There are many anti King James Bible sites on the internet which make lists of supposed errors in the Holy Bible. We will examine one such list and make our response.
Al Maxey is a Minister of the Church of Christ. He is now in Alamogordo New Mexico, but has moved around a bit from one ministry to another six times. He presently uses the ever changing NIV and criticizes the King James Bible.
Mr. Maxey's website uses the NIV and he posts this list of alleged "errors" he thinks he has found in the King James Bible.
Mr. Maxey is a typical Bible agnostic who had NO inerrant and 100% true Bible in any language he believes in, but has made his own mind and understanding his "final authority" (subject to change at any moment) and is now using one of the new Vatican Versions to "correct" the King James Bible. So let's look at Mr. Maxey's personal list of all time hits, and see if there is any merit to them.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL INACCURACIES IN THE KJV
The translators of the KJV lived and worked about 400 years ago. This is a considerable length of time, especially considering the many important discoveries made since then. These discoveries have shed light on areas of the text that they simply did not understand at the time. Through their lack of knowledge they made many unintentional errors in the text. The following are a few examples:
ONE---In Joshua 11:13 the translators of the KJV rendered the text as follows: "...the cities that stood still in their strength." Actually, the Hebrew speaks of cities "standing on their mounds." These "mounds" are known as "tells" in archaeology (the accumulated rubble of past cities on that site; cities built upon cities.). Not understanding this, the translators sought some meaning from a city on a mound, and arrived at the figure of strength. This is an interpretation of the original text, NOT a translation of it.
TWO---In I Kings 10:28 the word "Kue" is translated "linen yarn" in the KJV. This is incorrect. Actually, "Kue" was a location in Cilicia where Solomon purchased his horses.This is a fact which has been verified by archaeologists, but which the KJV translators were unaware of. A big difference between "linen yarn" and a place in Cilicia which sold horses!! Had this mistake been made in the NIV, the KJV adovates would still be screaming "bloody murder"!!
THREE---These translators also did not know what the "Asherah" was (a wooden idol representing a Canaanite goddess), so they translated the word repeatedly as meaning a "grove" of trees. In I Kings 16:33 they state, "And Ahab made *a grove,*" which provoked the Lord God to anger. In point of fact, Ahab made an IDOL here (the Asherah); his sin was idolatry, not planting a grove of trees!! God was not condemning "a grove," but rather an idol. I actually heard someone refer to this passage as "proof" that planting a "grove" will cause one to be eternally lost!!! How sad!
FOUR---In I Chron. 5:26 the KJV translators present Pul and Tilgath-pilneser as being two separate kings of Assyria. Actually, these were two names for the SAME MAN, as archaeological discoveries have proven.
FIVE---In II Kings 23:29 the KJV reads, "In his days Pharaoh Nechoh king of Egypt went up AGAINST the king of Assyria." This is not true!! Pharaoh Nechoh went to the AID OF the Assyrian king; they were ALLIES, not enemies, as ancient records from that time have clearly demonstrated. The KJV translators did not have that information available to them, and thus assumed their meeting to have been one of enmity. It was an historically false assumption!! How many other false assumptions did these translators make, one is led to wonder?!!!
SIX---In England in the 17th century it was normal practice to light a "candle" and place it on a "candlestick." This was NOT the case in ancient Palestine. They used oil lamps, which were then placed on lampstands. Throughout the NT the KJV translators changed "lamps" and "lampstands" to "candles" and "candlesticks" (Matt. 5:15; Luke 15:8; Rev. 1:12f). [End of Mr. Maxey's examples of "error" in the King James Bible.]
Now to address them.
#1 Joshua 11:13 - Strength vs mounds
"But as for the cities that stood still IN THEIR STRENGTH, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only: that did Joshua burn."
Bible agnostic Al Maxey objects to various renderings in the King James Bible and has posted a list of these "errors". He lists as his number one example: #1 --- In Joshua 11:13. Mr. Maxey then says: "The translators of the KJV rendered the text as follows: "....the cities that stood still in their STRENGTH." Actually, the Hebrew speaks of cities "standing on their MOUNDS." These "mounds" are known as "tells" in archaeology (the accumulated rubble of past cities on that site; cities built upon rubble from cities). Not understanding this, the translators sought some meaning from this idea of a city on a mound. They arrived at the figure of strength. This is an interpretation of the original text, NOT a translation of it. It is more commentary than translation, and not even a correct commentary at that." [End of Mr. Maxey's "deep insights"]
My Rebuttal -
Among the versions that do translate this word as MOUNDS (as Mr. Maxey suggests) are the NKJV, NASB, NIV, and the RSV. The NASB, NKJV and NIV also translate this word as "ruins", "heap" and "heap of ruins". So, would it have been consistent for these versions to translate the phrase as "the cities that stood on their ruins"? Even by choosing to translate as "cities that stood on their mounds" means nothing more to the average reader than they they had been built on the elevated ground that formed the foundation on which the cities were builded and they remained intact after the battles. Thus they still stood in their strength or foundation, as the King James has it.
This man is straining at gnats.
There are several other ways in which other Bible versions have translated this same word. The Spanish Reina Valera, Young's, Douay and Darby say "cities that stood ON THEIR HILLS".
The 1936 Jewish translation of the Hebrew Pub. Co. says "the cities that stood in their fastnesses" - which would equal the KJB in meaning.
The recent Jewish translation called the Judaica Press Tanach of 2004, translates the passage exactly as the King James Bible translators did. It reads: "But all the cities THAT STOOD IN THEIR STRENGTH, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only, did Joshua burn."
Not only does the KJB translate this as the cities that stood in their strength, but so also do the the Great Bible (Cranmer) of 1540 - "stode styll in their STRENGTH", the Bishop's Bible 1568 - "the cities that stoode still in their STRENGTH", the Geneva Bible 1599 - "But Israel burnt none of the cities that stoode still in their STRENGTH", Webster's 1833 translation, Lesser's Jewish Bible 1853 - "the cities that had been left standing in their STRENGTH, these did Israel not burn", The Jewish Family Bible 1864, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, The Revised Webster Bible 1995, the Third Millennium Bible 1998 - "But as for the cities that stood still IN THEIR STRENGTH, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only. That did Joshua burn.", The Revised Geneva Bible 2005 besides the previously mentioned Judaica Press Complete Tanach of 2004.
This online Interlinear Hebrew Old Testament - “cities that stood in their strength”
The Jewish Virtual Library Complete Tanach 1994.
11:13 But as for the cities that stood still IN THEIR STRENGTH, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only; that did Joshua burn.
The Hebrew Transliteration Scriptures 2010-
But [as for] the cities that stood still IN THEIR STRENGTH, Yisrael burned none of them, yasha (save) Hazor only; [that] did Yehoshua burn.
The Complete Jewish Bible, with Commentary by Rashi.
“But all the cities THAT STOOD IN THEIR STRENGTH, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only, did Joshua burn.
Commentary by Rashi - that stood in their strength; Jonathan renders: whose walls were not destroyed, like Jericho, whose walls fell, and so Ai, concerning which it is stated: “And made it a heap forever, a desolation.”
Other English Bibles that also translate Joshua 11:13 as "that stood in THEIR STRENGTH" are The Word of Yah 1993, the Bond Slave Version 2009, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, the Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011, Conservative Bible 2011, and the BRG Bible 2012.
Among foreign language Bible that have a similar meaning as the KJB are the French Martin 1744 which says: "Mais Israël ne brûla aucune des villes, qui étaient demeurées en leur état" = "none of the towns which HAD REMAINED IN THEIR STATE." and the Italian Diodati 1649 says: "delle città ch’erano rimaste in piè" - "that REMAINED STANDING, which again would equal the sense found in the King James Bible and others that say "stood in their strength". And the 2014 Romanian Fidela Bible reads like the KJB with - “Dar Israel nu a ars niciuna dintre cetăţile care stăteau liniştite în tăria lor” - “But Israel did not burn any of the cities that stood quiet IN THEIR STRENGTH"
The King James translators DID understand the meaning of the word as is noted in their marginal note. It says: "Hebrew, on their heap". In fact, the previous English Bibles of Coverdale 1535 and Matthew's Bible 1549 both read: "the cities that stode upon THE HILLES, dyd not the children of Israel burne with fyre". Wycliffe's bible 1395 had said: "citees that were set in the grete hillis, and in little hillis", and Brenton's translation of the so called Greek Septuagint reads: "But all THE WALLED CITIES Israel burnt not; but Israel burnt Asor only."
