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BEING A DEFENCE OF JUDAISM AGAINST ALL ADVERSARIES, AND PARTICULARLY AGAINST THE INSIDIOUS>TTACKS OF
:orroM inm nn orrtyyn oax [in Dsj jn
I behold, and there is no man, even from among all these, and there is no counsellor, Who can answer a word when I question them. Behold, they are all vanity; their Works are nothing; their drink offerings are WIND and CONFUSION.
Isaiah, xli. 28,29.
Vol. II. 1st day of the \3th month, ADAR SHINEE, 5584. No. 1.
Examination of St. Matthew, continued from page 250, Vol. 1.
"But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea in. the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: and he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth." —Matthew, Chapter ii. verse 19, 20, 81, 22, 23.
By the text, Joseph was commanded to go into the LAND OF ISRAEL, "Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel." Now generally speaking, both Judea and Galilee is the LAND OF ISRAEL. In consequence of this command, Joseph went from Egypt to THE LAND OF ISRAEL. "And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and, came into the land of Israel." What part of
the LAND OF ISRAEL he came to the text does not inform us; but by the text it is apparent it was not Judea. "But vrben he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea in the room of hie father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee." Consequently, it must have been some partof Galilee. Now here is a difficulty. How came he into Galilee, without going into the Land of Judea? for the road from Egypt to Galilee, is through Judea, and it cannot well be avoided; Judea being bounded to the West by the Mediterranean, and to the South and East by Egypt, the Desert, and Salt Sea; so that the only practicable road north, he could not have taken. And if he was already in the Land of Israel, he was past the danger. Did he go through the desert, the land of Edom and Moab, and cross the Jordan, in order to get into Judea? he then took a roundabout journey, and for what purpose was this done? to avoid Judea? this cannot be; because he was in the Land of Israel before he thought of any danger; for he returned with the assurance that "they are dead who sought theyoung child's life :" consequently he was without fear or apprehension of danger. It cannot be said he was in Judea when he received the intelligence, for the text tells us "he was afraid to go thither;" consequently he could not have been there yet. But on his way to go there, the first country he must have come to after leaving Egypt to go to the Land of Israel, must have been Judea; and if he wanted to reach Nazareth, in Galilee, he must have gone through the whole Land of Judea; for Judea is or was the southernmost country of the Land of Israel, and stretched from Edom, including the Salt Sea, to the river of Egypt and Mediterranean. Joshua xv. 1, 2, 3, 4. "This then was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah by their families; even to the border of Edom, the wilderness of Zin southward was the uttermost part of the south coast. And their south border was from the shore of the Salt sea, from the bay that looketh southward: and it went out to the south side to Maaleh-acrabbim, and passed along to Zin, and ascended up on the south side unto Kadesh-barnea, and passed along to Hezron, and went up to Adar, and fetched a compass to Karkaa : from thence it passed towards Azmon, and went out unto the river of Egypt: and the goings out of that coast were at the sea: this shall be your south coast." The truth is the writer of the Gospel of Saint Matthew lias fallen into a difficulty, from which he can in no way be extricated; for he places Joseph and his family in the Land of Israel, before he turns him aside: now if by the Land of Israel is meant Judea, then he could not turn aside, he was confined by the two seas, the Mediterranean to the West, and the Salt Sea to the East; he must have gone through the whole length of the Land of Judea before he reached Galilee. And if by the Land of Israel is meant any other part of the country, not Judea, he must in that case have already been in Galilee, and he must have come there in as circuitous a route as if he had been in Philadelphia, and went to Boston round the lakes Erie and Ontario, through Canada and Vermont, then wishing to avoid New-York, he turned aside into Massachusetts to Boston. I can see no other way to get over the difficulty. He must be sent through the Desert round the Salt sea, through Edom and Moab, and across the Jordan into Galilee, and this tiresome dangerous journey through the Desert is undertaken without any cause or reason, for he knows of no danger till he comes into the Land of Israel, then only "he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea." Let it also be kept in mind if this was the route he took, he went through an uninhabited country, a waste, howling, sandy desert; a country where indeed no human being cau exist without a miracle; he must consequently have carried his provision and even his water along with him for a considerable part of the time he was on the way; and if he really, went this route why is knot mentioned? The conclusion is, the writer had no knowledge of the geography of the country he was treating of, but supposed Joseph could take his choice when he came into the Land of Israel to. go into Judea, or turning aside either to the right or left, go into Galilee; for no doubt he intended us to understand Joseph went the usual route, and only left it (turned aside) after he came into the Land of Israel, and heard Archelaus reigned in Judea, in the room of his father Herod.
