Genesis 9-16 (Translated)

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Chapter 9

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. God blessed Noah and his sons, and told them, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth.
2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. You shall be an object of fear and dread for every living creature on earth, every bird in the sky, everything that moves on the earth, and all the fish of the sea. They are entrusted to you.
3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. Every moving and living thing will be food for you. Like the green herb, I give you everything. This supersedes Genesis 1:29; from now on, man is allowed to eat meat as well as fruits and vegetables.
4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. But you must not eat any flesh that still has blood in it. To this day, kosher meats must be thoroughly bled.
5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. And understand this: I will demand an accounting for any bloodshed of human beings. I will demand it of any animal, and of any man, and of any person's brother who kills a human being.
6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. If anyone sheds a man's blood, then his blood will be shed by man, because God made mankind in His image. This is a direct affirmation, and indeed prescription, for capital punishment in cases of murder.
7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein. As for you, I expect you to be fruitful and multiply, and make the earth teem with your children."
8 And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, Then God spoke to Noah, and to his sons, saying:
9 And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; "Listen carefully: I am establishing My covenant with you, with your children after you,
10 And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. and with every living creature with you—birds, livestock, and every land animal on earth with you, from the animals now disembarking from the ark, to every animal on earth.
11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. Here is My agreement with you: Never again will all flesh be eliminated by the waters of a flood, and never again will a flood break out and destroy the earth."
12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: And God said, "This is the banner of the covenant that I am making between Me and you and every living creature with you, for every generation for ever:
13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. I am setting My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall serve as a banner of a binding agreement between Me and the earth.
14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: From now on, whenever I bring a cloud over the earth, the rainbow will be visible in the cloud.
15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. I will remember My agreement between Me and you and every living creature of any kind: the waters will never again become a flood to destroy everything living.
16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. The rainbow will be in the cloud, and I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of every kind on earth."
17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth. God repeated to Noah: "This is the banner of the covenant, that I have established between Me and all living things on the earth."
18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. The sons of Noah, that disembarked from the ark, were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham became the father of Canaan.
19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread. These are the three sons of Noah, and their descendants eventually scattered over the whole earth.
20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: Noah began to make a living working the ground. He planted a vineyard.
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. He drank some of the wine, and became intoxicated, and he was uncovered inside his tent. The Hebrew יין (yayin) means "fruit of the vine." In this specific context, the use of the word אכר (shakar), meaning "intoxicated," clearly indicates that Noah's wine did ferment and become an alcoholic drink. This story demonstrates the hazard that alcoholic drinks pose.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. Ham, the father of Canaan, took intimate liberties with his father, and told his two brothers outside. The Hebrew expression ראה הערוה (ra'ah ha-ervah), or "to see the nakedness," means something considerably more dire and less honorable than merely looking at that which the owner of the body would infinitely prefer to keep private.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness. Then Shem and Japheth took a cloak, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward, and covered their father's private anatomy. Their faces were backward, so that they did not see that which their father would be ashamed to have exposed.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. Noah woke up out of his wine-induced stupor, and realized what his youngest son had done to him. The youngest is Ham.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, "Canaan will lie under a curse. He will be the lowest sort of slave to his brothers. The Hebrew expression עבד עבדים (ebed ebedim), "servant of servants," means a very low-ranking slave, not a slave that serves other slaves.
26 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. Further, he said, "Blessed by the LORD God be Shem, and let Canaan be his slave.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. Let God enlarge Japheth, and let him live in the habitation of Shem, and let Canaan be his slave."
28 And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. Noah lived another 350 years after the Flood.
29 And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died. Altogether Noah lived for 950 years, and he died.

Chapter 10

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood. Here ends the Testimony of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, sons of Noah.

(The annals of Shem)

These men had sons after the Flood.

