WHAT DOES “SITH” MEAN IN EZEKIEL 35:6?
by Shawn Brasseaux
In Ezekiel 35:6, the King James Bible reads: “Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: sith thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee.” What exactly is “sith?” Is that a mistranslation or typographical error?
According to The Oxford English Dictionary, our word “since” can be traced back to Middle English. More specifically, “since” is the contracted form of the obsolete word “sithence,” derived from “sithen” (meaning “thereupon, afterwards, ever since”). We should not think of “sith” as a mistranslation or spelling mistake; it is simply an archaic variant of “since.” Provided we have not adopted the prevalent, arrogant spirit of “scholarship”—“I know more about English than the English Bible does!”—that “old-fashioned” Authorized Version can afford us the opportunity to learn a new word, expand our vocabulary, and better appreciate our language. Of course, if that is too inconvenient, we can rather be lazy-minded, refuse to do any thinking or research, and write off something we do not understand as just an error.
Getting back to Ezekiel 35:6, the sense is this: “Mount Seir (Arabs, Edomites), sith [since] you have not hated blood or war, even blood or war will pursue you.” War never leaves the warmongers. Here is intense violence, JEHOVAH God destroying the Arab and Muslim world for their perpetual hatred toward the Jewish people. The Book of Obadiah goes into great detail here, although Ezekiel chapter 35 in its entirety, Jeremiah 49:7-22, and Amos 1:11-12 should be read in this regard too. At Christ’s Second Coming, all of Israel’s enemies will be judged and defeated. See our “10 toes” study linked below.