Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

so it may be well retained ; and that no temptation to add it appears: that Saul's question, which Abuer could not answer, was not concerning David's person but his family, which, if they ever knew it, might easily have slipt out of their memories : that young people's affections are naturally sudden and warm, and the bravery and modesty of David might justly strike Jonathan in the manner slescribed; that setting him over the men of war may mean, not making him general, but captain of a particular corps, possibly answering in some degree to what the French call gens d'armes: that Saul might in a frantic fit throw a javelin at David, and yet afterwards make his disorder his excuse, considering, when calmer, that the most politic way of destroying so popular a man was exposing him to danger in a post of honor ; that c. 13. v. 18. David speaks to Saul,, and might think it more prudent to speak with humility of himself than reproach him with ill treatment: that 2 Sam. 21: 8:2713 should be written for 5092 who was certainly David's wife, which conjecture is confirmed by the Syriac version wbich hath 27), a word near a kin to 2973, instead of 50 : that if we could not understand the word Dinw) i Sam. 18. 21. at all, this would not prove the clause in which it is to have been inserted afterwards; but that senses both grammatical and true are assigned to it by interpreters, as may be seen in Poole and others: that David might out of gallantry, do twice as much as was required of him, and yet mention afterwards only so much as was required; and that a transcriber of the Greek version might falsely think the member wrong and alter it; that Saul's fear of David might well be increased by his daughter's love of him, because it must increase his popularity, and engage her endeavours to defeat any designs against him, and cut off a pretence which might else have been a plausible one to ruin him; but that still it must be owned the Greek translator, according to the Alexandrine as well as Vatican copy, seems to have read whether rightly or

: that as the connexion in the Vatican copy between c. 18. and c. 19. is very good, so is that in the Alexandrine and Hebrew and all other copies. How the Vatican copy comes in these chapters to have so much less than others, I know not, but in the Septuagint version, as it is called, many passages are left out of all copies which are now in the Hebrew, and we have no cause to think were not originally there.-Generally speaking, haste seems to have induced some of the translators, for different books were translated by different persons, to take this liberty : or they had an imperfect copy, or they were afraid of making some of the book seeni tedious, or possibly in some cases, of things seeming inconsistent. Thus Grabe de vitiis, &c. observes that in the single book of Jereiniah,

VOL. XX. CI. JI. NO. XXXIX. N

and lastly :מיכל בתשאול אהבתהו for מ כל ישראל אהבהו wrongly

order

[ocr errors]

the Septuagint hath above 130 verses besides parts of verses less ihan the Hebrew; and that the early Christian writers, except St. John who used the original, cite nothing which ţhe Septuagint omits.--Yet surely, one would not leave out all this. Whether the Vatican or Alexandrine copies represent the Greek version, as it stood at first in these chapters, more faithfully, I cannot say. Perhaps one might form some judgment from Montfaucon's Hesapla, and Sabatier's edition of the fragments of the old Latin version which was taken from the Septuagint before Jerom took his from the Hebrew. But I have them not here. Mr. Warburton in his second volume of the Divine Legation endeavours to account for several difficulties in this part of David's history, by supposing the writer, pot to have kept to 'the

of time, but to have had his reasons for going beyoud, things, and then returning back to then :, I would not suppose more of this than appears to be necessary., But the writers of the bistorical books, by the whole contexture of their varration, seem not to have been supernaturally restrained from repetitions, from giving imperfect accounts in one place which are supplied in another, from quitting the artificial rules of method, and leaving room for many doubts and objections. Some causes for permitting these things may perhaps be assigned, and others of more weight unknown. But such things there are, nor can any probable alterations,.I apprehend, free the text from all of them or nearly all, and therefore one would not make too bold ones to get rid of any; but rather consider how far the genius of the author, the age, or the country, or any suppositions not unreasonable will enable us to account for them; and recollect that perhaps there might have been originally a good account given, where now we can give none. I am sensible that this way of solving difficulties may be carried too far; and therefore would have bölh ways used with judgment and moderation.

