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Analytical-Literal Translation of the Old Testament

(Septuagint)

Volume Three: The Poetic Books
Translated by Gary F. Zeolla, the Director of Darkness to Light

The Analytical-Literal Translation  of the Old Testament (ALT: OT) is available in five volumes. Most Old Testaments are based on the Hebrew text. But this Old Testament is based on the Greek Septuagint (LXX). The LXX is a third century B.C. Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. The importance of the LXX is that it was THE Bible of the early Church. The purpose of the ALT: OT is to provide a translation of the Greek Septuagint that will enable the reader to come as close to the Greek text as possible without having to be proficient in Greek. This third volume contains the Poetic Books (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon). These books contain praises to the LORD, honest expressions of personal struggles, wisdom sayings, and a romantic story.

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Preface

Click for a larger imageNote: The paperback and hardback versions of the ALT are in double columns. But it is not possible to reproduce that format here.

        The Analytical-Literal Translation of the Holy Bible (ALT) is translated by Gary F. Zeolla (www.Zeolla.org). The ALT consists of seven volumes. They are.

Volume I – The Torah (Genesis to Deuteronomy)
Volume II – The Historical Books (Joshua to Esther)
Volume III – The Poetic Books (Job to Song of Solomon)
Volume IV – The Prophetic Books (Isaiah to Malachi)
Volume V – The Apocryphal/ Deuterocanonical Books

Volume VI – The New Testament
Volume VII – The Apostolic Fathers

         Volumes I to IV contain the Old Testament (OT). All 39 of these books are considered canonical by Jews and all Christian groups. The word “canon” means list of authoritative books, so canonical books are those which are included in this list. They are believed to be inspired by God and reliable for basing doctrine and practice upon. As such, all 39 of these OT books are a trustworthy guide to correct faith and practice and to spiritual enrichment.

        Volume V is the Apocryphal/ Deuterocanonical (A/D) Books. These are the “extra” books found in the OTs of Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Bibles as compared to Jewish Bibles and the OTs of Protestant Bibles. There is much debate over if these books are canonical or not. They were all written in the period between the end of the OT and the beginning of the New Testament (NT). They are thus included in the ALT as, inspired or not, they are worth reading and provide background to the NT.

        Volume VI contains the NT. All 27 of these books are considered canonical by all Christian groups. They are thus the bedrock on which Christian doctrine and practice are built upon and provide much spiritual benefit.

        Volume VII of the ALT contains the Apostolic Fathers (APF).  These are the writings of Church leaders of the late first to mid-second centuries, most of whom were direct disciples of the apostles. Some of these books were seriously considered for inclusion in the canon of the NT. These are marked with an asterisk on the Table of Contents. They were ultimately rejected for the canon, but all of these APF books were popular in the early centuries of the Church. They give insight into the mindset of the early Church shortly after the apostles and provide background to the NT. As such, they are very much worth reading.

    Most Old Testaments are based on the Hebrew text. But this Old Testament (OT) is based on the Greek Septuagint (LXX). The LXX is a third century B.C. Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. The name and abbreviation comes from the tradition that 70 (or 72) Jewish scholars worked on its translation, six from each of the 12 tribes of Israel.

    The importance of the LXX is that it was THE Bible of the early Church. This can be seen when comparing quotations from the OT in the New Testament (NT). When it can be determined, more often than not, the NT writers are quoting from the LXX rather than the Hebrew text.

    Once the Church became predominately composed of Greek-speaking Gentiles rather than Aramaic-speaking Jews, the LXX was used almost exclusively. This can be seen when reading the writings of the early Church Fathers of the second and third centuries. They almost always quote from the LXX when quoting the OT.

    In addition, most translations of the Bible into other languages in the early centuries were done from the LXX rather than the Hebrew text. It was not until the Church became mostly Latin speaking and began using the Latin Vulgate in the fourth century that use of the LXX began to fade.

    The purpose of the ALT is to provide a translation of the Greek Septuagint that will enable the reader to come as close to the Greek text as possible without having to be proficient in Greek.

    This third volume contains the Poetic Books (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon). These books contain praises to the LORD, honest expressions of personal struggles, wisdom sayings, and a romantic story.


Sample Passages from the ALT OT: Volume III: The Poetic Books

Abbreviations and Notations

Following are the meanings of abbreviations and notations seen in the ALT text.

