Most Bible translations suffer a degree of distortion due to human shortcomings when translating from Hebrew to another language. The word ‘na’ (please) is one of the victims of this shortcomings, especially with the translation of the New Testament.
‘Na,’ please, appears 159 times in the New Testament, but the King James translation for example, completely ignores it 158 times! It looks like other translations ignore this important word as well. If fact, the English word ‘please’ (as the polite request) does not appear in the New Testament even once, despite the 158 times the Hebrew word is ‘na,’ please! What is the issue here? Is this intentional? Does it relate to the Greek culture at the time when ‘please’ might not have been favored culturally? If any one of you has an answer, please forward it us so that we can test it and then share it.
But facts remain facts! The expression: “I beseech you’ does appear a few times in the King James New Testament, but the Hebrew words in these verses are mostly ‘I demand!’ or another similar word with this connotation, but never ‘na’.
For contrast, ‘na’ appears 447 times in the Old Testament and in almost every single occurrence is translated. [This is the King James-based translation. I use this Bible as the most reliable and authoritative translation (next to the absolute correct origin: Hebrew) as it is accepted in Israel and across the Jewish world today. This Bible is the Hebrew/English Phonetic Bible that you see on the bottom of this page]. Disclaimer: Despite all this, there isn’t a perfect English Bible. We always recommend having some knowledge of Hebrew to people who really care to receive the Bible in its purest way. This relates to the New Testament, as well, because of the authoritative perfection of its two Hebrew versions.
Whereas ‘na’ is ignored in the New Testament, when ‘na’ appears in the Old Testament after a verb (such as ‘go,’ ‘come,’ ‘hear’ etc.), it is always translated as: Please, I beseech you, I beg you and so on, but never ignored.
“My son, please, give glory to the Lord God of Israel, and give thanks to him”
In some cases, when ‘na’, ‘please’ is not addressed directly to a person or to God (this is easily detected by the absence of a verb connected to it), the Bible translators tend to insert the word ‘now’ instead of ‘please,’ perhaps because of the sound proximity between ‘na’ and ‘now’. Although this is not exact, we can live with this because of a real absence of a better English word for these cases. We’ll continue with this subject tomorrow and will show you that God Himself says ‘please,’ although you are not likely to find it anywhere in your regular English translation. Please, ‘na,’ please don’t miss our Hebrew Word from the Lord tomorrow. You are guaranteed to be deeply moved!