An examination of the Pure Cambridge Edition of the King James Bible on the specific issue of the word Amminadib in Song of Solomon 6:12, by Matthew Verschuur.
Along with the case of the spelling of “Geba” at Ezra 2:26 in the Pure Cambridge Edition against most other editions, is the issue of the word “Amminadib” in Song of Solomon (Canticles) 6:12, for its obscurity and minuteness.
If we can argue that the Pure Cambridge Edition is right in every other place, then we can argue that it is right in this one also.
Again, if we can argue that Providence has supplied the Pure Cambridge Bible as it is (as presented on the Bible Protector website, bibleprotector.com, no less), then we should trust that God has got the truth to us.
And again, the same Holy Ghost who inspired, the same Holy Ghost who preserved is the same Holy Ghost who is at hand today witnessing and attesting, showing and revealing, yea, interpreting and bringing to heart the knowledge of the certainty that even in this very precise particular, the very letters and marks in the Pure Cambridge Edition of the King James Bible, as we have it in full verity, is correct.
THE PLACE ITSELF
We now step forward, to the passage itself:
12 Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib.
(Song of Solomon 6:12).
This book is part of the poetic interrelation between the lover and the beloved, which is both the story of Solomon and the Shulamite, and also is said to be a picture of Christ and the Church.
In the narrative, the lover goes to the where the nuts and fruits grow, and then describes the feeling of his soul, saying his soul was like the chariots of Amminadib. We can understand the driving force of chariots, the powerful feeling of them.
The commentators, pre-1611 translations and the margin offers us meanings. There are primarily two, the first is that there was a person called Amminadib who was renowned for driving chariots, the second is that the chariots were of a class or category of being princely/noble or willing. Those who dive into the words and their meanings say that there are two Hebrew words, being “Ammi” (my people) and “nadib” (willing).
There is no problem to suggest that the word Amminadib might mean “my willing people”, but that cannot be derived from Scripture so easily.
Instead, we have to ask the more pertinent question as to why this word is presented to us as a Hebraic-cum-English proper noun, a name, and not “translated”, as is done in many other Bible translations.
From this we can conclude that the translators themselves, and the Holy Ghost, intended for us to know that this is a proper name, and that the pertinent information is not in what the rabbis say “Amminadib” means, but what our English teachers, Providence and the Spirit says/shows it to mean.
Very clearly, the chariots are not just chariots, they are qualified into some special class, they are not just chariots, they are Amminadib chariots, and what class that is, we can understand from the context, must be the best sorts, an elite or special class.
The next verse speaks of armies, so we know the chariots are not some jerry-rigged rickshaw contraptions.
THE GRAMMATICAL SITUATION
The word Amminadib, we are told, is made up of two components from Hebrew. We also have another word, which is very similar, which is found multiple times in the Bible, which is Amminadab and Aminadab.
If we use the 1611 King James Bible line brakes as a guide, where the word is hyphenated in such cases, we observe the brake on Ammi-, in Song of Solomon 6:12, and with Amminabab at 1 Chronicles 15:10.
Now, while in 1 Chron. 15:10 we see “Ammi-“, we see the whole word in the next verse.
The issue is that in Bibles, lets say some examples from the late 19th century, the word “Ammi-dabib” is made a compound name thus, but Amminabab is not presented in its places as a compound name.
In the Pure Cambridge Edition we can find those copies which have “Ammi-dabib” and those which do not have a compound, being “Amminadib”.
There are four examples. The first are some early PCEs, which have “Ammi-dabib”. The second are the pronouncing editions, which have “Amminadib”. The third are the clear editions, which have all the pronouncing words listed in the front, and then have the text at that place read “Amminadib”, and the fourth are Collins editions, which are all pronouncing as well, with “Amminadib”.
While it is listed in commentaries, etc., that the word components are “Ammi-“ and “Nadib”, and we find the pronunciation markings, and that in theological circles, the pronunciation consistently is the same as the Redpath markings in the Collins and Cambridge Bibles, which is like “Ammin’adib” not “Ammi’nadib”.
Even though the first 1611 Edition broke both “Amminadab” and “Amminadib” when at the end of the line at “Ammi”, that is not how it is pronounced by any known source.
Some Pure Cambridge Editions have “Ammi-nadib” compounded, and others (primarily pronouncing editions) do not compound the word. Examples of non-pronouncing editions with no hyphen or compound dash exist. There are other contemporary editions to the PCE, like the Cambridge Concord and the London Edition, which also do not compound the word at that place.
