This is the eleventh article of the series: “The Foreigner woman in Bible versus Quran”

In the previous articles, we have seen that from the Language point of view, the “foreign” woman is the alien or the exotic or the outsider woman.  However, the Bible has another notion. 

As confirmed by the Bible, the “foreign” woman is the non-Israelite woman or the non-Jewish woman.

As a result, any non-Israelite or any non-Jewish woman is a “foreign” woman.

This indicates that the women in the Bible are but one of two categories; they are either Legitimate (genuine) or Foreign (strange).

 

In the present article, we will analyze and discuss the translation of just one verse that talks about the “strange women” in 18 different versions of the Bible.  Although this issue needs some patience and watchfulness; however, it deserves studying to prove how enormously the translators of some Biblical versions did their Job in reference to the original Hebrew Scripture.

 

Very simply, the verse 1 Kings 11:1 says “and King Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites”. 

It is a very clear and simple statement that just needs one who knows Hebrew and English to translate it as it is.

 

However, the smart reader will see herein what the translators of 18 Biblical versions have done when translating this verse, 1 Kings 11:1.

 

Contemporary English Version translates 1 Kings 11 as follows:

“The LORD did not want the Israelites to worship foreign gods, so he had warned them not to marry anyone who was not from Israel. Solomon loved his wife, the daughter of the king of Egypt. But he also loved some women from Moab, Ammon, and Edom, and others from Sidon and the land of the Hittites”.

 

The above underlined statement is NOT found in the original Hebrew Scripture (Tanakh = the Hebrew Bible).

Also, the other 17 Biblical versions given in this article do not say that.

This phrase is but the opinion of the scholars who translate Contemporary English Version.

This is an example to show you that the scholars who translate the Bible sometimes put their opinions as if it is the word of God.  As a matter of facts, there are hundreds of examples like that throughout the entire Bible.

In addition, this added phrase that is not the word of God may hurt the non Israelite women. It means that if a man marries any non Israelite women he will worship foreign gods? In other words, are all the non Israelite women unfaithful?

Some versions put the following titles as headers for the passage that begins with 1 Kings 11:1: “Solomon Turns from God” or “Solomon’s Unfaithfulness to God”.

Also, Contemporary English Version translates “many foreign women” to “some women” without “strange”.

 

Also the New Century Version translates the “daughter of Pharaoh” to the “daughter of the king of Egypt”; herein, the scholars translate Pharaoh to the king of Egypt. Although Pharaoh is the king of Egypt, however, the translators should translate the word of God as it is.

In addition, the New Century Version translates “many strange women” to “many women who were not from Israel”.  Here again, this is an interpretation of the scholars who translate the New Century Version.  Of course they are right because the strange or the foreign women are biblically defined as the non Israelite women; but this is not the issue.

The issue is one has to Be Honest if he translates the Word of God! 

New Century Version says: “many women who were not from Israel”; it does not use either the word strange or the word foreign that are found in the other 15 versions given herein in this article.  Also, New Century Version says:” from Israel” although Israel is not mentioned in the original Hebrew verse.

 

Furthermore, the New International Reader’s Version says:” many women besides Pharaoh’s daughter. They were from other lands” it does not use either the word strange (or the word foreign) that is found in the other 15 versions. Also, “from other lands” is not present in the original Hebrew verse.

 

On the other hand, The Message says that King Solomon was obsessed with women. Pharaoh’s daughter was only the first of the many foreign women he loved. I do not know why it says that Pharaoh’s daughter was the first although the original Hebrew verse does not say that; also the other 17 versions do not say that.

 

Upon Comparing King James Version with New King James Version and 21st Century King James Version, you find that “strange women” in King James Version became “foreign women” in New King James Version and 21st Century King James Version.  Also, Zidonians changed to Sidonians.

However, when comparing the American Standard Version with the New American Standard Bible, you find no changes between the two versions except the use of “along with” instead of “together with”.