But there is good reason for translating this word as "strength" instead of heap. The word heap is # 8510 and is usually used to speak of the UTTER DESTRUCTION of a city rather than it's SURVIVAL.
Deuteronomy 13:16 "And thou shalt...burn the city with fire, and all the spoil thereof every whit,...for it shall be AN HEAP for ever; it shall not be built again."
Joshua 8:28 "And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it AN HEAP for ever, even a desolation unto this day."
Jeremiah 49:2 "the days come, saith the LORD, that I will cause an alarm of war to be heard in Rabbath of the Amonnites: and it shall be a desolate HEAP."
Other commentators offer a variety of opinions
John Gill - "But as for the cities that stood still in their strength,.... Whose walls were not demolished when taken, as Kimchi and Jarchi interpret it, or that "stood upon their heaps"; upon an eminence, being built on hills and mountains."
Geneva Bible marginal notes - But as for the cities that stood still in their (g) strength, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only; that did Joshua burn.
(g) Which were strong by situation and not hurt by war.
John Wesley - "In their strength - Hebrew. with their fence, walls or bulwarks, that is, which were not ruined with their walls in taking them."
Benson Commentary - “In their strength — Hebrew, with their fence, walls, or bulwarks, that is, which were not ruined with their walls in taking them.”
Matthew Poole’s Commentary - “In their strength, Heb. with their fence or fences, walls or bulwarks, i.e. which were not utterly ruined together with their walls in the taking of them.”
The King James Bible is not in error here. It is a matter of interpretation and obviously not all "scholars" agree as to the meaning. It is hardly fair to object to the KJB reading when other versions likewise translate a single word in a variety of ways.
For instance, the word usually translated as "strength" #3581 koach, is also rendered as "fruit" and "wealth" by the NKJV, NASB and NIV. Another word frequently translated as "strength" or power # 2428 chayil, is also rendered by these other versions as "army, excellency, full, goods, nobly, valient, wealth, worthy, caravan, skills and profit".
The context determines the meaning of a word, and the King James Bible translators and several others apparently recognized that usually the Hebrew word used here is translated as "HEAPS of RUINS" and describes the total destruction of a city, but here in Joshua 11:13, these cities survived and remained intact, and so "stood IN THEIR STRENGTH." It is not in error.
# 2. on the Hit List - 1 Kings 10:28 - "linen yarn" or "Kue" or "droves" or "goods"
1 Kings 10:28 KJB - "And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and LINEN YARN: the king's merchants received the LINEN YARN at a price."
The parallel verse in 2 Chronicles 1:16 also reads: "And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and LINEN YARN; the king's merchants received the LINEN YARN at a price."
NKJV - 1 Kings 10:28 - "And Solomon had horses imported from Egypt and KEVEH; the king's merchants bought them in KEVEH at the current price."
Our Bible corrector, Al Maxey, comments: "In I Kings 10:28 the word "Kue" is translated "linen yarn" in the KJV. This is INCORRECT. Actually, "Kue" was a location in Cilicia where Solomon purchased his horses. This is a fact which has been verified by archaeologists, but of which the KJV translators were painfully unaware." [End of comments]
Here is a man who trusts the "archaeologists" to inform him of what is historic truth and to "correct" Gods Book. Most archeologists have had a consistent track record of always discovering the truth and bringing to light the hidden things of darkness, right?
Mr. Maxey accuses the KJB translators of being "painfully unaware", but he has the real explanation to give us after being in painful ignorance for so long. Well, we shall see if other "scholars" agree with him. Again, there is a wide variety of opinions and translations.
This Bible corrector insists we shoud translate this word as "Kue", according to his own understanding. But not all other "scholars" are at all in agreement with him about this.
The NKJV says KEVAH, the NASB has KOE, while the NIV and ESV have KUE. The King James Bible translators were obviously aware of this possible translation since the Latin Vulgate, Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535 and the Catholic Douay-Rheims 1610 read this way - "And horses were brought for Solomon out of Egypt, and Coa: for the king's merchants brought them out of Coa, and bought them at a set price." - Douay-Rheims 1610
Others have translated this word in an entirely different manner. The Judaica Press Tanach 2004 - “And the source of Solomon's horses was from Egypt and AN ASSEMBLAGE. The agents of the king, would buy the ASSEMBLAGE PRIVILEGES for a price.”
The 1936 Jewish translation says "and the king's merchants bought them IN TROOPS, each TROOP at a certain price."
The Revised Version 1881, the ASV 1901 and the World English Bible all say: “And the horses which Solomon had were brought out of Egypt; and the king's merchants received THEM IN DROVES, EACH DROVE at a price.”
The Amplified Bible 1987 also reads “droves”, and not ‘linen yarn’ and nor “Kue” nor "Koe", nor "Keveh".
Rotherham’s Emphasized bible 1902 read: “And the horses that Solomon had were, AN EXPORT, out of Egypt, - and, a company of the merchants of the king, used to fetch, A DROVE, at a price.”
Darby’s translation 1890 reads: “And the exportation of horses that Solomon had was from Egypt: A CARAVAN the king's merchants fetched A DROVE [of horses], at a price.”
A Conservative Version 2005 - "And the king's merchants received them in HERDS, each HERD at a price."
The 2010 New Heart English Bible (a critical text version) says: "and the king's merchants received them in DROVES, each DROVE at a price."
Luther’s German bible 1545 comes out to: “And one brought the Salomon horse from Egypt and ALL KINDS OF GOODS, and the sales people of the king bought THE SAME GOODS.”
There are other Bible translations that agree with the King James Bible reading of "linen yarn". Among these are the Bishop's Bible 1568 "Also Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and FINE LINNEN: the kinges marchauntes receaued the LINNEN for a price.", the Geneva Bible 1599 - "Also Salomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and FINE LINEN: the Kings marchants receiued THE LINEN for a price.", The Bill Bible 1671, Webster's 1833 translation, The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907 - "the kings merchants received THE LINEN YARN at a price", the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, The Word of Yah 1993, The Revised Webster Bible 1995, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, the Apostolic Bible 2006 (Charles Van der Pool), the Bond Slave Version 2009, the English Jubilee Bible 2010 - "And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt and LINEN YARN, for the king’s merchants bought the horses and YARN.", the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, the Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011 - "And king Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, AND LINEN YARN." and A Conservative Version 2011 - "and LINEN YARN", and The Holy Bible, Modern English Version 2014 - “Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt along with LINEN YARN.. The king’s merchants received the LINEN YARN at a price.”
The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907 - “And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt AND LINEN YARN…”
This online Interlinear Hebrew Old Testament - "linen yarn"
The Hebrew Transliteration Scriptures 2010
And Sh'lomo had horses brought out of Mitzrayim, and LINEN YARN: the king's merchants received the LINEN YARN at a price.
Among foreign language Bibles that also read "LINEN YARN" like the KJB are including the Italian Diodati - "del re prendevano il filo a certo prezzo." = "of the king took THE THREAD at a certain price", the Dutch Staten Vertaling bible (het linnen garen), the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Cipriano de Valera 1602, the Reina Valera 1909 - 1995 (lienzos), the Spanish Jubilee Bible 2000 - "Y sacaban caballos y lienzos a Salomón de Egipto; porque la compañía de los mercaderes del rey compraban caballos y lienzos.", the Portuguese Almeida Bible - “e de Coa; os mercadores do rei os recebiam de Coa por preço determinado.” = “ and LINEN YARN; the king's merchants received the LINEN YARN at a certain price.” and the Czech Kralicka Bible - “nebo kupci královští brávali koupě rozličné za slušnou mzdu” = “ the king's merchants would take YARN at a decent wage."
