Micah 2:9 - dream homes
You have evicted the wives of my people from their dream homes"Dream homes" jumped off the page at me. That is a word combination that carries a lot of positive feelings (connotations) for native English speakers.
I compared other versions to see how they had worded the English at the end of that sentence. I wanted to be sure that the ISV translation was still accurate, while using such a nice turn of phrase. Here is what some other versions have (boldfacing added by me):
The women of my people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses (KJV)The Hebrew word underlying the English adjectives ta'anugeha is inflected for 3rd person feminine as well as its syntactic role in the sentence. The basic stem can be glossed by several words, such as daintiness, luxury, exquisite delight, pleasantness, delight, comfort (BDB).
The women of My people you cast out From their pleasant houses (NKJV)
The women of my people you drive out from their pleasant houses (RSV, NRSV, NAB)
You drive the women of my people from their pleasant homes. (NIV, TNIV)
You drive the women of My people away from their pleasant homes. (NJPS)
You force the women among my people out of their pleasant homes (GW)
The women of my people you drive out from their delightful houses (ESV)
You wrongly evict widows among my people from their cherished homes. (NET)
You've forced the women of my people from their nice houses (NCV)
There are slight differences among the different wordings here, "pleasant," "delightful," "cherished," and "nice" houses (or homes). But they are all within the semantic range of the Hebrew word. So each of the versions above translate that word accurately. Each wording is natural English.
But I think that "dream houses" takes the prize. It requires translators with a particularly good grasp of attractive English style to come up with the occasional wording that sparkles within an English Bible translation, a wording that is used commonly enough and yet has connotations that help us understand as well as feel what the biblical text says. I like it when a Bible translation is not stylistically bland. When it is appropriate in a translation, it is nice to have wordings which help us *feel* the emotions of the text in a way that other wordings may not. But a translation needs to stay within some kind of norms for words that are widely used, while giving us savory idioms, figures of speech, and emotive connotations, when a biblical context calls for such literary color.
Translation is a balancing act between so many important factors: accuracy, faithfulness to English grammar, as well as English style that allows us to feel the style of the often picturesque, vivid, and powerful wordings of the biblical language texts.