Proper names in the Coverdale Psalms

(Compiled by Silouan Thompson)

Identical in Coverdale and the King James:

Aaron, Abraham, Absalom, Ammon, Asaph, Babylon, Benjamin, Canaan, Dathan, David, Edom, Edomites, Egypt, Endor, Ephraim, Gebal, Gilead, Hagarenes, Ham, Horeb, Israel, Jabin, Jacob, Jerusalem, Joseph, Judah, Kedar, Levi, Lot, Moab, Moses, Oreb, Rahab, Saul, Sinai, Sisera, Tyre, Zoan


Names that differ in Coverdale and the King James

I've listed them here with both the original Hebrew names [transliterated] and the Greek names as they appear in the LXX. I haven't corrected for case; I just pasted the Greek directly into the table. Browsers that can't render Unicode may not display the Greek well.

Psalm Coverdale KJV Greek Hebrew Recommendation
21 Basan Bashan πίονες Bshn fat bulls close me in
67 Basan Bashan πῖον Bshn A rich mountain is God's mountain, even an high hill, a rich mountain.
67 Basan Bashan Βασὰν Bshn I will bring my people again as I did from Bashan
134, 135 Og the king of Basan Og king of Bashan Ὢγ βασιλέα τῆς Βασὰν Bshn Og the king of Bashan *
  *Bashan was a kingdom bordering Israel. Its name in Hebrew refers to rich, brown earth. Where it seemed appropriate the LXX translators kept Bashan as a proper name, but at other times they chose to translate it to the Greek word pion, "rich." Where they chose to retain Bashan as a proper name, we should do the same; otherwise the Greek text indicates the translations above. (It takes an unreasonable amout of eisogesis to arrive at "Butter Mountain" in Ps. 67.) In Psalm 21, Coverdale both represents the Greek translation (fat bulls) and additionally adds of Basan from the Hebrew.
28, etc Libanus Lebanon Λιβάνου L'banon Lebanon
28 Sirion Sirion ἠγαπημένος Shiryon Sirion
28 Cades Kadesh Κάδης Qdesh Kadesh
32 the Lord Jehovah the LORD Κύριος YHVH the Lord *
67 JAH JAH Κύριος Yah the Lord *
82 Jehovah JEHOVAH Κύριος YHVH the Lord *
  *The invented word Jehovah is a modern western European thing, foreign to the LXX tradition, and is offensive to the Jews as well (they pronounce YHVH as "Adonoi" or "Lord.") The LXX translators consistently represented YHVH and variants as Kyrios; the Lord. Western translators have used a middle approach - translating YHVH as the LORD (all caps) to indicate that the underlying word is not "Adonoi," but this is foreign to the LXX text.
47, etc Sion Zion Σιών Tsiyon Sion
  *The Hebrew TS sound is often transliterated into Greek as S (as in Gk. Masada from Heb. M'tsdh.) The LXX translators chose in all cases to transliterate Tsiyon as Sion.  (Zion, in German, reproduces the Hebrew pronunciation.) Here I side with Coverdale and the Greek Sion against the KJV Zion.
55 n/a Philistines ἀλλόφυλοι P'lishti Philistines*
82 Philistines Philistines ἀλλόφυλοι P'lesheth Philistines*
59, 86 107 Philistia Philistia ἀλλόφυλοι P'lesheth Philistia*
  *"Philistines" - Hebrew P'lishti - is not really a proper noun; it means "immigrants" or "sojourners." (The Philistines were a Semitic people - Phoenicians or kin to them - who came to live in Canaan. Hebrew P'lesheth is literally [the land] of the sojourners.) The LXX translators didn't transliterate P'lishti as a name, but translated it into Gk. allophyloi, or "other peoples." So Philistines/Philistia is not an ideal English translation for literalness - but it is our English name for the people referred to consistently in the LXX as allophyloi.
59, 107 Sichem Shechem Σίκιμα Sh'kem Shechem
59, 107 Succoth Succoth σκηνῶν Sukoth and mete out the valley of tabernacles *
*The LXX translates Hebrew sukoth with Greek skhnh, an equivalent word likewise meaning  tabernacles, tents.
59, 107 Manasses Manasseh Μανασσῆ M'nashsheh Manasseh
67 Salmon Salmon Σελμών Tsalmon Selmon
67 Zabulon Zebulun Ζαβουλών Zebulun Zebulun
67 Nephthali Naphtali Νεφθαλείμ Naftali Naphtali
67 Morians' land Ethiopia Αἰθιοπία Kush Ethiopia
71 Tharsis Tarshish Θαρσὶς Tarshish Tarshish
71 Arabia Sheba Ἀράβων Sh'ba Arabia
71 Saba Seba Σαβᾶ S'ba Saba
73 mighty waters mighty waters ποταμοὺς Ἠθάμ nhr ethn Thou driedst up the rivers of Etham *
The Hebrew literally reads "perpetual rivers" or "ever-flowing streams." But the LXX translators chose to leave ethn untranslated, making it a proper name
77 Silo Shiloh Σιλώμ Shiloh Shiloh
82 Ismaelites Ishmaelites Ἰσμαηλῖται Ishmaeli Ishmaelites
82 Asshur Assur Ἀσσοὺρ Asshur Asshur
82 Madianites Midianites Μαδιὰμ Midyan Midianites
82 Kison Kishon Κεισών· Kishon Kishon
82 Zeb Zeeb Ζὴβ Z'eb Zeb
82 Zeba Zebah Ζεβεὲ Zabach Zeba
82 Salmana Zalmunna Σαλμανὰ Tsalmunna Salmana
86 Tyre Tyre Τύρος Tsor Tyre
86 Morians Ethiopia Αἰθιόπων Kush Ethiopia
105 Abiram Abiram Ἀβειρών· Abiram Abiram
105 Baal-peor Baalpeor Βεελφεγὼρ Ba'al P'or Baalpeor
109 Melchisedech Melchizedek Μελχισεδέκ Malki Tsedeq Melchizedek
119 to dwell with Mesech I sojourn in Mesech ἡ παροικία μου ἐμακρύνθη Meshek My sojourning is prolonged (The Greek and Hebrew texts differ here.)
131 Ephrata Ephratah Ἐφραθᾷ 'Ephrathah Ephratah
132 Hermon Hermon Ἀερμὼν Chermon Hermon
134, 135 Sehon king of the Amorites Sihon king of the Amorites Σηὼν βασιλέα τῶν Ἀμοῤῥαίων 'Emori Amorites