and The Modern Greek Bible - Εγινετο δε εις τον Σολομωντα εξαγωγη ιππων και λινου νηματος εξ Αιγυπτου· το μεν νημα ελαμβανον οι εμποροι του βασιλεως εις ωρισμενην τιμην. = LINEN YARN” λινου νηματος
Other foreign language translations that also have "LINEN YARN" are the Russian Synodal Version - “Коней же царю Соломону приводили из Египта и из Кувы; царские купцы покупали их из Кувы за деньги.” = “Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and LINEN YARN; the king's merchants received THE LINEN YARN for money.”, the Romanian Fidela Bible 2014 - “comercianţii împăratului primeau inul împletit cu un preţ.” = “the king's merchants received THE LINEN WOVEN with a price.”, the Danish Bible - “Kongens Handelsfolk købte dem i Kove.” = “The king's merchants received THE LINEN YARN.”, the Afrikaans Bible 1953 - “handelaars van die koning het dit uit Kwé gaan haal teen koopprys. = “merchants of the king's LINEN YARN at a price.”, the Chinese Union Traditional Bible - “所 羅 門 的 馬 是 從 埃 及 帶 來 的 ， 是 王 的 商 人 一 群 一 群 按 著 定 價 買 來 的 。= “the king's merchants received THE LINEN YARN at a price bought”., Croatian Bible - “ kraljevi nabavljači uvozili su ih iz Koe za određenu svotu.” = “the king imported from them YARN at a price.”, Lithuanian Bible - “Saliamonas parsigabendavo žirgų iš Egipto ir Kevės.” = “Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and LINEN YARN.”, Albanian Bible - “Kuajt e Salomonit importoheshin nga Egjipti dhe nga Kue; tregtarët e mbretit shkonin e i merrnin në Kue me një çmim të caktuar.” = “Solomon horses out of Egypt, and LINEN YARN; the king's merchants received the LINEN YARN at a price.”
Archeology is equally on the side of the KJV translators, for ancient Egypt is known for its massive linen exports. Proverbs 7:16 and Ezekiel 27:7 indicate that Egyptian linen was favoured in the ancient world. In a passage that catalogues King Solomon’s collection of the best materials for the temple, it may be unusual if the passage does not mention the import of Egyptian linen. 2 Chronicles 2:14 mentions that linen was one of the materials used for the temple.
The Commentaries as well as the Bible translations are all over the board regarding what this Hebrew words means and how it should be translated. To give you some idea of the diversity of opinions, we will look at what some have said.
The Pulpit Commentary lists several totally different meanings that have been held over the centuries. Mr. Maxey's assertion that the KJB translators were "painfully unaware" of these distinctions it totally untrue.
The Pulpit Commentary notes: "And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price. THIS IS A DIFFICULT PASSAGE, and the difficulty lies in the word מִקְוֶה, here rendered "linen yarn." Elsewhere the word signifies, a congregation, or gathering …Consequently, Gesenius with Vatablus would here interpret, “COMPANY."… Somewhat similarly Bahr: "and as to horses... and their COLLECTION” BUT THIS AGAIN IS STRAINED AND ARTIFICIAL…PERHAPS it is safer to see in the word the name of a place. The LXX. (similarly the Vulgate) renders, "from Egypt and from Thekoa," καὶ ἐκ θεκουὲ, which Keil, however, contends is manifestly a variation of an older reading, καὶ ἐκ Κουὲ, "and from Κουα." AS TO KOA OR KOVA, IT IS OBJECTED THAT NO SUCH PLACE IS MENTIONED elsewhere, and it is alleged that if it were a market for horses, or even if it were a frontier station, where the duties on horses were collected, we should surely have heard of it again. BUT THIS IS BY NO MEANS CERTAIN.”
Adam Clarke’s Commentary - “And linen yarn - The original word, מקוה (mikveh), is HARD TO BE UNDERSTOOD, IF IT BE NOT INDEED A CORRUPTION. THE VERSIONS ARE ALL PUZZLED WITH IT.”
Kretzmann Popular Commentary - “And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, which was noted for its fine horses, and linen yarn, LITERALLY, “A TROOP, A MULTITUDE” ; the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price, every troop, or shipment, was delivered at a certain contracted price.”
John Gill - "And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt,.... To mount his horsemen with, and draw his chariots and linen yarn; the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price; OR RATHER LINEN ITSELF, OR LINEN GARMENTS, as Ben Gersom; linen being the staple commodity of Egypt. The word rendered "linen yarn" signifies a confluence or collection of waters and other things; and the words may be rendered, "as for the collection, the king's merchants received the collection at a price"; that is, the collection of horses, a large number of them got together for sale."
Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - “The word translated “linen yarn” is thought now by Hebraists to mean “a troop” or “company.” If the present reading is retained, they would translate the passage - “As for the bringing up of Solomon‘s horses out of Egypt, a band of the king‘s merchants fetched a band (or troop) of horses at a price.” BUT THE READING IS VERY UNCERTAIN.”
Matthew Henry - "Linen Yarn in 2 Chronicles 1:16- It is the wisdom of princes to promote industry and encourage trade in their dominions. Perhaps Solomon took the hint of setting up the linen-manufacture, bringing linen-yarn out of Egypt, working it into cloth, and then sending that to other nations."
Matthew Henry continues: "2 Chronicles 1:16 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price... linen yarn. The word miqvˆ or miqvˆh is regarded by the ancient translators as a proper name: the LXX. have “from Tekoa,” the Vulgate, de Coa, ”from Koa,” which is adopted by Dr. Geddes; Bochart THINKS IT SIGNIFIES A TRIBUTE; OTHERS SUPPOSE that it signifies a string or DROVE of horses, OR AS JARCHI SAYS, what the Germans call Gtutte, A STUD; BUT Houbigant SUPPOSES it to be A CORRUPTION FOR for mercavah, “CHARIOTS”.
OUR ENGLISH TRANSLATION, HOWEVER, which regards it as synonymous with tikwah, SEEMS BY FAR THE BEST. According to Norden, linen yarn is still one of the principal articles of commerce in Egypt, and is exported in very large quantities, together with unmanufactured flax and spun cotton; and Sanutus, 400 years ago, remarked that though Christian countries abounded in flax, yet the goodness of the Egyptian was such, that it was dispersed even to the west."
Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges - “and linen yarn] The word (מקוה) mikveh so translated, is derived from a verb which implies ‘a stringing together,’ and a kindred noun (תקוה) tikvah, is used (Joshua 2:18) for the line of scarlet cord which Rahab was ordered to bind in her window. FROM THIS CONNEXION THE RENDERING OF THE A.V. IS DERIVED."
Matthew Poole’s Commentary - “Horses and linen yarn; the two chief commodities of Egypt.The king’s merchants received the linen yarn for a price; Solomon received them from Pharaoh at a certain price agreed between them, and gave this privilege to his merchants, for a tribute to be paid to him out of it.”
Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments - “The king’s merchants received the linen yarn at a price — Agreed on between Pharaoh and Solomon, who gave this privilege to his merchants for a tribute to be paid out of this commodity. MOST THINK BYSSUS, FINE LINEN, IS HERE MEANT, one of the principal of the Egyptian merchandises.”
Here is my link for this article
So Mr. Bible Corrector, we can either believe that the English speaking people of the world have been blessed by God with an infallible and 100% true Bible in our own language for the past 400 years, OR we can believe that you labor under an inflated view of your own personal opinion (which many of equal if not superior learning disagree with) and that you have NO complete and infallible Bible in any language to either believe in yourself or to give to anybody else.
Can you guess which of these two options I and many others are gonna go with?
All of grace, believing The Book - the Authorized King James Holy Bible.
# 3 GROVES vs Asherah Deuteronomy 16:21; 1 Kings 16:33 etc.
KJB - Deuteronomy 16:21 "Thou shalt not plant thee a GROVE OF ANY TREES near unto the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make unto thee."
NKJV - Deuteronomy 16:21 "You shall not plant for yourself any tree, as A WOODEN IMAGE, near the altar which you build for yourself to the LORD your God."
ESV Deuteronomy 16:21 "You shall not plant any tree as AN ASHERAH beside the altar of the LORD your God that you shall make."
1 Kings 16:33 KJB - "And Ahab made a GROVE; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him."
NKJV 1 Kings 16:33 - "And Ahab made A WOODEN IMAGE. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him."
ESV 1 Kings 16:33 - "And Ahab made AN ASHERAH. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him."
Answering the Bible agnostics who criticize the King James Bible -
Bible corrector and NIV Vatican Version user Al Maxey posts on his site: “These (King James Bible) translators also did not know that the "Asherah" was a wooden idol representing a Canaanite goddess, so they translated the word repeatedly as meaning a "grove" of trees. In I Kings 16:33 they state, "And Ahab made A GROVE” which provoked the Lord God to anger.
