Archive

Donations

wait
wait

 

Five men
18 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door: 19 And out of the city he took an officer that was set over the men of war, and five men of them that were in the king's presence, which were found in the city, and the principal scribe of the host, which mustered the people of the land, and threescore men of the people of the land that were found in the city.
2 Kings 25:18-19  KJV

Seven Men
24 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door: 25 He took also out of the city an eunuch, which had the charge of the men of war; and seven men of them that were near the king's person, which were found in the city; and the principal scribe of the host, who mustered the people of the land; and threescore men of the people of the land, that were found in the midst of the city.
Jeremiah 52:24-25  KJV

 

SAB Contradiction  483

 

The fatal And
The Septuagint translators (200 BC) primarily used the meaning and with sometimes disastrous consequences and the Christians in their translations depended heavily on the Septuagint.
The Hebrew word for And, and is the small copula w (pronounced wu as in wump). As with many small words it has a variety of connected meanings like: and, also, together (with), with, (and) that is, or. They are all in the vocabularies (e.g. Koehler Baumgartner – 1953). In short, the Hebrew word for And is an elastic word with many possibilities of meaning and a correct translation is to be deduced from the context, which implies that all features of that context are involved (Tout se tient.). Otherwise the result will be a flat and empty translation or even a false translation.
Add to this the fact that there are no punctuation marks in the classic Hebrew texts (only a colon at the ending of a sentence). Knowing this let’s get down to business.

 

Better translation and meaning of the five men
18 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest; and the three keepers of the door, 19 and out of the city he took an officer that was set over the men of waralso five men of those that were in the king's presence, which were found in the city, including the principal scribe of the host, which mustered the people of the landand threescore men of the people of the land that were found in the city.
2 Kings 25:18-19

Meaning. Two names of important men are given: Seraiah and Zephaniah. They were the first and second priests in function. Then follow five unnamed but important men (3 doorkeepers, 1 general, 1 head of scribes) who were also direct advisors of the King. Finally sixty men at random were taken out of the city.

1. Translation changes in red.
2. A parenthetical clause, logical in the meaning of the section as the officer over the men of war and his pricipal scribe are seperated by the clause of the counting of five.
3. Also five men implies an addition of 5 men to the two main priests who were acquaintances of the king. So in total 7 individuals in the king's presence are at stake.
4. The construction seems complicated but not if one take it as a result of documentation style.

In this translation it is mentioned that apart from the head priests Seraiah and Zephaniah there were taken also five other important individuals from the narrow circle of the King to be killed by the Chaldeans after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC, together with sixty citizens of the city. 

 

Better translation and meaning of the seven men
24 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door, 25 He took also out of the city an eunuch, which had the charge of the men of warthat is seven men of those that were near the king's person, which were found in the city; including the principal scribe of the host, who mustered the people of the landand threescore men of the people of the land, that were found in the midst of the city.
Jeremiah 52:24-25 

Meaning. Compared with the former example. Jeremiah probably used the former account of the occasion as used in 2 Kings and thought it easier to read seven men. He knew very well that Seraiah and Zephaniah also belonged to the circle of the King’s confidants as well as the other five unnamed individuals.

1. Translation changes in red.
2. A parenthetical clause (see above), also logical in the meaning of the section.
3. Apparently Jeremiah changed 5 into 7 to make it easier to read.

 

Conclusion
True, the usual translations taken together may support the feeling that something is wrong in these texts. People believing in the truth of the Bible often have no direct answers in case of biblical discrepancies and Christian scholars not infrequently tend to fudge or even deny them instead of addressing them. Which is a pity. Anyway, in this case, concerning the Hebrew text we may frankly state:

No Bible Contradiction
 

Additional
1. All the substantives and verbs in the two discussed texts are exactly the same in Hebrew. Take note of the unnecessary differences in the KJV translations of these texts and also in many other translations. The only significant issue is the difference between five and seven in them. (There are a few minor details not contributing to a different meaning of the texts.)
2. For another and-problem see the article: Did Jephtah sacrifice his own daughter?