See the note on תולדות (toledoth) at Genesis 2:5.
2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. The sons of Japheth:
3 And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. Sons of Gomer:
4 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. Sons of Javan: Kittim = Rhodes
5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations. The islands of the Gentiles were divided among these people in their lands, every one according to its language, clans, and ethnic groups. These included primarily the Greeks, the Romans, the Celts, the Germans, the Turks, the Scythians (progenitors of modern Russia, and the various ethnic groups of what was once Soviet Central Asia, in addition to Iran, India, Myanmar, and any country having "-stan" at the end of its name. However, some commentators insist that Semitic peoples displaced some of these peoples and inherited their lands.
6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan. The sons of Ham: Mizraim = Egypt
7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan. The sons of Cush:
8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. Cush had another son: Nimrod. He began to be a very powerful king on earth. The name Nimrod means "rebellion" or "valiant." The Hebrew גבר (gebbor) means "a mighty man."
9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. He was "a mighty game hunter before the LORD," and to this day, "like Nimrod the mighty game hunter before the LORD" is a common proverb.
10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. His kingdom began in Babylon, Erech, Akkad, and Kalneh, in the land of Shinar. All these are Babylonian and/or Assyrian cities.
11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, Asshur went out of that land, and built the cities of Nineveh, Rehoboth, Kalah,
12 And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city. and the great city of Resen between Nineveh and Kalah.
13 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, Mizraim was the ancestor of the Lydians, the Anamim, the Lehabim, the Naphtuhim,
14 And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim. the Pathrusim, the Kasluhim (from whom the Philistines descend), and the Kaphtorim.
15 And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, Canaan was the father of Sidon, his first-born son, and Heth, Heth = the Hittites
16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgasites,
17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites,
18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad. the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the families of the Canaanites scattered themselves abroad.
19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha. The Canaanite frontier ran from Sidon, as one comes to Gerar, to Gaza, as one goes toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah, Zeboim, and as far as Lasha.
20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations. These are the descendants of Ham, according to their clans, languages, countries, and ethnic groups.
21 Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born. Shem, the father of all the sons of Eber, whose older brother was Japheth, also had sons. Eber is the progenitor of all of the people called Hebrews today.
22 The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram. The sons of Shem: This is the same Asshur who built Nineveh. Asshur led a colony out of Babylonia, but this does not mean that he was a Hamite.

Aram = Syria.

23 And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash. The sons of Aram:
24 And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber. Arpachshad's son was Salah, and Salah's son was Eber.
25 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan. Eber had two sons:
  • Peleg (so named because the earth was divided in his lifetime)
  • Joktan his brother
26 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazar-maveth, and Jerah, Joktan's sons:
27 And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah, (Sons of Joktan, continued)
28 And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba, (Sons of Joktan, continued)
29 And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan. (sons of Joktan, concluded)
30 And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east. Their territory ran from Mesha, as one goes toward Mount Sephar in the east.
31 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations. These are the descendants of Shem, according to their clans, languages, lands, and ethnic groups.
32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood. These are the national families of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies and ethnic groups. By these all the national groups of the earth were divided after the Great Flood.

Chapter 11

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. The entire earth had one language and one vocabulary. Literally, "one lips (שָׂפָ֣ה) and one words (וּדְבָרִ֖ים)."
2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. Eventually, as they traveled from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and settled there.
3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. They said to one another, "Come on, let us make bricks, and burn them very hot!" They used brick instead of stone, and bitumen instead of mortar. Literally, "one man said to his friend, 'Let us make bricks, and burn them with burning."
4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. Then they said, "Come on, let us build a city, and a tower that can reach to the sky! Then we'll make a name for ourselves, so that we won't be scattered all over the whole earth!" should וּמִגְדָּל֙ be translated as "ziggurat" rather than "tower"?
5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. The LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the sons of men were building.
6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. And the LORD said, "Look! These people are one people, and all speak one language, and this is the sort of project they begin. Now nothing will stop them from doing whatever they imagine that they can do.
7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. Come on, let us go down, and confuse their language, so that no man there will understand what his friend is saying."
8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. So the LORD scattered them abroad from that place on the face of the whole earth, and they stopped building the city.
9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. For that reason the place is called Babel, because the LORD confused the language of all the earth, and from that place the LORD scattered them abroad on the face of the whole earth. The Hebrew name בבל (Babel) and the verb בלל (Balal, he confused) are quite similar, as one can see.
10 These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood: Here ends the Testimony of Shem.

(The annals of Terah)

When Shem was 100 years old, he had a son named Arpachshad two years after the Flood.