In point of fact, Ahab made an IDOL here (the Asherah); his sin was idolatry, not planting a grove of trees!! God was not condemning "a grove," but rather an idol. I actually heard someone refer to this passage as "proof" that planting a "grove" will cause one to be eternally lost!!! How sad!” [End of Al Maxey's comments]
Keep in mind that this criticism of the King James Bible is raised by men who themselves do NOT believe that ANY Bible in any language is or ever was the perfect and infallible words of God. Not one of them will ever show you a copy of what they honestly believe is the complete and inerrant words of God in ANY language. And the simple reason why they won't is because they do not believe that such a thing exists or ever existed.
In any event, let’s go ahead and look at his objection. In the King James Bible, and many others too as we shall soon see, there are two different Hebrew words translated as " A GROVE". One is # 842 ashen-rah and is found some 39 times and is always translated as "grove" in the KJB and several others. The other one is # 815 eh-shel and is only found 3 times in the Hebrew Old Testament. Once it is translated as "a grove" and 2 times as "a tree" It is used in Genesis 21:33 where we read:
Genesis 21:33 where we are told - “And Abraham planted a GROVE in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.” is found only three times in the Hebrew texts and the other two times it is translated as a “tree” in the King James Bible.
The King James Bible is not the only one to translate this word as a "GROVE" in Genesis 21:33. Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1534, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549 and the Bishops' Bible say he planted "a wood" and Coverdale 1535 says he planted "trees" while the Geneva Bible 1587, the Douay-Rheims of 1610, The Longman Version 1841, The Revised English Bible 1877, Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta and the KJV 21st Century and Third Millennium Bible 1998 say he planted A GROVE., Bond Slave Version 2009, English Jubilee Bible 2010 - "A GROVE", Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011.
The Lesser Bible of 1853 says he planted "an orchard"
John Gill comments on Genesis 21:33 - "And Abraham planted A GROVE in Beersheba…The Jewish writers are divided about the use of this grove, as Jarchi relates; one says it was for a paradise or orchard, to produce fruits out of it for travellers and for entertainment; another says it was for an inn to entertain strangers in; it rather was for a shade, to shelter from the sun in those sultry and hot countries; and perhaps for a religious use, and to be an oratory, as the following words seem to suggest: in the midst of it very likely Abraham built an altar, and sacrificed to the Lord; hence might come the superstitious use of GROVES among the Heathens; and, when they came to be abused to idolatrous purposes, they were forbidden by the law of Moses, which before were lawful."
Matthew Henry comments - "There he planted A GROVE for a shade to his tent, or perhaps an orchard of fruit-trees; and there, though we cannot say he settled, for God would have him, while he lived, to be a stranger and a pilgrim, yet he sojourned many days...There he called on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God, probably in the grove he planted, which was his oratory or house of prayer."
The same Hebrew word translated as "grove" in Genesis 21:33 in the KJB and others is also translated as "a tree" and is used in 1 Samuel 22:6 “now Saul abode in Gibeah under a TREE in Ramah” and in 1 Samuel 31:13 “And they took their bones, and buried them under a TREE at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.”
However versions like the NKJV, NIV, RSV, ESV, NASB and Holman Standard all tell us in Genesis 21:33 that Abraham planted "A TAMARISK TREE" instead of a grove.
Even if we take the view, as I most certainly do, that both words are talking about TREES, there is still no contradiction. Deuteronomy 16:21 forbids the planting A GROVE OF TREES near the altar of God and was part of the law of Moses and this law was given long after the time of Abraham. Abraham was not under the law of Moses and there is not the slightest indication that this grove of trees Abraham planted was in any way connected to idolatry. In fact, it was after Abraham planted this grove in Bersheba that he there called upon the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.
Even Dan Wallace notes that "The planting of the tree is a sign of Abraham’s intent to stay there for a long time, not a religious act. A growing tree in the Negev would be a lasting witness to God’s provision of water."
It seems the main objection of this particular Bible critic is the use of the word “grove” that is used some 38 times from the book of Exodus 34:13 "But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their GROVES." to Micah 5:14 - "And I will pluck up thy GROVES out of the midst of thee; so will I destroy thy cities."
Deuteronomy 16:21 "Thou shalt not plant thee a GROVE OF ANY TREES near unto the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make unto thee."
1 Kings 16:33 KJB - "And Ahab made a GROVE; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him."
The only blunder here is the ignorance of men like Al Maxey, a man with no infallible Bible to either believe in himself or to give to anyone else.
Let’s see how the word “groves” is used so we can see what the word refers to.
In Deuteronomy 7:5 God gives instructions to His people whom He had redeemed out of Egypt. They are about to go into the promised land where they will have to fight to drive out the seven pagan nations that inhabit the land. God tells them that they are to destroy them and not make marriages with them.
Then He says: “But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, AND CUT DOWN THEIR GROVES, and burn their graven images with fire.”
The "groves" that these heathen nations made WERE used in connection with idolatrous practices. This should be obvious to anyone who follows a word study in the King James Bible.
For example, in 2 Chronicles 15:16 we read: "And also concerning Maachah the mother of Asa the king, he removed her from being queen, because SHE HAD MADE AN IDOL IN A GROVE: and Asa CUT DOWN HER IDOL, and stamped it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron."
Please notice that this was "an idol IN a grove" and he "cut down her idol" and burnt it. The grove itself was not the idol, as our Bible critics affirms, but the idol that was IN the grove.
John Calvin comments about the "groves" in Jeremiah 17:1-2 "The sin of Judah is written with a pen or iron...Whilst their children remember their altars and their GROVES by the green trees upon the high hills."
Calvin comments: "I then have no doubt but that the Prophet here amplifies their wickedness, when he says, that it was graven on the horns of the altars; for their posterity remembered the superstitions, which they had received from their fathers. He mentions also THEIR GROVES; for on or near every shady tree they built altars; and also on all high hills."
Again Calvin comments on Micah 5:14 "And I will pluck up THY GROVES out of the midst of thee", saying: "I will take away thy groves. The GROVES, we know, formed a part of their idolatry: they are therefore mentioned here as an addition by the Prophet. For he speaks not simply of trees, but refers to the wicked practices of the people: for wherever there were high and lofty trees, they thought that something divine was hid under their shade; hence their superstition. When therefore the Prophet mentions GROVES, it must be understood of vicious and false modes of worship; for they thought that those places acquired a sort of sanctity from the trees; as they also thought that they were nearer to God when they were on a hill."
John Gill comments on Exodus 34:13 "But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and CUT DOWN THEIR GROVES." - "and cut down their groves; which were clusters of trees, where they had their temples and their idols, and did service to them, and where, besides idolatry, many impurities were committed. Such places were originally used by good men for devotion, being shady and solitary, but when abused to superstitious and idolatrous uses, were forbidden. It is said the word for "grove" is general, and includes every tree they serve, or plant, for an idol."
The Geneva Bible notes - "and cut down their (d) groves: (d) Which pleasant places they chose for their idols."
GROVES vs Asherah
Deuteronomy 16:21 KJB - "Thou shalt not plant thee a GROVE of any trees near unto the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make thee."
NKJV - "You shall not plant for yourself any tree, as A WOODEN IMAGE, near the alter which you build for yourself to the LORD your God."
Those versions that have translated this word here as "ASHERAH POLE" (or something similar) are the RSV, ESV, Holman, NASB, ; International Standard Version, Common English Version - "A SACRED POLE"; NIV " A WOODEN ASHERAH POLE"
Young’s has - “Thou dost not plant for thee A SHRINE OF ANY TREES near the altar “. The Knox Bible of 2012 reads: “There must be NO SACRED WOOD around the Lord’s altar, no tree of any kind.”
Not only does the King James Bible translate this word as GROVE in Deuteronomy 16:21 and the other passages, but so also do Wycliffe's bible of 1395 - "ye shall not plant a wood.”, Tyndale 1534 (he translated part of the O.T. before his death), Miles Coverdale 1535 - "Thou shalt plante no GROUE (of what so euer trees it be) nye vnto the altare of the LORDE thy God", the Great Bible 1540 (Cranmer), Matthew's Bible 1549 (John Rogers), the Bishop's Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599 - “Thou shalt plant thee no GROUE of any trees neere vnto the altar of the Lorde thy God”, the Douay-Rheims of 1610, Webster’s translation 1833, The Boothroyd Bible 1853, The Longman Version 1841, Brentons Translation 1851, the Lesser Bible 1853, The Jewish Family Bible 1864, The Smith Bible 1876, the Jewish translation of 1936 by the Hebrew Pub. Co. of New York, the Douay Version 1950, the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version, Lamsa's 1936 translation of the Syriac, - “You shall not plant for yourselves A GROVE of any trees near the altar of the LORD”, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, the Third Millenium Bible 1998, the Complete Apostle's Bible 2005 - "you shall not plant for yourself A GROVE" and the English Jubilee Bible of 2010, Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010 - “Thou shalt not plant thee asherah (GROVE) of any trees near unto the altar of YEHOVAH", the Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011 -"A GROVE of trees", Conservative Bible 2011, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011.
