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Julia E. Smith Translation 1876



21:1And the men of Israel sware in Mizpeh, saying, A man from us shall not give his daughter to Benjamin for wife.
21:2And the people will go to the house of God and will sit there even till evening, before God; and they will lift up their voice and weep a great weeping.
21:3And they will say, Wherefore, Jehovah, God of Israel, was this in Israel to miss one tribe this day from Israel?
21:4And it will be on the morrow, and the people will rise early and they will build there an altar, and will bring up burnt-offerings and peace.
21:5And the sons of Israel will say, Who from all the tribes of Israel that went not up in the gathering to Jehovah? For there was a great oath against him who went not up to Jehovah to Mizpeh, saying, Dying, he shall die.
21:6And the sons of Israel will lament for Benjamin their brother, and they will say, There was cut off this day one tribe from Israel.
21:7What shall we do for them to those being left for wives, and we sware by Jehovah not to give to them from our daughters for wives?
21:8And they will say, What one from the tribes of Israel who came not up to Jehovah to Mizpeh? And behold, not a man came from the camp of Jabesh-Gilead to the gathering.
21:9And the people will be reviewed, and behold, not a man there from the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead.
21:10And they will send there twelve thousand men from the sons of power, and they will command them, saying, Go and smite them, the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead, with the mouth of the sword, and the women and the little ones
21:11And this the word which ye shall do: every male and every woman knowing the bed of a male ye shall exterminate.
21:12And they will find of the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead four hundred girls, virgins, who knew not man by the bed of a male: and they will bring them to the camp of Shiloh which is in the land of Canaan.
21:13And all the assembly will send and speak to the sons of Benjamin who were in the rock Rimmon, and they will call peace to them.
21:14And Benjamin will turn back in that time; and they will give them the women which they saved alive from the women of Jabesh-Gilead: and they found for them not thus.
21:15And the people lamented for Benjamin, because Jehovah made a breach in the tribes of Israel.
21:16And the old men of the assembly will say, What shall we do for those remaining for wives, for the women were destroyed from Benjamin?
21:17And they will say, An inheritance for the escaped to Benjamin, and a tribe shall not be destroyed from Israel.
21:18And we shall not be able to give to them wives from our daughters, for the sons of Israel sware, saying, Cursed he giving a wife to Benjamin.
21:19And they will say, Behold, a festival of Jehovah in Shiloh from days to days, which is from the north to the house of God, from the rising of the sun to the highway going from the house of God to Shechem, and from the south to Lebonah.
21:20And they commanded the sons of Benjamin, saying, Go, and lie in wait in the vineyards;
21:21And see, and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh shall come forth to dance in dances, and come ye out from the vineyards and catch for yourselves each his wife from the daughters of Shiloh) and go to the land of Benjamin.
21:22And it was when their fathers or brothers shall come to contend against us, and we said to them, Be merciful to us with them, because we took not a man his wife in the battle; for ye gave not to them according to the time, ye shall transgress.
21:23And the sons of Benjamin will do so, and they will take wives for their number from those dancing, which they took by force: and they will go and turn back to their inheritance, and they will build cities, and they will dwell in them.
21:24And the sons of Israel will go from there in that time, a man to his tribe and to his family, and they will go forth from there, a man to his inheritance.
21:25In those days no king in Israel: a man will do the right in his eyes.
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.