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Julia E. Smith Translation 1876



1:1These the names of the sons of Israel coming into Egypt with Jacob; a man and his house came.
1:2Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah,
1:3Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin,
1:4Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
1:5And these will be all the souls that came out of the thigh of Jacob, seventy souls: and Joseph was in Egypt
1:6And Joseph will die, and all his brethren, and all that generation.
1:7Anil the sons of Israel were fruitful, and they will multiply abundantly, and they will increase, and will become strong with might exceedingly; and the land will be filled with them.
1:8And a new king will arise over Egypt, who will not know Joseph.
1:9And he will say to his people, Behold, the people of the sons of Israel, many, being strong above us.
1:10Come, we will be wise with them, lest they shall multiply, and it was when war shall happen, and also being added to our armies and fighting against us, and they went up from the land.
1:11And they will set over them leaders of the tributes in order to afflict them in their burdens. And they will build cities of stores for Pharaoh, Pithom and Raamses
1:12And as they will afflict them, so they will multiply and will increase. And they will feel disgust from the face of the sons of Israel.
1:13And the Egyptians will make the sons of Israel serve by oppression.
1:14And they will embitter their lives by hard work in clay, and in bricks, and in all work in the field: all their work in which they made them serve by oppression.
1:15And the king of Egypt will say to the midwives of the Hebrews, of whom the name of the one Shiprah, and the name of the second, Puah;
1:16And he will say, In the delivering the Hebrew women, and seeing upon the stools, if it is a son, ye shall kill him; and if it is a daughter, preserve alive.
1:17And the midwives will fear God, and they did not according to what the king of Egypt said to them, and they will preserve alive the boys.
1:18And the king of Egypt will call to the midwives, and will say to them, Wherefore did ye this word, and ye will preserve alive the boys?
1:19And the midwives will say to Pharaoh, That the Hebrewesses are not as the Egyptian women, for they giving life before the midwives shall come in to them, and they will bring forth.
1:20And God will do well to the midwives, and the people will multiply and be greatly strong.
1:21And it will be because the midwives will fear God, and he will make houses for them.
1:22And Pharaoh will command to all the people, saying, Every son being brought forth ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall preserve alive.
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.