I proceed now to your Sermon, . The first proposition of it is undoubted ; and I am entirely persuaded of the second. But I am not yet satistied that the knowledge was so clear and given in so many places and phrases as Mr. Peters and you think. come after : but whether in this life or another or both cannot be inferred from the word alone. Balaam may mean, Let the latter part and conclusion of my days be like that of the righteous: and this may imply no more than, Let me die after a comfortable and honorable passage through the world, a natural and easy, death in a good old age, and leave a flourishing posterity behind me, as good men'in those times usually did. Thus OTTK will imply something more Man death. “But were it to be liere just the same, repetition in

will naturally signify what is to אחרית ,signifying after אחר

באחרית .1

.49

as Jacob saith Genesis באחרית הימים ,it here

[ocr errors]

different words to enforce and express more strongly is perpetual in scripture, and should not be called tautology, as that word denotes au improper repetition. Or Balaam may mean singly the persons who are to come after him, his posterity. For so the word DIN signifies: Psalm 109. 13. Dan. 11. 4. Amos 4. 2. And numerous and prosperous descendants were accounted a main ingredient in happiness. Accordingly the Septuagint translate nung here by σπέρμα, .

The wish of Moses may be that the Israelites would consider the consequences of their conduct to themselves in the latter part of their lives, to their rimmediate prosperity or to their Commonwealth in future ages : els tò inlorta xpóvoy as the Septuagint have

, 1. Onlayd as the angel saith Dan. 8. 23. though speaking of other persons. · Rewards being things which come after actions either necessarily or by the will of some superior, m'nx may well mean reward. So it is rightly translated Proverbs 24. 10. where it would be very wrong to put, There shall be no future state for the wicked.

And ihis leads to the same translation of Proverbs. 23. 18. and 24. * 14. In like manner apy, the heel or hinder or latter part, signifies Teward. Ps. 19. 12. And James 5. 11. sò témos Kuplou is the reward which God gave in the end to Job's patience. ,

The Dons Deuter. 8. 16. may be in this life, as was that of Job 40. 12. And the same thing holds concerning the other

texts which you cite.-1999 is certainly a word of greater extent - than hell in our common speech; for Ps. 89. 49. Eccl. 9. 10.

speak of all men as going thither. And Jacob says his , sons will bring down bis grey hairs thither, Gen. 44. 29. And the Psalmist saith, his life draws nigh to bau Ps. 88. 3. 4. And Jonah cried to God from the belly of 5186 2. 2. From many other passages of scripture it appears to comprehend the state and place of men after

death, in respect of their souls and bodies. It is represented as . bemg under ground even in the case of the good prophet Sanuel : - and is oftener described by negative ideas, as darkness, silence, inac

tivity, than by positive ; probably because but little had been "Tevealed concerning it. Whence also the punishment of being sent to its prematurely, and so deprived of the blessings of this life, is brought more into view than any thing suffered afterwards. Yet there are intiniations both of sufferings and enjoyments; but most of them so highly tigurative as to be somewhat obscure.

In Deuter. 32. 22. the fire which shall burn into Ty the lowest bell, or the bixw, beneath, is so mixed with temporal judgments that it seems to be one of them, under the image of a fame not only consuming the surface of the ground but piercing deep into its substance. Had it related to punishments after death it would

rather have been said to burn in bow than unto it. Ps. 9. 17. and Prov. 13. 24. may be understood of the longer life usually granted to good men than to bad ; 'according to that of the Psalmist, Thou shalt bring them into the pit of destruction : blood thirsty and deceitful ineu shall not live out half their days. Ps. 55. 23. 24. 25. Is. 5. 14. seems by the context to express the disappearance of the Jewish Commonwealth at the time of the captivity, as if it bad been swallowed down into the heart of the earth. And this extinction of its pomp and glory brings to mind the case of Capernaum ; in which as heaven does nat mean the blessedness, so neither doth "Ains opposed to it, the sufferings of another world; but the one high privileges, the other low abasement in this.

