I received the following question:

Numbers 11:25 NKJV “Then the LORD came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again.

21st Century KJV “And the LORD came down in a cloud and spoke unto him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him and gave it unto the seventy elders; and it came to pass that, when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.

What’s the correct translation?  They continued to prophesy or they only did one time?

Well, the Companion Bible note here says, “did not cease. So the Vulgate; but Hebrew = “did not add” (so Septuagint and Syriac), i.e. did not add any more, or again, after that day. Compare Exodus 11:6, Deuteronomy 5:22, Job 38:11, I Samuel 19:24.”

In other words, the translation that suggests they did not stop prophesying comes from the Latin Vulgate, translated in the fourth century AD. The Hebrew, however, along with the Syriac (second century AD?) both have that they did not prophesy again after that day. It appears that the same Hebrew exists in the four verses he has encouraged us to compare with this one, and they clearly have the idea of not adding or speaking any more after a certain day.

It would appear that they spoke forth God’s words that day, but never did so again. They now had God’s power with them for judging, however, and would have had it freely available to use in whatever difficult matters they had to deal with in the future. The initial sign of them publically speaking the words of God, however, was just to prove to the people that they now indeed were qualified to act in the place of Moses, and was not something that needed to continue after that day.