Among foreign language Bible that also have GROVE, referring to a group of trees, are Jerome’s Latin Vulgate of 405 A.D. - “Non plantabis lucum, et omnem ARBORE juxta altare Domini Dei tui” and the Nova Vulgata of 1979 - “arborem”, the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Cipriano do Valera 1602, and the Reina Valera 1909 - "No te plantarás BOSQUE DE NINGUN ARBOL cerca del altar de Jehová tu Dios, que tú te habrás hecho.", the Italian Diodati 1649- "Non piantarti alcun BOSCO DI VERUNO ALBERO presso all’Altar del Signore Iddio tuo", the French Martin 1744 - “Tu ne planteras point de BOCAGE, DE QUELQUE ARBRE que ce soit”, the Portuguese A Biblia Sagrada em Portugués and the Almeida Corrigida E Fiel 1681 - "Não plantarás NENHUM BOSQUE DE ARVORES unto ao altar do SENHOR" and Martin Luther’s German Bible 1545 - “Du sollst keinen Hain von Bäumen pflanzen bei dem Altar des HERRN”.
Other foreign language Bible that also translate this word as "A GROVE OF TREES" are the Dutch Staten Vertaling Bible - “Gij zult u geen bos planten van enig geboomte, bij het altaar des HEEREN” = “Thou shalt not plant thee A GROVE OF TREES near unto the altar of the LORD”, the Russian Synodal Bible - “Не сади себе рощи из каких-либо дерев при жертвеннике Господа” = “Not plant thee A GROVE OF ANY TREES near unto the altar of the Lord”, and the 2014 Romanian Fidela Bible - “Să nu îţi sădeşti vreun crâng de pomi lângă altarul DOMNULUI Dumnezeul tău” = “Thou shalt not sow any GROVE OF TREES near the altar of the LORD thy God”.
Even the so called Greek Septuagint reads as does the King James Bible - Deuteronomy 16:21 - "ου φυτευσεις σεαυτω αλσος παν ξυλον παρα το θυσιαστηριον κυριου του θεου σου ο ποιησεις σεαυτω" - "Thou shalt not plant for thyself A GROVE; thou shalt not plant for thyself any tree near the altar of thy God."
and the Modern Greek Bible also reads this way - "Δεν θελεις φυτευσει εις σεαυτον αλσος οποιωνδηποτε δενδρων πλησιον του θυσιαστηριου Κυριου του Θεου σου" (αλσος οποιωνδηποτε δενδρων) = grove whichever of trees.
The Catholic Connection
Among the Catholic versions we see the usual confusion. The older Douay-Rheims of 1610 and the 1950 Douay both said "grove of trees". But the more modern Catholic versions like the St. Joseph NAB 1970 and the New Jerusalem of 1985 both say "You must not plant A SACRED POLE OF WOOD whatsoever beside the altar". But now the latest 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version has gone back to reading: "You shall not plant a sacred GROVE, nor shall you plant any tree near the altar of the Lord your God."
Even The Oxford English Dictionary tells us groves were commonly planted by heathen peoples in honor of deities to serve as places of worship or for the reception of images.
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown - "Thou shalt not plant thee A GROVE - A GROVE has in Scripture a variety of significations - a group of overshadowing trees, or a grove adorned with altars dedicated to a particular deity, or a wooden image in a grove (Judges 6:25, 2 Kings 23:4-6) They might be placed near the earthen and temporary altars erected in the wilderness, but they could not exist either at the tabernacle or temples. They were places, which, with their usual accompaniments, presented strong allurements to idolatry; and therefore the Israelites were prohibited from planting them."
Matthew Henry - "They must not only not join with the idolaters in their worships, not visit their GROVES, nor bow before the images which they had set up, but, 1. They MUST NOT PLANT A GROVE, nor so much as a tree, near God’s altar lest they should make it look like the altars of the false gods. They made GROVES the places of their worship."
John Gill - "Thou shall not plant thee a GROVE of any trees,.... Of any sort of trees, as oaks or any other; not but that it was lawful to plant trees and GROVES of them, but not for a religious or idolatrous use: particularly near unto the altar of the Lord thy God, which thou shalt make thee; as the Heathens did near their altars, lest it should be thought to be done for a like superstitious and idolatrous use; which evil the Jews sometimes fell into in the times of wicked reigns, and which their good and pious kings removed and destroyed; and Hecataeus , an Heathen historian, relates of the city of Jerusalem, that there were there no image, nor plantation, nor grove, nor any such thing."
The NKJV translates "not plant thee a grove of any trees" as "not plant for yourself any tree, as a wooden image, near the altar". The NKJV is confusing. A wooden image is not a tree that can be planted.
The NASB has "You shall not plant for yourself an Asherah of any kind of tree." The Holman Standard is very similar with: “Do not set up an Asherah of any kind of wood next to the altar you will build for the Lord your God,” and the ESV says: “You shall not plant any tree as an Asherah beside the altar of the Lord your God that you shall make." This is more likely than the NKJV in that at least it is a tree which represents an idol.
The NIV says: "Do not set up any wooden Asherah pole beside the altar." This reading changes "plant" to "set up", omits the word and the concept of trees and leaves us, in effect, with a non living stick.
THE VERB IS TO PLANT # 5193, AS IN TO PLANT A TREE OR TO PLANT A VINE, NOT "TO SET UP". YOU DO NOT "PLANT" AN IDOL. Groves of trees became dedicated places to honor pagan gods. Sometimes the images of these gods were carved into the base of the living tree itself, as can be seen on many of the New Age Goddess sites. 1 Kings 15:13 tells us king Asa removed his mother from being queen because she made an idol in a grove. This carved image in the living tree could also have been cut out of the tree and placed in a persons home.
A further step was then taken in carving a graven image like that found in the grove and placing it in the house of the LORD. See 2 Kings 21:7 where we read that wicked king Manasseh "set a graven image of the grove that he had made in the house". Later on this "grove" was removed from the house of the Lord by the young reformer Josiah. See 2 Kings 23:4,6.
New Age Theology
This information comes from a New Age site called Blessed Bee. These are direct quotes from the New Agers themselves. These are NOT Christian sites, but New Age sites, and this is what they say they believe.
This site tells us of the so called ancient goddesses. (The capital letters are mine for emphasis.) Regarding Asherah: "In the Middle East the Goddess of the GROVE was Asherah, whose GROVES were found "on every high hill and under every green tree" 1 Kings 14:23. Asherah was known as the Mother or Creator of all the gods. Sacrificial feasts were held in the sacred GROVES of Asherah in Jerusalem according to Apion."
And New Age site is called MotherGoddess.Com where we get this information concerning Asherah. (Capital letters are mine for emphasis) "Asherah - Semitic name of the Great Goddess. SACRED GROVE, Divine Harlot, Lady of Heaven, Queen of the Gods, Symbol - stylized MULTI-BRANCHED TREE. She Who gives birth to the gods, Goddess of the TREE of Life, Goddess of the GROVE. She Who gives birth, Wet-nurse of the gods. Ugaritic Mother Goddess. She was the Force of Life, experienced as benevolent and enduring, found in flocks of cattle and GROVES OF TREES, evoked in childbirth and planting time."
Karl Lohman of Antioch Baptist Church, has written an article about the groves in the King James Bible. Here is part of that article.
"Like the harlot of Proverbs 7, the promoters of the new bibles prey on “the simple ones” who yield their sword, the old King James Bible, after a “fair speech” has persuaded them. One such “fair speech” is that the King James Bible is not written in modern English. The rallying cry is: “We need a modern version for modern times!” Have you ever heard that one? Although this argument has been proven to be a lie on many occasions, I was reminded recently of how up-to-date my old King James Bible really is."