The word '897 sometimes means' a particular nation, somgtimes persons of a gigantic stature, possibly because sprung from, or like to that nation, sometimes the dead perhaps before their time, possibly because that nation had been extirpated and destroyed by the neighbouring ones. However that be, surely the sense of Ps. ss. 10. is not, “ Wilt thou show wonders unto the dead bodies, or shall the departed souls of the damned arise and praise thee 1" The Psalmist appears to have had himself in viev. He was in danger of death as appears particularly from v. 3. 15. and deprecates it from this principle, that in the grave he should not be able to do God the service which he hoped to do by a longer continuance upon earth. Death and the O'XD7 seem synonymous, Prov. 2. 18. and an untimely death to be meant, which v. 21. 22. confirm. I think Prov. 21. 16. means to say, that the wauderings of such a one sball give him no rest, till they bring him into the number of those who have been prematurely cut off before him. The word translated remain is literally rest.

The D'897 Is. 14. 9. &c. are not represented as in a state of torment, but the kings as sitting on their throues; and they do not say to the king of Babylon, Thou art become miserable, but weak as we: and the worm is not described as gnawing his conscience, but crawling over his carcase: and the circumstance of its being left unburied would be too slight for mention, if he were considered here as under the execution of God's justice on his soul. The whole therefore seems, beginning from v. 4. a inost noble and sublime ode, not on the eternal punishment, but the temporal destruction of that monarch. And the triumph of the D'897 is as poetical as that of the fir trees and cedars of Lebanon. Dr. Lowili's illustration of it, in his treatise of the sacred poesy of the Hebrews, is admirable.

In citing Exod. 31. 14. The translation of should not have been changed from for to moreover, without giving notice; indeed

I think should not be changed at all, but the latter part of the verse be understood as a repetition of what preceded, by way of confirmation; specifying at the same time more explicitly what was the profanatiou principally meant. The phrase may be cut off, may everywhere mean, either being excluded from the congregation, or put to death by the magistrate, or brought to an untimely end by God; which last is the sense where God saith he will cut off a person. It implies removing or separating a man from the state, place, or company in which he was before ; and death without regard to what should follow; cut off a Jew from Israel, from the congregation, from his people, from among his people, from the land or the earth, which are the terms used on this occasion. It is said Joshua 7. 9. the Canaaniles shall cut off our. name from the earth and Joshua 11. 21. that Joshua cut off the Anakims from all the mountains of Israel--and Judges 21. 6. that one tribe was cut off from Israel-and 1 Sanı 28.9. tbat Saul cut off the wizards out of the land 1777 13. These expressions which are in effect the same with the preceding, have no reference to a future life. And it is vever said that the offender shall be cut off from God's people; though if it had, no conclusive argument could be drawn from thence. But the words my people cited, are either a false print or a slip of your pen for my presence.

Nor is any one said to be gathered to God's people but to his own people. And this phrase may possibly signify no more than that their bodies returned to the earth as those of their ancestors had done. See Gen. 3. 19. Eccl. 12. 7. And it favors this sense that the word translated to be gathered, signifies to be buried. Ezek. 29. 5. comp. Jer. 8. 2. And as being unburied is a punishment threatened to a wicked king Jer. 22. 19. so in Job 27. 19. shall lie down and not be gathered, may signify may die and not be buried. At least, it is remarkable that this word is used for the burial of Josiah immediately after it is said, that he should be gathered to liis fathers., Still I take the expression of being gathered to their people, to mean being added to the world of spirits. For it is put before dying, Numb. 20. 26. which burial could not so properly. But I do not see that it comprehends a declaration of their happiness in that world. It is used only in the law, and there only of six persons.' No wonder that five of them were good : for the death of bad persons, unless remarkably judicial, is not so often mentioned there. But the blessing of Ishmael Gen. 17. 20. expresses only temporal good things, and his character Gen. 16. 12. is a bad one. And Abraham's beirg gathered to his people seems to be the same thing with bis going to his fathers Gen. 15. 15. And a wicked man is said to go to the generation of his fathers Ps. 49. 19.; and the worst of the Hebrew kings as well as the best to sleep with their fathers : in

« AnteriorContinuar »