The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory. (Psalm 29:9)
NIV: The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
RSV Ps 29:9 The voice of the LORD makes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forests bare; and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
Xul is one of those fun verbs that often stumps every Hebrew student at least a few times. Its main meaning appears to be to writhe or whirl, but it also is used for jumping for joy, dancing, and a host of other meanings, and, in reference to beasts, bearing forth young. It is easy tell that a sheltered, urban “scholar” has come up with this silly line. I have backpacked through thousands of miles of wilderness and have yet to see an oak that was twisted. I live on a wooded property full of oaks that is bordered by over a thousand acres of oak forest and I have yet to see a twisted one around us. Is it possible for a oak to be twisted? Yes, it is. There are all kinds of places and companies that bear the name of Twisted Oak, so there must be some somewhere, but they can’t be a very common sight as this translation would imply. In any event, when a tree is twisted it is because they grow that way slowly over many years or decades. The modern version deviations are describing a sudden and violent event, not a slow and gradual one. As ridiculous as this rendering is we still need to look at the origin of it. The word ‘ayalah means hind. The root of this word is quite tricky because it branches off into many varied readings, some of which refer to strength, others to deer or hinds, others to rams, and others to trees. The root itself is ‘ul, which is unused, but is applied to strong, vigorous things. The consonants are the same for the plural of ‘elot (trees) as they are for ‘ayalot’ (hinds or deer), so since the vowels were not originally written in Hebrew, unscrupulous translators have no qualms about ignoring the vocalization of the Masoretic Text in favor of the corrupt LXX’s drumos (a type of wood) to change ‘ayalot to ‘elot. Why do they do this? They do it because they want to attack God’s Bible every chance that they can get, and any passage that contradict what the KJV has can be used to shake confidence in the Bible, even if it has no doctrinal relevance. We might want to ask how do we know that ‘xul’ means to bear or bring forth. The answer to this question lies in the parallelism found in Job 39:1. As Gale Riplinger has pointed out in at least two of her books, the Bible always defines its own words to those who look for the definitions.1
Job 39:1 Knowest thou the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth? or canst thou mark when the hinds do calve?
The ASV and RSV, NIV, all translated Job 29:9 correctly.
ASV 1 Knowest thou the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth? Or canst thou mark when the hinds do calve?
RSV: 1 “Do you know when the mountain goats bring forth? Do you observe the calving of the hinds?
NIV: “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?
The purport of this passage is further proven by the three following verses. I provide the NIV’s rendering here to demonstrate that it is in agreement with the KJV in these examples.
NIV: 2 Do you count the months till they bear? Do you know the time they give birth? 3 They crouch down and bring forth their young; their labor pains are ended. 4 Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds; they leave and do not return.
The ASV also translated the Psalm verse correctly, but the RSV, NIV, all translated it differently from the Job verse when it is virtually the exact same phrase! Do they think that it means twisting or whirling oaks in one instant and calving hinds in another? What preposterous nonsense. They knew what it meant and they purposely chose to follow the LXX’s perversion of Psalm 29:9. They got their translation of the Job verse from the KJV because the LXX translators omitted the word entirely in their translation, and they had little choice due to context. Obviously, the LXX translators (or Origen) did not know what the word meant and translated it with the only word that they knew with those consonants, which was the wrong one. They knew that wood would make even less sense in the Job verse than it did in the Psalm verse so they fudged it by ignoring it completely. The obvious fact that these modern versions followed the LXX’s deception in Psalm 29:9 is not only strong evidence of dishonest, incompetent and inconsistent translation, but it is evidence that these modern version translators are guilty of doing precisely what KJV critics falsely accuse the KJV of doing, favoring the LXX over the Hebrew text. Numerous other examples of this will be provided in future articles.
1Incidentally, it was in reviewing her latest book that the perversion of this verse was brought to my attention.
1 Dahood, Proverbs, p. 18.
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.