bear (animal)

The Hebrew and Greek that is translated as “bear” in English is translated in Mungaka and Berom as “leopard” since bears are not known in that culture (see also wolf) (source: Nama 1990 and Andy Warren-Rothlin).

In Vidunda and Kutu it is translated as “lion,” in Kwere as “cheetah” (in Proverbs 17:12) (Source: Pioneer Bible Translators, project-specific translation notes in Paratext) and in Idakho-Isukha-Tiriki as “jackal” (source: Andy Warren-Rothlin).

Michel Kenmogne comments on this and comparable translations (in Noss 2007, p. 378 ff.): “Some exegetical solutions adopted by missionary translations may have been acceptable during that time frame, but weighed against today’s translation theory and procedures, they appear quite outdated and even questionable. For example, Atangana Nama approvingly mentions the translation into Mungaka of terms like ‘deer’ as ‘leopard’, ‘camel’ as ‘elephant’, and ‘wheat’ as ‘maize,’ where the target language has no direct equivalent to the source text. These pre-Nida translation options, now known as adaptations, would be declared unacceptable in modern practice, since they misrepresent the historico-zoological and agricultural realities in the Bible. Nowadays it is considered better to give a generalized term, like ‘grain,’ and where necessary specify ‘a grain called wheat,’ than to give an incorrect equivalence. Unknown animals such as bears, can be called ‘fierce animals,’ especially if the reference is a non-historical context.”

lion

There are no lions in Bawm country, so the Bawm Chin translation uses “a tiger with a mane” where the Greek term for “lion” is used and in Sranan Tongo the “roaring lion” in 1 Peter 5:8 is a krasi tigri, an “aggressive tiger.”

In the Kahua culture, lions are not known either so the Kahua translation used “fierce animal.”

In 1 Peter 5:8, the Uripiv translation uses “a hungry shark” instead of a roaring lion.

Sources: David Clark for Bawm Chin and Kahua, Japini 2015, p. 33, for Sranan Tongo, and Ross McKerras for Uripiv)

acrostic in Lamentations 3

The Hebrew text of Lamentations 1-4 uses acrostics, a literary form in which each verse is started with one of the successive 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. According to Brenda Boerger (in Open Theology 2016, p. 179ff. ) there are three different reasons for acrostics in the Hebrew text: “for ease of memorization,” the representation “of the full breadth and depth of a topic, all the way from aleph to taw (tav),” and the perception of “the acrostic form as aesthetically attractive.” (p. 191)

While most translations mention the existence of an acrostic in a note or a comment, few implement it in their translation. One such exception is the Danish Bibelen på Hverdagsdansk (publ. 1985, rev. 2015 et al.).