"While researching, I was struck by how often the word “grove” was used on occult and New Age web sites. One site used the word “grove” or “groves” 18 times on its home page. Apparently the pagan creator of this site did not realize how “archaic” these words are."
"Interestingly, the new versions eliminate the word “grove” and its plural form from their bibles when the passages deal with idolatry. They replace this easily understood word with “Asherah pole” (NIV), “sacred pole” (NRSV), and “wooden image” (NKJV). Why? The New Age “spiral goddess” worshippers talk about their “Grove of Rememberance ,” “Rainbow Heart Grove,” and “Green Man Grove” not their “Asherah poles.” The followers of Wicca don’t use terminology like “sacred pole.” They use “The Gods’ Grove,” “The Mystickal Grove,” and “The Grove of the Green Cobra.” The Druids don’t call their places of worship or their idols “wooden images”; they give them titles like “Hearthfire Grove,” “Peachtree Grove,” and “Virtual Grove.”
"The omission of “grove” and “groves” is only one of many shocking things that the new versions do that convince me that one of the fruits (Matt.7:16) of all of these new versions is an increase in New Age and occult practices here in America and around the world. After all, who would know about how God felt about the “groves” that are being pushed today if they could not find any in their bibles?
Apparently the publishers of the NEW versions don’t care if the scripture “is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2Tim.3:16) as long as it is profitable financially (1Tim.6:10)!"
"Let me ask you a few questions. If you were a pagan who worshipped your gods at one or more of these groves, would you appreciate someone reading a King James Bible or would you rather they read a new version? Which one sheds more light on your pagan practices? Are the pagan practices of the people in the Old Testament and the people in the 21st century being exposed in the King James Bible or in the new versions? If you are an honest person, you know what the answers are."
"The “rulers of the darkness of this world” don’t appreciate a Bible that connects their “spiritual wickedness in high places” to the groves. The next time some charlatan tries to persuade you with his “fair speech” to trade your sword in for one of these new versions, tell him that the creators, designers, and promoters of the New Age religious web sites know that the terminology in the King James Bible is right and all of the new versions are not. Why is that? The answer is simple. Someone does not want you to know that the idolatrous practices of the pagan people as revealed in the Old Testament match the New Age occult practices in the 21st century. Stated simply, someone does not want you to know the truth and Jesus Christ said, “…thy word is truth” John 17:17!" (End of comments by Karl Lohman of Antioch Baptist Church)
The King James Bible is right, as always.
Here is the link for my article on this -
#4 Pul AND Tiglathpileser
1 Chronicles 5:26 "And God stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria AND the spirit of Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away..."
Bible corrector Al Maxey writes: "#4 --- "In I Chronicles 5:26 the KJV translators present Pul and Tilgath-pilneser as being two separate kings of Assyria. Actually, these were two names for the same man, as archaeological discoveries have proven." [End of Mr. Maxey's comments]
The NKJV, New English Bible 1970, NET, ESV, Holman, MEV 2014, the Catholic New Jerusalem bible 1985, the Jehovah Witness NWT and the NIV have bought into this false assumption and render the verse as: "stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, THAT IS, Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria."
The NASB has done the same thing with "the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, EVEN Tiglath-Pileser."
Dan Wallace’s NET version 2006 also reads like the NKJV, saying: “So the God of Israel stirred up King Pul of Assyria (THAT IS, King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria)”.
He then footnotes that the Hebrew text reads like the KJB has it - “HEBREW “AND the spirit of Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria.” “Pul” and “Tilgath-pilneser” were names of the same Assyrian ruler, more commonly known as Tiglath-pileser"
So, even though Dan Wallace and company admit that the Hebrew text reads as the KJB has it, yet he thinks it is wrong and so he "corrects" the text.
If these Bible correctors would just read and believe the true Holy Bible they would clearly see that Pul and Tiglathpileser ARE TWO DIFFERENT KINGS who reigned at two different times.
In 2 Kings 15:19 through 29 this is very clear. "And Pul the king of Assyria came against the land: and Menahem (the king of Israel who reigned for 10 years) gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand." Then verse 22 tells us that Menaham slept with his fathers and Pekahiah his son reigned in his stead for two years.
Then verse 25 through 29 tell us that Pekah, one of Pekahiah's captains killed him and reigned in his stead for an additional 20 years. Then in 2 Kings 15:29 we read: "In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tilgathpileser king of Assyria... and carried them captive to Assyria."
The Catholic Connection
The earlier Catholic bibles like the Douay-Rheims 1610, the Douay 1950, the Jerusalem bible 1968, and the St. Joseph New American Bible 1970 all read like the King James Bible saying: "the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of the Assyrians, AND the spirit of Tiglathpileser kind of Assyria."
BUT the New Jerusalem Bible 1985 suddenly changed this to read: "the king of Pul, king of Assyria, THAT IS Tiglath-Pileser".
But once again, now the Catholic Public Domain Version 2009 has come out and it goes back to the reading "stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, AND spirit of Tiglath-pilneser"
"Pul the king of Assyrian AND the spirit of Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria"
Not only does the King James Bible correctly read 1 Chronicles 5:26 as two different kings, Pul the king of Assyrian AND the spirit of Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria, but so also do The Jewish Family Bible 1864, The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907, the Jewish translations of JPS 1917 and 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company bible, the 2004 Judaica Press Tanach, Miles Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible (Cranmer) 1540, Matthew's Bible (John Rogers) 1549, the Bishop's Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the Douay-Rheims 1610, the Revised Version of 1885, American Standard Version 1901, Webster's 1833, the Lesser Bible 1853, Spanish Reina Valera 1960, Douay 1950, Bible in Basic English 1961, Hebrew Names Version 2000, Green's interlinear 2005, Darby 1890, Young's 1898, Revised Standard Version 1946-1972, Complete Jewish Bible 1998, The Word of Yah 1993, God's First Truth 1999, Sacred Scriptures Family of Yah 2001, The Apostolic Polyglot Bible 2003, Green's Literal 2005, Context Group Version 2007, Ancient Roots Translinear Bible 2008, the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, Bond Slave Version 2009, Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, the New European Version 2010, Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011, Orthodox Jewish Bible 2011, World English Bible 2012, BRG Bible 2012, the Lexham English Bible 2012 and The Hebrew Names Version 2014.
The so called Greek Septuagint reads as does the King James Bible as well as the Modern Greek Bible - Δια τουτο ο Θεος του Ισραηλ διηγειρε το πνευμα του Φουλ βασιλεως της Ασσυριας και το πνευμα του Θελγαθ-φελνασαρ βασιλεως της Ασσυριας,
Jamieson, Faussett and Brown
"The God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul--the Phalluka of the Ninevite monuments AND the spirit of Tilgath-pilneser--the son of the former. By them the trans-jordanic tribes, including the other half of Manasseh, settled in Galilee, were removed to Upper Media. This was the first captivity."
"God stirred up the spirit of the kings of Assyria, FIRST ONE AND THEN ANOTHER, against them, served his own purposes by the designs of those ambitious monarchs, employed them to chastise these revolters first, and, when that humbled them not, then wholly to root them out."
"And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria: in the times of Menahem king of Israel AND the spirit of Tilgathpilneser; in the times of Pekah king of Israel, to invade the land, and make war in it: and he carried them away."
The following information comes from McClintock and Strong. Rawlinson appears to be the one who concocts the theory that Pul is identical with Tiglath-pileser. Others disagree with his ASSUMPTIONS.
"[Rawlinson] suggested that one and the same individual is denoted by the names Pul and Tiglath-pileser in the sacred narrative. His chief argument for this is that in 1 Chronicles 5:26 the same event — namely, the deportation of the tribes beyond the Jordan — is attributed to the two kings associated together as if they were one and the same individual (Athenaeum, No. 1869).
But, as already remarked by Winer (Realw ii, 259), the passage in 1 Chronicles does not necessarily ascribe to the two kings the accomplishment of the same measure. Pul is mentioned in it as the first Assyrian king who came into collision with the Israelites, and thus prepared the way for the subsequent deportation of the transjordanic tribes. But that this measure is attributed solely to Tiglath-pileser, as in 2 Kings 20:29, … Julius Oppert, who accepts the account of Ctesias, and takes it to refer to the subversion of the first Assyrian empire, supposes Pul to be the Babylonian Belesys.
