3 Nephi 22:4 Added Phrase Unwarranted
The addition of the phrase “And shalt not remember the reproach of they youth” in 3 Nephi 22:4 is an obvious interpolation into the text, as it breaks the rhythm of the clauses in this poetic passage drawn from Isaiah 54.
This additional phrase is not attested before the 1837 edition of the Book of Mormon and appears to have been an inadvertent error that crept in by dittography during one of the revisions. It is likely that when the printer began setting the type for the next part, which reads, “and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more,” after the word “reproach,” his eye returned to the last word in the previous section, “youth,” which he then added. He then continued from the word “youth,” where it occurs in the original text, and did the last part of the verse again, this time properly, for he put “thy widowhood any more” in place of “thy youth.” The simple error does not reflect negatively on Joseph Smith’s translation.
There are examples of dittography in various Bible passages. For example, the Hebrew Text of Leviticus 20:10 contains a dittograph of five Hebrew words. The King James version (KJV) of the Bible renders it “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor’s wife.” The two are identical in the Hebrew, though KJV rendered the second occurrence of “the man” as “he.” The KJV translators often added the italicized word “even” to accommodate dittographs found in the Hebrew text.