Lamentations 1:7 KJB - "the adversaries saw her, and did mock at her SABBATHS."
NKJV (ESV, Holman, NET, modern Catholic versions, Jehovah Witness NWT) - "the adversaries saw her and mocked at her DOWNFALL."
Here the NKJV seriously departs from the meaning found in the KJB, and by its footnote implies the KJB has followed the wrong texts. The NKJV joins the RSV, ESV, Holman Standard, NET, Catholic St. Joseph NAB, New Jerusalem bible 1985 and the Jehovah Witness NWT and says "the adversaries saw her and mocked at her DOWNFALL."
Then in a footnote the NKJV tells us "The Vulgate reads her Sabbaths", implying that the KJB translators followed the Latin Vulgate rather than the Hebrew texts. The NIV and Catholic New Jerusalem have "her destruction" and the NASB and Catholic St. Joseph "her ruin.", while the Jehovah Witness NWT has "her collapse." The Message says “her helpless silence”, and Young’s has “her cessation”.
James Price, who is one of the NKJV translators, has also written a book called "King James Onlyism: A New Sect" in which he attempts to find what he thinks are errors in this great old Bible. Of course Mr. Price himself does not believe that any Bible in any language is or ever was the complete, inspired and 100% historically true words of God; he is what I refer to as a card carrying Bible agnostic who has placed his own mind and understanding as his final written authority.
One of the many alleged "errors" Mr. Price points out in his book is Lamentations 1:7. On page 582 Appendix 1-2.6 he says the reading of "her sabbaths" comes from the Latin Vulgate, but that the NKJV's "her downfall" supposedly comes from the Hebrew. However as we shall soon see, Mr. Price and his NKJV are wrong and the King James Bible is right, as always.
For those who are interested, I have read James Price's anti-KJB book and written a response to his claims and accusations against what thousands of us blood bought saints of God believe to be the only complete, inspired and 100% true Holy Bible - the Authorized King James Holy Bible. You can see it here:
Continuing with Lamentations 1:7 "her sabbaths" or "her downfall"?
The Catholic Connection
The Catholic bibles are in their usual disarray, with the Douay-Rheims 1610, 1899 and the 1950 Douay reading “her sabbaths”. But then the 1968 Jerusalem Bible and the 1885 New Jerusalem bible reading “DOWNFALL” and the 1970 St. Joseph NAB has “RUIN”.
But once again in 2009 they came out with a new one called the Catholic Public Domain Version and it has gone back to “they mocked at her SABBATHS." Go figure.
The Hebrew word here rendered as "sabbaths" is #4868 and it comes from the verb meaning to rest or to keep Sabbath. It is used in Genesis 2:2 "and he RESTED on the seventh day from all his work which he had made" and in 2 Chronicles 36:21 "for as long as she lay desolate SHE KEPT SABBATH, to fulfill threescore and ten years." Even the NKJB reads the same in these passages.
Not only does the King James Bible read "and did mock at her SABBATHS" but so also do Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568 and the Geneva Bibles 1587 - 1599, the Douay-Rheims 1610, the Bill Bible 1671, Webster's translation of 1833, Rotherham's Emphasized Bible 1902 - "have mocked over her sabbath-keepings.", Douay 1950, the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Bible, The Word of Yah 1993, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, The Revised Webster Bible 1995, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, The Koster Scriptures 1998 - "they laughed AT HER SABBATHS.", God's First Truth 1999 - "laughing at HER SABBATH DAYS.", The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, the Bond Slave Version 2009 - "they did mock at HER SABBATHS.", the Jubilee Bible 2010 - "mocked at her days of rest.", The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011 - "have mocked AT HER SABBATHS."
This online Hebrew Interlinear Old Testament - "did mock at her SABBATHS" -
The Ancient Roots Translation 2008 says: "HER RESTS."
Foreign Language Bibles
Among foreign language translations that agree with the reading of “her sabbaths” are the Russian Synodal Version, Luther’s German Bible - “spotten ihrer Sabbate.”, the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras by Cassiodoro de Reina in 1569, Cipriano de Valera 1602, the Reina Valera 1909, and the 2010 Reina Valera Gómez Bibles - “y escarnecieron de sus SABADOS.”, the French Martin 1744 and French Ostervald 1996 - “sont moqués de SES SABBATS.”, the Romanian Fidela Bible 2014 - “potrivnicii l-au văzut şi i-au batjocorit SABATELE.”, the Russian Synodal Version - "неприятели смотрят на него и смеются над его субботами." = "the adversaries saw her and they did mock AT HER SABBATHS."
