Home » Hebrew Yay! » New Translation Set: 2 Kings 4.38-44: Part 1 2 Kings 4.38

New Translation Set: 2 Kings 4.38-44: Part 1 2 Kings 4.38

2 Kings 4.38

 וֶאֱלִישָׁע שָׁב הַגִּלְגָּלָה וְהָרָעָב בָּאָרֶץ וּבְנֵי הַנְּבִיאִים יֹשְׁבִים לְפָנָיו וַיֹּאמֶר לְנַעֲרוֹ שְׁפֹת הַסִּיר הַגְּדוֹלָה וּבַשֵּׁל נָזִיד לִבְנֵי הַנְּבִיאִים׃

Various Translations

ESV: And Elisha came again to Gilgal when there was a famine in the land.  And as the sons of the prophets were sitting before him, he said to his servant, “Set on the large pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.”

NJPS:  Elisha returned to Gilgal. There was a famine in the land, and the disciples of the prophets were sitting before him. He said to his servant, “Set the large pot [on the fire] and cook a stew for the disciples of the prophets.”

NASB: When Elisha returned to Gilgal, there was a famine in the land. As the sons of the prophets were sitting before him, he said to his servant, “Put on the large pot and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.”

NAB: When Elisha returned to Gilgal, there was a famine in the land. Once, when the guild prophets were seated before him, he said to his servant, “Put the large pot on, and make some vegetable stew for the guild prophets.”

Mine:

Original:

And Elisha returned to Gigal and the famine was in the land.  And the sons of the prophets were sitting before him and he said to his servant, “set the great pot to boil a pottage for the sons of the Prophets.”

Revised:

After[1] Elisha returned to Gigal there[2] was a famine in the land.  And[3] the members[4] of the prophets were sitting before him when[5] he commanded[6] his servant, “Cook[7] the great pot to boil stew for the members of the prophets!”

Hebrew Notes

 וֶאֱלִישָׁע– ו – And – אֱלִישָׁע – Elisha – And Elisha

שָׁב – שׁוּב – to return – Q10 – he returned, came again

הַגִּלְגָּלָה – ה – The – גִּלְגָּלָה – Gilgal

וְהָרָעָב – ו – and –  ה – the – ראב – hungry, famine – and the famine

בָּאָרֶץ – ב – in – אָרֶצ – land – the land

Elisha returned to Gigal and the famine was in the land…

וּבְנֵי- ו – and – sons – and sons

הַנְּבִיאִים- ה – the – ִים – s – נָבִיא – prophet – the prophets

יֹשְׁבִים – Q55 – to dwell /sit – sitting (they)

לְפָנָיו – ל – to/for – פּנֶה – face, presence –  ו– his – before his presence

And the sons of the prophets were sitting before him…

וַיֹּאמֶר- And he said Qc20

לְנַעֲרוֹ- to his boy/servant

Q32  Set/set on  –  שְׁפֹת

הַסִּיר- the – pot

הַגְּדוֹלָה- the –גדוֹל – great – the great

וּבַשֵּׁל- the – P32 – to boil!

נָזִיד- boiled food, pottage?

לִבְנֵי– ל – to/for – sons – and sons

הַנְּבִיאִים- ה – the – ִים – s – נָבִיא – prophet – the prophets

And he said to his boy, “Set on the great pot to boil the pottage for the sons of the prophets!”


[1] After Elisha… I have decided to translate this ו as the beginning of a section of the narrative.  I’m not certain though about that.  First real time messing with aו  on nouns and not verbs.  I figured after fit however…

[2] “there,” following NAS, NAB, JPS, etc.

[3]

[4] This phrase, “sons of the prophets,” seem to be indicating one of two things.  Firstly perhaps its speaking of “members of a guild order, or class,” who are associated with Elisha’s story cycle. (AYBC) Or secondly that these sons may mean pupils or disciples of a group of prophets. (Langs’).  Refer also to the WBC volume on kings, in particular the “Sons of the prophets” article there.  Seeing more than sons, but uncertain whether they are pupils or full fledge prophets, I’ve tried to keep the phrase a little loose with the term “members.”

[5] “When,” Most translations seem to cut this ו out, I’ve chosen to keep it.  And translated it as when.

[6] What he says is in all imperative, so I’m assuming commands would work for this particular אמר

[7] It appears this Hebrew word, “set the big pot,” was used as an everyday sort of phrase, for “preparing a cooked dish.” AYBC Hence the use of “Cook,” here.

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