inclusive vs. exclusive pronoun (Josh. 22:31)

Many languages distinguish between inclusive and exclusive first-person plural pronouns (“we”). The inclusive “we” specifically includes the addressee (“you and I and possibly others”), while the exclusive “we” specifically excludes the addressee (“he/she/they and I, but not you”). This grammatical distinction is called “clusivity.” While Semitic languages such as Hebrew or most Indo-European languages such as Greek or English do not make that distinction, translators of languages with that distinction have to make a choice every time they encounter “we” or a form thereof (in English: “we,” “our,” or “us”).

For this verse, Bratcher / Newman recommend the us of the inclusive form (including the priest, the chiefs and the ones who are being addressed). The Jarai translation and the Adamawa Fulfulde translation, however, use the exclusive pronoun for the first occurrence (“today we know” in English) and the inclusive pronoun for the second occurrence (“is among us” in English).