Images de page

would contribute much to the illustration of Scripture, were it not that there are very few books extant in it?

Walton, ib.

190. The other principal dialect, the Arabic, is somewhat more remote from the Hebrew, but analo. gous enough for fitting it to throw light upon it; and, its being still a living language, and one in which there is a multitude of books, makes it very useful for that purpose. Simon, V. T. I. 2. c. 16. Schultens, ib. 14--21. Oratio

de Lingua Arab. Bochart. Hier. Præf. Phaleg. I. 1. c. 15. Walton, Prol. 14. s 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14.

191. From it, the Rabbins received some assistance in restoring the Hebrew language, but not much ; it has been more extensively, and very successfully, applied by several Christian writers, to the illustration of Scripture. Bochart. L. de Dieu. Fuller. Pococke. Schultens, Orig.


192. Besides these principal dialects, there are some less considerable branches.

193. The Samaritan dialect is a mixture of Hebrew with the several languages of the colonies transported into Samaria ; but little light can be derived from it, because there are very few books written in it.

194. The Ethiopic, or Abyssinian language, has a great affinity to all the oriental dialects, but greatest to the Arabic, from which it is immediately derived ; and it has been applied in some degree to the illustration of Scripture.

Simon, ib. c. 16. Bochart. L. de Dieu. Hottinger. Lu

dolf. Hift. Ethiopie. Comment. Schultens, ib. $ 22, 23. Walton, Prol. 15. , 6, 7, 8.

195. The Rabbinical Hebrew is a mixture of several languages, which cannot' be of great use for illustrating Scripture, but ought not, perhaps, to be totally despised.

Schultens, ib. Ø 5, 6, 7.

196. The Latin is near akin to the Greek; which, however, needs little illustration from it.


The Necessity and Propriety of seeking Assistance from

the Kindred Languages.

197. The Old Testament, comprehending books on different subjects, by many different authors, and in very different ages, does contain more of the Hebrew language than any volume of the fame size contains of any other language.

198. Yet, being the only book extant in Hebrew, it is impossible that it should contain the whole of that


language; and that it does not, there is internal evi.
dence, from its having roots without their derivatives,
or derivatives without their roots; besides, that it can-
not be supposed sufficient for ascertaining the precise
signification of all the words found in it, which seems,
in some instances, to have been very early lost by the
Schultens de Defect. Ling. Heb. Orig. Heb. T. 1. Intr. T. 2.

Even the 70 version retains some Hebrew words, as not know-

ing how to translate them. 2 Kings xii. 7. 12. Bedex. ch.
xxiii. 7. radnoole i Chron. xxix. 2. couple. Job. xxxix. 13.
νεελασσα, ασιδα, νεσσα.

199. From these circumstances arises a necessity of having recourse to the languages most akin to it, that from them we may, as much as possible, supply the deficiencies of the Hebrew, as it stands in the Bible, and learn its full extent.

200. The propriety of illustrating the language of the Bible, from those akin to it, arises from their affi. nity to it in every material respect, being so great, as to fit them for throwing very considerable light on the remains of the Hebrew.

201. It is by those who understood not the original dialects, or understood them but imperfe&ly, that the propriety of applying them to the illustration of Scripture, has been called in question; they who understood them best, have always agreed that the application of them is a legitimate mean of criticism, and of very ! great utility.


202. The particular objections urged against that application, only prove that it may be abused, and ought to be made with proper limitations; but do not conclude against the use of it.


Uses of the Kindred Languages in determining the true


203. The Kindred Languages may lead us to discover the occasions of such false readings as transcribers, unskilled in the Hebrew, but accustomed to some of the other dialects, have made, by writing words in the form of that dialect, instead of the Hebrew form.

Houbig. Prol. p. 28.

204. The knowledge of the kindred languages often serves to prevent ill.grounded conjectures of a plac be. ing corrupted, by Thewing that the common reading is susceptible of the very sense which that place requires.

205. When different readings are found in copies of the Bible, the kindred languages may sometimes assist us in judging which of them ought to be preferred.

206. If these languages can be at all permitted to suggest a conjectural emendation of the text, it ought to be with the most cautious restrictions, and only when they few clearly how the present reading might have been naturally introduced.


Uses of the Kindred Languages in Interpreting


207. It is chiefly to the interpretation of Scripture, at the Kindred Languages are applicable; and for this purpose they are useful in many ways.

208. They discover many roots or primitives which are not found in the Bible, though their derivatives occur there; and by doing so, point out the significations of these derivatives, and either clear the sense, or im. prove the beauty, of the passages in which they occur.

Schultens de Defect. Ling. Heb. c. 1. 11, &c. Orig. Heb. ini (Arab.) 1. “ To continue running, ” as water. 2. “ To

continue (in general) to endure, to be permanent. 3. (metaph.) “ To be fat."

4. (metaph.) “ To be ines. haustibly rich.” Hence the adjective in, rendered - hard,

rough, strong, brave, fevere, powerful,” &c. fignifies, 1. “ Ever-flowing. Amos v. 24. “ Let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty Stream," an ever


« PrécédentContinuer »