The standard representation, which is a critical and precisely correct representation, of the Pure Cambridge Edition is the text files supplied by Bible Protector on the bibleprotector.com website, which does not hyphenate or compound the word “Amminadib” at Song of Solomon 6:12.
Remembering that this a minor variation that exists within the Pure Cambridge Edition printed tradition, it is not a situation where such a Bible is “invalidated”, but indeed such printed editions are used Bible Protector’s chief man Matthew Verschuur and at the church he attends. However, the official, proper text is that on the website, and many of the ordinary every day printed PCE KJBs in use from Collins, Cambridge, Holman and Church Bible Publishers all do not compound, hyphenate or break the word after “Ammi”.
A CHRONOLOGICAL EXAMINATION
The Geneva, and more importantly, Bishops’ translation, which was used as a basis for making the King James Bible, did not have the word “Amminadib” at all, but had translated it various ways, much like the margin of the KJB has it.
In 1611, we find the word at the end of a line, so on that basis we cannot assert whether it is a compound name hyphen at all, and if examining the close word “Amminadab”, one could easily infer no compounding, it was just treated as one word.
In November 2023, when this is written, numerous scans of early KJB editions became available online, which were not available for previous examinations on this topic. Here we find at Song of Sol. 6:12:
Barker (London) 1612 “Amminadib” (no break)
Barker (London) 1613 “Amminadib” blackletter (end of line break)
Barker (London) 1617 “Amminadib” (no break)
Norton and Bill (London) 1618 “Amminadib” (no break)
Barker (London) 1618 “Amminadib” (no break)
Barker (London) 1619 “Amminadib” (no break)
Barker (London) 1621 “Amminadib” (no break)
Barker (London) 1622 “Amminadib” (no break)
Barker (London) 1626 “Amminadib” smaller size (no break)
Barker (London) 1626 “Amminadib” larger size (no break)
Norton and Bill (London) 1628 “Amminadib” (no break)
Bill, Hills and Newcombe (London) 1628 “Amminadib” very different setup with clear roman typeface (end of line break)
Missing front page 1929 “Amminadib” (no break)
Barker and Bill (London) 1630 “Amminadib” (no break)
Barker (London) 1631 “Amminadib” (no break)
Barker (London) 1631 “Amminadib” different size (no break)
Barker (London) 1631 “Amminadib” another one (no break)
Missing front page 1631 “Amminadib” (no break)
Thomas and John Buck (Cambridge) 1631 “Ammi-nadib” blackletter (has the break)
Barker (London) 1634 “Amminadib” (no break)
Barker (London) 1634 “Ammi-nadib” blackletter (has the break)
As the Cambridge edition of 1637, and the edit of 1638, had “Ammi-nadib”, we can conjecture that the first Cambridge edition of 1628 and the edit of 1629 pioneered this pattern.
We can conclude on the basis of the 1612, etc., that the end of line break of “Ammi-“ in the blackletter editions was never intended to be a compound name, but that was introduced probably in 1629, as it was certainly there in the Cambridge of 1631 and 37 which are online, and 1638 as is stored in the State Library of Victoria.
Thus we may safely and certainly say that the 1611 Editions and the 1613 Edition would be for the non-compounding of the name.
The name was compounded from the Cambridge Edition of 1629 and that of 1638, through to the 1769 Edition. We now leap forward to the late 19th century, where most editions were compounding the name, as the were directly influenced by the 1769, and yet we find that the PCEs from Cambridge and Collins, which had H. A. Redpath’s pronunciation scheme, did not hyphenate or compound. Neither did the London Edition of the 1950s, nor the Cambridge Concord Edition.
What is interesting is that while early editions would break the word at the end of a line at “Ammi”, there is an Oxford edition, probably from the 1950s, which breaks “Amminadab” at Numbers 10:14 at the end of a column “Ammin-adab”, which is similar to the word in question, which is compounded in that Oxford edition, as “Ammi-nadib”.
We can therefore conclude that if an editor was forced to choose the safest course, that he should not hyphenate at all, but have “Amminadib”, and that the evidence is in line with the PCE having no hyphen or dash there.
The fact that some editions of the PCE do have a hyphen there is not a reason to doubt the Bible Protector work, but on the contrary, the Bible Protector work is indicating what is plainly printed in 1612 and other Barker editions, which in turn indicate that the end of line hyphen in 1611 and 1613 was just that, and not a compound word.
The pure word is pure, and it is right, correct and precise to the very jot and tittle.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.