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Julia E. Smith Translation 1876



33:1And Jacob will lift up his eyes and will see, and behold Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he will divide the children to Leah and to Rachel and to the two maids.
33:2And he set the maids and their children first, and Leah and her children behind, and Rachel and Joseph behind them.
33:3And he passed through before them, and he will bow himself upon the earth seven times till he brought himself near to his brother.
33:4And Esau will run to his meeting and he will embrace him and will fall upon his neck and will kiss him, and they will weep.
33:5And he will lift up his eyes and will see the women and the children, and he will say, To whom these to thee? And he will say, The children with whom God compassionated thy servant.
33:6And the maids will draw near, they and their children, and they will bow themselves.
33:7And Leah also will draw near, and her children, and they will bow themselves; and after, Joseph will draw near and Rachel, and they will prostrate themselves.
33:8And he will say, What to thee all this camp which I met? and he will say, To find grace in thine eyes, my lord.
33:9And Esau will say, There is much to me, my brother; what is to thee shall be to thee.
33:10And Jacob will say, Nay, now, if now I found grace in thine eyes, and take my gift from my hand, for, for this, I saw thy face as seeing the face of God, and thou wilt be satisfied with me.
33:11Take now my blessing which was brought to thee, for God compassionated me, and because all things are to me; and he will press upon him, and he will take.
33:12And he will say, We will remove and go, and I will go before thee.
33:13And he will say to him, My lord knew that the children are tender, and the sheep and the oxen bringing forth with me, and they overdrive them one day all the flock will die.
33:14Now my lord, shall pass through before his servant, and I will drive out softly, according to the foot of the work before me and according to the foot of the children, till I shall come to my lord to Seir.
33:15And Esau will say, I will leave now with thee, from the people which are to me; and he will say, For what this? I shall find grace in the eyes of my lord.
33:16And Esau will turn back in that day on his way to Seir.
33:17And Jacob will remove to the booths, and he will build for himself a house, and he made booths for his cattle; for this he called the name of the place Booths.
33:18And Jacob will go to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, in his going from Padan Aram; and he will encamp before the city.
33:19And he will buy a part of the field where he spread there his tent, from the hand of the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for a hundred lambs.
33:20And he will set there an altar, and he will call upon it, God the God of Israel.
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.