Click or tap here for Lamentations 3 in Danish

1 Afstraffelsen var hård, hans vrede imod mig stor.
2 „Af sted med dig!” sagde han, og førte mig ind i det dybeste mørke.
3 Angrebene haglede ned over mig, jeg oplevede hans straf dagen lang.
4 Bedøvet ligger jeg med knuste knogler, min hud er flået i laser.
5 Bitterhed og smerte er blevet min lod, han omringede mig og angreb fra alle sider.
6 Bunden er nået, dødens mørke omslutter mig, som om jeg allerede lå i graven.
7 Det føles, som om jeg er låst inde og lagt i lænker, jeg er ude af stand til at slippe fri.
8 Desperat råber jeg om hjælp, men han har besluttet ikke at høre mine bønner.
9 Der er ingen vej ud af mit fængsel, for enhver flugtvej er spærret af forhindringer.
10 En løve lå på lur efter mig, en vild bjørn overfaldt mig.
11 Enden var nær, for han trak af med mig og begyndte at flå mig i småstykker.
12 Eller han var som en bueskytte, der brugte mig som skydeskive.
13 Forfærdet så jeg hans pile komme flyvende og bore sig ind i mit hjerte.
14 Folk lo blot ad mig, de sang spotteviser dagen lang.
15 Frygteligt var det at drikke et bæger så fuldt af sorg og smerte.
16 Gruset fyldte min mund, da han trykkede mig ned i jorden.
17 Glemt er den glæde, jeg havde engang, og fred hører fortiden til.
18 Grænsen for min udholdenhed er nået, jeg har mistet håbet om, at Herren vil redde mig.
19 Hjemløs og ulykkelig ligger jeg her, jeg kan ikke holde ud at tænke på min smerte.
20 Hver gang jeg tænker over det, bliver jeg dybt deprimeret.
21 Håbet er dog ikke helt udslukt, for én ting holder jeg fast ved:
22 Herrens trofasthed er stor, hans barmhjertighed er ikke brugt op.
23 Hans trofasthed er stor, hans nåde er ny hver morgen.
24 „Herren er min Gud,” siger jeg, „derfor vil jeg sætte min lid til ham.”
25 Ingen, der søger Herren, bliver skuffet, han hjælper dem, der håber på hans svar.
26 Imødese hans svar med tålmodighed, for før eller siden vil han gribe ind.
27 I ungdommen må man lære at bære sit åg.
28 Ja, når Herren lægger sit åg på mig, må jeg acceptere det i stilhed.
29 Jeg vil bøje mig for ham i ydmyghed, for der er stadig håb om redning.
30 Jeg vil vende den anden kind til og tage imod alle fjendens fornærmelser.
31 Lidelsen varer ikke ved, for Herren forkaster os ikke for evigt.
32 Leder han os ind i sorg og smerte, viser han os bagefter nåde og barmhjertighed.
33 Lad ingen tro, at han glæder sig over at straffe vores ulydighed.
34 Mon Herren ikke ser, når et land mishandler sine fanger?
35 Mon Herren ikke ser, når nogen dømmes uretfærdigt?
36 Mon Herren ikke ser, når et menneske fratages sine rettigheder?
37 Nogle tror, at de handler i egen kraft, men Herren står bag det.
38 Når vi oplever velsignelse eller bliver straffet, kommer begge dele fra Herren.
39 Nu kan vi lige så godt se i øjnene, at vi straffes for vore egne synder.
40 Oprigtig selverkendelse er nødvendig, lad os erkende vores synd og bede om nåde.
41 Og lad os så løfte vore hjerter og hænder og råbe til Gud i Himlen.
42 Oprørskhed førte os ud i store synder, som Herren var nødt til at straffe.
43 På grund af vore synder blev du vred på os, du ramte os hårdt uden skånsel.
44 Påkaldte vi dig i vore bønner, var det, som om du gemte dig bag en sky.
45 Provokationen fra folkeslagene var ikke til at bære, de så på os som det værste skidt.
46 Ringeagt og trusler var alt, hvad vi mødte fra alle vore fjender omkring os.
47 Rædsel og angst fyldte vore hjerter, for hele vores verden blev lagt i ruiner.
48 Reaktionen på mit folks ødelæggelse kunne ikke blive andet end en strøm af tårer.
49 Strømmen af tårer, der flyder fra mine øjne, er ikke til at standse.
50 Se i nåde til os, Herre, for kun du kan redde os.
51 Synet af Jerusalems befolkning er en stadig smerte i min sjæl.
52 Tænk på, hvordan fjenderne overfaldt mig, selv om jeg ikke havde gjort dem noget.
53 Triumferende smed de mig i et dybt hul og overdængede mig med sten.
54 Til sidst troede jeg, at alt var forbi, og jeg sagde: „Det er ude med mig!”
55 Uden noget af mit eget tilbage råbte jeg til dig, Herre.
56 Udmattet og ussel skreg jeg om hjælp, og du hørte mine tryglende bønner.
57 Uden at tøve kom du mig til hjælp og trøstede mig med et: „Vær ikke bange!”
58 Ved at høre min bøn, Herre, har du reddet mit liv.
59 Vær min dommer, Herre, og døm mine fjender for deres ondskab imod mig.
60 Vend dig mod mine fjender, alle dem, der vendte sig mod mig.
61 Øgenavne brugte de imod mig, Herre, du kender deres ondskabsfulde tanker.
62 De håner mig dagen lang og lægger hele tiden nye planer imod mig.
63 Hør, hvor de håner mig. Fra morgen til aften er jeg skydeskive for deres spot.
64 Åh, Herre, de fortjener, at du straffer dem for alt det onde, de har gjort.
65 Gør dem ude af sig selv af rædsel, udøs din forbandelse over dem.
66 Forfølg dem i din vrede og udslet dem. Udryd dem fra jordens overflade.