Abbreviations and Notations in Brackets

 

[the] Words added for clarity are bracketed (e.g., Job 1:1). But note, very often the definite article (“the”) is not used in the LXX with the word kurios (“LORD” or “Lord”). But the added article is not bracketed in this case only as its frequency made it prohibitive to do so.

[Heb 2:6-8] – Reference for when the OT is quoted in the NT or the OT in the OT (e.g., Psalm 8:4-6).

“trouble” Meaning of a proper name, placed in quotation marks (Not used in Poetic Books).

about Modern-day equivalent for measurements and monetary units (e.g., Job 42:11).

and elsewhere in The bracketed information applies to other occurrences of the preceding word or phrase in the given range, but not necessarily to all occurrences (e.g., Job 1:6).

and throughout/ and in The bracketed information applies to all occurrences of the preceding word or phrase throughout the given range (e.g., Psalm 2:1).

cp. Compare. A cross reference (e.g., Psalm 22:8).

fig. Figurative. Possible figurative meaning or paraphrase of preceding literal translation (e.g., Psalm 2:1).

Gr. Greek. The Greek word previously translated, with the Greek letters transliterated (changed) into English letters (e.g., Psalm 9:17).

Heb. Hebrew. Indicates the reading of the Hebrew OT when there is a notable difference between it and the LXX. But note, no attempt is made to indicate all differences between these two texts (e.g., Job 1:6).

i.e. Explanatory note (“that is” or “in explanation”) (e.g., Job 8:11).

lit. – Literal. Indicates the literal rendering when the text uses a less than literal rendering (e.g., Job 1:6).

LXX Septuagint. Very often, the spelling of proper names in the LXX differs from how the name is commonly spelled. For notable names, the common spelling is used in the text, but the first time it appears in a book, the LXX spelling is also given (e.g., Job 1:1). But note, no attempt is made to give the common spelling for all names.

Also used to indicate when the LXX omits a verse or verses found in the Hebrew text (e.g., Job 23:14).

or Alternative, traditional, or slightly less literal translation (e.g., Job 1:4).

see Cross reference (e.g., Psalm 104:9).

Miscellaneous Abbreviations and Notations

But Indicates the use of the Greek strong adversative (alla e.g., Job 1:11) instead of the weak adversative (de, translated as “but” when used in an adversative sense – e.g., Job 2:3).

LORD – Lord – The former indicates the Hebrew OT has Yahweh (the Hebrew proper name for God – Job 1:6). The latter indicates the Hebrew OT has adonai (the general word for “lord”) or that there is no equivalent in the Hebrew OT for the LXX’s use of “Lord” (Gr., kurios – e.g., Job 1:22). When the LXX has “God” (Gr., theos) where the Hebrew has Yahweh, “GOD” is used (e.g., Psalm 71:1).

you Indicates the pronoun is emphasized in the Greek text (also, he, she, etc. – e.g., Job 4:5).

you* – Indicates the original is plural (also, your* e.g., Josh 1:3). With no asterisk the second person pronoun is singular (e.g., Job 6:21).

{…} – Encloses “extra” passages found in the LXX but not in the Hebrew text.

ALT – Analytical-Literal Translation

 


Job 1-2

1

There was a certain man in [the] land of Uz [LXX, Ausitidi], whose name [was] Job. And that man was true, blameless, righteous, fearing God, abstaining from every evil thing. 2Now there became to him seven sons and three daughters. 3And his livestock was seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, [and] five hundred female-donkeys in the pastures, also a very great household. And great works were to him. And upon the earth that man was [most] noble of the [men] from [the] sun rising [fig., east].

        4Now his sons coming together to [or, visiting] one another, were preparing a banquet according to each day [fig., every day], taking with them at the same time also their three sisters to be eating and to be drinking with them. 5And when the days of the banquet were completed, Job was sending and purifying them, having risen up in the morning, and was offering sacrifices for them, according to their number, and one calf for a sin-offering for their souls. For Job was saying, “Perhaps my sons thought evil [things] in their mind against God.” Thus, then Job was doing all the days [fig., continually].

        6And as it happened this day, that [lit., and, and elsewhere in book] behold, the angels [Heb., sons] of God came to stand before the LORD, and the devil [Heb., Satan, and through next chapter] came with them. 7And the LORD said to the devil, “From where have you come?” And having answered, the devil said to the LORD, “Having traveled about the earth, and having walked about the [earth] under heaven, I am present.”

