Deuteronomy 32:43 compared to Hebrews 1:6
Bible Babble Buffet Confusion. Hebrew Masoretic Text or the so called Greek Septuagint or the Dead Sea Scrolls?
King James Bible (NKJV, NASB, NET, NIV, RSV, Holman Standard, ISV, Modern Greek Translation) - “Rejoice, O YE NATIONS, with HIS PEOPLE: for he will avenge the blood of HIS SERVANTS, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people."
ESV (NRSV, Catholic St. Joseph New American bible, Catholic New Jerusalem) - “Rejoice with him, O HEAVEN; BOW DOWN TO HIM, ALL GODS, for he avenges the blood of his children, and takes vengeance on his adversaries. He repays those who hate him and cleanses his people’s land.”
Some King James Bible critics tell us that there is a textual error in the King James Bible and the Hebrew texts in Deuteronomy 32:43.
Luke Wayne of CARM is one such Bible critic who has written a long article criticizing the King James Bible. He writes: “Much attention is given by King James Onlyists to the material present in the KJV yet absent in modern translations. What is often overlooked, however, is that there is also important material present in modern translations which is lacking in the KJV. Perhaps the most important example of this is in Deuteronomy 32:43.”
They tell us that when the writer of the book of Hebrews is quoting a passage from the Old Testament, that he is referencing the Greek Septuagint and not the Hebrew Masoretic text.
These Bible critics also affirm that the Dead Sea Scrolls confirm the Septuagint reading and that the present day Hebrew texts have been corrupted.
Yet even with all this information we see that the modern versions still do not agree with each other. Some add extra words to the Hebrew text in Deuteronomy 32:43 and most others do not.
Let’s take a closer look at the readings found in the Hebrew text, the so called Greek Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
What we find is that NONE OF THE THREE agree with each other.
The CAPITALIZED WORDS show the textual differences among these three versions.
The Hebrew Masoretic Text reads as we have it in the King James Bible.
Deuteronomy 32:43 - “Rejoice, O YE NATIONS, with HIS PEOPLE: for he will avenge the blood of HIS SERVANTS, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people."
The so called Greek Septuagints read (there are two different LXX versions) -
“Rejoice, YE HEAVENS, WITH HIM, AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM (Some LXX copies read “all the SONS of God”) REJOICE YE GENTILES, WITH HIS PEOPLE, AND LET THE SONS OF GOD STRENGTHEN THEMSELVES IN HIM, for he will avenge the blood of HIS SONS, and render vengeance AND RECOMPENSE JUSTICE to his enemies AND WILL REWARD THEM THAT HATE HIM, and THE LORD SHALL PURGE the land of his people.”
The Dead Sea Scrolls copy reads differently than both the Hebrew text and the Septuagint. It says:
“Rejoice O HEAVENS TOGETHER WITH HIM AND BOW DOWN TO HIM ALL YOU GODS, for he will avenge the blood of HIS SONS, and will render vengeance to his enemies, AND WILL RECOMPENSE THOSE WHO HATE HIM and will ATONE FOR the land of his people.”
Now, let’s take a look at what the ESV did with this verse.
ESV 2001-2016 - “Rejoice with him, O heaven; bow down to him, all gods, for he avenges the blood of his children, and takes vengeance on his adversaries. He repays those who hate him and cleanses his people’s land.”
The ESV basically follows the Dead Sea Scrolls reading and rejects the Traditional Hebrew Masoretic text, but it does not include the extra words found in the LXX “REJOICE YE GENTILES, WITH HIS PEOPLE” nor “AND LET THE SONS OF GOD STRENGTHEN THEMSELVES IN HIM” nor “AND RECOMPENSE JUSTICE”
To find out more about what the Dead Sea Scrolls are really like, see “The Dead Sea Scrolls Fiasco”
Also reading like the ESV and including the extra words “WORSHIP HIM, ALL YOU GODS’ are the NRSV 1989, The New Living Translation 2015 and the modern Roman Catholic versions like the St. Joseph NAB 1970 and the New Jerusalem bible1985. And that is about it.
Not even the NIV nor the Holman Standard include these extra words, but merely mention them in a footnote.
Versions that not only do NOT include these extra words but don’t even mention them in a footnote but follow the Traditional Hebrew text and agree with the reading found in the King James Bible are -
Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta, The Revised Standard Version 1971, the NASB 1995, Dan Wallace’s NET version 2006, The Easy-to-Read Version 2006, The NKJV 1994, the International Standard Version 2014, Hebrew Names Version 2014, The Message. 2002, The Names of God Bible 2011, The Modern English Version 2014, or The Tree of Life Version 2015.
And The Modern Greek Translation - Ευφρανθητε, εθνη, μετα του λαου αυτου· διοτι θελει εκδικησει το αιμα των δουλων αυτου, και αποδωσει εκδικησιν εις τους εναντιους αυτου, και καθαρισει την γην αυτου και τον λαον αυτου.
You can see the modern Greek translation, which reads just like the King James Bible and the traditional Hebrew Masoretic text, here -
Where did the so called Greek Septuagint get the words “let all the gods worship him”?
John Owen also believed that the N.T. quotation from Hebrews 1:6 was taken from the apostle Paul and INSERTED INTO THE Greek O.T. translation. In his commentary on the book of Hebrews he states:
John Owen on Hebrews 1:6 - “And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.:
1. Our first inquiry must be whence this testimony is taken. Many of the ancients, as Epiphanius, Theodoret, Euthymius, Procopius, and Anselm, conceived the words to be cited from Deuteronomy 32:43, where they expressly occur in the translation of the LXX., εὐφράςθητς οὐρανοὶ ἄμα αὐτοῦ καὶ προσκυνησάτωσαν αὐτῷ πάντες ἄγγελοι θεοῖ; — “Rejoice ye heavens with him, and let all the angels of God worship him.”
