Judges 18:30 Manasseh or Moses?
KJB - "And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of MANASSEH, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land."
ESV (NIV, NET, Holman Standard, Catholic versions, Jehovah Witness NWT) - "And the people of Dan set up the carved image for themselves, and Jonathan the son of Gershom, son of MOSES, and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land."
Not only does the King James Bible read "the son of MANASSEH" but so also do all Jewish translations - the Jewish Family Bible 1864, The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907, the Jewish Publication Society 1917, the Hebrew Pub. Company 1936, The New Jewish Version 1985, the Complete Jewish Bible 1998, the Koster Scriptures 1998, the Judaica Press Complete Tanach 2004, The Ancient Roots Translinear Bible 2008, the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, The Orthodox Jewish Bible 2011, The Natural Israelite Bible 2012, and the Hebrew Roots Bible 2012 and The Hebrew Interlinear - "the son of Manasseh מנשׁה
Agreeing with the correct reading of MANASSEH as found in the King James Bible are also Coverdale, The Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, Geneva Bible 1587, the Thomson Bible 1808, Young's 1898, Lamsa's 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, The Revised English Bible 1877, Revised Version 1885, the American Standard Version 1901, New Life Version 1969, NKJV 1982, The Word of Yah 1993, the NASB 1995, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, The Apostolic Polyglot Bible 2003, Green's literal 2005, Complete Apostle's Bible 2005, the Online Interlinear 2010 (André de Mol), the Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011, the Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust), Lexham English Bible 2012, the ISV (International Standard Version) 2014, and the Modern English Version 2014.
Foreign Language Bibles
Foreign Language Bibles that also follow the Hebrew texts and say MANASSEH are the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Cipriano de Valera 1602, Reina Valera Antigua 1909, the Cipriano de Valera Revised 1865 and the Reina Valera Gómez Bible 2010 - "hijo de Manasés" (but the Reina Valera 1960 changed this to Moisés), La Biblia de Las Américas 1998, the Italian Diodati 1649, La Nuova Diodati 1991 and the Conferenza Episcopale Italiana Bible - "figlio di MANASSE", Martin Luther's German Bible 1545 - "des Sohnes MANASSES", the French Martin Bible 1744, French Ostervald 1996, French Louis Segond 1910 edition - "fils de MANASSE", the Portuguese A Biblia Sagrada and the Almeida Corrigida 2009 - "o filho de MANASSES", (but the NIV Portuguese has Moses), the Dutch Staten Vertaling - "den zoon van MANASSE", the Albanian Bible - "bir i MANASIT", the Finnish Bible 1776 - "MANASSEN pojan", the Lithuanian Bible - "o MANASO", the Myanmar/Burmese Bible 1835 (Adonirum Judson), the Ukranian Bible - " Манасіїного сина", the Hungarian Karoli Bible - "a MANASSE", the Russian Synodal Versions - "сына Манассии", the Swedish Bible 1917 - "MANASSES son" and the Romanian Fidela Bible 2014 - "fiul lui MANASE" and the Smith & van Dyke Arabic Bible - واقام بنو دان لانفسهم التمثال المنحوت وكان يهوناثان ابن جرشوم بن منسّى هو وبنوه كهنة لسبط الدانيين الى يوم سبي الارض.
The Syriac Peshitta says "..and Jonathan, the son of Gershon, the son of MANASSEH"
The Modern Greek Bible clearly says MANASSEH - “και Ιωναθαν ο υιος του Γηρσων, υιου του Μανασση”
And the Modern Hebrew Bible also reads MANASSEH, and not Moses. - ויקימו להם בני דן את הפסל ויהונתן בן גרשם בן מנשה הוא ובניו היו כהנים לשבט הדני עד יום גלות הארץ׃
The Catholic Connection
However there are numerous other versions that change the name Manasseh to MOSES. Among these are the RSV, NRSV, ESV, Darby, NIV, the Holman Standard, Daniel Wallace's NET version, The Voice 2012, the World English Bible 2012, the Catholic Douay-Rheims 1610, the Douay 1950, Catholic St. Joseph NAB 1970, New Jerusalem 1985 and the Jehovah Witness New World Translation.
The NIV reads: "and Jonathan son of Gershom, the son of MOSES, and his sons were priests for the tribe of Dan..."
