He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap:
he layeth up the depth in storehouses.
Psalm 33:7

The RSV gave us the following idiotic rendering of this verse.

“He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle; he put the deeps in storehouses.” The characters who put together the NIV followed suit with the equally idiotic: “He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. In his Message, the clown prince of modern version buffoonery, Eugene Peterson, has given us the hilarious: “He scooped Sea into his jug, put Ocean in his keg.” This rendering not only blindly follows the lead of other blind men, but it ignores the Hebrew entirely by rewriting the rest of the verse. One might also wonder if he did not let a two-year do the final editing for this verse. He scooped Sea into his Jug? Put Ocean in his keg? Where are the definite articles? Why are these treated like proper names? I’m surprised he didn’t say Mr. Sea and Mr. Ocean.

Dahood’s version of this verse, which appears in the openly atheistic Anchor Bible, follows the RSV’s rendering: “He gathers into a jar the waters of the sea, He puts the deeps into storehouses.” The RSV has done this by reading kannod (bottle) instead ka ned (as a heap), and Dahood and the NIV, we can assume, just copied the blunder of the RSV. These translations ignore the Masoretic Text and make up their own. The RSV’s version at least uses a false reading of Hebrew in support of their translation; Dahood’s support has no foundation at all. Dahood uses the Ugaritic knd to defend this translation, but the Ugaritic word, as far as I have been able to discern, does not appear to mean jar or bottle, but rather a type of textile used for clothing, as indicated by Xella. “In KTU 4.4:2, in un contesto di tessili, troviamo l’attestazione di ±n kndwm adrm, << 2 k. di pregio>>. Il nome di questa veste si ritrova come componente del nome di un altro capo di vestiario, kndpn±…”2

What Dahood has basically done is to use deceit to make it look like the Masoretic Text was in error here and that the modern versions got it right. Dahood, apparently, did not expect anyone to check out the word’s actual meaning in Ugaritic, or in his usual fuzzy-minded manner, did not bother to check it out himself. The Bible itself has provided us with four verses that demonstrate how foolish these renderings are:

Exodus 15:8 And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.

Joshua 3:13: And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.

Joshua 3:16: That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.

Psalm 78:13: He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap.

These are all of the occurences of the word ned that appear in the Bible. From these verses we can see that the word ned is only used in reference to the sea, and that it refers to great billows, or like a wall of water, as is expressed in Exodus 14:22: And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. Describing the waters of the sea as being in heaps is quite natural and common. Try putting “bottle” into any of these verses in place of “an heap” and it becomes obvious how truly stupid this butchering of the Hebrew text is.

These are truly sorry times. Once again Romans 1:22 comes to mind when witnessing the confusion of the modern version pseudo-translators: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”

1 Dahood, Mitchell. Psalms Volume 1, p. 199.
2 Xella, Paolo. La Terminologia dei testili nei testi di Ugarit, p. 41. Loretz, Colometry, p. 95.

John Hinton, Ph.D.
Bible Restoration Ministry
A ministry seeking the translating and reprinting of KJV equivalent
Bibles in all the languages of the world.