Images de page


native case; and this will perhaps, strike him with the more surprize from seeing that the next. words, και των επτά πνευμάτων, and from the

, , seven spirits,” follow the usual Greek construction: but his surprize will lessen when he reflects (see Dissert. v.) that ó xaì o nv xal ó sexóuevos, represent here the indeclinable Hebrew Noun 1737, JEHOVAH. The Hebrew not admitting, like the Greek, inflection in the oblique cases, the Writer puts these defining terms in what a Grecian would call the Nominative, should he overlook the care which John has taken to intimate, that they are to be taken as a Genitive, by his prefixing to them the article toũ in the Genitive case. That these terms are employed as a Definition is quite evident in Rev. i. 8., as already pointed out in the Fifth Dissertation. Nor is the passage in Rev. i. 8. the only one in which the Apostle has given this Definition. In iv. 8. we meet with " Holy, holy, holy Krpio the THEOE;" to which John immediately adds the same definition (only giving that of. Ocòs first) The OMNIPOTENT, the. He Was, and The Being, and the Coming One." I translate the words as literally as possible, to show that all the Apostle intends is, to express the past, pre

, sent, and future times of the Verb of existence 77 as noticed above. In cb. xi. 17. we meet

ch with these words: “ We thank thee, Kúple ó Osos ó

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

« παντοκράτωρ, ο ών και ο ήν,” in which again all the words after Oeòs are a definition, and should be read in parenthesis : and here it is remarkable that the whole term my seems not to have been employed, (for, as already stated, it is evident that all the dialogue of the Apocalyptic vision was in Hebrew,) but only on [Hovah), the [yod), the sign of the future, being left out, because the time of Christ's second coming is anticipated : for, when he shall have come, he will no longer be ó épxóuevos, the Coming One : accordingly this term is omitted in the definition in this place, and also in xvi.'5. where it again occurs.

But another reason, not yet assigned, calls for farther notice respecting such definitions. In all the versions the terms which, in Rev. i. 8., follow I am the Alpha and the Omega saith Kúpros é Oeds,” are rendered as 'additional titles, appropriated to himself by the Alpha and the Omega, but which, in the form in which they appear, if considered as titles, would involve an anomaly; for these terms, by the interposed Conjunctions and Articles, would express three individuals. This difficulty is got over, to be sure, by referring to the Verb, saith (réyei), which is in the singular; but this is to compromise the grammar of the Writer, where there is no necessity; for the words are not those of the previous

; Speaker, but of John, performing the office of a

philologist, and are not intended to be taken in construction with the Verb. But will not the same objection lie against the terms ó cv xai o fy xalo epxómeros, considered as those of John, as would when considered as those of the Alpha and the Omega? No; for John does not apply them to a person, but to the name of a person, which is quite another thing; and his definition simply affirms three distinct propositions, as being included in the name Kúpoos, when this Noun is employed to represent the Hebrew name JEHOVAH, any one of which, independent of either of the others, may be asserted as involved in the term, which he simply declares has this threefold meaning: THE BEING, that is, He who has being in himself, who is being in the abstract, and therefore the cause of being to every thing that has existence; also, the He WAS, that is, the being of whom alone it can be affirmed that he always was—always had existence-without a beginning; and THE Coming ONE, He who is without end of days. The third proposition however includes another idea : the Coming One” has reference, in particular, to what the OMNIPOTENT has made known respecting himself, that he will come to judge the world.

Instances of this kind occur frequently in the Apocalypse, that is, words put in the Nominative, where, from the intention of the Writer not

[ocr errors]

having been understood by critics, they have objected to their accuracy in a grammatical point of view, insisting that they should have been put in another Case. Thus in the 5th verse of the first chapter we read και από 'Ιησού Χριστού, ο μάρτυς και πιστός, and from JESUS Christ the faithful witness: here the Nouns 'Ino oũ Xplotoü are, according to regular usage, put in the Genitive, being preceded by anò, which never governs any other Case; but the words that follow are in the Nominative.

The reason, though at first sight not so apparent, is at bottom the same as in the preceding example of this kind of construction, ο μάρτυς και πιστός representing here the indeclinable Hebrew - noun 128, Amen, as may be seen in ch. iii. v. 14, where, having expressed the Hebrew word in Greek letters—thus saith THE AMEN” (ò durin), the Writer instantly gives a Greek translation of the Hebrew term, adding ó páptus ó TICTÒs, thereby intimating that, wherever he uses this Greek expression, he speaks of him who, in the Old Testament scriptures, is called “ The Amen;" it is owing to a similar cause that the words which follow these in the text, namely ó apaTÓTOXOS ........ äpxwv, the First-born from the dead, and The Prince (or Ruler), are also found in the Nominative. The Apostle here applies other two indeclinable Hebrew Nouns to JESUS CHRIST, viz. 7122 [bechor] and opby (elioun), thus informing the reader that these epithets, applied to the Messiah in Psal. lxxxix. 27, belong to Jesus CHRIST-or, in other words, that he alone is the Messiah; and by the other words which be introduces," from the dead,"'--explaining the sense in which he is called “the first-born,” in the Psalm from which John takes the epithet. In the Common Version the supplement myalters the sense of the proposition, which is, “ I will make (or constitute) him First-Born, [I “ will constitute him] ELIOUN (the Most High),or, according to John's translation, "THE PRINCE

(or RULER) over the kings of the earth.But these and similar definitions, translations, and explanations, introduced into his work by the Writer of the Apocalypse, shall not be insisted on farther at present, as they necessarily must come into discussion in another work (should the author be blessed with health sufficient to enable him to finish it), to which the present volume is intended as a prelude. Enough, however, has been said to prove that they involve no violation of Grammar. Had they been put into that form of construction for which critics have in vain been looking, the whole sentence in which any of them occur would have conveyed a different sense from that intended by the writer, and the church would have lost that important instruc

« PrécédentContinuer »