Another King James Bible Believer

Genesis 27:39 "thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth" or "dwelling AWAY FROM the fatness"?

Genesis 27:39 "thy dwelling shall be the fatness OF the earth" or "dwelling AWAY FROM the fatness"? 

 

Genesis 27:39

KJB -  "And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, THY DWELLING SHALL BE THE FATNESS OF THE EARTH, and of the dew of heaven from above"  Genesis 27:38-39.

KJB -  thy dwelling SHALL BE the fatness of the earth

NIV - Your dwelling will be AWAY FROM the earth’s richness

NASB - AWAY FROM the fertility of the earth shall be your dwelling


ESV - AWAY FROM the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be 

 

Jehovah Witness NWT - "Behold, AWAY FROM THE FERTILE SOILS of the earth your dwelling will be found"

 

The first major English Bible version to reverse the meaning of this passage was the liberal RSV. Now it is found in many modern versions and the more modern Catholic versions as well.

 

The Catholic Connection

 

The older Catholic versions like the Douay Rheims of 1582 and the 1950 Douay agreed with the sense found in the KJB - "IN the fat of the earth, and IN the dew of heaven from above, Shall thy blessing be." 

 

However the 1970 St. Joseph NAB and the New Jerusalem bible 1985 now say: "FAR FROM the richness of the earth and the dew of heaven above, your home will be." 

 

BUT now the latest Catholic version has come out. It's the 2009 The Sacred Scriptures Catholic Public Domain version and it once again says: "Isaac was moved, and he said to him: “IN the fatness of the earth, and in the dew of heaven from above,{27:40} will your blessing be." and so too does The Revised Douay-Rheims Bible 2012.

 

Agreeing with the reading and meaning found in the King James Bible are the Revised Version of 1885 - "OF THE FATNESS OF THE EARTH SHALL BE THY DWELLING, And of the dew of heaven from above", the ASV 1901 (the predecessor of the NASB) - "And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, OF the fatness of the earth shall be thy dwelling, And of the dew of heaven from above." the Amplified Bible 1987, the NKJV 1982, Green's literal 2000, the Complete Jewish Bible 1998, Lamsa's 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta - "Behold, YOUR DWELLING SHALL BE IN THE FERTILE PLACES OF THE EARTH, and the dew of heaven shall fall upon you from above",  the so called Greek Septuagint, Rotherham's Emphasized bible 1902 - "Lo! of the fat parts of the earth, shall be thy dwelling, And of the dew of the heavens, above", Darby 1890, Youngs 1898.

 

The 1582 Douay-Rheims, the 1950 Douay version, Wycliffe's Bible 1395 - "THI BLESSING SCHAL BE IN THE FATNESSE OF EARTHE, AND IN THE DEW OF HEVENE FRO ABOVE", the 1587 Geneva Bible  1587- "Behold, THE FATNESSE OF THE EARTH SHAL BE THY DWELLING PLACE, and thou shalt haue of the dewe of heauen from aboue.", the Bishops' Bible 1568, Coverdale 1535 - "Beholde, THOU SHALT HAVE A FAT DWELLING UPON THE EARTH, & of ye dew of heauen from aboue", the Great Bible 1540 - "THY DWELLINGE PLACE SHALL BE THE FATNESSE OF THE EARTH, and of the dewe of heauen from aboue.", Matthew's Bible 1549, The Lesser Bible 1853, The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907 - "thy dwelling shall be OF THE FATNESS of the earth, And OF the dew of heaven from above",  the 1917 Jewish Publication Society Bible - "Behold, OF THE FAT PLACES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE THY DWELLING, and of the dew of heaven from above", The New Jewish Version 1985 - "See, your abode SHALL ENJOY THE FAT of the earth and the dew of heaven above.", the Judiaica Press Tanach 2004, the Third Millennium Bible 1998. 

 

 

Other English Bibles that read like the KJB are The Word of Yah 1993, The Complete Jewish Bible 1998 -  "your home shall be OF the richness of the earth and OF the dew from heaven above.", God's First Truth 1999 - "Behold your dwelling place SHALL HAVE OF the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above.", Context Group Version 2007 - "OF THE FATNESS OF THE LAND SHALL BE YOUR DWELLING", Bond Slave Version 2009, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, Jubilee Bible 2010, Conservative Bible 2011 - "Look: your dwelling will be from the oils of the earth and the dew of heaven from above.", The Work of God’s Children Illustrated Bible 2011 - “IN THE FAT OF THE EARTH, AND IN THE DEW OF HEAVEN FROM ABOVE, SHALL YOUR BLESSING BE.”, the World English Bible 2012, The Hebrew Names Version 2014. 

 

BUT several other modern Critical text versions give THE OPPOSITE MEANING. 

 

NIV - Your dwelling will be AWAY FROM the earth’s richness

NASB - AWAY FROM the fertility of the earth shall be your dwelling


ESV - AWAY FROM the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be 

 

Jehovah Witness NWT - "Behold, AWAY FROM THE FERTILE SOILS of the earth your dwelling will be found"

 

The Common English Bible 2011 (Critical text version) - “Now, you will make a home FAR AWAY FROM the olive groves of the earth, FAR AWAY FROM the showers of the sky above.”

