There’s a passage from Job that’s part of the traditional Jewish funeral liturgy: Adonai natan v’Adonai lakakh; yehi shem Adonai m’vorakh. God gives, and God takes away; blessed be the name of God. Gives me shivers every time.

I’m generally not a fan of the KJV, but that’s because I see it — well, the first half of it, anyway — as a poor rendition of the Hebrew Scriptures. (I don’t know Greek, so I don’t know how well or poorly that committee rendered the Christian Scriptures.) It’s full of phrases that strike me as hopeless misunderstandings of the original Hebrew, and as a result I tend to scowl at it. But you’re right that it has a majesty to its language which isn’t present in a lot of the newer versions. I can respect the KJV as a work of great literature, even if I think it’s imperfect as a rendition of Hebrew scripture.

Have you seen Everett Fox’s Hebrew Bible? It’s just the Torah, the five books of Moses — no prophets or writings, alas, though I hope someday he’ll get around to those. The poetry is quite wonderful, and he does things with wordplay in the English which intentionally mimic the wordplay of the Hebrew. I like it a lot.