Copyright © 1985, 1992, 2005, 2013, 2015 by Biblica, Inc.®

The English Bible translation by Ronald Knox (publ. 1950) maintains most Hebrew acrostics (even though Knox’s translation itself is based on the Latin text of the Vulgate rather than the Hebrew):

1 Ah, what straits have I not known, under the avenging rod!
2 Asked I for light, into deeper shadow the Lord’s guidance led me;
3 Always upon me, none other, falls endlessly the blow.
4 Broken this frame, under the wrinkled skin, the sunk flesh.
5 Bitterness of despair fills my prospect, walled in on every side;
6 Buried in darkness, and, like the dead, interminably.
7 Closely he fences me in, beyond hope of rescue; loads me with fetters.
8 Cry out for mercy as I will, prayer of mine wins no audience;
9 Climb these smooth walls I may not; every way of escape he has undone.
10 Deep ambushed he lies, as lurking bear or lion from the covert;
11 Drawn aside from my path, I fall a lonely prey to his ravening.
12 Dread archer, of me he makes a target for all his arrows;
13 Each shaft of his quiver at my vitals taught to strike home!
14 Evermore for me the taunts of my neighbours, their songs of derision.
15 Entertainment of bitter herbs he gives me, and of wormwood my fill,
16 Files all my teeth with hard gravel-stones, bids me feed on ashes.
17 Far away is my old contentment, happier days forgotten;
18 Farewell, my hopes of long continuance, my patient trust in the Lord!
19 Guilt and suffering, gall and wormwood, keep all this well in memory.
20 God knows it shall be remembered, and with sinking of the heart;
21 Gage there can be none other of remaining confidence.
22 His be the thanks if we are not extinguished; his mercies never weary;
23 Hope comes with each dawn; art thou not faithful, Lord, to thy promise?
24 Heart whispers, The Lord is my portion; I will trust him yet.
25 In him be thy trust, for him thy heart’s longing, gracious thou shalt find him;
26 If deliverance thou wouldst have from the Lord, in silence await it.
27 It is well thou shouldst learn to bear the yoke, now in thy youth,
28 Just burden, in solitude and silence justly borne.
29 Joy may yet be thine, for mouth that kisses the dust,
30 Jeering of the multitude, and cheek buffeted in scorn, bravely endured.
31 Know for certain, the Lord has not finally abandoned thee;
32 Kind welcome the outcast shall have, from one so rich in kindness.
33 Kin of Adam he will not crush or cast away wantonly;
34 Let there be oppression of the poor under duress,
35 Law’s right denied, such as the most High grants to all men,
36 Lying perversion of justice, then he cannot overlook it.
37 Man may foretell; only the Lord brings his word to pass;
38 Mingled good and evil proceed both from the will of the most High;
39 Mortal is none may repine; let each his own sins remember.
40 Narrowly our path scan we, and to the Lord return;
41 Never hand or heart but must point heavenward this day!
42 Nothing but defiant transgression on our part; and shouldst thou relent?
43 Over our heads thy angry vengeance lowered; smiting, thou wouldst not spare.
44 Oh, barrier of cloud, our prayers had no strength to pierce!
45 Offscouring and refuse of mankind thou hast made us,
46 Put to shame by the mocking grimaces of our enemies.
47 Prophets we had, but their word was peril and pitfall, and ruin at the last.
48 Poor Sion, for thy calamity these cheeks are furrowed with tears;
49 Quell if thou wouldst the restless fever of my weeping,
50 Quickly, Lord, look down from heaven and pay heed to us,
51 Quite forspent, eye and soul, with grief Jerusalem’s daughters bear.
52 Relentless as hawk in air they pursued me, enemies unprovoked,
53 Reft me of life itself, sealed with a stone my prison door.
54 Round my head the waters closed, and I had given myself up for lost,
55 Save for one hope; to thee, Lord, I cried from the pit’s depth,
56 Sure of thy audience; wouldst thou turn a deaf ear to sighs of complaint?
57 Summoned, thou didst come to my side, whispering, Do not be afraid.
58 Thine, Lord, to take my part; thine to rescue me from death;
59 The malice of my enemies to discover, my wrongs to redress.
60 Thrust away from thy sight, the grudge they bear me, the ill they purpose,
61 Unheard by thee their taunts, their whispered plottings?
62 Uttered aloud or in secret, their malice assails me from morn till night;
63 Up in arms, or met in secret conclave, ever against me they raise the battle-song.
64 Visit them with the punishment their ill deeds have earned;
65 Veiled be those blind hearts with fresh blindness of thy own making;
66 Vanish from the earth their whole brood, ere thy vengeance leaves off pursuing them! (Source )

Spanish has a different tradition of acrostics. It uses non-alphabetic acrostics where the first letters of each line (or verse) together form a word or phrase. In the Traducción en lenguaje actual (publ. 2002, 2004), the translators used the first letters of this chapter of Lamentation to spell out “YO SOY EL SIERVO SUFRIENTE” (“I am the Suffering Servant”) as a reference to the “Suffering Servant” passage in Isaiah 53 (for more on the translation process of this, see Alfredo Tepox in The Bible Translator 2004, p. 233ff.).

