Images de page


o to boths, but the particle nx, composed of the first and last letters of the Hebrew Alphabet, (represented in the Apocalypse by the first and last letter of the Greek" Alphabet, A and N, the Alpha and the Omega.) He wishes to impress upon their minds the truth of what he had said—This do, and ye shall not die ;for he who says so " fears," not a pretended Mighty one, but “ THE VERY OMNIPOTENT.” In the most pathetic scene, where he makes himself known to his brethren, the use of the prefix again occurs—“ Be not grieved .... that ye sold me hither : for OMNIPOTENCE (

Dx] did send me before you to preserve life.

yea OMNIPOTENCE sent me before to preserve "you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives

by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but THE OMNIPOTENT

Haste you to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, OMNIPO“TENCE (D1%8] hath made me lord of all Egypt ; come down unto me, tarry not.(xlv. 5—9.)

It may be useful here to present another passage, calculated to show the energy that attaches to the word Elohim, when rendered according to its true import ; and especially when the prefixed n is duly regarded : and this is the more necessary, as the Greek article should have the same attention paid to it, whenever it occurs,

. [האלהים] *

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

though hitherto not sufficiently regarded by Translators.

In the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal (1 Kings, xviii.) the whole question was, Whether JEHOVAH or Baal was entitled to be acknowleged, and, consequently, worshipped, as The Onnipotent? but in the Common Version 'the sense is given so weakly, by Dobs being rendered God, and gods, that but few readers will perceive it.—The people being assembled, Elijah addresses them thus : 0. 21. How long halt ye between two persuasions ?

If JEHOVAH be THE ALL-POWERFUL One [Dubx7), follow after him : but if Baal, follow

after him. But the people answered him not a word.In v. 23. he proposes that the priests of Baal should prepare a heifer for an offering, but apply no fire to the wood, and that he would do the same,--adding, (v. 24.) Then call ye on the name of YOUR ALL-PowERFUL ONE (D), and I will call on the name

of JEHOVAH: and it shall be that THE ALL“ POWERFUL ONE [D%9587), who answereth in fire, he is The ALL-POWERFUL (0977380). Then answered all the people and said, The proposal is "good. (v. 25.) Then Elijah said to the prophet's "of Baal, Choose you one heifer for yourselves, and "prépare it first ; for ye are many : then call ye on the name of your ALL-POWERFUL ONE


(DS976x), but apply no fire.” The prophets having in vain invoked him whom they taught the people to worship as omnipotent, when noon came “ Elijah derided them, and said, Cry with loud voice: for he is All-POWERFUL [Db8]; but he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey : perhaps he is asleep and must be roused.' When the time of evening sacrifice had arrived, Elijab restored the altar of Jehovah, taking twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes : and, having prepared his sacrifice, and caused it and the wood to be drenched, till the water filled also a trench made around the altar, be said, (v. 36.) O JEHOVAH,Abraham's, Isaac's, " and Israel's ALL-POWERFUL ONE (768]! to-day. make, known in Israel that thou art ALL-Pow-,

ERFUL [D7%8], and that I am thy servant, and by

thy command have declared all these words. Hear me, O JEHOVAH, hear me, that this people may know, that thou JEHOVAH art the OMNIPO“TENT [OY687), and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then fire of JEHOVAH descended and consumed the offering, and allthe wood, also the entire stones, with the dust, and the very water which was in the trench. And when all the people beheld this, then they fell on their faces and said, JEHOVAH himself is THE ALL-POWER


Many other passages might be adduced to establish and illustrate the fact for which the above have been quoted; but the author 'persuades himself that these will be deemed quite sufficient to satisfy every attentive reader.


From the preceding remarks it is evident, that the Hebrew term Elohim is not a Proper Name, but an Attributive Noun; that it means, when employed personally, in its highest sense, The OMNIPOTENT, the All-POWERFUL, the ALLMIGHTY,--attributing to the CREATOR, thereby indicated, every species of power, ---POWERS UNLIMITED, whether might, force, or strength,authority, lordship, or dominion ; and that, in its lower sensé, when applied to men, it means Kings, Judges, Magistrates, Ruling Powers, in whatever manner their power 'may have been acquired, attributing to them those powers

which suit them, respectively, in the light in which they are contemplated. And hence it follows,-the import of this Hebrew Attributive Noun being Power, and not Goodness,-that the word God, which, in the language of our forefathers, meant Good, is not a proper translation of, but only a substitute for, the Hebrew noun Elohim.' "But if the circumstances in which our early Translators


were placed be duly considered, it will appear evident, that they ought not to be charged with want of fidelity in rendering the Hebrew word Elohim by the word God. In fact they could hardly have done otherwise. When the gospel was first preached to our forefathers, the text employed was the Latin Vulgate; and, of course, all that the preachers would aim at would be to find a proper term to indicate—not the philological meaning of the word Elohim, or of Deus, its Latin substitute, but—the Great Being thereby intended ; and as Deus was the term most com

i monly employed, in their text book, to designate the CREATOR, they would, most naturally, adopt for their Translation the term (or name) most commonly employed for that purpose in the language of their auditors. Thus the word God being already in use, as a name of the Deity, long before any of the English Translators commenced their labours, they could hardly do otherwise than adopt it ; especially when it is recollected that, with them, it is not likely it should even become a question, Whether the term in the original was an Attributive or a Proper Name?

And farther,—from all that has been stated, respecting the meanings which attach to the word Elohim, and to its Greek representative Theos, it is not unreasonable to conclude that,

« PrécédentContinuer »