible 1985,
2 Chronicles 19:11 - “Amariah the CHIEF priest” (The New Jewish Bible 1985)
2 Chronicles 26:20 - “And Azariah the CHIEF priest”
2 Chronicles 31:10 - “and Azariah the CHIEF priest”
Ezra 7:5 - “the son of Aaron the CHIEF priest” (JPS 1917, Darby, ESV, NIV, NASB, NKJV, NET, The Voice 2012, ISV 2014 etc.)
Ezra 7:28 - “I gathered together out of Israel CHIEF men to go up with me.” (JPS 1917, ESV, NIV, NKJV, NASB, Holman etc.)
Psalms 141:5 - “let him reprove me; it shall be an EXCELLENT oil” (JPS 1917 “CHOICE oil”, The New Jewish Bible 1985 “CHOICE oil”, The Complete Jewish Bible 1998, NET 2006, Geneva bible - “PRECIOUS oil”, NET - “CHOICE oil”, NKJV - “EXCELLENT oil”)
Song of Solomon 4:14 - “myrrh and aloes, with all the CHIEF spices” (JPS 1917, Judaica Press Tanach 2004, The New Jewish Bible 1985 - “CHOICE perfumes”, Darby 1890, Youngs 1898, ASV 1901, Complete Jewish Bible 1998 - “the BEST spices”, Jubilee Bible 2010 - “the CHIEF spices”, Common English Bible 2011, Holman Standard - “the BEST spices”, ESV 2011, NIV, NASB, ISV 2014 - “the FINEST spices”, Modern English Bible 2014 - “the CHIEF spices”)
BACK TO EZEKIEL 38:2
Not only does the King James Bible read “…set thy face against God, the land of Magog, the CHIEF prince of Meshech” but so too do the following Bible translations - Coverdale 1535, The Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, Webster Bible 1833, The Jewish Publication Society Bible 1917 - “the CHIEF prince of Meshech and Tubal”, Lamsa’s 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta - “the CHIEF prince of Meshech and Tubal”, The New Life Version 1969, The New Berkeley Version 1969, the RSV 1971, The Amplified Bible 1987, the NRSV 1989, Good News Translation 1992, The Word of Yah 1993, God’s Word Translation 1995, The Complete Jewish Bible 1998, God’s First Truth 1999, The Judaica Press Tanach 2004, Easy-to-Read Version 2006, Dan Wallace’s NET Version 2006 - “the CHIEF prince of Meshech and Tubal”, the Holman Standard 2009 - “the CHIEF prince of Meshech”, The Jubilee Bible 2010, The New American Bible 2010 -“the CHIEF prince of Meshech”, The Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, The New European Version 2010, The Common English Bible 2011 - “CHIEF prince of Meshech”, the ESV 2011 - “the CHIEF prince of Meshech”, The NIV 2011, The Names of God Bible 2011, The Lexham English Bible 2012, The World English Bible 2012, The Voice 2012, The Biblos Bible 2013 and The International Standard Version 2014.
And this Hebrew Interlinear Old Testament - “the CHIEF prince of Meshech and Tubal”
Obviously this self appointed Bible corrector has no idea what he is talking about and he certainly has no inerrant Bible to believe in himself or to give to anybody else.
The Hebrew word “rosh” most definitely can be translated as an adjective, and most Bible versions, including many modern ones, disagree with Mr. Hocking on how this passage should be translated.
“Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.” Proverbs 14:7
The King James Bible is always right.
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