Click or tap here for Lamentations 3 in the Traducción en lenguaje actual

1 Yo soy el que ha sufrido
el duro castigo de Dios.
2 Él me forzó a caminar
por los caminos más oscuros;
3 no hay un solo momento
en que no me castigue.

4-6 Oscura tumba es mi vida;
¡es como si ya estuviera muerto!
Dios me rodeó por completo
de la miseria más terrible.
Me dejó sin fuerzas;
¡no tengo un solo hueso sano!

7-9 Se niega Dios a escucharme,
aunque siempre le pido ayuda.
A cada paso me pone tropiezos
y me hace perder el camino.
Me tiene preso y encadenado.
¡No puedo escaparme de él!

10-12 Objeto soy de sus ataques;
¡soy el blanco de sus flechas!
Como animal feroz me vigila,
esperando el momento de atacarme.
¡Me obliga a apartarme del camino
para que no pueda defenderme!

13-15 Ya me partió el corazón
con sus terribles flechas.
Dios ha llenado mi vida
de tristeza y amargura.
Todo el día y a todas horas,
la gente se burla de mí.

16 Estoy completamente derrotado,
porque Dios me hizo caer.
17 Ya no tengo tranquilidad;
la felicidad es solo un recuerdo.
18 Me parece que de Dios
ya no puedo esperar nada.

19 Los más tristes recuerdos
me llenan de amargura.
20 Siempre los tengo presentes,
y eso me quita el ánimo.
21 Pero también me acuerdo
de algo que me da esperanza:

22 Sé que no hemos sido destruidos
porque Dios nos tiene compasión.
23 Sé que cada mañana se renuevan
su gran amor y su fidelidad.
24 Por eso digo que en él confío;
¡Dios es todo para mí!

25 Invito a todos a confiar en Dios
porque él es bondadoso.
26 Es bueno esperar con paciencia
que Dios venga a salvarnos,
27 y aprender desde nuestra juventud
que debemos soportar el sufrimiento.

28 Es conveniente callar
cuando Dios así lo ordena.
29-30 Y olvidar la venganza
cuando alguien nos golpea.
Debemos esperar con paciencia
que Dios venga a ayudarnos.

31 Realmente Dios nos ha rechazado,
pero no lo hará para siempre.
32-33 Nos hace sufrir y nos aflige,
pero no porque le guste hacerlo.
Nos hiere, pero nos tiene compasión,
porque su amor es muy grande.

34-36 Violar los derechos humanos
es algo que Dios no soporta.
Maltratar a los prisioneros
o no darles un juicio justo,
es algo que Dios no aprueba.

37 ¡Oye bien esto: Nada puedes hacer
sin que Dios te lo ordene!
38 ¡Todo lo bueno y lo malo
pasa porque él así lo ordena!
39 ¡No tenemos razón para quejarnos
si nos castiga por nuestros pecados!

40-42 Si pecamos contra Dios,
y él no quiere perdonarnos,
pensemos en qué lo hemos ofendido.
Dirijamos al Dios del cielo
nuestras oraciones más sinceras,
y corrijamos nuestra conducta.

43-44 Una nube envuelve a Dios;
no le deja escuchar nuestra oración.
Lleno de enojo, Dios nos persigue;
nos destruye sin ninguna compasión.
45 Nos ha expuesto ante las naciones
como si fuéramos lo peor.

46 Fuimos la burla del enemigo.
47 Sufrimos en carne propia
los horrores de la destrucción.
48 Cuando vi destruida mi ciudad
no pude contener las lágrimas.

49-51 Realmente me duele ver sufrir
a las mujeres de Jerusalén.
Se me llenan de lágrimas los ojos,
pero no hay quien me consuele.
¡Espero que desde el cielo
Dios nos mire y nos tenga compasión!

