In Psalms 46-10 (Christian versions) or 46:11 (in Jewish versions), is the phrase
הרפו ודעו כי אנכי אלֹהים
In most English Bible translations
הרפוis translated as
Be still .
With the exception of the NASB, giving a much more precise translation.
Naturally, of course, the JPS has the most precise translation - and perhaps, the Beatles read the Hebrew Bible while they authored their song "Let it be".
- relax y'all,
- slacken y'all or
- let go y'all.
I cannot see it having the meaning
A couple of Christians I spoke to have defended the translations as saying "Be Still" means "to relax". I don't buy that because I have seen televangelists preaching to the tune of
Be still! Shut up and don't move until the lord has done his work.
To me, הרפו should be read as
Relax, go on with your business, go where you need to go, stay where you need to stay and stop being tense. Don't worry because I am.
Therefore, the verse is far from telling people to "be still". To me, it is spiritually important that people get the message clearly that their Creator is telling them to "relax" rather than "be stiff and shaddup".
Why do the Christian bibles translate it as
Be still? Why don't they translate it more precisely as "relax", or "let it be"?
Are there some theological arguments or principles that would be violated if it was translated as "relax"? Bearing in mind the frequency of disagreement between Christian, Jewish translators and Linguists on the meaning of words - such that the choice of translation of the Jewish section of the Bible must be subjected to the interpretation due to the theological assertions of 1st century Christian scriptures.
Perhaps, it is to ensure the continued meaning of the wonderful hymn that I enjoy humming frequently? That is, so that this classic hymn continues to be relevant? Imagine singing "Relax and know ..." Which I think is improbable.
Perhaps, most probably, Christianity is holding evidence that "Be still" is a better translation. What is that evidence, I pray thee?
Perhaps, "relax" is too informal a word to be used in the Bible? Too colloquial? To much of a "street language"? To that I would ask - Wasn't Koine Greek a more colloquialized derivative of classical Greek?