A Woman of Some Area?
Review of the Children's Illustrated Bible

The second volume of the Children’s Illustrated Bible in modern Hebrew has now been published. And it is impressive. As you open it, you are confronted by a puzzling picture of an exceedingly large lady. The introduction to the volume explains: the lady concerned highlights the need for a translation of the Bible in modern Hebrew. In the original Hebrew text of II Kings 4:8, the lady who turned to Elijah for help is called “a large woman”. Obviously, the term does not refer to her physical dimensions but to her social standing. The Authorised Version therefore describes her as a “great” woman. But the Hebrew is not as clear to the modern reader as the lady herself might wish…
This illustrates one of the difficulties for the average Israeli when reading the Holy Scriptures in his original language. Thousands of years have passed since the Old Testament was written. Hebrew has changed considerably. A child reading Second Kings in Hebrew may well imagine that Elijah helped a big lady. In order to make things easier for the young reader, our HaGefen staff have taken on themselves the task of translating the Scriptures into a modern Hebrew that will help children understand the Bible and enable them to eventually read and study the original text for themselves.

We long to make this Bible available to as wide a public as possible but for fear of rabbinical reaction, secular outlets refuse to stock the book. CWI is therefore seeking to place thousands of copies in the hands of professional people, in the firm belief that God’s word has its own power to stir the heart.

[For more up-to-date information visit HaGefen Publishing].
Article written in 2003

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