11 And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. After he had Arpachshad, he lived for 500 more years and had other sons and daughters. In other words, Shem lived 600 years altogether. Thus, beginning with Shem (and presumably his brothers), the life span of man declined ninety percent, and fast.
12 And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah: When Arpachshad was 530 years old, he had a son named Salah.
13 And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters. After he had Salah, Arpachshad lived for 403 years more, and had other sons and daughters.
14 And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber: When Salah was thirty years old, he had a son named Eber.
15 And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters. After he had Eber, Salah lived 403 years more, and had other sons and daughters.
16 And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg: When Eber was 34 years old, he had a son named Peleg.
17 And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters. After he had Peleg, he lived 430 years more, and had other sons and daughters.
18 And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu: When Peleg was 30 years old, he had a son named Reu.
19 And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters. After he had Reu, Peleg lived for 209 years more, and had other sons and daughters.
20 And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug: When Reu was 32 years old, he had a son named Serug.
21 And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters. After Reu had had Serug, he lived for 207 years more and had other sons and daughters.
22 And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor: When Serug was 30 years old, he had a son named Nahor.
23 And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. When Serug had had Nahor, he lived 200 years more and had other sons and daughters.
24 And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah: When Nahor was 29 years old, he had a son named Terah.
25 And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters. After he had Terah, he lived 119 years more, and had other sons and daughters.
26 And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran. When Terah was 70 years old, he began having three sons: Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
27 Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. Here ends the Testimony of Terah.

(The annals of Isaac)

Terah had three sons named Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran had a son named Lot.

The timing of the birth of Abraham is a disputed date. The Seder Olam Rabah insists that Abraham was born when Terah was 70 years of age. However, James Ussher and Floyd Nolen Jones calculate that Abraham was born much later, when Terah was 130 years old. Sons are often named in the Bible, not in birth order, but in order of renown.
28 And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees. Haran died before his father Terah did, in the land in which he was born: Ur of the Chaldees.
29 And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah. Abram and Nahor each married. Abram's wife was named Sarai, and Nahor's wife was named Milcah, daugher of Haran. (Haran was the father of Milcah and the father of Iscah.) The name Iscah is another name for Sarah.
30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child. But Sarai was sterile; she had no children.
31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. Terah took his son Abram, and his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram's wife. They went out from Ur of the Chaldees, to go to the land of Canaan. They came to the country of Haran, and settled there.
32 And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran. Terah lived a total of 205 years, and died in the country of Haran.

Chapter 12

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: Now the LORD said to Abram,

"Get yourself out of your homeland,

away from your clan,
and out of your father's house,

to a land that I will show you.

There is no grammatical warrant for the use of the pluperfect tense form of the verb "say" here. The tense form of the verb אמר (amar, he said) is the regular Hebrew perfect tense, and the context does not support a reference to an action taken in the distant past.

The original Hebrew is a poetic form called an introversion. In it, the first and fourth lines actually rhyme in Hebrew, as do the second and third; hence the second and third lines are closely related, and the first and fourth lines are also closely related. God is telling Abram to get out of one land and into another, and away from his nuclear and extended family.[1]

2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will make you a great nation,
and I will bless you,

and make your name great,

and you will be a blessing.
A more conventional poetic form.
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. And I will bless those
who bless you,
And anyone who curses you

I will curse,

And all the families of the land will be blessed through you."

4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. So Abram departed, as the LORD told him to. Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he departed from the country of Haran.
5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. Abram took his wife Sarai, and his nephew Lot, and all the property and livestock they had gathered, and the relatives and camp followers they had acquired in Haran. They went out to go into the land of Canaan, and thus they came into the land of Canaan.
6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. Abram went through the land as far as Sechem, to the great tree of Moreh. The Canaanites were then present in the land.
7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. The LORD appeared to Abram, and said, "I will give this land to your descendants." There Abram built an altar to the LORD, Who appeared to him.
8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD. From there he moved on to a mountain to the east of Bethel, and made camp, with Bethel to his west and Hai to his east. There he built another altar to the LORD, and called on the Name of the LORD.
9 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south. Abraham traveled on, toward the Negev country.
10 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land. Famine broke out in the land, and Abram decided to go down into Egypt to stay there temporarily, because the famine was severe in the land. "Going down" or "going up" always refers to elevation, not latitude. Here, Abram goes down into the Nile valley.
11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: Eventually, as he was approaching Egypt, he told his wife Sarai, "Look: I know that you are a beautiful woman to look at.
12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. So it might be that when the Egyptians see you, they'll say, 'This is his wife,' and they'll kill me and let you live.
13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee. So please: tell them that you are my sister, so that I will have an advantage and, more to the point, stay alive on your account."
14 And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. And so it fell out that, when Abram had entered Egypt, the Egyptians appreciated his wife as very beautiful.
15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. The princes of the house of Pharaoh saw her, and boasted about her to Pharaoh. So the woman was taken into Pharaoh's palace. Probably Pharaoh Khufu, or Cheops, builder of the Great Pyramid of Giza, the tallest of the pyramids and the first one to have a square base and to be oriented exactly to the four compass points. Flavius Josephus states that Abraham brought the advances of mathematics and astronomy to the Egyptians. [1]
16 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels. Pharaoh did give Abram certain advantages on her account. Abram had sheep, oxen, jack donkeys, male and female slaves, and jenny donkeys, and camels.
17 And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife. Then the LORD struck Pharaoh and the royal house with serious diseases on account of Sarai, Abram's wife.
18 And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? So Pharaoh called Abram in, and said, "What have you done to me? Why didn't you tell me that she was your wife?
19 Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way. Why did you say, 'She is my sister' so that I would be foolish enough to take her into my bed? So now here is your wife back. Take her and be on your way!"
20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had. Pharaoh then gave orders concerning Abram. They sent him away, with his wife, and with everything he had.

