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EXAMINATION OF ST. MATTHEW.
Continued from page 236.
That some of the books or writings of the prophets are lost to Us is certain. We read of the book of Nathan the prophet, the book of Gad the seer; these books are not now to be found, and some are of opinion the book of Jasher is also lost. But, however this may be, it is certain we have the writings, the scriptures, the books of all the prophets that were in being at the time the gospel according to St. Matthew was written, or even when St. Matthew is said to have lived; therefore, when St. Matthew is made to refer us to the books of the prophets, or the words of the prophets, which is the same thing, since we say aire D'kajn naia Bydebri Hanybeim Kathub, in the words of the prophets is written, or "\2~\2 3irt33 Hikathub Bydibbi, Sic. as is written in the words of the prophets; so that it is apparent that the words of the prophets means the books of the prophets—" what was spoken by the prophets are the words of the prophets." If this is correct, I am very much puzzled, for I find words quoted in St. Matthew as being spoken by the prophets, which are no where recorded in any part of the prophets. St. Matthew, chap. ii. v. 23. "And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, he shall be called a Nazarene" What the writer of St. Matthew could have intended by venturing such a quotation, (which is not to be found in any one of the prophets) as being spoken by several, if not all the prophets, must be left to those who hold him to have been inspired, to say. In fact, the prophets never said any thing like it; not only the exact words quoted by St. Matthew as having been spoken by them, are no where recorded by any one of them; but even no other set of words, signifying that the Messiah should be called a Nazarene. The Bible marginal references are to Judges xiii. 5. and 1 Samuel i. 11.
In Judges xiii. 5. are these words, " For lo, thou art bearing and shall give birth to a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. ^
And in 1 Samuel i. 11. thus, "And she vowed avow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him untothe Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head."
Now, in the name of common sense, do any of these quotation5 treat of the Messiah? or say any thing concerning a Nazarene? Both Sampson and Samuel were Nazarites, but not Nazarenes; Nazarene is a man from the town of Nazareth, and is thus expressed in Hebrew, njfu Notsree. Nazarite, means set apart, and is thus written in Hebrew, iu JYazar, so that Nazarite cannot intend Nazarene, and I can no where find that the Messiah was or is to be called a Nazarene, or Nazarite.
•• DzwiNtanSi DDyersh wtr xS kin Kub Sx
"And Joshua said unto the people, ye cannot-serve the Lord because he isElohim holy ones: he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions, nor your sins." Josh. xxiv. 19.
In plainer language Joshua could not have expressed himself to the people, on whom he wished to impress the impossibility, the utter impossibility of their serving the Lord as a plural God, as a God holy ones. This service, he tells them, is forsaking the Lord, is a trausgression and sin that he will not forgive, and which would cause their utter destruction, because he is a jealous God, that is, he is jealous of his worship; he tells them, verse 15, If it is evil in your sight to serve, the Lord, make your choice this day whom you will serve either the Elohim whom your fathers served, who are worshipped on the other side of the river Euphrates, oc the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell. Hence it appears to be more sinful for Israel to serve the Lord as a God holy ones as a plurality in unity, than it would have been to have chosen to worship strange gods. (God guard us.) This is the whole argument of Joshua—" And now fear the Lord and serve Him, D'DM with perfection (altogether) and with truth; and put away the Elohim
Whom your fathers served on the other side of the river (Euphrates,) and in Egypt, and serve the Lord, verse 14. His advice here is this, not only to serve the Lord, but to serve him in perfection and truth; alone and only; and the way to do this is to put away the Elohim who were formerly worshipped in Mesopotamia and Egypt; and serve the Lord without them. 15th. "But if it is evil in your sight to serve the Lord, take your choice this day whom you will serve; the Elohim whom your fathers served on the other side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose country you now are settled. But as for myself and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Explanation. But if, in your view, ye do not think proper to serve the Lord wholly and solely, then take your choice between the other two, which religion ye will embrace; either the Mesopotamian religion, or the religion of the Amorites. I also, for myself and family, take our choice. We will serve the Lord wholly and solely, with a perfect undivided service, and in truth.
