NAVEL (nā'vĕl, Heb. shōr). Following the LXX, a different reading has been suggested in Prov.3.8: she’ēr, “muscle, body” (so niv). In Ezek.16.4 the reading “navel” has been retained in the sense of the umbilical cord (so niv) not being cut; a picture of an unwanted, untended baby.
, umbilical cord
), used only twice in the OT (RSV). In Ezekiel 16:4
the emergence of Jerusalem into civic life is likened to the birth of a female foundling left to die in the open, had it not been rescued. It had not received the usual care given to a new-born child, including the tying of the umbilical cord. Without this precaution arterial blood would flow from the infant’s arteries and escape from the raw surface of the afterbirth until the child would be drained of blood.
For literary or linguistic reasons navel in KJV (Judg 9:37; Prov 3:8 and Job 40:16) is tr. “center,” “flesh,” and “loins” respectively in the RSV.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
(shor. The Septuagint in Pr 3:8 suggests a different reading, namely, instead of shorrekha, sherekha equals she’erkha, "thy flesh")): The King James Version translates the Hebrew sharir in the description of Behemoth (Job 40:16) by "navel," where modern translators have substituted "muscles"; similarly in the translation of shorer (So 7:2) it has been replaced by "body.", There remain two passages of the Revised Version (British and American) where "navel" is retained as the translation of shor. Thus we find the word used, pars pro toto, for the whole being: "It (the fear of Yahweh) will be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones" (Pr 3:8). The uttermost neglect which a new-born babe can experience is expressed by Ezekiel: "In the day thou wast born thy navel (i.e. umbilical cord) was not cut neither wast thou washed in water to cleanse thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all" (Eze 16:4).