Chapter 13

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. Abram went up out of Egypt, along with his wife and everything he possessed, into the Negev region. Lot went with him.
2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. Abram was exceedingly rich in cattle, silver, and gold.
3 And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai; He traveled onward from the Negev as far as Bethel, to the place where he had first encamped, between Bethel and Hai,
4 Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD. to the place of the alter he had first built there, where he had called on the Name of the LORD.
5 And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. Lot, who was traveling with Abram, also had flocks, herds, and a large camp.
6 And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. The land could not support them both making camp in the same place. Their livestock herds were simply too great for the land to support.
7 And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. A feud developed between Abram's herdsmen and Lot's herdsmen, the Canaanites and the Perizzites then living in the land.
8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Abram said to Lot, "Please let's not have a feud between me and you, and between my herdsmen and yours. After all, we're relatives!
9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left. You've got the whole land in front of you. Please separate yourself from me. If you go left, I'll go right, or if you go right, I'll go left."
10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Lot lifted up his eyes, and looked at all the plain of Jordan, and realized that it was well-irrigated everywhere (before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah). In fact it was as well-irrigated as the Garden of the LORD had been, and as is the land of Egypt, as one approaches Zoar.
11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan. Lot traveled eastward, and they separated themselves from one another.
12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, and Lot settled among the cities of the plain, and camped near Sodom.
13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly. The men of Sodom were wicked and sinful against the LORD to an extreme degree.
14 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: The LORD told Abram, after Lot had separated from him, "Now lift up your eyes and look from where you stand, to the north, south, east, and west.
15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. All the land that you can see, I will give to you, and to your descendants forever.
16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. I will make your descendants as numerous as the dry powder of the earth, so that if a man could count the powder grains of the earth, your descendants will have a comparable number.
17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. Get up and walk through the length and breadth of the land, because I am giving it to you." The Hebrew imperfect tense does not have to be future; it merely expresses action that has not yet been completed.
18 Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD. Then Abram struck camp, and came to settle in the plain of Mamre, in Hebron, and built an altar to the LORD there.