Verse 16. "And the people answered and said, Far be it from us to forsake the Lord in order to serve other Gods." If we should follow your advice, we should then forsake the Lord, in order to serve other Gods. Far be this from us, this we will not do. 17. "For the Lord is our God, he it was who caused our being brought up from the land of'Egypt, from the house of servitude, and who performed in our sight those great signs, and hath preserved us in all the way wherein we have since gone, and among all the nations through whom we have passed.
18. " And the Lord drove out all these nations and the Amorites, the Aborigines of the country, from before us, even we will serve the Lord, for he is our God." We will make the same choice as you make, even we will serve the Lord. The first part of the proposition of Joshua to fear the Lord and serve him was thus conceded, but as to the second part, with perfection and truth, the concession did not so plainly appear, and Joshua might suppose they would not forsake the service of the Lord, jet intended to retain, (not put away) the idea of other Elohim; and this makes him explain as in the words of our text—" And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot (will not be able to) serve THE LORD because he is Elohim holy ones," do not think you can at all serve THE LORD and retain other Elohim, assigning, as a redson for so doing, that he is Elohim, holy ones, a plurality in unity. He is a jealous God, and will not allow such doings, he will not forgive these trespasses and sins.
20. For ye will forsake THE LORD, and serve strange Gods, and he will return and do you harm, and destroy you after he has benefitted you.
Explanation. If ye worship THE LORD, as Elohim, holy ones, y« forsake THE LORD, and serve strange Gods, the consequence in the end will be destruction.
21. And the people said to Joshua, none but THE LORD will we serve.
The people answered him, Nay we do not mean so, we intend to serve THE LORD only.
22. And Joshua said to the people, you bear testimony of yourselves, that of your own accord you have chosen THE LORD to serve him? and they said, we are witnesses.
23. And now (said he) put away the strange Gods which are amongst you, and incline your hearts to THE LORD, the God of Israel.
The second part of the proposition being now also conceded, THE LORD alone must be considered the God of Israel. "Put away the strange Gods, and incline your hearts to serve THE LORD alone."
24. And the people said unto Joshua, THE LORD our God we will serve and hearken to his voice.
We accept of THE LORD as our God, we will serve him and obey his voice.
According to the bible translation, (and indeed it is far from being alone in its reading) this 19th verse is not only a contradiction to the context, but is also untrue in doctrine, as well as incorrect in the rendering. In the context Joshua calls on the people to serve THE LORD. And in the 19th verse he says, ye cannot serve THE LORD; it is a contradiction to advise a course which cannot be pursued. It is not true in doctrine, for THE LORD can be worshipped, can be served, and if we serve THE LORD he will forgive our sins. .i It is incorrectly rendered, because Elohim is a noun proper, con
•sequently in the singula*, being here used as a name for God, and is joined with D'enp Kydoshim, holy ones, an adjective in the plural number, and its pronoun son Hue, he, is also singular, and therefore ought to have been rendered Elohim, holy ones is he, or he is Elohim holy ones, and not as the English bible has it, " he is an holy God," leaving the adjective holy in the singular, when, in the original, it is in the plural, and when as I have shown, the context of necessity requires it to be left in the plural, or else the whole sense of the argument is destroyed, and becomes contradictory, and the doctrine in reality false.
I was led to the explanation of this text by looking over, for a future number, David Levi's Lingua Sacra, article Elohim. Because those who, in their own thoughts are learned, and wise in their own conceits, themselves refusing to listen, yet presuming to teach, obtrude their weak, indigested cogitations on us, I am advised by those I revere, in some future number or numbers, to treat on that subject.
To me it appears very strange and unaccountable, how any one in his senses can hold forth, that Elohim, a noun proper, can be plural, because it has the D mem, or c yod men termination; as well might they say, that Thomas, or Jones, two English names, are plural; because they have the s, or es, termination; for if the one is the Hebrew, the other is the English, plural termination. For the present I must close this article, hoping, with the will of God, to resume it in some future number.
From Israel's Abvocate, Vol. 2. p. 28.
LONDON JEWS' SOCIETY.
"The Duke of Sussex, son of the late King, is President. The object of the Society is the education of poor Jews and their children. At the late annual meeting, the President called a little Hebrew girl, not seven years old, before him, and placed her on a table, in the presence of the assembly, where she recited an appropriate ode, from which the following stanza is selected:—
"By all the griefs that ye assuage,
By orphans' eyes upraised to bless;