"And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price." (1 Kings 10:28, KJV)
"And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price." (2 Chronicles 1:16, KJV)
“מקוה/מּקוא (miqveh)” is an ambiguous word. Some scholars split “מקוה” into the prepositional prefix "מ" (from) and "קוה" (Qveh) to render the phrase "from Kue (Keveh)”. “מקוה” is usually translated as “gathering” or its equivalent (Genesis 1:10, Exodus 7:19, Leviticus 11:36) or “hope” (Ezra 10:12, Jeremiah 14:8, 17:13). Brown-Driver-Briggs' gives "collected mass" as one of its definitions. A "linen yarn" is indeed a "collected mass" of interlocked fibers. The KJV translators most likely followed Tremmelius who rendered the word as "netum" (yarn) (Immanuel Tremellius, Biblia sacra: Vet. Testamenti sive libri canonici Judaeorum latini facti, 1602). Tremmelius may have followed the acclaimed Rabbi David Kimchi (1160–1235) who rendered " מקוה" as "linen thread" (1 & 2 Kings, The Soncino Books of the Bible: Hebrew text & English translation, edited by Rabbi Abraham Cohen and revised by Rabbi E. Oratz (New York : Soncino Press, 1990), p. 81).
Critics claim that the KJV translators chose “linen yarn” because of their ignorance of the modern archaeological discovery of Kue as a major exporter of horses. Such a criticism is presumptuous, however, because the Vulgate translates this word as “Coa,” a synonym of “Kue.” The translation of "קוה" as Kue would have been known to the KJV translators, and yet they rejected it. Archaeology is equally on the side of the KJV translators for ancient Egypt is known for its massive linen exports. Proverbs 7:16 and Ezekiel 27:7 indicate that Egyptian linen was favoured in the ancient world. In a passage that catalogues King Solomon’s collection of the best materials for the temple (in the Chronicle account), it may be unusual if the passage does not mention the import of Egyptian linen. 2 Chronicles 2:14 mentions that linen was one of the materials used for the temple. Egypt's two greatest exports were horses and linen. It is fitting that both of them are mentioned together in 1 Kings 10:28 and 2 Chronicles 1:16 in the KJV.
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