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Julia E. Smith Translation 1876



2:1And now to you this command, O ye priests.
2:2If ye will not hear and if ye will not set upon your heart to give honor to my name, said Jehovah of armies, and I sent a curse upon you, and I cursed your blessings, and also I cursed it for your not setting upon the heart.
2:3Behold me rebuking the seed to you, and I scattered dung upon your faces, the dung of your festivals; and it lifted you up to it.
2:4And ye knew that I sent this command to you, for my covenant to be with Levi, said Jehovah of armies.
2:5My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I will give them to him fearing, and he shall fear me, and from the face of my name he was terrified.
2:6The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: in truth and in uprightness he went with me, and he turned back many from iniquity.
2:7For the lips of the priest shall watch knowledge, and they shall seek the law from his mouth: for he is the messenger of Jehovah of armies.
2:8And ye departed out of the way; ye made many weak by the law; ye corrupted the covenant of Levi, said Jehovah of armies.
2:9And also I set you despised and low to all the people, according as ye watch not my way, and lift up the face against the law.
2:10Is there not one father to us all? is there not one God creating us? wherefore shall we deal faithlessly each against his brother, to profane the covenant of our fathers?
2:11Judah dealt faithlessly, and an abomination was done in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah profaned the holy place of Jehovah which he loved, and married the daughter of a strange god.
2:12Jehovah will cut off to the man which shall do it, him waking, and him answering from the tents of Jacob, and him bringing near a gift to Jehovah of armies.
2:13And this ye will do the second time, covering with tears the altar of Jehovah, with weepings and shrieks, from not any more looking to the gift, and to take delight from your hand.
2:14And ye said, For what? For that Jehovah testified between thee and between the wife of thy youth, which thou didst deal faithlessly against her, and she thy companion and the wife of thy covenant
2:15And did he not make one? And the remainder of the spirit to him. And why one? Seeking a seed of God. And ye matched in your spirit, and he shall not deal faithlessly against the wife of thy youth.
2:16For he hated sending away, says Jehovah God of Israel: and he covered violence with his clothing, said Jehovah of armies: and ye watched in your spirit, and ye shall not deal faithlessly.
2:17Ye wearied Jehovah with your words: and ye said, In what did we weary? In your saying, Every one doing evil is good in the eyes of Jehovah, and he delighted in them; or, Where the God of judgment?
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.