After realizing there is most probably a missing line in Psalms 145 in the Masoretic Hebrew text, which is found not only in the Greek Septuagint but also the Dead Sea scrolls (see Is the Masoretic Text of the Bible the Most Reliable?) I decided to check to see what else, if anything, could possibly be missing. I would say the Masoretic is probably 98% accurate, but I have found other cases where the Septuagint is correct. The odd thing is, the Masoretic and Septuagint tend to diverge (for that small 2% or so) when there is a New Testament quote involved. But I am finding something more disturbing: all English translations of the Bible are inaccurate in their translation. In every single Psalm I am finding mistranslations. Most of the time one may say it makes no difference in meaning, but this comes from an ignorance that each Hebrew word has a significant spiritual meaning different from other Hebrew words (for example, "adversary" has a different spiritual meaning from "enemy.") As such, many of the deeper hidden spiritual meanings of scripture is lost to the modern reader. I am trying to stay as close as possible to the KJV, and when I see an error, I correct and hyperlink it, which some versions have inconsistently noted in marginal notes. This way one can judge the other translations easily.
I wish I never saw that missing line, because this is taking up my spare time, so I have to decide whether to add a blog or proceed through this translation. Its a slippery slope: I decided to incorporate Swedenborg's comments on the Psalms which helps explain the corrections, and the notes are now more than 400 pages. Swedenborg was a bit more careful, going with a very literal translation from the Hebrew into Latin by Schmidius, but even he makes occasional errors as he did not use a correct translation of scripture.
As I have been translating the Psalms I have found a significant mistranslation in the Bible. It never says "thanksgiving" or "give thanks." Yes, quite a shocker. It never says THANKSGIVING or GIVE THANKS in the Bible.
This word that is translated as "give thanks" or "thanksgiving" appears most often in the Psalms. The Hebrew word is yadah, from which we get the name Judah. In some cases it is mistranslated as "praise," for which there is another Hebrew word. The word yadah, in a very literal sense means to hold out the hand, and be extension worship with extended hands. It originates from the Hebrew word yad which means hand. We can see this kind of worship in ancient Egypt:
Worship of the Sun god
Worship of Hapi by Rameses III
Worship of the Sun god
Worship of Osirus
In most ancient times Egypt did worship the one God, and portrayed different aspects of God in different ways. In process of time, it degenerated into polytheism. When this ancient religion degenerated to such a point where nothing of truth was left, a new revelation was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai. But many of the Jewish rituals one can see has a more ancient origin. So notice, in worship, one lifted up one's hands, showing the palms of one's hands. The emphasis here, in the more ancient religion, was in what you did, not what you said. The hands signify the deeds that you have done, and showing the palms symbolized to reveal what you have done.
So what is the proper translation of Hebrew yadah? In most cases, the proper translation is CONFESSION. In one sense, it is confession of one's sins, which is seen in this passage:
And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to Jehovah God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. (Josh. 7:19)
The same word translated as confession here is translated as thanksgiving in other cases. To show the palms of one's hands means to not hide what one has done. This is a small example, but it shows how in process of time religion degenerates: instead of placing emphasis on how one lives, it degenerates into how one believes or what one says, regardless of life (thus the Protestant concept of faith alone is a big mistake). Does God actually need thanks? No he does not. Do we need to confess? Yes we do. When we confess our specific sins, our sinful nature, that opens our heart for God to come in and dwell inside of us. To confess a sin is much harder then paying lip service to offer thanks. So one does confess, it is much more valuable than offering thanks. Confession is simply not popular among the masses, everyone wants a feel good prosperity spirituality. It is easy to hide, hard to confess, but confession releases one from the power of darkness.