 

Conclusion:

 

1) The Bible declares that King Solomon had a company of Multi-Foreign-Nations-Women. He loved and married many strange women, an Egyptian, the daughter of Pharaoh, and women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites. Although his wives were 700 or 1000, however, the Bible does not say that he married an Israelite woman.

2) The translators of the 18 versions of the Bible added to the verse 1 Kings 11:1 seven words and phrases that are not the word of God.   I wonder how the translators can put their words or phrases as if they are the Word of God; Are not they afraid of the Lord God?

3) This phenomenon of adding statements, phrases or words that are not the word of God is common in the Bible.  Hence, the Bible is not 100% the word of God.

4) The added phrase in Contemporary English Version of the Bible that is not the word of God may hurt the non Israelite women. It means that if a man marries any non Israelite women he will worship foreign gods? In other words, the non Israelite women are unfaithful and they lead their husbands to worship foreign gods.

 

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About this issue in the Quran:

 

1) It should be emphasized that the Quran does not talk about King Solomon’s wives.

2) In the translation of the Quran, no one dares to add a word that is not the Word of Allah.

3) In the Quran, anyone adds a word or a phrase to the Scripture and says that it is the Word of the Lord; he will dwell in Eternal Fire in the Hereafter.

4) The Quran is 100% the absolute Word of the Lord, the Almighty Creator.

5) In the whole Quran, the term “strange woman” is not mentioned therein; all women are equal in respect to their rights and responsibilities regardless of race, color, location etc.

6) Last but not least, anyone says or believes that the Tremendous Prophet King Solomon was sinful or unfaithful will dwell in the Eternal Hell in the Hereafter.  Do not mess up with the Prophets of Allah.

 

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Verse 1 Kings 11:1 in 18 different versions of the Bible

 

(1) The best two translations are King James Version and Young’s Literal Translation

 

King James Version

But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites:

 

Young’s Literal Translation

And king Solomon hath loved many strange women, and the daughter of Pharaoh, females of Moab, Ammon, Edom, Zidon, [and] of the Hittites,

 

(2) The following 13 translations used foreign women instead of strange women

 

New International Version

King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites.

 

The Message

King Solomon was obsessed with women. Pharaoh’s daughter was only the first of the many foreign women he loved—Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite.

 

Amplified Bible

BUT KING Solomon [defiantly] loved many foreign women–the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites.

 

New Living Translation

Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites.

 

Darby Translation

But king Solomon loved many foreign women, besides the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, Hittites;

 

Holman Christian Standard Bible

King Solomon loved many foreign women in addition to Pharaoh’s daughter: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women

 

New International Version – UK

King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter— Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites.

 

Today’s New International Version

King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites.

 

English Standard Version

1Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women,

 

21st Century King James Version

But King Solomon loved many foreign women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites—

 

American Standard Version

Now king Solomon loved many foreign women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites;

 

New American Standard Bible

Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women,

 

New King James Version

But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites—

 

(3) The following three translations used “many women”, “some women” and “women” to translate “many strange women”, in addition to the use of other added phrase or words.

 

New Century Version

King Solomon loved many women who were not from Israel. He loved the daughter of the king of Egypt, as well as women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites.

 

New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

King Solomon loved many women besides Pharaoh’s daughter. They were from other lands. They were Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites.

 

Contemporary English Version

“The LORD did not want the Israelites to worship foreign gods, so he had warned them not to marry anyone who was not from Israel. Solomon loved his wife, the daughter of the king of Egypt. But he also loved some women from Moab, Ammon, and Edom, and others from Sidon and the land of the Hittites”.

Professor Dr. Ibrahim Khalil, Prof. of Clinical and Chemical Pathology, Head (ex-) of Clinical Microbiology and Infection Control Unit, Ain-Shams University. Cairo, Egypt President of the Egyptian Society of Inventors, Honorary President of SPIC-Egypt (The Society of Practitioners of Infection Control – Egypt), Co-Chief Editor of the Egyptian Journal of Lab. Medicine Member of the Egyptian union of Writers, Published 5 Books and some 60 Medical Articles, Supervisors for 79 PhD theses and111 Master Degree theses.

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