take the knife to kill

The Hebrew that is translated as “took the knife to kill” in English is translated in Chol with a technical term for slaughtering (slitting the throat) an animal in sacrifice.


The Hebrew that is translated as “enemies” in English is translated into Inupiaq with a term that implies that it’s not just someone who hates you, but one who wants to do you harm.

in their paths

The Greek that is translated “(ruin and misery are) in their paths (or: ways)” is translated in Ixcatlán Mazatec as “(ruin and misery are) the path behind them” (as they caused the problems).

fear (of God)

The Hebrew and Greek that are translated as “fear (of God)” (or: “honor,” “worship,” or “respect”) is translated as “to have respect/reverence for” (Southern Subanen, Western Highland Purepecha, Navajo, Javanese, Tboli), “to make great before oneself” (Ngäbere), “fear-devotion” (Kannada — currently used as a description of the life of piety), “those-with-whom he-is-holy” (those who fear God) (Western Apache) (source for this and above: Reiling / Swellengrebel), “obey” (Nyanja) (source: Ernst Wendland), or with a term that communicates awe (rather than fear of an evil source) (Chol) (source: Robert Bascom).

diligent, negligent, slack

This verse with its dichotomy of “negligent” and “diligent” (in the English translation) is translated into Poqomchi’ as “Whoever does not grab his heart to work, becomes poor, but whoever grabs his heart to work, becomes rich.” (Reminiscent of the biblical expression “gird up your loins.”)

guilt offering

The Hebrew that is typically translated as “guilt offering” in English is translated in Chol as “offerings for responsibility for sinning as well as for sinning itself.”

deep sleep

The Hebrew phrase that is rendered as “deep sleep” in English versions is translated as “sleep like a trance” in Chenalhó Tzotzil.