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Julia E. Smith Translation 1876



1:1In the eighth month, in the second year to Darius, was the word of Jehovah to Zechariah son of Barachiah, son of Iddo the prophet, saying,
1:2Jehovah was angry with our fathers with anger.
1:3And thou saidst to them, Thus said Jehovah of armies: Turn back to me, says Jehovah of armies, and I will turn back to you, said Jehovah of armies.
1:4Ye shall not be as your fathers which the former prophets called to them, saying, Thus, said Jehovah of armies: Turn back now from your evil ways and your evil doings: and they heard not, and they attended not to me, says Jehovah.
1:5Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, shall they live forever?
1:6But the words and the laws which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not reach your fathers? and they will turn back and say, As Jehovah of armies purposed to do to us according to our ways and according to our doings, so he did with us.
1:7In the twenty and fourth day to the eleventh month, this the month Sabat, in the second year to Darius, was the word of Jehovah to Zechariah, son of Barachiah, son of Iddo the prophet, saying,
1:8I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood beween the myrtles which were in shady place; and after him red horses, bay, and white.
1:9And saying, What these, my lord? And the messenger speaking with me, will say to me, I will cause thee to see what these are?
1:10And the man standing between the myrtles will answer and say, These which Jehovah sent to go about in the earth.
1:11And they will answer the messenger of Jehovah standing between the myrtles, and they will say, We walked about in the earth, and behold, all the earth sat and rested.
1:12And the messenger of Jehovah will answer and say, O Jehovah of armies, how long wilt thou not compassionate Jerusalem and the cities of Judah with whom thou wert very angry this seventy years?
1:13And Jehovah will answer the messenger speaking with me good words, consoling words.
1:14And the messenger speaking with me, will say to me, Call thou, saying, Thus said Jehovah of armies; I was jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with great jealousy.
1:15And I am angry with great anger against the nations living in quiet: for I was angry a little and they helped for evil.
1:16For this, thus said Jehovah: I turned back to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, says Jehovah of armies, and a cord shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.
1:17Yet call, say, Thus said Jehovah of armies: My cities shall be spread abroad for good; and Jehovah yet comforted Zion and yet chose Jerusalem.
1:18And I shall lift up mine eyes, and see, and behold, four horns
1:19And saying to the messenger speaking with me, What these? And he will say to me, These the horns which scattered Judah, and Israel, and Jerusalem.
1:20And Jehovah caused me to see four artificers
1:21And saying, What came these to do? And he will say, saying, These the horns which scattered Judah, so that a man lifted not up his head: and these will come to terrify them, to cast out the horns of the nations lifting up the horn to the land of Judah to scatter it.
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.