The Ancient Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible used the word pantokrator (παντοκράτωρ) or “Ruler of All” as a translation of the second part of the Hebrew term YHWH Tz’vaót (יְהוָ֨ה צְבָא֜וֹת) or “Lord of hosts” (see here) and occasionally ʼĒl Šadạy (אֵל שַׁדַּי‎), translated in English commonly as “God Almighty.” In the deuterocanonical/apocryphal books, pantokrator might have also been used in the original writing. The New Testament uses it one time in the writings of Paul (2 Cor. 6:18) and several times in the book of Revelation (see esp. Rev. 1:8).

One of the most influential icon styles of the Orthodox church has developed from this concept: Christ Pantocrator. In this icon style, Christ is looking straight at the viewer, his right hand is typically spelling a short form of “Jesus Christ” (see the bottom of the entry on Jesus and icons for an explanation), and his left hand holds a New Testament. His head is often surrounded by a halo.

The earliest preserved icon is found in the Greek Orthodox Saint Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai from the 6th century:

In order to express the two natures of Christ, the two sides of the face are not symmetrical. The right side might represent the qualities of his divinity, while his left side represents human nature. (Source )

Orthodox icons are not drawings or creations of imagination. They are in fact writings of things not of this world. Icons can represent our Lord Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the Saints. They can also represent the Holy Trinity, Angels, the Heavenly hosts, and even events. Orthodox icons, unlike Western pictures, change the perspective and form of the image so that it is not naturalistic. This is done so that we can look beyond appearances of the world, and instead look to the spiritual truth of the holy person or event. (Source )

See also LORD of hosts.

Translation commentary on Jeremiah 3:19

At the end of verse 20, “O house of Israel” makes it clear who is being addressed in this passage. Good News Translation and many other languages move this vocative to the beginning of the passage here in verse 19: “Israel….”

In Hebrew I is emphatic. New International Version therefore has “I myself said.” Since a new section heading is introduced, it may be helpful to identify the subject as “The LORD” (Good News Translation, Die Bibel im heutigen Deutsch). In order to reflect the emphasis, some have put “The LORD himself.”

Thought (New Jerusalem Bible “was thinking”) translates a verb that may be present tense (Good News Translation “says”) or past (Revised English Bible “said”). The nature of Hebrew is such that the time indicated by verbs (whether past, present, or future) must be determined from the context. This explains the reason for the variation between present and past tenses in the translations.

Set you among my sons is thought by some scholars to contrast the status of sons with that of daughters, who normally could not receive an inheritance. But the meaning is rather that the LORD, the creator of all people, wished to give Israel the place of honor among all nations; so Die Bibel im heutigen Deutsch has “I had decided to give you a place of honor among the peoples,” and Bible en français courant is similar with “how I loved to make you the first [that is, most important] among my sons.” New International Version “How gladly would I treat you like sons” does not convey the idea of giving a prominent place to, and nor does Good News Translation “I wanted to accept you as my child.”

A pleasant land is translated “a desirable land” by New International Version and “a delightful land” by Good News Translation. New Jerusalem Bible has “a country of delights.” The word translated pleasant is used also in 12.10 and 25.34 (Revised Standard Version “choice”). In some languages it will be necessary to add “to dwell in.”

Heritage (see 2.7) derives from the same stem as the verb “gave … for a heritage” in 3.18. Bible en français courant has “property.” The full meaning, although this might be too long to be natural, would be “promised property” or “land to possess permanently.” Most translators follow Good News Translation with “land.”

Most beauteous (Good News Translation “most beautiful”) is more literally “glory of the glorious,” a Hebrew construction used to express the highest degree of beauty. Lines 3 and 4 are translated by Die Bibel im heutigen Deutsch as “A glorious land, the most glorious land known among the nations, will be yours forever.”

My Father: See 2.27. Here translators may say “… you would say to me ‘You are our father’ ” or “… you would call me your father.”

Would not turn from following me once again takes up the play on words with turn/return/faithless (see verse 6); this will be continued in verse 22 with “faithless” and “faithlessness.” Good News Translation attempts to reflect the play on words: “and never again turn away from me … (22) Return, all of you who have turned away from the LORD.” “Turn away from following me” is also common.

