complete verse (Hebrews 9:19)

Following are a number of back-translations of Hebrews 9:19:

  • Uma: “After Musa delivered all the commands that are in the Law of the Lord to all the Yahudi people, he took the blood of a calf and the blood of a male goat and mixed it with water. After that, he also took hisop grass/plants that were tied-in-a-bundle with red sheep fur, he dipped it in the blood, and he sprinkled it on the Book of the Law of the Lord and on the people/crowd.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “It was like this. At first Musa informed the people of all of God’s commandments in the law. After that he fetched the blood of (a) cow and the blood of (a) goat and mixed it with water, and then he sprinkled that on the holy-book in which was written God’s law and he also sprinkled all the people. For sprinkling he used a branch of the plant called hisup and sheep’s wool dyed red.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And because of this, when Moses first taught to all of the people all that God wanted them to fulfill in the Law, he got some blood of some young cows which he had been sacrificed and he mixed it water. He moistened it in the hair of a sheep which had been dyed red and a branch of a tree named hysop. And he sprinkled with that the book where the Law was written and he sprinkled also all the people.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Because what Moses did back then, he told all the commands of the law to the collective-people. Then he got-some-of the blood of butchered calves (lit. offspring of cows) and diluted it with water. He also got sheep’s hair that was colored red and wrapped it around a small-branch of hisopo. After that he dipped it in the blood and sprinkled it on the rolled-up paper on which was written the law and on the collective-people.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “For when Moises explained to all the people the explanation of each law, he took the blood of cows and goats, blood which was mixed with water. He also took sheep wool which had been dyed red, attached it to a small-branch of isopo, and then dipped it into that blood, for he then sprinkled the crowd of people and the things-on-which-were-written those laws of God.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Moses, after telling the people all the words commanded by the law, took up a stick of hyssop on which was some red wool. There where there was some blood of cows and of goats in which was placed water, there was dipped the stick. Then the blood was sprinkled by him on the Book of the Law. And he also put the blood on all the people.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)


The Greek that is translated in English as “Law” or “law” is translated in Mairasi as oro nasinggiei or “prohibited things.” (Source: Enggavoter 2004)

In Yucateco the phrase that is used for “law” is “ordered-word” (for “commandment,” it is “spoken-word”). (Source: Nida 1947, p. 198)


The name that is transliterated as “Moses” in English is signed in Spanish Sign Language in accordance with the depiction of Moses in the famous statue by Michelangelo (see here). (Source: John Elwode in The Bible Translator 2008, p. 78ff.)

“Moses” in Spanish Sign Language (source)

Another depiction in Spanish Sign Language (source: Carlos Moreno Sastre):

The horns that are visible in Michelangelo’s statue are based on a passage in the Latin Vulgate translation (and many Catholic Bible translations that were translated through the 1950ies with that version as the source text). Jerome, the translator, had worked from a Hebrew text without the niqquds, the diacritical marks that signify the vowels in Hebrew and had interpreted the term קרו (k-r-n) in Exodus 34:29 as קֶ֫רֶן — keren “horned,” rather than קָרַו — karan “radiance” (describing the radiance of Moses’ head as he descends from Mount Sinai).

Even at the time of his translation, Jerome likely was not the only one making that decision as this recent article alludes to.