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Julia E. Smith Translation 1876



24:1And Balaam will see that it was good in the eyes of Jehovah to praise Israel, and he went not now as before to meet enchantments, and he will set his face to the desert
24:2And Balsam will lift up his eyes and see Israel dwelling according to his tribes; and the spirit of God will be upon him.
24:3And he will take up his parable and say, Balaam, the son of Beor, and the man of unclosed eye, said;
24:4He said, hearing the sayings of God, who will see the vision of the Almighty, falling, and the eyes being uncovered:
24:5How good thy tents, Jacob, and thy dwellings, Israel!
24:6As valleys extended, as a garden by the river, as tents Jehovah pitched, as cedars by the waters.
24:7He will shake out the water from his bucket, and his seed in many waters, and his king shall be lifted up above Agag, and his kingdom shall be raised up.
24:8God brought him forth out of Egypt; as the swiftness of the buffalo to him: he shall cut up the nations his enemies; he shall cut off their strong defences, and he shall smite through his arrows.
24:9He bowed; he lay down as a lion, and as a lioness: who shall raise him up? Praised he praising thee, and cursed he cursing thee.
24:10And Balak's anger will kindle against Balaam, and he will strike his hands: and Balak will say to Balaam, To curse mine enemies I called thee, and behold, blessing, thou didst bless this three beats.
24:11And now flee for thyself to thy place: I said, Honoring, I will honor thee, and behold, Jehovah withheld thee from honor.
24:12And Balaam will say to Balak, Also to thy messengers which thou sentest to me, spake I not, saying,
24:13If Balak will give to me his house full of silver and gold, I shall not be able to pass by the mouth of Jehovah, to do good or evil from my heart; what Jehovah shall speak I will speak it
24:14And now, behold me going to my people: come, I will advise thee what this people will do to thy people in the last of the days.
24:15And he will take up his parable, and say, Balaam the son of Beor, said, and the man of unclosed eye, said:
24:16He said, hearing the sayings of God, honoring the knowledge of the Most High, he will see the vision of the Almighty, falling, and the eyes being uncovered:
24:17I shall see him and not now: I shall look after him, and not near: a star came forth from Jacob, and a rod rose up from Israel and dashed in pieces the faces of Moab, and undermined all the sons of Seth.
24:18And Edom was an inheritance, and the inheritance of Seir was his enemies; and Israel did in strength.
24:19And he shall descend from Jacob, and he destroyed the escaped from the city.
24:20And he will see Amalek, and he will take up his parable, and say, Amalek the beginning of the nations, and his latter state he perished forever.
24:21And he will see the Kenite, and he will take up his parable, and say, Strong thy dwelling, and put thy nest in the rock.
24:22For if Cain shall be for consuming, how long shall Assyria take thee captive?
24:23And he will take up his parable, and say, Wo! who shall live, God doing this?
24:24And ships from the hand of the Cyprians, and they afflicted Assyria, and they afflicted Heber, and he also perished forever.
24:25And Balaam will rise up and will go, and turn back to his place; and also Balak went to his way.
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.