52-53 ¡Intentaron matarme,
y no sé por qué razón!
Mis enemigos me atraparon,
me encerraron en un pozo.
54 Estuve a punto de ahogarme;
¡creí que había llegado mi fin!

55 En la profundidad de ese pozo
te pedí ayuda, Dios mío,
56 y tú atendiste mis ruegos;
¡escuchaste mi oración!
57 Te llamé, y viniste a mí;
me dijiste que no tuviera miedo.

58 No me negaste tu ayuda,
sino que me salvaste la vida.
59 Dios mío, ¡ayúdame!
Mira el mal que me causaron,
60 mira el mal que piensan hacerme,
¡quieren vengarse de mí!

61 Tú sabes cómo me ofenden;
tú sabes que me hacen daño.
62 Tú bien sabes que mis enemigos
siempre hacen planes contra mí.
63 ¡Míralos! No importa lo que hagan,
siempre están burlándose de mí.

64-66 ¡Espero que los castigues
con toda tu furia!
¡Bórralos de este mundo!
Mi Dios, ¡dales su merecido
por todo lo que han hecho!
¡Maldícelos y hazlos sufrir!

Traducción en lenguaje actual ® © Sociedades Bíblicas Unidas, 2002, 2004.

pronoun for "God"

God transcends gender, but most languages are limited to grammatical gender expressed in pronouns. In the case of English, this is traditionally confined to “he” (or in the forms “his,” “him,” and “himself”), “she” (and “her,” “hers,” and “herself”), and “it” (and “its” and “itself”).

Modern Mandarin Chinese, however, offers another possibility. Here, the third-person singular pronoun is always pronounced the same (tā), but it is written differently according to its gender (他 is “he,” 她 is “she,” and 它/牠 is “it” and their respective derivative forms). In each of these characters, the first (or upper) part defines the gender (man, woman, or thing/animal), while the second element gives the clue to its pronunciation.

In 1930, after a full century with dozens of Chinese translations, Bible translator Wang Yuande (王元德) coined a new “godly” pronoun: 祂. Chinese readers immediately knew how to pronounce it: tā. But they also recognized that the first part of that character, signifying something spiritual, clarified that each person of the Trinity has no gender aside from being God.

While the most important Protestant and Catholic Chinese versions respectively have opted not to use 祂, some Bible translations do and it is widely used in hymnals and other Christian materials. Among the translations that use 祂 to refer to “God” were early versions of Lü Zhenzhong’s (呂振中) version (New Testament: 1946, complete Bible: 1970). R.P. Kramers (in The Bible Translator 1956, p. 152ff.) explains why later versions of Lü’s translation did not continue with this practice: “This new way of writing ‘He,’ however, has created a minor problem of its own: must this polite form be used whenever Jesus is referred to? Lü follows the rule that, wherever Jesus is referred to as a human being, the normal ta (他) is written; where he is referred to as divine, especially after the ascension, the reverential ta (祂) is used.”

In Kouya, Godié, Northern Grebo, Eastern Krahn, Western Krahn, and Guiberoua Béte, all languages of the Kru family in Western Africa, a different kind of systems of pronouns is used (click or tap here to read more):

In that system one kind of pronoun is used for humans (male and female alike) and one for natural elements, non-liquid masses, and some spiritual entities (one other is used for large animals and another one for miscellaneous items). While in these languages the pronoun for spiritual entities used to be employed when referring to God, this has changed into the use of the human pronoun.

Lynell Zogbo (in The Bible Translator 1989, p. 401ff) explains in the following way: “From informal discussions with young Christians especially, it would appear that, at least for some people, the experience and/or concepts of Christianity are affecting the choice of pronoun for God. Some people explain that God is no longer ‘far away,’ but is somehow tangible and personal. For these speakers God has shifted over into the human category.”

In Kouya, God (the Father) and Jesus are referred to with the human pronoun ɔ, whereas the Holy Spirit is referred to with a non-human pronoun. (Northern Grebo and Western Krahn make a similar distinction.)

Eddie Arthur, a former Kouya Bible translation consultant, says the following: “We tried to insist that this shouldn’t happen, but the Kouya team members were insistent that the human pronoun for the Spirit would not work.”

