Article: 1 Kings 20:38 ashes upon his face; by Will Kinney

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1 Kings 20:38 ashes upon his face

In 1 Kings 20:38 we read in the King James Holy Bible: "So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with ASHES UPON HIS FACE."

The NKJV along with the NASB, Holman Standard, RSV, NRSV, ESV says: "Then the prophet departed and waited by the road, and disguised himself with A BANDAGE OVER HIS EYES."

The NIV has: "He disguised himself with HIS HEADBAND DOWN OVER HIS EYES."

The New Century Version says "The prophet WRAPPED HIS FACE IN A CLOTH."

Rotherham's 1902 Emphasized Bible has: "disguised himself with HIS TURBAN OVER HIS EYES."

Darby's translation says: "disguised himself with A SASH OVER HIS EYES."

The Douay-Rheims has: "disguised himself by SPRINKLING DUST ON HIS FACE AND HIS EYES."

The word for "ashes" is number 666 aphehr and is found only two times in the Hebrew texts. The other time is in verse 41 where it says "he hasted, and took the ASHES away from his face; and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets."

According to Wigram's Hebrew Concordance and Strong's, this word # 666 comes from # 665 ehpher meaning "ashes" and is used in such places as Genesis 18:27 where Abraham says: "Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ASHES" and where Job says in Job 42:6 "Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ASHES."

Not only does the King James Bible tell us that the prophet disguised himself with ASHES upon his face, but so also do the following Bible versions: Wycliffe 1395 " he chaungide his mouth and iyen, by sprynging of dust", Tyndale 1530, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Young's translation, the 1936 Jewish translation by the Hebrew Publishing Company, New York, the Ancient Roots Translinear Bible 2001, the 2008 Torah Transliteration Scripture, the Urim-Thummim Version 2001, Webster's 1833 translation, Lamsa's 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, the KJV 21st Century Version, Green's Literal translation 1976-2000, the Amplified Version 1987, the Third Millenium Bible 1998, Martin Luther's German bible 1545, and the 2004 Spanish Reina Valera Gomez translation = the KJB saying “y se disfrazó poniendo ceniza sobre su rostro.”

If a Bible critic comes along who says the King James Bible is in error for telling us the prophet disguised himself "with ashes upon his face", he then places his own mere opinion against many other men just as learned and knowledgeable, if not much more so, as he is, who disagree with him and affirm the Authorized rendering to be correct.

Commentators as well as the multitude of Bible versions all offer different and conflicting opinions. What one affirms another categorically denies. The thing to remember is that no Bible commentator, no modern Bible translator, and no self-appointed King James Bible critic believes that any Bible on this earth is the complete, inerrant, inspired words of God. Every man does that which is right in his own eyes.

I and thousands of other Bible believers will continue to maintain that God has given us His perfect and preserved words of truth, and that for the last 400 years they have been found in the King James Holy Bible.

Will Kinney

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