Notes by Autumn Light

On Hebrew, English, translation, editing, and more—by Jonathan Orr-Stav

Are the rhythms in the King James Bible due in part to the similarity of its grammatical structure to that of the original language?

1 Comment

Interesting question, but I doubt it. Hebrew grammar is quite different from that of English. It is also much more concise, which means that a four-word sentence such as

אל יתהלל חוגר כמפתח

is rendered as sixteen in English:

Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off

(II Kings 20:11).

Another example: eight words in Ecclesiastes 11:4

שמר רוח, לא יזרע; וראה בעבים, לא יקצור

are seventeen in English:

He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap

The rhythm of the KJ Bible likely owes more to the innate poetry of English of that period that Shakespeare was so adept at deploying.

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(See this and other answers to this question at Quora.com)

 

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Author: יונתן אור-סתיו | Jonathan Orr-Stav

Hebrew-English translator, editor, author. מתרגם עברית–אנגלית, עורך באנגלית, וסופר.

One thought on “Are the rhythms in the King James Bible due in part to the similarity of its grammatical structure to that of the original language?

  1. Pingback: What are the advantages of reading the Bible in Hebrew instead of a translation? | Notes by Autumn Light

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