Zarah / Zerah

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Zarah / Zerah

Postby bibleprotector » 26 May 2014, 23:14

Genesis 38:30 has had "Zarah" from 1611 to the PCE.

Genesis 46:12 has had "Zerah" from 1611 to 1769. Various editions after 1769 have had "Zerah", while it is mainly the Oxford Edition which has retained "Zarah" at this place.

Sometimes, some Collins editions have "Zarah" at Gen. 46:12 because this is the 1769-Oxford rendering. While the PCE and other editions like the London Edition have "Zerah". The Collins was following the PCE, but probably along the line somewhere, someone using a different edition thought they found a mistake in the Collins, and it was changed. (It is possible to find some Collins editions following the PCE and some not.) However, recent Collins editions are in line with the PCE, and also have the correct "Zerah" at Gen. 46:12.

The variation of spelling between what might be the same person can be found in many examples in the Bible. In the NT we have "Prisca" and "Priscilla", "Timotheus" and "Timothy", "Juda" and "Judah", "Sara" and "Sarah". In the OT we have "Nebuchadrezzar" and "Nebuchadnezzar", Michaiah” and “Micah”, “Gaba” and “Geba”, etc.

The reasons for this include the source/language of the passage, factors due to changing a person's name e.g. Abram to Abraham or Saul to Paul.

Here is what I have stated in the draft of my book:

The Pure Cambridge Edition follows the 1611 Edition in Genesis 46:12, but in Genesis 38:30, the same person is spelt with the “a” spelling. In this case, the other editions seem to be internally consistent in Genesis when they use the “a” spelling for both occurrences. However, there are several factors to consider. Most importantly being that the vowel change was not introduced until 1630, and probably unique to that edition, for the other editions are following the 1769, which reintroduced that spelling, against the majority of editions and all revisions to that time. The same name given to other persons in the Old Testament invariably follows the “e” spelling, and every time Zerah son of Judah is mentioned outside of Genesis, he always has the “e” spelling (e.g. 1 Chronicles 2:4, 6). In the New Testament, in Matthew 1:3, the spelling from the Greek is “Zara”. Thus, in the Pure Cambridge Edition, the man has his name spelt both ways in close proximity in Genesis, which complements the New Testament spelling. It is also a balance to find that the name is spelt once in each testament with an “a” in the Pure Cambridge Edition.
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