        8Then the LORD said to him, “Did your mind pay close attention to my servant Job, that there is none according to [or, like] him on the earth, a man, blameless, true, fearing God, abstaining from every evil thing?” 9Then the devil answered and said before the LORD, “Job does not worship God for nothing, does he? 10You [have] made a hedge around the [things] outside of him, and the [things] inside his house, and the [things] outside, all the [things] being to him [fig., his possessions] round about, have You not? You [have] blessed the works of his hands, and made many [fig., multiplied] his livestock upon the land, have You not? 11But send [or, stretch] out Your hand, and touch all which he has; surely, he will bless [fig., curse] You to [Your] face!”

        12Then the LORD said to the devil, “Behold, all, as many [things] as are to him I give to your hand, but do not touch him.” So the devil went out from the LORD. 13And as it was this day, the sons of Job and his daughters were drinking wine in the house of their elder brother. 14And, behold, a messenger came to Job, and said to him, “The yokes of the oxen were plowing, and the female-donkeys were feeding near them; 15and the ones taking captive [Heb., the Sabeans], having come, captured them, and killed the servants with [the] sword; and I having escaped alone came to tell you!”

        16This [one] still speaking, another messenger came, and said to Job, “Fire fell from heaven, and burned up the sheep, and devoured the shepherds likewise; and I having escaped alone came to tell you!”

        17This [one] still speaking, another messenger came, and said to Job, “The horsemen [Heb., Chaldeans] formed three heads [fig., raiding parties] against us, and surrounded the camels, and captured them, and killed the servants with [the] sword; and I only escaped, and came to tell you!”

        18This [one] still speaking, another messenger comes, saying to Job, “Your sons and your daughters eating and drinking with their elder brother, 19suddenly a great wind came on from the desert, and caught the four corners of the house, and the house fell upon your children, and they died; and I escaped alone, and came to tell you!”

        20So Job having risen, tore his clothes, and shaved the hair of his head, and having fallen to the ground, prostrated in worship, and said, 21“[I] myself came forth naked from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart there. The LORD gave; the LORD took away, as it seemed thus [or, good] to the Lord, so it happened. May the name of the LORD be having been blessed!” 22In all these [things] having happened to him, Job did not sin at all before the Lord, and did not impute folly to God. 

2

And as it happened this day, that the angels [Heb., sons] of God came to stand before the LORD, and the devil came in the midst of them to stand before the LORD. 2And the LORD said to the devil, “From where do you come?” Then the devil said before the LORD, “Having journeyed through the [earth] under heaven, and having walked about the whole [of it], I am present.”

        3Then the LORD said to the devil, “Did you pay close attention then to my servant Job, that there is none according to [or, like] him on the earth, a man, innocent, true, blameless, fearing God, abstaining from every evil? And he yet holds integrity, but you said to destroy the [things] existing of him [fig., his possessions] through no purpose [or, without result].”

        4So having taken up [the word] [fig., replying], the devil said to the LORD, “Skin for skin! As many [things] as exist to a person [fig., All that a person has] he will pay in full for his life. 5But not indeed, but having sent [or, stretched] out Your hand, touch his bones and his flesh, surely indeed he will bless [fig., curse] You to [Your] face!” 6So the LORD said to the devil, “Behold, I deliver him up to you; only preserve his life.” 7Then the devil went out from the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from [his] feet to [his] head. 8And he took a piece of broken pottery to scrape away the discharge, and he was sitting upon the manure-pile outside the city.

        9{Now much time having advanced [fig., passed], his wife said to him, “How long [lit., Until when, and throughout book] will you persevere, saying, ‘Behold, I wait yet a little time, expecting the hope of my deliverance?’ For, behold, your memorial has perished from the earth, [your] sons and daughters, [the] birth pains of my womb and which labor I labored to no purpose with hardships. And you yourself sit down with rottenness of worms, spending the nights in open air. And I [am] a wanderer and a hired servant place from place, traveling about, and house from house, waiting for when the sun will set, that I should rest from the labors and the pains which now surround me. But say some word against the Lord, and die!”} [Heb., 9Then [his] wife said to [him], “Do you still hold firm to your integrity? Bless [fig., Curse] God and die!”]