The Modern Greek Bible says: "εγελασαν επι τη καταπαυσει αυτης." = "they laughed at HER REST."
Bible commentators in the past have dealt with the same textual and translational perplexities the modern versions present, and have almost universally come down on the side of the reading “her sabbaths”.
Adam Clarke - “Verse 7. Did mock at her Sabbaths. mishbatteha. Some contend that Sabbaths are not intended here. The Septuagint has "her habitation;"The Vulgate and Arabic agree with the Hebrew. (Note, the Vulgate says Sabbaths - “hostes et deriserunt sabbata eius”, and Clarke says the Vulgate agrees with the Hebrew!) Some of my oldest MSS. have the word in the plural number, mishbatteyha, "her Sabbaths." A multitude of Kennicott's MSS. have the same reading. The Jews were despised by the heathen for keeping the Sabbath.”
Rashi’s Commentary on Lamentations 1:7 - “(Lam. Rabbah) interprets it as a different expression, that they rested in exile on the Sabbaths and festivals and observed the seventh year, and the heathens ridiculed them and said, “Fools! In your land you did not keep the Sabbatical Year, and now in exile you keep it? In your land, you did not keep the Sabbath, and now in exile you keep it?”
John Gill - “did mock at her sabbaths -as the Heathens used to do; calling the Jews Sabbatarians by way of derision; representing them as an idle lazy people, who observed a seventh day merely out of sloth, and so lost a seventh part of time or they mocked at them for keeping them in vain; since, notwithstanding their religious observance of them, they were suffered to be carried captive out of their land; or, as Jarchi thinks, the Chaldeans mocked at them for keeping their sabbaths strictly, now they were in other lands, when they neglected them in their own country.”
Jamieson, Faussett and Brown - “mock at her sabbaths--The heathen used to mock at the Jews' Sabbath, as showing their idleness, and term them Sabbatarians. Now, said they ironically, ye may keep a continuous Sabbath. So God appointed the length of the captivity (seventy years) to be exactly that of the sum of the Sabbaths in the four hundred ninety years in which the land was denied its Sabbaths (Le 26:33-35). MAURER translates it "ruin." BUT ENGLISH VERSION BETTER EXPRESSES THE POINT OF THEIR "MOCKING", NAMELY, THEIR INVOLUNTARY "SABBATHS" that is, the cessation of all national movements.”
Matthew Henry - “The adversaries saw her, and did mock at her sabbaths. They laughed at them for observing one day in seven as a day of rest from worldly business.”
John Calvin - “Seen, her have enemies, they laughed at her Sabbath, or at her cessation, which I do not dislike. But they who render it “leisure,” or idleness, either pervert or too much obscure the meaning of the Prophet. In the word “cessation,” there is an irony, for the enemies did not simply laugh at cessation, but did so in mockery, as they took this opportunity to taunt them for their religion. We know that the Sabbaths of the Jews were always hated by the heathens; and they were thereby subjected to many reproaches; for by way of reproach they called the Jews Sabbatharians. And when they wished ignominiously to traduce the whole service of God, as under the law, they named it “Sabbaths.” THERE IS, THEN, NO DOUBT BUT THAT THE HEATHENS REPROACHFULLY TAUNTED THE JEWS BECAUSE THEY OBSERVED THE SABBATH; “See, now is the time to worship God.” And we also see that God upbraided the Jews in a similar way by saying, “Until the land shall enjoy its Sabbaths.” (Leviticus 26:43.)”
Matthew Poole - “mock at her sabbaths. The inhabitants of Jerusalem, now that they are in affliction and misery, have time to remember their former mercies, and with how many desirable things God had once blessed them, and compare her former state before she fell into the enemies' hands, with her present state now she is in their power. Now it is an affliction to them to hear HER ENEMIES MOCK AT HER SABBATHS, which while they enjoyed they abused.”
The King James Bible is right, as always.
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