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The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers, Zechariah 1:2.

Was God displeased with Israel's fathers? No, he was sore displeased. In the word sore we have a perfect word to express a heightened sense of God's displeasure. One of the great attributes of the King James Bible is its development of a word throughout the text until it begins to convey a distinct sense to the reader. We see that same word used in Psalm 2:5; Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

One of the attributes of a good ruler is a sense of temperance. Those who are ruled understand what to expect. Judgments are handed out in an even manner according to a well stated and understood standard. When Solomon called Shimei to account to execute him (1st Kings 2:36-46), he had already carefully explained to him what had been expected of him. There was no sense of uncontrolled fury or the whim of a capricious ruler. In this respect, Solomon was godly.

Look at Psalm 2:5 in the NIV and then the ESV:

He rebukes them in his anger

and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,

Then he will speak to them in his wrath,

and terrify them in his fury, saying.

Our bible says that he:

  1. Speaks unto them in his wrath. That isn't someone screaming in a fit of rage like some incompetent boss in a miserable work environment, or like some spoiled brat husband or wife who isn't getting his or her own way. He is obviously angry, but in his anger he speaks. It is understandable speech, not some incoherent raving.

2. He vexes those with whom he is sore displeased. We are not told in that

verse what the vexation is with which he vexes them, but we can be sure

that it is meted out according to a well understood principal and that to whomever it was meted out, they were without excuse.

3. We are told that God is displeased. Yet, this is not some light displeasure because he came into the office in a bad mood one day. The vexation does not come because someone strayed out of bounds for a moment or two. No, the vexation comes to those with whom God is sore displeased. It is God's nature to be longsuffering. It took sore displeasure to trigger God's wrath, and those upon whom it was triggered were well aware of the rules whereby they were vexed.

Can anyone say that that is the impression of God received from reading, "terrify them in his fury", or "terrifies them in his wrath"? From the Book of Genesis throughout the bible until the end of Revelation, God's character is explained in carefully crafted words, and crafted with great consistence. In their zeal to make the word of God easier to understand, the new versions make God harder to be understood.

As another example of the excellence of the word "sore", look at Acts 20:37; And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him. Take a moment and picture the scene. The people are not just weeping, they are weeping sore. In Hedrick Smith's 1975 expose of Russian life in the Soviet Union called The Russians, he describes how he allowed Russian Boris Pasternak the author of Dr. Zhivago to see the banned film made from his book. Pasternak's family mocked one scene in the movie. In a touching goodby scene, the protagonist is separated from his true love.

Pasternak and his family laughed at the scene. It wasn't anything like a Russian parting. It was an American or British scene in which they cried a lot but remain polite and restrained. The Russian Pasternak family found it false and trite. Russians would have been weeping with uncontrollable weeping. There would have been tears, desperate hugs and snot. People would have had to be pulled apart.

With that in mind, look at Acts 20:37 in the NIV, the ESV and the King James Bible.

ESV: And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him.

NIV: They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him.

KJV: And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him.

Which one of those verses depicts a crowd of people making their last goodby to the man who brought them the words of eternal life? Which one of these verses gives us the sense of the deep sorrow and uncontrollable grief of a people who are saying goodby to a man who they dearly love and owe much, and who they believe is about to be killed for the name of Jesus Christ? Which verse illustrates men and women losing control in their grief as they clutch the man of God?

Oh, the poor deluded saps reading these new versions thinking that they are getting a clearer picture of the word of God! I say saps knowingly. These are the suckers of which P.T. Barnum told us. They are those who are so easily parted with their money. Big time publishers enrich themselves with these people's money as they promise them a better understanding of the word of God. They can't even get a goodby scene right. How can they be trusted with the words of grace and the careful reasoning of the Apostles?

God is not displeased with the new versions. He is sore displeased. As he vexes the Western World more and more, keep in mind, the salt has lost its saltness. If you want to understand God's wrath as we shall see it poured out more and more, look to the silly men of God (or should I say men of god?) who are complicit in this great deception.

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