as numerous as the sand on the seashore

The Greek and Hebrew that is translated as “as numerous as the sand on the seashore” or “as numerous as the sand by the sea” in English is translated in Bauzi as “as many like the tree flowers of the jungle” (source: David Briley in Kroneman 2004, p. 539), in Afar translated as mari mangah arrooqih gide akkuk yeneeniih: “are as numerous as gravel” or loowo sinni: “not countable” (source: Loren Bliese), in Angal Heneng as “like the hairs on a dog” (Source: Deibler / Taylor 1977, p. 1077), and in Copainalá Zoque as “their number is like ants” (source: John Beekman in Notes on Translation, March 1965, p. 2ff.).

complete verse (Romans 9:27)

Following are a number of back-translations of Romans 9:27:

  • Uma: “Thus are the words of God that talk about the non-Jews. But as for the Jews, there are words of the prophet Yesaya that are very plain that speak of them. They sound like this: ‘The people that are descended from Israel are very many, like the number/amount of sand on the edge of the sea. But even so, only a few will get goodness [salvation].” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “And Nabi Isaya has written also about the nation Isra’il. He says, ‘Even if the nation/tribe of Isra’il are very many like the sand at the sea’s edge not able to be counted, just a few indeed will be the ones freed from God’s punishing them.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “There’s also a word of Isaiah long ago about the people who are descendants of Israel where he said, ‘They are very many and they cannot be counted because they are like the sands on the shore of the sea. But in spite of that, only a few of them will be saved from the punishment of God;” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “There is also that which Isaias prophesied concerning the descendants of Israel saying, ‘Even though the number (lit. manyness) of the descendants of Israel is like the sand on the edge of the ocean, nevertheless only a few of them will be saved.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Concerning the people who are Jews, the prophet Isaiah said: ‘Even though the Jews are very many like the sand at the ocean, yet just a few will end up being saved.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)