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Julia E. Smith Translation 1876



12:1And Miriam and Aaron will speak against Moses on account of the Ethiopian woman which he took: for he took an Ethiopian woman.
12:2And they will say, Did Jehovah only now speak by Moses? Did he not also speak by us? And Jehovah will hear.
12:3And the man Moses greatly humble, more than all the men upon the face of the earth.
12:4And Jehovah will say in a moment to Moses and to Aaron and to Miriam, Come forth ye three unto the tent of appointment And they three will come forth.
12:5And Jehovah will come down in the pillar of the cloud, and will stand at the door of the tent, and will call Aaron and Miriam, and they two will come forth.
12:6And he will say, Hear ye now, my word: If there shall be your prophet of Jehovah, in a vision I will be known to him; in a dream I will speak to him.
12:7Not so my servant Moses; he was faithful in all my house.
12:8Mouth to mouth I will speak to him, and in appearance and not in enigmas; and the portion of Jehovah shall he behold: and wherefore were ye not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses?
12:9And the anger of Jehovah will kindle against them; and he will go.
12:10And the cloud removed from the tent; and behold, Miriam being leprous as snow: and Aaron will look upon Miriam, and behold, her being leprous
12:11And Aaron will say to Moses, With leave, my lord, now thou shalt not put upon us the sin in which we were foolish, and in which we sinned.
12:12Now shall she not be as the dead, which in his coming forth from the womb of his mother, and his flesh shall be half consumed?
12:13And Moses will cry to Jehovah, saying, God heal her now.
12:14And Jehovah will say to Moses, And her father spitting, spit in her face, shall she not be ashamed seven days? She shall be shut seven days without the camp, and afterward she shall be taken back.
12:15And Miriam shall be shut without the camp seven days, and the people removed not till Miriam was taken back.
12:16And afterward the people removed from the enclosures, and they will encamp in the desert of Paran.
Julia Smith and her sister

Julia E. Smith Translation 1876

The Julia Evelina Smith Parker Translation is considered the first complete translation of the Bible into English by a woman. The Bible was titled The Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments; Translated Literally from the Original Tongues, and was published in 1876.

Julia Smith, of Glastonbury, Connecticut had a working knowledge of Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Her father had been a Congregationalist minister before he became a lawyer. Having read the Bible in its original languages, she set about creating her own translation, which she completed in 1855, after a number of drafts. The work is a strictly literal rendering, always translating a Greek or Hebrew word with the same word wherever possible. Smith accomplished this work on her own in the span of eight years (1847 to 1855). She had sought out no help in the venture, even writing, "I do not see that anybody can know more about it than I do." Smith's insistence on complete literalness, plus an effort to translate each original word with the same English word, combined with an odd notion of Hebrew tenses (often translating the Hebrew imperfect tense with the English future) results in a translation that is mechanical and often nonsensical. However, such a translation if overly literal might be valuable to consult in checking the meaning of some individual verse. One notable feature of this translation was the prominent use of the Divine Name, Jehovah, throughout the Old Testament of this Bible version.

In 1876, at 84 years of age some 21 years after completing her work, she finally sought publication. The publication costs ($4,000) were personally funded by Julia and her sister Abby Smith. The 1,000 copies printed were offered for $2.50 each, but her household auction in 1884 sold about 50 remaining copies.

The translation fell into obscurity as it was for the most part too literal and lacked any flow. For example, Jer. 22:23 was given as follows: "Thou dwelling in Lebanon, building as nest in the cedars, how being compassionated in pangs coming to thee the pain as in her bringing forth." However, the translation was the only Contemporary English translation out of the original languages available to English readers until the publication of The British Revised Version in 1881-1894.(The New testament was published in 1881, the Old in 1884, and the Apocrypha in 1894.) This makes it an invaluable Bible for its period.