The eminent Assyriologist Dr. Hincks maintains that 'Pul became king of Babylon, holding Assyria in subjection, in 787 B.C. Tiglath-pileser revolted from him and established an independent kingdom of Assyria in 768 B.C.'” (Athenaeum, No. 1810)." (McClintock and Strong Cylopedia, "Pul," Vol. 8, pp. 195-195)
It is the NKJV, NIV, NET, ESV, Holman, Jehovah Witness NWT, Catholic New Jerusalem and NASB and this Bible corrector, Al Maxey, that are in error.
Notes From The Internet
"It is insensate to say that the Bible in the same chapter, at the
distance of a few lines, called the same king first Pul and then
always afterwards Tiglathpileser.
The pretended identity of Pul and Tiglathpileser is not worthy of
discussion; it is contradicted by all historical documents, whatever
their origin." - Dr. Julius Oppert, 1897
This is a complex chronology, but the Bible itself is clear, Pul and Tilgath-Pileser are simply not the same king.
Redating the Hebrew Kings
beginning on p. 104
"our study concludes that the Biblical king Pul was Ashur-nirari, the father and immediate predecessor of Tiglath-pileser"
"Modern translations convey that Pul and Tilgathpilneser (or Tiglath-pileser) were the same person, namely Tiglath-Pileser III king of Assyria. From a plain reading of the Bible, however, Pul was the king of Assyria during Menahem's reign over Israel (2 Kings 15:17-19) and Tilgathpilneser was the king of Assyria during Pekah's reign over Israel (2 Kings 15:27-29). The context of 2 Kings 15 does not provide anything to suggest that the shift from Pul to Tilgathpilneser was a mere name-change. These separate individuals appear to have been consecutive kings or co-regents during the narrative of 1 Chronicles 5:26. It follows then that the biblical Pul was Ashur-nirari V and only the biblical Tilgathpilneser was Tiglath-Pileser III. Little is known by secular historians concerning when Ashur-nirari V completely withdrew from directing the affairs of the Assyrian government. There is no reason to question the plain reading of the text and the KJV translation."
Similarly Gerard Gertoux points out:
"In the Bible, there is a clear distinction between Pul, king of Assyria, to whom Menahem paid tribute in 765 BCE (2K 15:19-20) and Tiglath-pileser III the Assyrian king to whom Ahaz sought help 24 years later in 741 BCE (2Ki 16:1,7-10)" - p. 25
Assyrian and biblical chronologies are they reliable? (2015)
#5 King of Egypt "AGAINST the king of Assyria" or "TO THE AID OF the king of Assyria"?
2 Kings 23:29 KJB - "In his days Pharaoh-nechoh king of Egypt WENT UP AGAINST the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him."
NKJV - "In his days Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt WENT TO THE AID OF the king of Assyria, to the River Euphrates; and King Josiah went against him, And PHARAOH NECHO (Footnote - literally 'he') killed him at Megiddo when he confronted him."
Mr. Maxey uses the NIV and it says: "WHILE JOSIAH WAS KING, Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt went up to the Euphrates River TO HELP the king of Assyria. King Josiah marched out to meet him in battle, but NECO (not in text) faced him and killed him at Megiddo."
No text says with the NIV "while Josiah was king". This is a paraphrase. Even the NASB, RSV, NRSV and ESV all say "in his days". And the NASB, RSV, NRSV and ESV all say Pharoah Neco went up TO the king of Assyria.
But the NKJV joins the NIV and says: "In his days Pharoah Neco went TO THE AID OF the king of Assyria."
Other perverted versions are Dan Wallace and company's 2006 NET version (Big surprise ;-) - "During Josiah’s reign Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt marched toward the Euphrates River TO HELP the king of Assyria.", the New English Version 1970, the New Living Bible 2013 - "WENT TO HELP the king" and the Holman Standard Version 2009 edition. It now reads: "During his reign, Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt MARCHED UP TO HELP the king of Assyria at the Euphrates River."
However the Holman Standard 2003 edition (I have a hard copy) said: "During his reign Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt MARCHED UP TO the king of Assyia at the Euphrates river.",
but the 2009 Holman Standard changed this to "During his reign, Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt MARCHED UP TO HELP the king of Assyria at the Euphrates River.
The International Standard Version 2014 has: "During his reign, Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, marched out TOWARD the Euphrates River TO MEET the king of Assyria."
There is no Hebrew text that says "to the aid of" or "to help". This is what the Eugene Nida influenced modern translators refer to as "dynamic equivalence". It is not what the TEXT says but how the modern translator THINKS the text SHOULD read.
Those versions that read along with the KJB that "in his days Pharoah Necho went up AGAINST the king of Assyria" are The Jewish Family Bible 1864, The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907, the Jewish translations of 1917 (Jewish Publication Society), 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company, The New Jewish Version 1985, The Sacred Scriptures Family of Yah version 2001 - "In his days Pharaoh-necoh king of Egypt WENT UP AGAINST the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates", the 1998 Complete Jewish Bible - "During his time Pharaoh N’khoh king of Egypt WENT UP toward the Euphrates River TO ATTACK the king of Ashur.", the 2004 Judaica Press Tanach - "In his days, Pharaoh-Neco went up AGAINST the king of Assyria by the Euphrates River, and King Josiah went toward him, and he killed him in Megiddo when he saw him.", and The Orthodox Jewish Bible of 2011 - "In his days Pharaoh Nekhoh Melech Mitzrayim WENT UP AGAINST Melech Ashur."
The English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible also reads this way -
"And in his days went up Pharao Nechao king of Egypt AGAINST the king of the Assyrians to the river Euphrates"
Also reading "went up AGAINST the king of Assyria" are Wycliffe 1395, Miles Coverdale 1535 - " In his tyme wete Pharao Necho ye kynge of Egipte vp AGAYNST the kynge of Assyria", the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishop's Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 - "In his dayes Pharaoh Nechoh King of Egypt went vp AGAINST the King of Asshur", Douay-Rheims 1610 - "went up AGAINST the king", The Longman Version 1841, Brenton Translation 1851, Lesser Bible 1853, the Revised Version 1885, American Standard Version 1901 - "went up AGAINST the king of Assyria", Darby 1890, Young's 1898, Rotherham's Emphasized bible 1902, Hebrew Names Version, Douay Version 1950, World English Bible, Bible in Basic English 1961 "sent his armies AGAINST the king of Assyria", The New Berkeley Version in Modern English 1969, Amplified Bible 1987 - "went up AGAINST the king of Assyria", New Simplified Bible, The Word of Yah 1993, A Conservative Version 2005 - "went up AGAINST the king", Complete Apostle's Bible 2005, Green's Literal 2005, Context Group Version 2007, Bond Slave Version 2009, The New Heart English Bible 2010, The Jubilee Bible 2010, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, the 2011 Common English Bible (a critical text version) - "In his days, the Egyptian king Pharaoh Neco marched AGAINST the Assyrian king at the Euphrates River.", The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011, Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011, Common English Bible 2011, World English Bible 2012, BRG Bible 2012, the Lexham English Bible 2012 - "went up AGAINST the king of Assyria", and the Modern English Version 2014.
Among foreign language Bibles that also say "went up AGAINST the king of Assyria" are Luther's German Bible 1545, the Spanish Reina Valera 1909-1977, R.V. Contemporánea 2011 - "se dirigió al río Éufrates para luchar contra el rey de Asiria" = "went up TO FIGHT AGAINST the king of Assyria", the 1997 La Biblia de las Américas, and the 2010 Reina Valera Gómez Bible - the French Martin 1744, Louis Segond 1910, French Ostervald 1996, and the French La Bible du Semeur 1997 - "De son temps, Pharaon Néco, roi d'Égypte, monta CONTRE le roi d'Assyrie", the Italian Diodati 1649 and the New Diodati 1991 - "Durante il suo regno, il Faraone Neko, re d'Egitto, salí CONTRO il re di Assiria sul fiume Eufrate.", the Portuguese Almeida - "rei do Egito, CONTRA o rei da Assíria".
As we shall see, Mr. Maxey and these other perverted versions confuse the king of Assyria with the king of Babylon, who was referred to as the king of Assyria after he conquered it.
John Wesley notes: "The king- The king of Babylon, who having formerly rebelled against the Assyrian had now conquered him; as appears by the course of the sacred, and the concurrence of the profane history; and therefore is here and elsewhere called the Assyrian, and the king of Assyria, because now he was the head of that empire."