Quoted with permission from Newman, Barclay M. and Stine, Philip C. A Handbook on Jeremiah. (UBS Helps for Translators). New York: UBS, 2003. For this and other handbooks for translators see here .

Translation commentary on Jeremiah 13:18 - 3:19

Translators who are following the structure of Die Bibel im heutigen Deutsch (see the introductory comments on verses 15-27) will put a heading before verse 18, possibly “The LORD speaks to [or, warns] King Jehoiachin.”

These two verses contain a message of warning to King Jehoiachin and his mother. Die Bibel im heutigen Deutsch identifies the king by name in its section heading, while Traduction œcuménique de la Bible provides a footnote that indicates both the name of the king and the function of the queen mother. Jehoiachin was the son and successor of Jehoiakim who died in 598 B.C. during the first siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonian army. Jehoiachin, who was only eighteen years old at the time, reigned only for three months before surrendering to the Babylonians. The queen mother may have exercised a great deal of influence over her son, but she also probably had an official position. For example, King Solomon’s mother sat on a throne to the right of the king (1Kgs 2.19), which probably showed that she had official status.

Take a lowly seat (Revised English Bible “Take a humble seat”) may have the more precise meaning of “come down from your throne” (see Good News Translation, New American Bible). Of course, many translators will say simply “sit in a humble place.”

Your beautiful crown has come down may be rendered “… has fallen off.” If crown is not known, translators can use an expression such as “royal headpiece” or “hat you wear as king.”

From your head in Revised Standard Version is based upon the Septuagint and other ancient translations, and is the preference of most modern translations. The Hebrew text has “your pillows” or “your headrests,” which may be interpreted as symbols of royal dignity (Hebrew Old Testament Text Project). However, this makes no sense in the context. Since the king and queen mother each has a crown and head, Good News Translation has used the plural form instead of the singular form of the text.

The Negeb (see also 17.26; 32.44; 33.13) was “southern Judah” (Good News Translation, Die Bibel im heutigen Deutsch). Many translators do not state where it is, using just an expression like “the Negeb region.”

Shut up has the meaning of “under siege” (Good News Translation) here. Translators can also say “surrounded by enemies.”

None to open them indicates the impossibility of passing through enemy lines into the besieged cities; Good News Translation translates “no one can get through to them.” Die Bibel im heutigen Deutsch translates the first half of verse 19 as “The cities in southern Judah are lost as far as you are concerned, and no one can give them back to you.”

All Judah is taken into exile, wholly taken into exile: The repetition of the Hebrew text may be done away with, as in Die Bibel im heutigen Deutsch (“All Judah is taken away into exile!”) or Good News Translation (“All the people of Judah have been taken away into exile”). In languages that require an active sentence with an agent, translators can say “Enemies have taken all the people of Judah into exile.” For exile see the comments on “captivity” in 1.3.

Quoted with permission from Newman, Barclay M. and Stine, Philip C. A Handbook on Jeremiah. (UBS Helps for Translators). New York: UBS, 2003. For this and other handbooks for translators see here .

first person pronoun referring to God

Like a number of other East Asian languages, Japanese uses a complex system of honorifics, i.e. a system where a number of different levels of politeness are expressed in language via words, word forms or grammatical constructs. These can range from addressing someone or referring to someone with contempt (very informal) to expressing the highest level of reference (as used in addressing or referring to God) or any number of levels in-between.

One way Japanese show different degree of politeness is through the choice of a first person singular and plural pronoun (“I” and “we” and its various forms) as shown here in the widely-used Japanese Shinkaiyaku (新改訳) Bible of 2017. The most commonly used watashi/watakushi (私) is typically used when the speaker is humble and asking for help.

In these verses, where God / Jesus is referring to himself, watashi is also used but instead of the kanji writing system (私) the syllabary hiragana (わたし) is used to distinguish God from others.

(Source: S. E. Doi, see also S. E. Doi in Journal of Translation, 18/2022, p. 37ff. )

See also pronoun for “God”.