 

Holman Standard 2009 - “Look, your dwelling place will be AWAY FROM THE RICHNESS OF THE LAND, AWAY FROM THE DEW of the sky above.”

 

Dan Wallace’s NET version - “Indeed, your home will be AWAY FROM THE RICHNESS OF THE EARTH, and AWAY FROM the dew of the sky above.”

 

Names of God Bible 2011 (Critical text version) - “The place where you live WILL LACK THE FERTILE FIELDS OF THE EARTH AND THE DEW FROM THE SKY ABOVE.” 

 

 

Foreign Language Bibles

 

Genesis 27:39 Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Reina Valera Cipriano de Valera 1602, 1865 edition Corregida, Reina Valera 1909, 1960, 1977, Spanish Jubilee Bible 2010 and the Reina Valera Gómez Bible 2010  - “Entonces Isaac su padre habló y díjole: He aquí será tu habitación EN grosuras de la tierra, Y del rocío de los cielos de arriba” = KJB - “your dwelling will be IN the fatness of the earth”. 


BUT Reina Valera 1995 edition changed the text, and now reads: “Será tu morada LEJOS DE la tierra fértil, y del rocío que cae de los cielos.” = “Your dwelling will be FAR FROM the fertile earth”.  


So does the NIV Spanish Version - Nueva Versión Internacional 1999 - «Vivirás LEJOS DE las riquezas de la tierra, LEJOS DEL rocío que cae del cielo” = “you will live FAR AWAY FROM (lejos de) the riches of the earth, and FAR FROM the dew that falls from heaven.”


French Martin Bible 1744, Ostervald 1996  - “Et Isaac son père répondit, et dit : Voici, ton habitation sera EN la graisse de la terre, et en la rosée des cieux d'en haut.” = “your dwelling will be IN the fat of the earth” (Martin)


Italian Diodati 1649 - “Ecco, la tua stanza sarà IN luoghi grassi di terreno, E per la rugiada del cielo disopra.” = “your dwelling will be IN the fatness of the earth”  


BUT La Nuova Diodati 1991 changed it to the opposite - “Ecco, la tua dimora sarà PRIVA DELLA fertilità della terra e della rugiada che scenderà dall'alto dei cieli.” = “your dwelling will be DEVOID OF the fertility of the earth.” 


Portuguese Almeida 1681 = KJB - “Eis que a tua habitaçäo será nas gorduras da terra e no orvalho dos altos céus.” = Behold, thy dwelling SHALL BE THE FATNESS OF THE EARTH and the dew of heaven above.” 


 BUT the more modern Portuguese versions have reversed the meaning and now read “will be FAR FROM the fatness of the earth, and DISTANT FROM the dew of heaven. ” NIV Portuguese version 2000 - “Sua habitação será LONGE DAS terras férteis, DISTANTE DO orvalho que desce do alto céu.”


Modern Greek Bible - “η κατοικησις σου θελει εισθαι εις το παχος της γης, και εις την δροσον του ουρανου ανωθεν” = “your dwelling will be IN (εις) the fatness of the earth.” 


Modern Hebrew Bible = KJB - ויען יצחק אביו ויאמר אליו הנה משמני הארץ יהיה מושבך ומטל השמים מעל׃ויען יצחק אביו ויאמר אליו הנה משמני הארץ יהיה מושבך ומטל השמים מעל׃ = “your dwelling WILL BE THE FATNESS OF THE EARTH” 

 

The text of the King James Bible itself confirms the fact that Esau's portion was indeed the fatness of the earth. Later on in Genesis 33:9 when Jacob returns and offers Esau some gifts of cattle, sheep, goats and rams, Esau's reply to him is - "And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself." Also in Genesis 36:7 both have riches which causes them to separate as their collective cattle herds were too many, this also confirms Issac's blessing on Esau."


 

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown comment: "Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth--The first part is a promise of temporal prosperity, made in the same terms as Jacob's [Ge 27:28] --the second part refers to the roving life of hunting freebooters, which he and his descendants should lead.

 

John Calvin likewise translates the verse as it stands in the KJB and comments: "Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth. At length Esau obtains what he had asked. For, perceiving himself to be cast down from the rank and honor of primogeniture, he chooses rather to have prosperity in the world, separated from the holy people, than to submit to the yoke of his younger brother....Therefore, although God, with respect to his own people, banished Esau to desert mountains, he yet gave to him a land sufficiently fertile in itself to render the promise by no means nugatory. For that mountainous region both had its own natural fruitfulness, and was so watered by the dew of heaven, that it would yield sustenance to its inhabitants."

 

Critical Commentary - “Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth — The first part is A PROMISE OF TEMPORAL PROSPERITY, made in the same terms as Jacob‘s Genesis 27:28, - the second part refers to the roving life of hunting freebooters, which he and his descendants should lead." 

 

Joseph Benson’s Commentary - “The fatness of the earth — Mount Seir, the heritage of Esau, was a fertile place, refreshed with dews and showers." 

 

Matthew Henry Commentary - “It was promised him, That he should have a competent livelihood—the fatness of the earth, and the dew of heaven. Note, Those that come short of the blessings of the covenant may yet have a very good share of outward blessings. God gives good ground and good weather to many that reject his covenant, and have no part nor lot in it.”  

 

The King James Bible is always right. Accept no phony substitute.  

 

Will Kinney  

 

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