Daniel Wallace of Dallas Theological Whatever's NET version also rejects the Hebrew texts and reads MOSES instead of Manasseh. He then footnotes: "Several ancient textual witnesses, including SOME LXX mss and the Vulgate, support the reading “Moses” here. Many Hebrew mss have a nun (?) suspended above the name between the first two letters suggesting the name Manasseh. This is probably a scribal attempt to protect Moses’ reputation."
So in other words, (according to the likes of Dan Wallace) hundreds of Hebrew manuscripts have been corrupted. God has not preserved His words in any single text, and by human reasoning we must pick and choose for ourselves among some readings but not all of them found in other conflicting witnesses, and even other Bible scholars of equal learning do not agree with our choices.
The "scholars" can't get their act together.
Darbys translation wrongly reads MOSES instead of Manasseh, but he comments: "The LXX and others read Manasseh but Jewish authority, followed by Jerome, supports the opinion that the text was corrupted."
Notice that Darby says the LXX (Greek Septuagint) reads Manasseh. So does my copy of Brenton's LXX - it clearly says Manasseh, just as the King James Bible has it. And so does The New Brenton Translation 2012.
However the NKJV footnotes: "Septuagint and Vulgate read Moses" -
This is a false footnote. It is a direct contradiction to what Darby and my copy of the LXX clearly say - "Manasseh"
Then the NIV scholars, which also wrongly read "Moses" in their text, tell us in their footnote: "SOME Septuagint manuscripts and Vulgate read Moses, BUT THE HEBREW MASORETIC TEXT HAS MANASSEH."
The NASB 1995 correctly reads Manasseh in its text, but then footnotes: "Some ancient versions read Moses." They don't tell us which versions these are, and only create doubt as to what exactly God inspired.
The RSV, NRSV, and ESV, which also incorrectly say MOSES in their text, then tell us in a footnote "another reading is Manasseh", but mention nothing about which texts have this reading or which ones say Moses.
Then we finally come to the brand new Holman Standard 2009 edition, which again incorrectly reads "Moses" in their version, but in their footnote they tell us: "SOME Hebrew manuscripts, the LXX and the Vulgate read Moses, and other Hebrew manuscripts read Manasseh."
Again, this is another lie. My copy of the so called Greek Septuagint clearly says MANASSEH and so does the New Brenton Translation of the Greek Septuagint done in 2012; It does NOT Moses.
Do you begin to see how confusing and contradictory all these "scholars" are? Somebody is obviously lying about the reading of the so called Greek Septuagint.
Matthew Henry rehearses the explanation given by many commentators that the Hebrew text has placed the letter "n" slightly over the name Manasseh and that it should not be read as Manasseh but Moses, and that the rabbis did this so as not to shame the memory of Moses with such an ungodly grandson. However Matthew Henry notes: "But the learned bishop Patrick takes this to be an idle conceit of the rabbin, and supposes this Jonathan to be of some other family of the Levites."
Commentators are a funny bunch. What one affirms with all confidence is absolutely denied by another. Only the Holy Bible is inspired, not the commentators. It is silly to suppose God would direct rabbis to alter His word "to protect the honour of Moses".
This is a totally humanistic view of Scripture. The sins of Moses himself stain the very pages of Holy Writ. Moses murdered an Egyptian and had to flee for his life. (Exodus 2:12). It was because Moses rebelled against the word of the LORD and did not believe Him that God did not allow him to enter the promised land. (Numbers 24:12, 24).
God has no qualms about recording the sins of even His greatest prophets, let alone one of their grandsons.
If we go to the Scriptures themselves we see that the Hebrew text says Manasseh and not Moses, and the only grandson of Moses mentioned in the Bible is a man named Shebuel, not Jonathan as mentioned here. See 1 Chronicles 23:15-16 and 26:24.
In the Bible there are three different people named Gershom and three different men named Manasseh, let alone all the ones so named that are not recorded in Scripture.
"Scholars", bible translators and commentators are all in disagreement with each other and none of them are inspired by God. Only God in His sovereignty and faithfulness to His promises can put together the true Holy Bible, and He has already done so in the greatest Bible in history - the Authorized King James Holy Bible.
The very last verse in this interesting book of Judges also applies to the modern day Bible Babel Buffet we see.
"In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes." Judges 21:25
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