DUBLIN (Reuters) - An ancient Irish manuscript found in a bog last week does not refer to "wiping out Israel", the National Museum of Ireland said on Thursday, after a flood of enquiries wondering at the timing of the discovery.
The National Museum of Ireland announced on Tuesday what it said was one of the most significant Irish discoveries in decades; an ancient Psalter or Book of Psalms, written around 800 AD. It said part of Psalm 83 was legible.
In modern versions of the Bible, Psalm 83 is a lament to God over other nations' attempts to wipe out Israel and many commentators wondered at the coincidence of such a discovery at a time of heightened tension in the Middle East.
"The above mention of Psalm 83 has led to misconceptions about the revealed wording and may be a source of concern for people who believe Psalm 83 deals with 'the wiping out of Israel'," the museum said in its clarification.
The confusion arose because the manuscript uses an old Latin translation of the Bible known at the Vulgate, which numbers the psalms differently from the later King James version, the 1611 English translation from which many modern texts derive.
"The Director of the National Museum of Ireland ... would like to highlight that the text visible on the manuscript does not refer to wiping out Israel but to the 'vale of tears'," the museum said.
The vale of tears is in Psalm 84 in the King James version.
"It is hoped that this clarification will serve comfort to anyone worried by earlier reports of the content of the text," the museum said.