In Burmese, the pronoun ko taw (ကိုယ်တော်) is used either as 2nd person (you) or 3rd person (he, him, his) reference. “This term clearly has its root in the religious language in Burmese. No ordinary persons are addressed or known by this pronoun because it is reserved for Buddhist monks, famous religious teachers, and in the case of Christianity, the Trinity.” (Source: Gam Seng Shae in The Bible Translator 2002, p. 202ff.)

In Thai, the pronoun phra`ong (พระองค์) is used, a gender-neutral pronoun which must refer to a previously introduced royal or divine being. Similarly, in Northern Khmer, which is spoken in Thailand, “an honorific divine pronoun” is used for the pronoun referring to the persons of the Trinity (source: David Thomas in The Bible Translator 1993, p. 445). In Urak Lawoi’, another language spoken in Thailand, the translation often uses tuhat (ตูฮัด) — “God” — ”as a divine pronoun where Thai has phra’ong even though it’s actually a noun.” (Source for Thai and Urak Lawoi’: Stephen Pattemore)

The English “Contemporary Torah” addresses the question of God and gendered pronouns by mostly avoiding pronouns in the first five books of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (unless God is referred to as “lord,” “father,” “king,” or “warrior”). It does that by either using passive constructs (“He gave us” vs. “we were given”), by using the adjective “divine” or by using “God” rather than a pronoun.

Some Protestant English Bibles use a referential capitalized spelling when referring to the persons of the Trinity with “He,” “His,” “Him,” or “Himself.” This includes for instance the New American Standard Bible, but most translations, especially those published in the 21st century, do not. Two other languages where this is also done (in most Bible translations) are the closely related Indonesian and Malay. In both languages this follows the language usage according to the Qur’an, which in turn predicts that usage (see Soesilo in The Bible Translator 1991, p. 442ff. and The Bible Translator 1997, p. 433ff. ).

See also first person pronoun referring to God.

Translation: Chinese

在现代汉语中,第三人称单数代词的读音都是一样的(tā),但是写法并不一样,取决于性别以及是否有生命,即男性为“他”,女性为“她”,动物、植物和无生命事物为“它”(在香港和台湾的汉语使用,动物则为“牠”)。这些字的部首偏旁表明了性别(男人、女人、动物、无生命事物),而另一偏旁通常旁提示发音。

到1930年为止,基督教新教《圣经》经过整整一百年的翻译已经拥有了十几个译本,当时的一位圣经翻译者王元德新造了一个“神圣的”代词“祂”,偏旁“礻”表示神明。一般汉语读者会立即知道这字的发音是tā,而这个偏旁表示属灵的事物,因此他们明白这个字指出,三位一体的所有位格都没有性别之分,而单单是上帝。

然而,最重要的新教圣经译本(1919年的《和合本》)和天主教圣经译本(1968年的《思高圣经》)都没有采用“祂”;虽然如此,许多其他的圣经译本采用了这个字,另外还广泛出现在赞美诗和其他基督信仰的书刊中。(资料来源:Zetzsche)

《吕振中译本》的几个早期版本也使用“祂”来指称“上帝”;这个译本的《新约》于1946年译成,整部《圣经》于1970年完成。克拉默斯(Kramers)指出:“‘他’的这种新写法(即‘祂’)产生了一个小问题,就是在指称耶稣的时候,是否一律使用这个敬语代词?《吕振中译本》遵循的原则是,在称呼耶稣这个人的时候,用一般的‘他’,而在称呼耶稣神性的时候,特别是升天之后的耶稣,则用尊称‘祂’。”

Translator: Simon Wong

Translation commentary on Lamentations 3:10

The two half-lines of verse 10 say much the same thing. God is compared to a bear and a lion waiting to pounce on their prey, as in Hosea 13.7-8. In Amos 5.18-19 the bear and the lion are used as images of the Day of the LORD. The translation of bear and lion will depend upon familiarity with these two animals. Where they are unknown the translator may substitute local animals, provided they are wild and capable of attacking a person. If no such animals exist, it is always possible to shift to a generic term; for example, “He is like a wild animal that waits for me and pounces on me.” If this solution is still unsatisfactory, the translator may have to drop the simile of the animal attack and say, for example, “He waited for me to attack me. He kept himself in hiding.” In some cases it may be more natural to reverse the order of these two half-lines.

Quoted with permission from Reyburn, William D. A Handbook on Lamentations. (UBS Helps for Translators). New York: UBS, 1992. For this and other handbooks for translators see here .