Names found in the LXX and not in Coverdale

Most of these entries are from the Greek superscriptions, which are not properly part of Coverdale's translation. I added the superscriptions to our text based on those in Brenton, without paying much attention to spelling, as I assumed names should be dealt with later, all at once for the sake of consistency.

Psalm Coverdale KJV Greek Hebrew Recommendation
7 (No superscription) Cush the Benjamite. Χουσὶ υἱοῦ Ἰεμενεί Kush Cush the Benjamite
33 (No superscription) Abimelech Ἀβιμέλεχ Abimelek Abimelech
38, etc (No superscription) Jeduthun Ἰδιθούν Y'duthun Jeduthun
41, etc (No superscription) Korah Κορέ Qorach Korah
50 (No superscription) Nathan Νάθαν Nthn Nathan
50 (No superscription) Bathsheba Βηρσαβεέ Bath Sheba Bathsheba
51 (No superscription) Doeg the Edomite Δωὴκ τὸν Ἰδουμαῖον Doeg Edomi Doeg the Edomite
51 (No superscription) Ahimelech Ἀβιμέλεχ Achimelek Ahimelech
52, 87 (No superscription) Mahalath μαελέθ· Machalath Mahalath
53 (No superscription) Ziphims Ζιφαίους Zifi Ziphites
55 (No superscription) Gath Γέθ Gath Gath
59 (No superscription) Aramnaharaim Μεσοποταμίαν Συρίας 'Aram Naharayim

Mesopotamia of Syria* 

59 (No superscription) Aramzobah Συρίαν Σοβά 'Aram Tsobh Syrian Zobah *
  *cf. Boston "Mesopotamia of Syria and Syrian Zobah"; Brenton "Mesopotamia of Syria, and Syrian Sobal". 'Aram is a Hebrew name for Syria (Hence the Syriac language is called Aramaic.) Hebrew 'Aram Naharayim literally Syria of the rivers. Greek Syria between the rivers, or Syrian Mesopotamia. Hebrew 'Aram Tsobh literally Syria of Zobah (a portion of Syria which in the times of Saul, David, and Solomon formed a separate kingdom northeast of Damascus).
59 (No superscription) Joab Ἰωάβ Yoab Joab
70 (No superscription) (No superscription) Ἰωναδὰβ Elsewhere: Ynadab Jonadab (cf. 2 Sam 13)
75 (No superscription) Neginoth Ἀσσύριον Neginath A song for the Assyrian
79 (No superscription) Shoshannimeduth Ἀσσυρίου Shoshannim eduth A psalm concerning the Assyrian (Hebrew lit. Lilies of Testimony)
87 (No superscription) Heman the Ezrahite. Αἰμὰν τῷ Ἰσραηλίτῃ. Heman Ezrachi Heman the Israelite
88 (No superscription) Ethan the Ezrahite. Αἰθὰμ τῷ Ἰσραηλίτῃ. Ethan Ezrchi Ethan the Israelite
136 (No superscription) (No superscription) Ἱερεμίου Elsewhere: Yirm'yahu Jeremiah
137, etc (No superscription) (No superscription) Ἀγγαίου (Nothing corresponds) Haggai
137, etc (No superscription) (No superscription) Ζαχαρίου Elsewhere: Z'karyahu Zechariah
143 (No superscription) (No superscription) Γολιάδ Goliath