Chapter 14

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations; During the reigns of Kings Amraphel of Shinar, Arioch of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer of Elam, and Tidal, king of a multi-ethnic coalition, Literally, "Tidal king of nations." The Hebrew word for "nation" (גוי or goy) actually means "ethnic group."
2 That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar. these kings went to war against Kings Bera of Sodom, Birsha of Gomorrah, Shinab of Admah, Shemeber of Zeboyim, and the king of Bela, also known as Zoar. This is the War of the Ten Kings.
3 All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea. All their forces joined battle in the Siddim Valley, which today is the Dead Sea. Literally, "salt sea."
4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled. For twelve years they were puppets of Chedorlaomer. In the thirteenth year they rebelled.
5 And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim, In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and his allies came and defeated the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnayim, the Zuzims in Ham, the Emims in Shaveh Kiryathayim,
6 And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto El-paran, which is by the wilderness. and the Horites in Mount Seir, as far as El-paran, which lies close to the desert.
7 And they returned, and came to En-mishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites that dwelt in Hazezon-tamar. On their return, they came to En-Mishpat, also known as Kadesh, and conquered all the lands of the Amalekites, and of the Amorites that live in Hazezon-tamar.
8 And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim; Then the Kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboyim, and Bela (Zoar) moved out and, in the Siddim Valley, joined battle
9 With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five. against King Chedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of the multi-ethnic kingdom, King Amraphel of Shinar, and King Arioch of Ellasar. Thus four kings fought against five.
10 And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain. The Siddim Valley contained many bitumen pits. The Kings of Sodom and Gomorrah were routed and utterly vanquished there. The remaining forces escaped to the mountains.
11 And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. Chedorlaomer and his allies plundered Sodom and Gomorrah of treasures and foodstuffs, and went on their way.
12 And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. They also took Lot, Abram's brother's son, hostage (Lot was living in Sodom by this time), and seized his belongings, and left.
13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eschol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram. One man escaped, and came to tell Abram the Hebrew. Abram was living in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, the brother of Eschol and Aner. These three were Abram's confederates.
14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. When Abram learned that his nephew had been taken hostage, he emptied out his camp of all his military-trained servants (who had been born into his own household), all 318 of them, and pursued Chedorlaomer's forces as far as the Danite country. The Hebrew word אח (ach) can mean either "brother" or "cousin" or any reasonably close relative.
15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. He split his forces, attacked by night, and defeated the enemy, and pursued them as far as Hobah, which lies to the west of Damascus.
16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people. He brought back all the plundered treasures, and liberated his nephew Lot, and his belongings, and also the women, and the other hostages.
17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale. The king of Sodom went out to meet him after he returned from his defeat of Chedorlaomer and his allies at the Valley of Shaveh, also known as the valley of the kings. Not the same as the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, which is a burial ground.
18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and fruit of the vine. He was priest-king of the Most High God. Technically, Melchizedek could be described as "peaceful king," because the name שלם (salem) is very close to שלום (shalom), which means "peace."
19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: He blessed him, and said, "Blessed be Abram by the Most High God, Possessor of heaven and earth,
20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. and blessed by the Most High God, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand!" And Abram gave Melchizedek a ten-percent offering of everything he had. This is the first tithe (Hebrew מעשר (maaser) and the precedent for the ten-percent gift to God.
21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. The king of Sodom told Abram, "Let me have back my hostages, and you can keep the treasures for yourself."
22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, But Abram told the king of Sodom, "I have sworn to the LORD, the Most High God, Possessor of heaven and earth, Literally, "lifted up my hand." Even today, the raising of the right hand is the common gesture of one taking an oath or making an affirmation. Here, Abram calls God by the Name that Abram knows, and the Names by which Melchizedek called Him, so that no one can mistake his meaning.
23 That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich: that I will not take so much as a thread or a shoelace of anything that belongs to you, because I would not have you say, 'I made Abram rich.'
24 Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion. All I ask is what rations my young men have eaten, and the portion promised to my allies, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; they can take their portion."

Chapter 15

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. After all these happenings, the word of the LORD came to Abram by means of a vision. He told him, "Don't be afraid, Abram. I am your Shield. Your reward will be absolutely tremendous."
2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? Abram said, LORD God, what reward are you going to give me? I have no issue, and the manager and first-in-line of my estate is this Damascene, Eliezer."
3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. Abram repeated: "Look, You haven't provided any children for me, and someone born in my household will inherit my estate."
4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him again, to say, "This man will not inherit your estate. Instead, your biological son will inherit your estate." Literally, "one that shall come forth out of your own inward parts," a Hebrew idiom for a biological son.
5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. God brought Abram outside of camp, and said, "Now look up at the sky, and count the stars, if you can." And He told him, "That's how many descendants you'll have."
6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. And he believed the LORD, and God reckoned that belief to Abram for justification.
7 And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. Then He told him, "I am the LORD That brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land as an inheritance."
8 And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? Abram said, "LORD God, how do I know that I will inherit it?"
9 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. He told him, "Take for me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old nanny-goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon."
10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not. Abram took all these animals to God. He split them in two down the middle and placed each piece end-to-end, but did not split the birds.
11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away. When the vultures came down to attack the carcasses, Abram drove them off. The Hebrew עית (ayit) literally means a swooping bird. It is probably the black vulture (Gyps fulvus) that is native to the region.
12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. During sunset, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and then a terribly great darkness fell on him.
13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; Then God told Abram, "Learn this carefully:

Your children will be foreigners in a land foreign to them,

and will be slaves to the natives,
and the natives will afflict them,

four hundred years.

