Cattle and Hands in 1611
Updated: Feb 15, 2020
I will pass through all thy flock to day, removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire, Genesis 30:32. It becomes pretty clear reading in the Book of Genesis that the word "cattle" had a more expansive meaning in 1611 than it does today. The Bible tells us that Jacob was working with cattle, but it identifies them as sheep. Today, we have narrowed the definition of cattle to just mean cows. The true definition of cattle will become important a little later in this post. In 1611 cattle meant all livestock.
The second word that we will look at in this post is the word "hands". It seems amazing that such a word could become controversial, but people are people and somehow nothing in a King James Bible is sacred enough to them to leave entirely alone. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe, John 20:25. Too many Independent Fundamental Baptists have decided that Jesus never had nails in his hands, the nails were put into his wrists. I have just seen a book written by a strong defender of the King James Bible in which the cover depicts nail holes in a man's wrists.
They come to this conclusion on two grounds. They think they see wiggle room in the Greek word for "hand" that would allow them to retranslate it as wrist. This interpretation supposes that the 54 King James translators who all could read, write and converse in Greek prior to ever attending college, and who were not just familiar with every Greek bible manuscript of their day, but also had read all known Greek authors of every stripe; were not as smart as the goofy little scholar who has three or four years in Greek. This is the equivalent of a five year old boy wearing Bob the Builder underpants and holding daddy's hammer thinking that he could do daddy's work.
Their second feeble leg is that modern Protestant scholars don't think that nails through a person's hands could keep them on a cross. They think the hands would tear. When the Mongols attempted to invade Japan in the 13th century, contemporary artists depicted a cruel device the Mongols used against Japanese women. They put holes in the women's hands and then threaded rope through the holes much like you would run shoelaces through eyes in your shoes. They then hung those women from the bows of their ships being held up by a single rope through the pierced hands. In my lifetime, I have seen numerous articles where gangs have nailed peoples' hands to trees and left them to die. They don't tear free.
The conclusion is that Jesus had nails in his hands, the King James Bible said so. Why is this so important? But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth. And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones, Zechariah 13:5-7.
There is a strain of commentators who don't see the last verse as being Jesus Christ. They ask foolishly, "where did the bible say that Jesus ever herded cows, isn't he a shepherd?" Yes, Jesus is the good shepherd. Anyone who reads the Book of Genesis can see that cattle includes sheep. The other place they contend is that Jesus wouldn't have wounds in his hands, they have bought into the proposition that the nails were in his wrists. All of that is foolish. Zechariah 13 speaks of Jesus Christ. There is a song out that speaks about the scars in Jesus Christ's hands. That song is unscriptural. When Jesus Christ returns and shows himself to Israel, his wounds have still not healed. There are no scars in his hands, there are wounds.