[b-hebrew] War machines and missiles in 2 chronicles

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Fri Mar 5 18:18:55 EST 2004

Dear Karl,

Chemorion sent me another e-mail with the missing reference for
"hishbonot," which was 2 Chronicles 26:15. He mentioned that the NRSV uses
war machines there, and I added that the NIV has also has war machines.

I told Chemorion that my lexicons also give "weapons" for shalach (2 Chon
32:5). That's what the New International Version uses. I asked Chemorion
what his people would think of if they heard "missiles." He answered:

>I think we have to find ways of effective communication to the modern
>audience. What about the mention of tables, lamps, torches etc.

I replied,"That's not a good comparison. Tables have not changed that much
from ancient Israel. But there were no rockets or explosives back then."

So it seems an issue of what the Kenyan readers would think of. If they
know basic English, the word "missile" might only be familiar to them as a
term in the newspapers for advanced weapons. That would give an
anachronistic idea to the Bible reader. "Missiles" in its meaning as simply
something sent through the air, usually to strike a target, is less
commonly known. Projectiles might be an alternative if you wanted to stress
the idea of airborne weapons. But if the more general word "weapons" is
sufficient for the NIV, then it would probably work for Chemorion as well.
"Weapons" is also the choice of NASB, NLT, NKJV, HCSB, and NRSV. If I
remember, there is some uncertainty about the word's exact reference.

					Harold Holmyard

>Which word would you recommend? A list of all
>the missiles used at that time, including
>stones for slingers, arrows, javelins
>(throwing spears), and whatever else was used?
>“Missile” is the proper word and as far as I
>know, there is no other word in English.
>Karl W. Randolph.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Harold R. Holmyard III" <hholmyard at ont.com>
>> Dear Chemorion,
>> You wrote:
>> The modern audience of the Bible would easily understand some archaic
>> concepts in the Bible if  concepts of modern technology are used. Can I
>> therefore translate "hishbonot" in 2chronicles 32:6 as "war machines" and
>> "shelakh" in 2chronicles 32:5 as "missiles".
>> HH: Your verse reference for "hishbonot" is apparently wrong.
>> If your people hear "missiles," will they think of modern missiles with
>> explosives and rockets, or will, they think of spears, darts, and such
>> things?
>> 				Yours,
>> 				Harold Holmyard
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