        10But having looked at [her], he said to her, “You [have] spoken just as one of the foolish women. If we received the good [things] from [the] hand of the Lord, will we not endure the evil [things]?” In all these [things] having happened to him, Job did not sin not at all with his lips before God.

                11Now his three friends having heard all the evil [things] having come upon him, came to him each from his own country: Eliphaz, king of the Thaemanites [Heb., the Temanite], Bildad [LXX, Baldad] monarch of the Saucheans [Heb., the Shuhite], Zophar [LXX, Sophar] king of the Minaeans [Heb., the Naamathite]. And they came to him with one accord, to comfort and to visit him. 12And having seen him from a distance, they did not recognize [him]; and having cried aloud with a great voice, they wept, having torn each the clothes of himself, and having sprinkled dust. 13And they sat down beside him seven days and seven nights, and not one of them spoke; for they were seeing his misfortune being dreadful and very great.

 

Psalm 23

23

A Psalm by David.

The LORD shepherds me, and nothing will lack [to] me. 2In a place of green grass, there He caused me to dwell; He nourished me by [the] water of rest. 3He turned back my soul; He guided me upon paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake. 4For even if I should walk in the midst of [the] shadow of death, I will not be afraid of evil [things], for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, these comforted me. 5You prepared a table before me from opposite of the ones afflicting me; You anointed my head with oil; and Your cup [is] giving [me] to drink like good [drink]. 6And Your mercy will pursue me all the days of my life; and I [will] be dwelling in [the] house of the LORD for a length of days [fig., forever]!

 

 

Psalm 119:1-16

119

{Alleluia!}

[Note: In the Hebrew text of this Psalm, each verse in each eight-verse paragraph begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. At the beginning of each paragraph, the LXX numbers and spells out the name of each of these 22 letters.]

                {1, Aleph [or, Alef]} Blessed [are] the blameless in [their] way, the ones walking in [the] Law of the LORD! 2Blessed [are] the ones searching out His testimonies; they will diligently seek Him with [the] whole heart. 3For the ones not working the iniquity were walked in His ways. 4You commanded [us] to diligently keep Your commandments. 5O that my ways may be directed to keep Your ordinances! 6Then by no means shall I be ashamed, when I am looking upon all Your commandments. 7I will give thanks to You, O Lord, with uprightness of heart, when I have learned the judgments of Your righteousness [or, Your righteous judgments]. 8I will keep Your ordinances; do not utterly forsake me!

                9{2, Beth [or, Bet]} By what [fig., How] will the young [person] keep his way straight? By the keeping of Your words. 10With my whole heart I diligently sought You; do not push me aside [Heb., let me wander] from Your commandments. 11I hid Your oracles in my heart, in order that I shall not sin against You. 12Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me Your ordinances. 13With my lips I declared all the judgments of Your mouth. 14I was delighted in the way of Your testimonies, as over all wealth. 15I will meditate on Your commandments, and consider Your ways. 16I will ponder on [Heb., delight myself in] Your ordinances; I will not forget Your words.

Song of Solomon 1:1-16

 

1

[The] Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.

2[The Shulamite:] “Let him kiss me with kisses of his mouth; for your breasts [are] [Heb., love [is]] better [lit., good, and throughout book] than wine. 3And [the] fragrance of your ointments [is better] than all the spices; your name [is] ointment having been poured out; therefore young women loved you.”

            4[Daughters of Jerusalem:] “They drew you; we will run after you, for [the] fragrance of your ointments.”

        [The Shulamite:] “The king brought me into his secret room.”

        [Daughters of Jerusalem:] “Let us rejoice and be glad in you; we will love your breasts [Heb., remember your love] more than wine; righteousness loved you.”

            5[The Shulamite:] “I am dark, but beautiful, O daughters of Jerusalem, as [the] tents of Kedar, as [the] curtains of Solomon. 6Do not look upon me, because I am having been darkened, because the sun looked upon me; my mother’s sons quarreled with me; they made me keeper in [the] vineyards; I did not keep my [own] vineyard.”

        7[To her beloved:] “Tell me, whom my soul loved, where you shepherd, where you rest [them] at noon, lest I become as one clothing [or, veiling] herself by [the] herds of your companions.”

