1 Samuel 6:19

1 Samuel 6:19

(KJV)   And he smote the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.

(1611 KJV) And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the Arke of the Lord, euen he smote of the people fiftie thousand, and threescore and tenne men: and the people lamented, because the Lord had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.

(1587 Geneva Bible) And hee smote of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked in the Arke of the Lord: he slew euen among the people fiftie thousand men and three score and ten men. and the people lamented, because the Lord had slaine the people with so great a slaughter.

 

Counterfeit Versions

(CEB) But God struck down some of the people from Beth-shemesh because they looked into the Lord’s chest. God struck seventy people, and the community grieved because the Lord had struck them so severely.

(CEV) Some of the men of Beth-Shemesh looked inside the sacred chest, and the Lord God killed seventy of them. This made the people of Beth-Shemesh very sad,

(ERV) But no priests were there to lead the celebration when the men of Beth Shemesh saw the Lord’s Holy Box. So the Lord killed 70 men from Beth Shemesh. The people of Beth Shemesh cried loudly because of this hard punishment.

(ESV) And he struck some of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they looked upon the ark of the Lord. He struck seventy men of them, and the people mourned because the Lord had struck the people with a great blow.

(GNB) The Lord killed seventy of the men of Beth Shemesh because they looked inside the Covenant Box. And the people mourned because the Lord had caused such a great slaughter among them.

(HCSB) God struck down the men of Beth-shemesh because they looked inside the ark of the Lord. He struck down 70 men out of 50,000 men. The people mourned because the Lord struck them with a great slaughter.

(ICB) But some of the men of Beth Shemesh looked into the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord. So God killed 70 of them. The people of Beth Shemesh cried because the Lord had punished them so terribly.

(LEB) He struck seventy men among the men of Beth Shemesh because they looked into the ark of Yahweh. So the people mourned because Yahweh had struck a great blow among the people.

(LEB) But the Lord killed seventy of the men of Beth-shemesh because they looked into the Ark. And the people mourned because of the many people whom the Lord had killed.

(THE MESSAGE) God struck some of the men of Beth Shemesh who, out of curiosity, irreverently peeked into the Chest of God. Seventy died. The whole town was in mourning, reeling under the hard blow from God, and questioning, “Who can stand before God, this holy God? And who can we get to take this Chest off our hands?”

(NABRE) The descendants of Jeconiah did not join in the celebration with the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh when they saw the ark of the Lord, and seventy of them were struck down. The people mourned over this great calamity which the Lord had inflicted upon them.

(NCV) But some of the men of Beth Shemesh looked into the Ark of the Lord. So God killed seventy of them. The people of Beth Shemesh cried because the Lord had struck them down.

(NIRV) But some of the people of Beth Shemesh looked into the ark of the Lord. So he struck them down. He put 70 of them to death. The rest of the people were filled with sorrow. That’s because the Lord had killed so many of them.

(NIV) But God struck down some of the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they looked into the ark of the Lord. The people mourned because of the heavy blow the Lord had dealt them.

(NLV) The Lord killed some of the men of Bethshemesh because they had looked into the special box of the Lord. He killed 70 (50,070) men. And the people were filled with sorrow because the Lord had killed so many of them.

(NLT) But the Lord killed seventy men from Beth-shemesh because they looked into the Ark of the Lord. And the people mourned greatly because of what the Lord had done.

(NRSV) The descendants of Jeconiah did not rejoice with the people of Beth-shemesh when they greeted the ark of the Lord; and he killed seventy men of them. The people mourned because the Lord had made a great slaughter among the people.

(RSV) And he slew some of the men of Beth-she′mesh, because they looked into the ark of the Lord; he slew seventy men of them, and the people mourned because the Lord had made a great slaughter among the people.

(TLV) Then He struck down some of the men of Beth-shemesh because they had gazed into the ark of Adonai. He struck down the people—70 out of 50,000 men—the people mourned because Adonai had struck the people a great slaughter.

(VOICE) The Eternal struck the people of Beth-shemesh because some looked into the covenant chest. God struck down 75 men, and the people were saddened because of the slaughter the Eternal One had brought among their people.

 

Hebrew Words in Question

The text states “shivim ish chamishim eleph ish” which translates literally “seventy men fifty thousand men.”   fifty חֲמִשִּׁים thousand אֶלֶף and threescore and ten שִׁבְעִים men: אֱנוֹשׁ”  The modern versions above reduce the severity of looking into the Ark by omitting the fact that in addition to the seventy which perished, another fifty thousand perished.  Remember how God struck Uzzah when he steadied the Ark.  Remember when the Philistines took the Ark and placed it next to Dagon that Dagon kept falling on to the floor.  The Ark was a very holy symbol and was not to be touched by anyone.  Here God shows the severe penalty for men attempting to violate His holiness.  So the 50,000 number is definitely in the text but is omitted in the modern versions above.  Even the Jehovah’s Witness bible got this verse correct.

When we look further into this verse we find corroborating evidence in the King James Bible itself.  The modern versionairres tell us that the town of Beth-shemesh was not big enough to validate the 50,070 number.  Well let us once again show how the King James Bible is its own interpreter.  Check out the following verses:
 
Joshua 21:16 (KJV)   And Ain with her suburbs, and Juttah with her suburbs, and Beth-shemesh with her suburbs; nine cities out of those two tribes.
 
1 Chronicles 6:59 (KJV)   And Ashan with her suburbs, and Beth-shemesh with her suburbs:
 
In both these verses, we see that Beth-shemesh was not a stand alone city but had suburbs which made them part of the city itself.   There are many cities around the world which has a business district and many suburbs making them part of the city itself.  So it would definitely not be out of the question that Beth-shemesh would have been set up the same way, a business district and outlying communities.  The town I lived in for 43 years was named Edison Township here in New Jersey but within Edison Township, the following sections existed:  Bonhamtown, Nixon, Kilmer, Stelton, North Edison, Oak Tree, Menlo Park, New Durham, Hampton Park.  Here are ten sections of one township so Beth-shemesh would have had the same set up.


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