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Julia E. Smith Translation 1876



7:1And it will be in the fourth year to Darius the king, the word of Jehovah was to Zechariah in the fourth to the ninth month, in Chisleu;
7:2And he will send to the house of God, the chief of the treasure, and the friend of the king, and his men to beseech the face of Jehovah.
7:3To speak to the priests which were to the house of Jehovah of armies, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself according as I did, how many the years?
7:4And the word of Jehovah of armies was to me, saying,
7:5Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and in the seventh, and this seventy years, fasting, fasted ye to me, me?
7:6And when ye shall eat, and when ye shall drink, are ye not eating, and are ye not drinking?
7:7Is it not the words which Jehovah called by the hand of the former prophets in Jerusalem being inhabited and in security, and its cities round about her, and inhabiting the south and the low country?
7:8And the word of Jehovah will be to Zechariah, saying,
7:9Thus said Jehovah of armies, saying. Judge ye the judgment of truth, and do mercy and compassions each to his brother.
7:10And the widow and the orphan, the stranger and the poor, ye shall not oppress; and ye shall not purpose evil in your heart a man to his brother.
7:11And they will refuse to attend, and they will give a stubborn shoulder, and their ears they made heavy from hearing.
7:12And their heart they set a diamond from hearing the instruction and the words which Jehovah of armies sent by his spirit by the hand of the former prophets: and there will be great wrath from Jehovah of armies.
7:13And it will be as he called and they heard not; so they shall call, and I will not hear, said Jehovah of armies:
7:14And I will toss them about among all the nations which they knew not: and the land was desolate after them from passing through and from turning back: and they shall set the land of desire for a desolation.
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.