Wednesday, February 27, 2008

How Would You Translate 1 Samuel 24:3?

Today, as I was editing a study on 1 Samuel 24, I took a second look at verse 3. Here's the NRSV translation of the verse:

He came to the sheepfolds beside the road, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave.

"Relieve himself" is a substitute for the literal translation "cover his feet," a Hebrew euphemism for defecating. The King James sticks with "cover his feet." Almost every modern translation uses "relieve himself," which doesn't entirely describe what Saul was doing. The one exception is the New Life Version, which renders the phrase "get rid of his body waste." Goo! You can check the different translations at Oremus or Bible Gateway.


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