THE SPIRITUAL MEANING OF JUDAH AND ISRAEL
As said before, the name Judah is derived from this word meaning confession. In Biblical history, one can see that eventually the Jews were divided into two kingdoms: Judah in the south, and the kingdom of Israel in the north. Although this is truly historical and did happen in ancient times, there is a hidden spiritual meaning behind this. Everything historical in the Bible has some significance in the spiritual world. The kingdoms of Judah and Israel represent two different levels or planes of heaven: Judah represents the higher heaven, the celestial, in which love predominates. Emphasis is placed on internal confession, which is an internal acknowledgment of the Lord. Israel represents the second or lower spiritual heaven, in which emphasis is placed on truth or praise. This is explained in detail in Swedenborg's work, Heavenly Arcana (aka Arcana Coelestia or Heavenly Secrets.) Thus when commentaries say that Judah means "praise," yet again a mistranslation is hiding a spiritual meaning.
As confession can mean confession of sin, it can also mean an internal confession of the Lord, for an acknowledgment of one's sin is also an acknowledgment that all good that one does originates not from self, but from God:
Whoso offers confession glorifies Me,
And to him who sets his way, I will show the salvation of God. (Ps. 50:23)
In most translations confession is mistranslated as praise and set's one way is mistranslated by the KJV as conversation for some reason. This shows some Hebrew parallelism: the second line repeats what the first line already said. However different words are used: offering and confession relate to the will of the heart. To set one's way is related to living by the truth, for removing falsity is ordering one's way. Without truth one will go the wrong way. This shows up consistently in scripture. It is by truth one achieves salvation, for truth liberates one from falsity. Thus "God" is mentioned in the second line, and "God" (or Elohim) is always used in reference to Divine truth, and the name Jehovah is always used in referent to Divine love. The Divine love is to Divine truth as a father is to a son, for truth flows from love. Love and truth must always be conjoined together, thus one has the phrase "Jehovah God" (or LORD God) throughout the Old Testament.
Confession is thus a higher order of spirituality than just knowing or living by the truth: it is a deeper acknowledgment of one's sin, and opens one up one's will to God's will. Here is one passage from Swedenborg which describes it well, for many do not distinguish between one's internal will and one's internal thought:
"In David: I will confess to Jehovah according to His justice, and I will sing praise to the name of Jehovah Most High (Ps. vii. 17). Again: When I shall go . . . to the house of God, with the voice of joy and of confession, with a multitude who keep a festival (Ps. xlii. 4). Again: I will confess unto Thee O Lord among the nations, I will sing praises unto Thee among the peoples, for Thy mercy is great, even to heaven (lvii. 9, 10).
"From these passages it is manifest that confession has reference to the celestial of love, and is distinguished from what relates to the spiritual of love; for it is said confession and the voice of joy, confession and the voice of them who make merry, I will confess unto Thee among the nations, and I will sing praises unto Thee among the peoples — confession and confessing being what is celestial, and the voice of joy, the voice of them who make merry and sing praises, being what is spiritual. It is also said, confess among the nations, and sing praises among the peoples, because nations signify those who are in good, and peoples those who are in truth (see n. 1416, 1849, 2928) — that is, those who are in celestial love, and those who are in spiritual love. In the Word, with the Prophets, two expressions for the most part occur, one having reference to the celestial or good, and the other to the spiritual or truth, in order that there may be a Divine marriage in every part of the Word, thus a marriage of good and truth (n. 683, 793, 801, 2173, 2516, 2712, 3132). From this it is also manifest that confession involves the celestial of love, and that genuine confession, or that which is from the heart, can only be from good, the confession which is from truth being called the voice of joy, the voice of them who make merry, and that sing praises." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 3880.3-4)
Here is a song Confess by a new band The Wanted. Note the hand postures, closed fist, or hands in pocket, as opposed to an open hand seen in ancient Egyptian murals, popularizing "bad" behaviour as opposed to opposing it with humility. From a popular song one can determine what is popular in society. One must subdue one's own pride, not elevate it. It shows you can often observe someone's internal attitude or values from the external postures of the body (see A Visitation of Jesus and Prophecies of Russia and America for a visitation of Jesus on hand postures, where it is important to have an open hand and not a closed fist in all that one does):