The Hebrew in Joshua 5:14 reads
וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא כִּי אֲנִי שַׂר צְבָא יְדוָד עַתָּה בָאתִי
A literal translation of the text would render this:
And he replied "No. For i am the commander of the army of the Lord; I have come now."
However the KJV and the NIV both aware of the difficulties with this translation choose to interpret differently
“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” (NIV)
The KJV concurs with the NIV on this albeit with minor differences. However, this doesn't seem to me to be an accurate translation of this dialogue. There is no indication in the text that the phrase "עתה באתי" ("I have come now") is connected to the previous clause (commander of the army of the Lord)!
Furthermore, the KJV and the NIV completely omit the words "כי אני" ("for I am"); instead, to improve the flow they join the two phrases into one whole and get their desired translation "but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come" which is in my view wrong and misleading. If we are looking for the most accurate translation, there should be a semicolon between "commander of the Lord" and "I have now come", making the latter an independent clause.
So my questions are,
- am I correct in translating this verse the way I do.
- In light of this new translation what is the meaning of "I have now come"?