Copyright©2006, 2010, 2011 by Daniel B. Sedory
The following image was made from a digital photograph of an original "Great He" edition of the Holy Bible printed in 1611 by Robert Barker (London, England). The image contains the words of Psalm 12 verses 6-8 and their marginal notes. (We believe the King's Translators would be appalled if they knew copies of their Bible version were being printed without any of its translation notes! They also wrote a very long preface about their translation which never appears in Authorized Versions printed in the USA; except for facsimile reprints of early British editions.)
Observe the (†) symbol in verse 7 (between the words "preserve" and "them"): "Thou shalt keepe them, (O LORD,) thou shalt preserve †them, from this generation for ever."
If anyone doubts the veracity of this image, you can view the whole page containing all of Psalm 12 from
|How to read the Printed Text of the Original Authorized Version|
The last word in the last phrase of verse 6 is "times" and its last letter ("s") appears just as we print one today.
Some Insight into the Hebrew Text from the King's Translators
So what's the basis for the King's Translators noting the word they translated as "them" was actually "him" in the Hebrew text? If you open any Hebrew Interlinear Bible, you'll eventually discover that word ("him") is only part of a single Hebrew word they translated as "thou shalt preserve them"; which comes from the verb to keep, guard against danger or preserve (Strong's #05341 root: natsar). In the Hebrew text, that word (represented here by English characters) is: teets-rennu , and it's the "nu" at the end (a suffix) that tells us "preserve" must be related to a '3rd person masculine singular'object identified by the Translators as him (even though they translated it as "them"). But what about the first "them" in this verse? Well, that word is part of the verb shamar (Strong's #08104; a synonym of natsar); which is written in the Hebrew text as teesh-meh-raim, and translated as "Thou shalt keep them." It's suffix "aim" means that the verb takes a '3rd person masculine plural' as its object. Now think: What is the only difference between these two verbs concerning their suffixes? Let's continue. What you now have here is a good idea why the King's Translators decided to translate the object of the second verb ("preserve") in the plural (changing him to —> them) just as they did for the first verb ("keep"): It's because they knew both of these verbs must refer to a masculine object; for which there's really only one choice in this section of Scripture!
2 [Back to Text] The main reason we check to see what The NET Bible has to say is because of the many "Translator's Notes" hyperlinked from within its Text. So, you can often look up their reasons for translating the text the way they did! Although you certainly don't have to agree with all their choices, this provides a rather nice format for discovering what the translators considered to be 'problematic passages' and how they decided to handle them.