But there are two considerations that put it beyond all pretensions that the words are not taken from this place of the LXX.: —
(1.) Because indeed THERE ARE NO SUCH WORDS IN THE ORIGINAL, nor any thing spoken that might give occasion to the sense expressed in them; but THE WHOLE VERSE IS INSERTED IN THE GREEK VERSION QUITE BESIDE THE SCOPE OF THE PLACE.. Now, though it may perhaps be safely granted that the apostles, in citing the Scripture of the Old Testament, did sometimes use the words of the Greek translation then in use, yea, though not exact according to the original, whilst the sense and meaning of the Holy Ghost was retained in them; yet TO CITE THAT FROM THE SCRIPTURE AS THE WORD AND TESTIMONY OF GOD WHICH INDEED IS NOT THEREIN, NOR WAS EVER SPOKEN BY GOD, BUT BY HUMAN FAILURE AND CORRUPTION CREPT INTO THE GREEK VERSION, IS NOT TO BE IMPUTED UNTO THEM.
AND INDEED I NO WAY QUESTION BUT THAT THIS ADDITION UNTO THE GREEK TEXT IN THAT PLACE WAS MADE AFTER THE APOSTLE HAD USED THIS TESTIMONY.”
I believe that those who criticize the King James Bible and tell us that the Hebrew Scriptures have been corrupted because the words “And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, HE SAITH, AND LET ALL THE ANGLES OF GOD WORSHIP HIM.” are entirely missing the point.
The inspired writer to the Hebrews is NOT quoting from some mythical Greek Septuagint but rather is referring to something that has not yet happened that WILL BE SAID at the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Holy Ghost is not referring to a past event, but rather to the future and no specific quote from the Old Testament is in the mind of the writer of the book of Hebrews.
Bible commentators like Matthew Henry, John Gill, John Owen, Jamieson, Faussett and Brown, and the Peoples New Testament commentary all say that this could be referring to the second coming, though they do mention other interpretations.
John Gill comments: " the bringing of him into the world MAY REFER TO HIS SECOND COMING, FOR THIS SEEMS AGREEABLE FROM THE NATURAL ORDER OF THE WORDS, THAT IS, A SECOND TIME… AND FROM THE GLORY HE SAHLL THEN HAVE FROM THE ANGELS, WHO WILL COME WITH HIM, and minister to him; AND NOT TO HIS RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD, when he was exalted above angels, principalities, and powers;"
Matthew Henry also says: "When God bringeth his First-begotten into the world, let all the angels of God worship him; that is, when he is brought into this lower world, at his nativity...OR WHEN HE SHALL BRING HIM IN AGAIN INTO THE WORLD, TO JUDGE THE WORLD, THEN LET THE HIGHEST CREATURES WORSHIP HIM. God will not suffer an angel to continue in heaven who will not be in subjection to Christ, and pay adoration to him; and he will at last make the fallen angels and wicked men to confess his divine power and authority and to fall before him."
John Owen expounds at great length on the book of Hebrews and in his commentary on Hebrews 1:6 he mentions several views held by various Christians regarding this verse. He says: "Some suppose the personal reign of Christ on the earth for a thousand years with his saints is intended in these words, WHEN GOD WILL BRING HIM AGAIN WITH GLORY INTO THE WORLD: of which judgment was Mede, and now many follow him. 5. Others again, and they the most, ASSIGN THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF WHAT IS HERE ASSERTED TO THE GENERAL JUDGMENT AND THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST IN THE GLORY OF THE FATHER, WITH ALL THE HOLY ANGELS ATTENDING HIM, to judge the quick and the dead."
Jamieson, Faussett and Brown Complete Commentary -'When He again shall have introduced,' etc.-NAMELY, AT CHRIST'S SECOND COMING; for there is no previous mention of a first bringing in: .. Still the Second Advent is included in the 'bringing in,' accompanied with angels' worship of Messiah: to it Psalms 97:1-12, chiefly refers (Matthew 24:29-30; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8). His being brought into the WORLD as the theater of His power MAINLY APPLIES TO HIS SECOND ADVENT (Wahl). 'When He shall again bring the First-begotten into the world, He shall be deemed worthy of not less honour, for He saith, "Let all the angels," etc. The former bringing in, though not expressed, is implied in Hebrews 1:2; Hebrews 1:5.“
Thomas Constable’s Expository Notes - “Again” may go with “brings” IMPLYING JESUS CHRIST’S SECOND ADVENT.”
Peter Pett’s Commentary on the Bible - “Such A REFERENCE TO HIS SECOND COMING as the Firstborn to finalize His creative and life-giving purpose, following the description of His first coming as ‘Son’, gives added significance to the passage, indicating an advancement in idea rather than it being just a string of quotations all with the same point, and significantly it parallels the similar idea in the seventh. It also fits in with the use of firstborn in Colossians 1:18 as ‘the firstborn from the dead’. He Who was the firstborn from the dead, the first to arise and the Lord of resurrection, NOW COMES AGAIN TO THE INHABITED WORLD FOR HIS OWN to raise them too, whether by resurrection or rapture (compare Hebrews 9:28).”
Vincent’s Word Studies - ““When he a second time bringeth the first-begotten into the world.” REFERRING TO THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST.”
The King James Bible is always right. Don’t let the Bible Agnostics and self appointed Bible critics convince you otherwise.
ALL of grace, believing the Book - the King James Bible,