Images de page
PDF
ePub

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

190. The other principal dialect, the Arabic, is fomewhat more remote from the Hebrew, but analogous enough for fitting it to throw light upon it; and, its being ftill a living language, and one in which there is a multitude of books, makes it very ufeful for that purpose.

Simon, V. T. 1. 2. c. 16. Schultens, ib. § 14-21. Oratio de Lingua Arab. Bochart. Hier. Præf. Phaleg. 1. 1. c. 15. Walton, Prol. 14. § 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14.

191. From it, the Rabbins received fome affiftance in restoring the Hebrew language, but not much; it has been more extenfively, and very fuccefsfully, applied by feveral Chriftian writers, to the illuftration of Scripture.

Bochart. L. de Dieu. Fuller. Pococke. Schultens, Orig.
Heb.

192. Befides these principal dialects, there are fome lefs confiderable branches.

193. The Samaritan dialect is a mixture of Hebrew with the feveral 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 Abyffinian 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 fome degree to the illustration of Scripture.

Simon, ib. c. 16. Bochart. L. de Dieu. Hottinger. Ludolf. Hift. Ethiopic. Comment. Schultens, ib. § 22, 23. Walton, Prol. 15. § 6, 7, 8.

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

Schultens, ib. 5, 6, 7.

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

SECT. II.

The Necessity and Propriety of seeking Assistance from the Kindred Languages.

197. THE Old Teftament, 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 fize contains of any other language.

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

language;

[ocr errors]

language; and that it does not, there is internal evidence, from its having roots without their derivatives, or derivatives without their roots; befides, that it cannot be supposed sufficient for ascertaining the precise fignification of all the words found in it, which seems, in some instances, to have been very early loft by the Jews.

Schultens de Defect. Ling. Heb. Orig. Heb. T. 1. Intr. T. 2.
Intr.

Even the 70 version retains fome Hebrew words, as not knowing how to translate them. 2 Kings xii. 7. 12. Bidex. ch. xxiii. 7. καδήσιμο 1 Chron. xxix. 2. σοαμ. Job. xxxix. 13. νεελασσα, ασίδα, νεσσα.

199. From these circumstances arifes a neceffity of having recourse to the languages most akin to it, that from them we may, as much as poffible, fupply the deficiencies of the Hebrew, as it ftands in the Bible, and learn its full extent.

200. The propriety of illuftrating the language of the Bible, from thofe akin to it, arifes from their affinity to it in every material refpect, being fo great, as to fit them for throwing very confiderable light on the remains of the Hebrew.

201. It is by those who understood not the original dialects, or understood them but imperfectly, that the propriety of applying them to the illuftration of Scripture, has been called in queftion; they who understood them beft, have always agreed that the application of them

them is a legitimate mean of criticism, and of very very great utility.

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

SECT. III.

Uses of the Kindred Languages in determining the true Reading.

203. THE Kindred Languages may lead us to difcover the occafions of such false readings as transcribers, unskilled in the Hebrew, but accustomed to fome 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 being corrupted, by fhewing that the common reading is fufceptible of the very fenfe which that place requires.

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

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

SECT. IV.

༡་

Uses of the Kindred Languages in Interpreting
Scripture.

207. It is chiefly to the interpretation of Scripture, that 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 fo, point out the fignifications of these derivatives, and either clear the fenfe, or improve the beauty, of the paffages in which they occur.

Schultens de Defect. Ling. Heb. c. I. § 11, &c. Orig. Heb. ¡n (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 inexhauftibly rich." Hence the adjective in, rendered" hard, rough, strong, brave, fevere, powerful," &c. fignifies, 1." Ever-flowing. '

99 Amos v. 24. "Let judgment run down

as waters, and righteoufness as a mighty ftream," an ever

flowing

« PrécédentContinuer »