dual vs. plural (Acts 7:16)

In this episode in Acts it is ambiguous whether only Jacob and Joseph or Jacob and all of the other patriarchs were were taken back to Shechem. In languages that distinguish between a dual and a plural this ambiguity has to be resolved. In the translation into Kahua only two bodies were taken back because Joseph’s body is specifically mentioned in Exod 13:19 and Josh 24:32.

complete verse (Acts 7:16)

Following are a number of back-translations of Acts 7:16:

  • Uma: “But their bones were carried back here to the town of Sikhem and buried in the grave that Abraham bought from the descendants of Hemor with silver money.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Their corpses were taken to Sekem and they were buried there in the burial-place which Ibrahim had bought long ago/in the ancient past. He bought that from the sons of Hamor there in the place Sekem.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And as each of them died, his body was returned there to where they came from, there to Shechem, and there they were buried in the burial cave that Abraham had bought before. He bought it with silver money from the children of Hamor who were the inhabitants there in Shechem.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Their corpses however, they were taken-home to Sekem and buried (lit. placed-in) in the cave that Abraham had previously bought from the children of Hamor.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “But even though Egipto is where they died, it wasn’t indeed there where they were buried, but on the contrary in Canaan which was their land. They were taken to their burial-place which was the cave at Siquem which Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor.'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)