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Julia E. Smith Translation 1876



4:1And the messenger speaking with me will turn back and rouse me up as a man that will be roused from his sleep.
4:2And he will say to me, What seest thou? And saying, I saw, and behold, a candlestick of gold, all of it, and a bowl upon its head, and its seven lights upon it, and seven tubes to the seven lights which were upon its head:
4:3And two olive trees upon it, one from the right of the bowl and one from its left.
4:4And I shall answer and say to the messenger speaking with me, saying, What are these, my lord?
4:5And the messenger speaking with me will answer and say to me, Knewest thou not what these are? And saying, No, my lord.
4:6And he will answer And say to me, saying, This the word of Jehovah to Zerubbabel, saying, Not by strength, not by power, but by my spirit, said Jehovah of armies.
4:7Who art thou, O great mountain? before the face of Zerubbabel for a level region. And he brought forth the stone of the head, a noise: Grace, grace to it
4:8And the word of Jehovah will be to me, saying,
4:9The hands of Zerubbabel founded this house, and his hands shall complete it; and thou knewest that Jehovah of armies sent me to you.
4:10For who despised the day of small things? and they rejoiced, and they saw the stone of tin in the hand of Zerubbabel, these seven; they the eyes of Jehovah running to and fro in all the earth.
4:11And I shall answer and say to him, What these two olive trees upon the right of the candlestick and upon its left?
4:12And I shall answer the second time, and say to him, What these two twigs of the olive trees which by the hand of the two tubes of gold. emptying from them the gold?
4:13And he will say to me, saying, Knewest thou not what these are? And saying, No, my lord.
4:14And he will say, These the two sons of new oil standing by the Lord, of all the earth.
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.