Isaiah Vignettes in Chinese

This post is to provide commentary on the translation. Chinese Bible version comes from “Bible in Chinese Union Version, Shen Edition 2581”.

1. “Hear, O heavens! Give heed, O Earth! Jehovah has spoken.”

Hebrew( ב  שִׁמְעוּ שָׁמַיִם וְהַאֲזִינִי אֶרֶץ, כִּי יְהוָה דִּבֵּר:

Chinese Bible: 天 哪 、 要 聽 、 地 阿 、 側 耳 而 聽 . 因 為 耶 和 華 說 、

New Version: 天啊 , 请听!地啊, 要留心听!耶和华说!

Commentary: The new version is in the simplified character set suitable for mainland China- not Taiwan. The translation uses different words, but the meaning is the same.

2. “I have reared sons, brought them up, but they have revolted against me” (Isaiah 1:2).

Hebrew( בָּנִים גִּדַּלְתִּי וְרוֹמַמְתִּי, וְהֵם פָּשְׁעוּ בִי.

Chinese Bible: 我 養 育 兒 女 、 將 他 們 養 大 、 他 們 竟 悖 逆 我 。

New Version: “我把孩子抚育成人,他们竟然反抗我”

Commentary is the same commentary as in paragraph 1.

3. “Alas, a nation astray, a people weighed down by sin” (Isaiah 1:4).

Hebrew( הוֹי גּוֹי חֹטֵא, עַם כֶּבֶד עָון

Chinese Bible: 嗐 、 犯 罪 的 國 民 、 擔 著 罪 孽 的 百 姓

New Version: “唉,这误入歧途的国民,被罪恶拖累的百姓”

Commentary is the same commentary as in paragraph 1. Although I find it interesting that the Hebrew uses the word Gentile(גּוֹי) in it.

4. “They have forsaken Jehovah, they have spurned the Holy One of Israel, they have lapsed into apostasy” 

Hebrew( זֶרַע מְרֵעִים, בָּנִים מַשְׁחִיתִים; עָזְבוּ אֶת-יְהוָה, נִאֲצוּ

אֶת-קְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל–נָזֹרוּ אָחוֹר.

Chinese Bible: 行 惡 的 種 類 、 敗 壞 的 兒 女 . 他 們 離 棄 耶 和 華 、 藐 視 以 色 列 的 聖 者 、 與 他 生 疏 、 往 後 退 步 。

New Version: “他们离弃耶和华,藐视以色列的圣者,他们背信叛教”

Commentary: The English version leaves out “a seed of evil doers, children that are corruptors”. The translation of what is given is correct. As it is with the other verses, it is translated into the simplified character set which is appropriate for mainland China, not Taiwan.

5. “Their land is full of silver and gold and there is no end to their wealth” (Isaiah 2:7).

Hebrew( וַתִּמָּלֵא אַרְצוֹ כֶּסֶף וְזָהָב, וְאֵין קֵצֶה לְאֹצְרֹתָיו;

Chinese Bible: 他 們 的 國 滿 了 金 銀 、 財 寶 也 無 窮 .

New Version: “他们境内金银遍地,财富无穷”(以赛亚书2:7)。

Commentary: Translation appears correct, but it is also different.