Another introversion. The "four hundred years" is a rough estimate of the total time that Abraham and/or any of his descendants spent in a land that could not be said to be their own. The actual time span is 430 years; see Exodus 12:40-41. That span began with Abram's departure from Haran.
14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. Then I will judge that ethnic group of whom they will be slaves, and afterward they will leave that land with great wealth.
15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. You will die in peace and be buried in a ripe old age,
16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. but in the fourth generation they will come here again, because the evil doings of the Amorites are not yet complete." In fact, Moses was in the fourth generation of Israelites in Egypt. His line of descent runs from Levi to Kohath to Amram and then to himself, four generations.
17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. And so it was, when the sun set, and darkness fell, one might have seen something like a smoking furnace, and a flaming torch passing between the cut animal pieces. The usual procedure for a covenant called for the parties to split an animal, lay the pieces opposite one another, and walk between them, as if to say that either one would have the right to execute the other in that fashion if he stood in violation. In this case, God Himself picked up the sleeping Abram and carried him between the pieces.
18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: In that very day the LORD made a covenant with Abram. He said, "To your children I have given this land, from the Nile River to the great Euphrates River,
19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, including the lands of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites,
20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaims,
21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites. the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."

Chapter 16

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. Now Sarai, the wife of Abram, bore him no children. She had an Egyptian personal maid named Hagar.
2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. Sarai told Abram, "Look: the LORD has stopped me from childbearing. Please take my maid to your bed. Maybe I can have children through her." And Abram listened to Sarai. This is the first recorded instance of surrogate motherhood. This story also illustrates why that practice is a very serious mistake and, hence, a sin.
3 And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And so, after Abram had lived for ten years in the land of Canaan, his wife Sarai took her maid, Hagar the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband to be his common-law wife. The Hebrew for "woman" and "wife" are the same word. Here and elsewhere, we use the word wife to mean "lawful wife." A cohabiting woman who is not a lawful wife is a common-law wife, also known by its French word, "concubine."
4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. He had relations with Hagar, and she fell pregnant. And when she realized that she was pregnant, she held her mistress in contempt. The consequences of the mistake become manifest very early on: the surrogate comes between the husband and the lawful wife, and also considers that the baby belongs to her.
5 And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee. So Sarai told Abram, "This is your fault! I gave my maid to share your bed. Now that she knows that she's pregnant, she holds me in contempt. May the LORD judge between me and you!" Sarai blames Abram, conveniently making light of a simple matter such as that it was her idea.
6 But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face. But Abram said back to Sarai, "Look: she's your slave-girl; you handle her." Then, when Sarai treated her harshly, she ran away. Abram proves no better able to handle the situation than is Sarai.
7 And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. The Angel of the Lord found her near an oasis, the oasis along the road to Shur. This angel is actually Jesus Christ in His pre-incarnate manifestation.

The Hebrew word used here for "oasis" is actually the same as the word for "eye." The Hebrews named an oasis by what it looked like.

8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. He said, "Hagar, slave-girl of Sarai, where did you come from, and where do you think you're going?" And she said, "I am running away from my mistress, Sarai."
9 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. The Angel of the Lord said to her, "Go back to your mistress, and place yourself under her authority."
10 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. Further, the Angel of the Lord told her, "I will multiply your descendants to such a degree that they will be innumerable."
11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. Again the Angel of the Lord told her, "Look: you're pregnant, and you will have a son. You will name him Ishmael, because the LORD has heard your affliction. The name Ishmael literally means "God hears."
12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. He will be a wild donkey of a man. His hand will be against every man, and every man's hand will be against him. He will settle in the face of all his kin." In short, he will be a "wiseguy."
13 And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? She called the name of the LORD Who had spoken to her, "You, God, have seen me!" She also said, "I can't believe I've actually seen Him, right here, and He has seen me!"
14 Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. Therefore the oasis was called Beer-lahai-roi. One can find it between Kadesh and Bered.
15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. Hagar did bear a son to Abram. Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram. Abram was 86 years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.

References

  1. For another example, see Jones FN, The Chronology of the Old Testament, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2004, p. 59.
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