Thee & Thou in the Bible

The Importance of Thee’s and Thou’s in the Word of God

 It really becomes quite difficult to tell who is being addressed without being able to distinguish properly between singular and plural pronouns.

Ambiguity arises from not properly translating singulars and plurals.

Exodus 29:42, “This shall be a continual burnt offering
throughout YOUR generations at the door of the tabernacle of
the congregation before the LORD where I will meet YOU, to
speak there unto THEE.”  The *you*, referring to the children
of Israel, is explained in the following verse, but *thee*
refers to Moses, who had the holy privilege of hearing the
words of God directly (Leviticus 1:1).  And yes, before Jeff
Doles asks, I believe a tape recorder would have picked them

2 Samuel 7:23, “An what nation in the earth is like THY
people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people
to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for YOU great
things and terrible, for THY land, before THY people, which
THOU redeemedst to THEE from Egypt.” Here David prayed to God in the second person singular, but referred to the people of
Israel as YOU.  What confusion could result if this important
distinction were done away?  It could be incorrectly thought
that David was praying in part to the nation — or that the
land belonged to the people and not to God.  Either
misconstruction invites error.

Matthew 26:64, “Jesus saith unto him, THOU has said:
nevertheless I say unto YOU, hereafter shall YE see the Son of
man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the
clouds of heaven.” THOU refers to the High Priest.  YE and YOU
are open to some interpretation, but AT LEAST include all
those who were standing there IN ADDITION to the high priest.

John 3:7, 11, “Marvel not that I said unto THEE, YE must be
born again.” The message was spoken to the individual
Nicodemus, but obviously has wider application.  So also at
verse 11, “I say unto THEE…that YE receive not our witness.”

1 Corinthians 8:9-12, “Take heed lest…this liberty of
YOURS….  If any man see THEE which hast knowledge… through
THY knowledge…but when YE sin.” The plural form likely
refers to all church members, but the singular form to those
in responsibility.

I would invite readers to get out a “modern” translation that
has dropped the use of the 2nd person singular/plural
distinction and read these passages along with Numbers
16:8-11; Deuteronomy 4:3; 1 Kings 9:5-6; Isaiah 33:2-4;
Matthew 5:39; Matthew 6:4-7; Matthew 11:23-24; Matthew
18:9-10; Matthew 18:22-35; Matthew 20:21-22; Matthew 23:37-38;
Mark 14:37-38; Luke 5:4; Luke 6:30-31; Luke 9:41; Luke
10:13-14; Luke 16:25-26; Luke 22:31-32; John 1:50-51; James
2:16; etc.

Surely you will notice that replacing “thou/thee/thy/thine”
with the ambiguous “you” does NOT clarify, but tends to muddy
the Scriptures.

Perhaps also, as a result of these few posts, there will be a
greater appreciation for the important distinctions that are
retained by the AV.  Rather than seeing “thou/thee/thy/thine”
as a reason for adopting a MODERN translation, we should see
them as being a more accurate depiction of the WORDS GOD