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Animals you choose?

I just read through this section in my daily reading and it reminded me how much better, how excellent our KJV is compared to the others.

In the instructions for the Passover, the LORD spake very specifically concerning the lamb. And in the grammar, notice the progression of the sacrifice to people. Initially, in Exodus 12:3 , it’s “a lamb” (2x). The sacrifice is introduced by the indefinite article, “a.” A lamb. General, not specific. One of many lambs.

As a lad , this was as far as I understood about Christ Jesus: A christ, a saviour, a god. (Not specific: just a good man, prophet, died on a cross, loves the world, peace…etc.)

But, in v. 4 the LORD continues: “the lamb…..the lamb.” A becomes the – an indefinite article becomes the definite article. THE lamb: A certain one, a particular one. Not any old lamb will do, it is THE Lamb! John didn’t introduce Jesus as “ Behold, a lamb…” (John 1:29) No, no, John was quite exacting “Behold THE lamb …” This very man, this particular man, and no other.

As a lad I was tricked into attending a Baptist church. I sat (uncomfortably) and listened to my first real sermon at that time (1981). One theme that stuck with my mushy brain was that Jesus was the one and only sacrifice: he wasn't just a lamb, he was THE lamb. He alone was THE God.

Finally, in Exodus 12:5, we find another change. Now a genitive case (possession) pronoun is used with the lamb: “Your lamb shall be…” Your lamb. The lamb belongs to you! You have to personally take a – no, take the lamb – and make him your lamb. His blood must be applied to you, personally!

Wonderful progression in the Bible (the real bible), using the grammar to highlight the relationship of the sacrificial lamb to the condemned man (men). From general to specific, and then to personal possession.

Now to the point: I preached this once in Vietnam. It’s a simple story to show God’s plan of salvation. When I was finished, they just looked at me with blank faces. Nothing, no response at all. Hmmmm. Apparently their versions, both the Vietnamese Cadman bible and the English language NIV, do not show this progression. In fact the NIV states “a lamb” (v. 3), “a whole lamb” (v. 4); “the animals you choose” (v 5). Kinda weak! The Vietnamese states “a lamb” throughout. Nothing specific! Indefinite! No possession!

Therefore, I love the precision and the clarity of the KJV, including the grammar.

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