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Which is the most accurate rendering of the meaning of the Greek in this verse? In particular, the phrase ἔκτισεν γὰρ εἰς τὸ εἶναι τὰ πάντα καὶ σωτήριοι αἱ γενέσεις τοῦ κόσμου:

Wisdom 1:14 LXX

ἔκτισεν γὰρ εἰς τὸ εἶναι τὰ πάντα καὶ σωτήριοι αἱ γενέσεις τοῦ κόσμου καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν αὐταῖς φάρμακον ὀλέθρου οὔτε ᾅδου βασίλειον ἐπὶ γῆς

Wisdom 1:14 DRB (VUL)

For he created all things that they might be: and he made the nations of the earth for health: and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor kingdom of hell upon the earth.

Wisdom 1:14 NETS

For he created all things that they might exist, and the generative forces of the world are wholesome, and there is no destructive poison in them, nor is the kingdom of Hades on earth.

Wisdom 1:14 Brenton

For he created all things, that they might have their being: and the generations of the world were healthful; and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor the kingdom of death upon the earth:

As for me, I would translate this as follows:

For He created all things that they might be, and for the wellbeing of the life of the world; and there is not in them the poison of destruction, nor is there reign of hell* upon earth.

* Hades


Which is closest to the meaning of the Greek, specifically the part which pertains to soterioi, kosmou and geneseis: what do these mean in relation to one another?

  • For those interested, the Latin of Jerome's Vulgate reads: creavit enim ut essent omnia et sanabiles nationes orbis terrarum et non est in illis medicamentum exterminii nec inferorum regnum in terra. – Lucian Aug 10 '17 at 23:15
  • See the DRB translation above, it translates the Vulgate here. I.e. the DRB is what the Latin you posted translates to as closely as possible. – Sola Gratia Aug 11 '17 at 12:30
  • ...which is why I appended it as a comment to the body of the main question, and left it untranslated, as opposed to translating it, and incorporating it into the “answer” below, which would have been redundant. :-) – Lucian Aug 11 '17 at 13:57
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(Too long for a comment). I hereby offer my humble contribution :


(KJV) : For he created all things, that they might have their being: and the generations of the world were healthful; and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor the kingdom of death upon the earth.


(German Luther Bible, 1912) : But rather, He created all, so that it might be in existence; and what is being created in the world, it is good, and there's nothing damaging in it. Therefore is Hell's Kingdom not on earth.


(Romanian Orthodox Bible, 1939 & 1982) : He created all things unto life, and the creatures of the world are unto deliverance (salvific); in them there is no seed of perdition, and death does not hold sway over the earth.


(Romanian Orthodox Bible, 1795 & 1914) : For He made all so that it might be, and unto salvation are the creatures of the world, and in them there is no medicine of perdition, nor hell's kingdom upon the earth.


(Romanian Orthodox Bible, 1688) : For He created so that all might be, and saved are the world's creations, and in them there is no herb of perdition, nor hell's kingdom upon the earth.

  • I like the Romanian Orthodox Bible, it seems to show reverence to the text. However, I was looking more for something of a linguistic analysis of the sentence in question, namely the grammar, and which best translates it, moreso than how different people have translated it (although that does help a bit!) Thank you for your effort, Lucian. – Sola Gratia Aug 11 '17 at 12:37
  • @SolaGratia: That was my whole point: there is no such thing as a “best” translation. :-) Each word has several meanings. And saved-preserved-delivered (or saving-preserving-delivering) are the tribes-species-creations-foundations-generations of the world. What's the difference between saved and preserved ? Take a look at 1 Corinthians 3:15. Or the difference between -ed and -ing. Etc. – Lucian Aug 11 '17 at 14:44
  • There are certainly more literal and less literal, more contextually valid, and less contextually valid renderings. I am interested in which seems to be what the author is saying of these several possible meanings. For example, there are instances when the Greek for 'salvation' can mean 'health', but it's obvious when it refers to New Testament salvation. – Sola Gratia Aug 12 '17 at 12:00
  • @SolaGratia: Solomon does not appear to distinguish between the two, given the surrounding context, where the idea of death as the consequence of sin seems all-pervasive. – Lucian Aug 12 '17 at 14:49
  • Perhaps the author was purposefully vague, in that he doesn't use more explicit words; whereas he is shown to have the ability to use a wide range of complex words. The poetic format of the book does make 'context' somewhat irrelevant to the individual 'units'. I'll mark your answer as accepted :) – Sola Gratia Aug 12 '17 at 15:55

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