The 1982 edition of The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge also confirms this view that the king of Babylon, having conquered Assyria, was then called the king of Assyria.
John Gill - "In his days Pharaohnechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates; to Carchemish, a city situated upon it; see 2 Chronicles 35:20, the king he went against was the king of Babylon, who had conquered the Assyrian monarchy, and therefore called king of it."
E.W. Bullinger Companian Bible Notes - “went against him, the king of Assyria i.e. the king of Babylon, who had just conquered Nineveh, the rival capital.”
Matthew Henry - "The king of Egypt waged war, it seems, with the king of Assyria: so the king of Babylon is now called. Josiah's kingdom lay between them. He therefore thought himself concerned to oppose the king of Egypt, and check the growing, threatening, greatness of his power; for though, at this time, he protested that he had no design against Josiah, yet, if he should prevail to unite the river of Egypt and the river Euphrates, the land of Judah would soon be overflowed between them. Therefore Josiah went against him, and was killed in the first engagement."
Coffman’s Commentaries on the Bible - “Pharaoh-necoh went up against the king of Assyria" (2 Kings 23:29). "That king of Assyria was Nabopolassar the father of Nebuchadnezzar. His proper title was `King of Babylon'"; a fact that became crystal clear following the battle of Charchemish (605 B.C.).”
The Pulpit Commentary - “The "King of Assyria," against whom Pharaoh-Nechoh "went up," was probably Nabopolassar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar. His proper rifle was "King of Babylon," which is what Nebuchadnezzar always calls him; but the Jews not unnaturally regarded him as the inheritor of the Assyrian empire, as indeed they regarded the Persian monarchs also (Ezra 6:22), and therefore gave him the title of "King of Assyria."
Dummelow’s Commentary - “The king of Assyria i.e. the king of Babylon. Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, fell in 607 before the united forces of the Median Cyaxares and the Babylonian Nabopolassar; and it was to dispute the spoils of the fallen empire with Nabopolassar that Nechoh advanced northward through Palestine. The king of Babylon is here called by the name of Assyria, the country he had conquered. Josiah WENT AGAINST HIM - Josiah's motives can only be conjectured, but it is probable that in the downfall of Assyria's power he hoped to extend his authority over what had once been the northern kingdom, and feared that his designs would be foiled by the Egyptian advance."
The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann- “In his days Pharaoh-nechoh, king of Egypt, went up AGAINST the king of Assyria, to the river Euphrates, this being probably Nabopolassar, who was ruler of both Babylon and Assyria. And King Josiah went AGAINST him, to prevent him from marching through his country”
Whedon’s Commentary - “Went up AGAINST the king of Assyria — According to Josephus, this expedition of Necho was “to fight with the Medes and Babylonians, who had overthrown the dominions of the Assyrians.” In that case the king of Assyria here would mean the Babylonian conqueror, Nabopolassar, who had so recently become ruler of Assyria"
In any event, Mr. Maxey and his NIV, and the NKJV along with Dan Wallace's NET and the 2009 edition of the Holman Standard are certainly wrong and the King James Bible is right, as always.
# SIX "candle"
Mr. Maxey writes: “In England in the 17th century it was normal practice to light a "candle" and place it on a "candlestick." This was NOT the case in ancient Palestine. They used oil lamps, which were then placed on lampstands. Throughout the NT the KJV translators changed "lamps" and "lampstands" to "candles" and "candlesticks" (Matt. 5:15; Luke 15:8; Rev. 1:12f).
Now for my rebuttal.
Mr. Maxey should learn more about his own English language before he attempts to make such a criticism about the use of the words “candle” and “candlestick”.
The “candlestick” was not the actual candle itself, but was the stand that was composed of 7 branches, a shaft, knops and bowls in which was placed an oil that burned and was referred to as a “lamp”. Obviously we are not referring to “electrical” lamps, but rather the extended meaning of both “lamps” and “candles” which is simply any kind of artificial light.
The Bible critics recommend versions that use the word “lamp stand” and “lamps” and yet these terms themselves need to be explained and defined. They certainly did not have what most kids think of today when they hear of “lamps” and “lamp stands” being used back in the days of Moses or the apostle John.
The NASB has both “bulbs” and a “lamp stand” in Exodus 25:35- “A bulb shall be under the first pair of branches coming out of it, and a bulb under the second pair of branches coming out of it, and a bulb under the third pair of branches coming out of it, for the six branches coming out of the lampstand.”
The NIV has “lamps” on the “lamp stand” - “The buds and branches shall all be of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold. “Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it.”
And the “easy to understand” ESV has “calyxes” on the “lamp stand”, both of which need to be explained - “and a calyx of one piece with it under each pair of the six branches going out from the lampstand.”
And the NKJV has “seven lamps” for the “lamp stand”, which once again is not what the average 20 year old today thinks it is. It needs to be explained.
As any good dictionary tells us, one of the meanings of a candle is an artificial light of any kind as opposed to the natural light of the sun or moon. And what, pray tell, comes to mind when you read the word "lamp stand"?
Cambridge International Dictionary - "Lampstand, a heavy, often decorative, base for an electric light which stands on a table or the floor." Is this what Moses used in the tabernacle? I think not.
Encyclopedia.Com. The evidence of ancient writings is not conclusive as to the history of the candle; words translated as "candle" may have meant "torch" or "lamp" and the "candlestick" was a stand for one of these lights.
Easton Bible Dictionary
Candle - Heb. ner, Job 18:6; 29:3; Ps. 18:28; Prov. 24:20 The Hebrew word denotes properly any kind of candle or lamp or torch. It is used as a figure of conscience (Prov. 20:27), of a Christian example (Matt. 5:14, 15), and of prosperity (Job 21:17; Prov. 13:9).
1. A long, but small cylindrical body of tallow, wax or spermaceti, formed on a wick composed of linen or cotton threads, twisted loosely; used for a portable light of domestic use. (Tallow is the fat of cattle or sheep)
2. A light. (Notice, the word candle can simply refer to a light!)
3. A light; a luminary. In scripture, the candle of the Lord is the divine favor and blessing, Job 14:3; or the conscience or understanding. Prov. 20:27.
Not only does the King James Bible use the words candle and candlestick but so also do Wycliffe’s bible 1395 - “and thou schalt sette tho on the candilstike”, Tyndale 1525 - “I sawe vii golde candelstyckes” (Rev. 1:12 etc), Coverdale 1535 - “I sawe seue golde candestyckes”, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 - “ the 1917 JPS (Jewish Publication Society) and 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company translation - “And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold”, Whiston’s N.T. 1745, Wesley’s N.T. 1755, Noyes Translation 1869, the Revised Version 1885 - “I saw seven golden candlesticks”, the American Standard Version 1901, Godbey’s N.T. 1902, Young's 1898, Darby “both the candlestick and the table” (Hebrews 9:2), the Amplified Bible 1987 - “And this was the workmanship of the candlestick” (Numbers 8:4; Daniel 5:5; Zechariah 4:6 - “the bowl to the candlestick, causing it to yield a ceaseless supply of oil from the olive trees”, Darby 1890, Douay-Rheims 1610, Webster's 1833 translation, Lamsa’s 1933, Murdock’s and Etheridge’s translations of the Syriac Peshitta - “And you shall make a candlestick of pure gold”, the Living Bible 1971 - “there behind me were seven candlesticks of gold.” the KJV 21st Century 1994, the Third Millenium Bible 1998, the Complete Jewish Bible 1998 - “We’ll put a bed and a table in it for him, and a stool and a candlestick.” (2 Kings 4:10), the Updated Bible Version of 2004 - “I saw seven golden candlesticks” and the Jubilee Bible 2000-2010 - “the candlestick over against the table on the side of the tabernacle” (Exodus 26:25; Dan. 5:5)
So Mr. Maxey's "lampstand" is better than "candlestick", huh? He straining at gnats with this alleged “error" and yet uses what are in fact the modern Vatican Versions like the ESV, NIV, NASB that NOBODY seriously believes (including Mr. Maxey) is the complete and infallible words of God.
For more on this see my article
“Candlestick” or “lamp stand”? Is the King James Bible in error?
Truly this is a case of the blind leading the blind and as our Lord said “Let them alone. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” Matthew 15:14.
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