Article: 1 Kings 22:38 "washed his armour" or "while the harlots bathed" NKJV Nonsense by Will Kinney

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1 Kings 22:38 "washed his armour" or "while the harlots bathed? NKJV non-sense

1 Kings 22:38 - “Washed his armour” or “while the harlots bathed”? - More New KJV nonsense

In 1 Kings 22:38 we read of the death of wicked king Ahab. "So the king died, and was brought to Samaria: and they buried the king in Samaria. And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; AND THEY WASHED THE ARMOUR; according to the word of the LORD which he spake."

"And they washed the armour" is the reading of the King James Bible, Wycliffe 1395, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Las Sagradas Escrituras 1569, the Spanish Reina Valera 1909 - “Y lavaron el carro en el estanque de Samaria; LAVARON TAMBIEN SUS ARMAS; y los perros lamieron su sangre, conforme á la palabra de Jehová que había hablado.”, the Italian Diodati 1649 and the New Diodati 1991 - “Lavarono poi il carro E LE ARMI a una piscina in Samaria e i cani leccarono il suo sangue”, the French Martin 1755 - “et les chiens léchèrent son sang, et aussi quand on LAVA SES ARMES, selon là parole que l'Eternel avait prononcée”, the French Ostervald 1996, Lamsa's translation of the Syriac, Young's, Webster's 1833, the 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company translation, the Douay-Rheims translation, the 1950 Douay (though the most recent Catholic versions read like the NKJV, NIV), the Modern Greek version, Green's interlinear and Green’s ‘literal’ translation 2000, the KJV 21 1994 and the Third Millenium Bible 1998.

The most recent Hebrew translation I am aware of is the Judaica Press Tanach, and the Jewish scholars behind this translation also agree with the sense of the King James Bible saying: “And he washed the chariot at the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked his blood, AND THEY WASHED THE WEAPONS THERE as according to the word of the Lord which He had spoken.”

However the NKJV says: "the dogs licked up his blood WHILE THE HARLOTS BATHED." Then in a footnote tells us "Syriac and Targum read 'they washed his armor'."

This footnote implies that the Hebrew text could not possibly read as does the KJB and others, but that the KJB translators got their "erroneous reading" from some other source than the Hebrew. Do you see the subtilty of the attack on God's infallible word?



The RSV, NRSV, the new ESV 2001, and the Holman Standard 2003 go even further than the NKJV, NASB, NIV in that they tend to follow most of the LXX reading with: “the dogs licked up his blood, and THE PROSTITUTES WASHED THEMSELVES IN IT.”

I do not trust any scholar or commentator but rather the living God who promised to preserve His pure words till heaven and earth pass away. I believe He did this in English only in the Holy Bible, also referred to as the Authorized King James Bible.

If you get ten scholars in a room you will come up with 15 different opinions. Notice what John Gill says regarding this verse.

John Gill’s commentary. "And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria,.... and the dogs licked up his blood; mixed with the water of the pool; the Septuagint adds, "the swine," which is not probable, such creatures not being bred in the land of Israel: and they washed his armour; his coat of mail, through the joints of which the blood issued, and ran upon it. The word is sometimes used for whores, and is so translated here in the Greek version, and by Munster and Castalio; and so Josephus writes, that afterwards it was a custom for whores to wash in this pool; though some say two whores were painted on Ahab's chariot, by the order of Jezebel, to inflame his lust, and these were what were washed; BUT THE WORD SIGNIFIES ARMOUR, or ornaments, clothes, jewels."

Here you see the conflicting suppositions of the "scholars", yet in this instance John Gill sides with the KJB reading though he "corrects" many other places in the KJB, according to his own understanding.

Matthew Henry expounds the verse as it stands in the KJB with no corrections to the text. Matthew Henry- . "The royal corpse is brought to Samaria and buried there (v. 37), and hither are brought the bloody chariot and bloody armour in which he died, v. 38."

If you think the scholars have the final authority you are mistaken. God promised to preserve His words somewhere on this earth. They are either in the King James Bible which has been used by God far more extensively and far longer than any other, or they are lost forever.

The New KJV is just another poor imitation. For a series of articles on the NKJV see:

Will Kinney

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