        8[The beloved:] “If you do not know yourself, the beautiful [one] among women; you go forth by [the] heels [or, footsteps] of the flocks, and be shepherding your goats by [the] tents of the shepherds. 9I compared you, my companion [lit., neighbor, and throughout book], to my horse in [the] chariots of Pharaoh. 10How are your cheeks beautified as [those] of doves, your neck as necklaces!”

        11[Daughters of Jerusalem:] “We will make for you likenesses of gold with marks [fig., studs] of silver.”

        12[The Shulamite:] “Until which [time] the king [was] in his leaning back [fig., at his table], my spikenard gave its fragrance. 13My beloved [is] to me a bundle of myrrh; it will be laid between my breasts. 14My beloved [is] to me a bunch of grapes of a shrub in [the] vineyards of Engaddi.”

        15[The beloved:] “Behold, you are beautiful, my companion; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes [are] doves.”

        16[The Shulamite:] “Behold, you are handsome, my beloved, and indeed, beautiful; our bed [is] shaded. 17[The] beams of our house [are] cedars; our ceilings [are] cypress.

 

Translator’s Note

 

        Occasionally, the LXX includes extended “extra” passages that are not found in the Hebrew text. It is a matter of debate whether these extra passages are inspired or not. As such, I wasn’t sure how to handle these passages in Volumes One and Two of the ALT: OT. There were few such passages in Volume One (e.g., Gen 46:20). But in Volume Two, there were several such passages, especially in 1Kings and Esther. I did not include the extra passages in 1Kings as they were mostly just repetitious of material found elsewhere in 1Kings. But I did include the passages in Esther. I did so as they included mainly “new” material.

        This extra material can be identified in Volumes One and Two as they are generally included at the end of numbered verses, making those verses rather long, sometimes up to several paragraphs. In Esther, the passages are found in 1:1; 3:13; 4:17; 5:1; 8:12; 10:3. Starting with Volume Three, I will include these extra passages but enclose them in brace brackets. But, unfortunately, I did not think of enclosing such materials in brace brackets until after Volumes One and Two were published.

    Similarly, the LXX includes books that are not found in the Hebrew text. These are called apocryphal or deuterocanonical books. There again is debate whether these “extra” books are inspired or not. None of them are included in Jewish or Protestant Bibles, but many are included in Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Bibles. As such, Volume V of this ALT: OT will contain these apocryphal/ deuterocanonical books.

 

 

Translator’s Note for Online Bookstores Paperback

 

    The following note appears only in the paperback version of Volume Three available from Amazon and other online bookstores"

        Occasionally, the LXX includes “extra” words, phrases, and even entire paragraphs that are not found in the Hebrew text. Starting with this third volume of the ALT: OT, all of these extra passages are included, but the longer and more important passages are enclosed by brace brackets, i.e., {…} (e.g., Job 2:9).     However, no attempt is made to bracket every single “extra” word.

        It is a matter of debate whether these extra passages are inspired or not, that is why longer and more important ones are being enclosed by brace brackets. But they are being included as they are part of the LXX and make for interesting reading. 

        There are some minor differences between this 2014 edition of Volume Three versus the 2013 edition. As I was working on the additional volumes, I was making changes throughout the OT to be as consistent as possible in my translations. But the changes are mostly minor, so this is not a second edition. It is Edition 1.1.

 

        To explain, when I first published Volume One, I made it available in all of the formats indicated at the top of this page and in paperback format to be sold at online bookstores, but no one purchased that version, probably because it is more expensive than the Lulu paperback and far more expensive than the digital versions. As such, I did not bother to make Volumes Two to Five available in paperback format at online bookstores. But after Volume Five was published, I checked my revenue report and saw that several copies of Volume One in that format had sold by that time, so I figured it was worthwhile to make the rest of the volumes available in that format as well. But by then I had made the indicated changes to the texts of Volumes Two to Four. And since those would contain the updated text, I figured I might as well update Volume One in that format as well. But the amount of work to update all of the volumes in all of the formats would be prohibitive.

        The online bookstores paperback version also uses a higher quality paper than the Lulu paperback version. Only the reader can decide if the these slight differences between the Lulu versus the bookstores paperback justifies the higher price. But if you wish to purchase the bookstores versions, they are available at online bookstores like Amazon.


Scripture taken from the Analytical-Literal Translation of the Old New Testament: Volume III: The Poetic Books. Copyright © 2013 by Gary F. Zeolla (www.Zeolla.org).


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