I have stated the difficulty, and it is left for ians to
explain, to inform us which road he took ; whether he went by the sea or by the desert, for the text leaves us in the dark, since the only usnal and direct road through Judea he did not take. I fear they will in no way get over the difficulty except by miracle, mystery, or
faith; ian faith, and which is itself the greatest mystery and
the greatest miracle. I now hasten to the examination of the next text that offers for consideration, and which is in these words z
Matthew, chap, iii. v. 3. &c. " For this is Supposed to be a quotation from Isaiah,
lie that was spoken of by the prophet Esai- chap. xl. v. 3. "The voice of him that
as, saying, The voice of one crying in the erieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the
wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the way of the Lord, make straight in the de
Eord, make his paths straight." Bert a highway for our God."
: wrhvh rhon rmjn nisr Ti rn us iaina snip Sip
"A voice crying in the desert, Clear ye the way of The Lord, prepare, in Arabia Deserta, an highway for our God.—IAteral translation.
The first difference in the literal translation is in the word rD"ty3 Sangarba, and which I render in Arabia Deserta; it is a word of several significations according to the context. I have given it its original signification, supposing the context requires it, the radix is 3iy Arab, and it is applied to signify a desert, because Arabia is a desert country, a plain, sandy country; it has other significations, and is consequently differently translated 'nia-ipa aznS r}D Solu larocheeb Bangaraboth; "Extol him who rideth upon the Heavetis" Ps. lxviii. v. 4. But here the sense of the context would, if not require, at leastallow its being rendered in The Desert (of Arabia;) for the Psalmist sings of his appearance on Sinai, in Arabia Deserta. Again, m"V Sjni Vatagel Arab A. Isaiah, c. xxxv. v. 1. And which the Bible has rendered, "And the desert shall rejoice; but why I cannot perceive, for here again the context requires the word to be left as a proper noun, and Arabia shall rejoice; being that its desert is to blossom as a rose. "It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon; they shall see the glory of The Lord, and the excellency of our God." Is. xxxv. 2. The deserts of Arabia will become a flourishing country, and in consequence the Arabians will rejoice, even with joy and singing; for Ishmael is to dwell in the presence of all his brethren; they also will, at the restoration, become a flourishing people. Again, rD"Urn Tno, Medereech Hangaraba, translated "through the way of the plain;" (Dent. ii. 8.) but this is manifestly incorrect; for when they left Edom or Seir, they were in the desert of Arabia, for they were not allowed to go through Moab, and therefore they turned themselves, and instead of going North, in which direction (heir road lay, they went East into the desert of Arabia; and so says Jarchi, nTViTD nn yhrh D^s usan pas nvb "We turned our faces from the North to go towards the East." Again, a-tjn HE'D Masa Bangarab. "The burthen of Arabia." (Is. xxi. 13.) And here David Levy is with me, for he saycth "This is Arabia Deserta," as also Is. xiii. ~0, 'z~\yuw Srv NT Lo yael Shem Akabe, "'The Arabian shall not pitch his tent there" 1 am aware that the word has other significations, but 1 contend this is its signification here, that the highway here spoken of is to be in Arabm D.serta, and not in the wilderness of Judea.
The next difference is in the word nScr: Mysela; this, with the translators of the Bible, I render an High-way. St. Matthew has it The Path, meaning, I presume, a narrow foot path, and it must be left to our opponents, to explain to us how a Jew, whose vernacular tongue was Hebrew, could render Mysela npath, the Hebrew word for which is ms Horach, the Hebraist will find it, Ps, xvii. 4. "The path of the destroyer," Gen. xlix. 17. " An adder in the Path," and Ps. xvi. "The Path of life." Iu all which places, and in innumerable others, the word is mx Horach, and may indeed mean a road, such as is made by continual wear, but not a worked, artificial road, or high-way; and Sjjra Mang-gal is also a path, Ps. xvii. 5. "Thy path, cxl. 6. and innumerable others;" but the word nSoa mysela only means a wide artificial cast up road or high-way, as oaiD mi? rh:0 Myselath Sidi Kobas, "The highway of the Fuller's field, Is. vii. 3. moDnrrni "And there shall be an high-way for the remnant of his people," Is. xi. 16. Nay its very root SSo Salal, to cast up, shows its meaning to be a cast up, raised, artificial, if you please, turnpike road, and to none other will it apply, as -pn us Tsd Isd Salu Salu panuderech, "Cast up, cast up, prepare the way," Is. lvii. 14. that is, plough the road on each side, and throw the ground in the centre; so that nboa Mysela is such a road which is cast up and raised higher than the land adjacent, while a path is only worn plain, and is rather lower than the land contiguous thereto.
But perhaps Saint Matthew did not intend to quote Isaiah, for he sa)'s Esaias, and in that case I have nothing to say, because I never saw the book of the prophet Esaias; indeed, 1 never read of such a prophet among the Jews, or the Ephraimites. Perhaps this Esaias was a Grecian prophet; nothing more likely, for Saint Matthew was •~--1- l",,rT"1:" ,l", G~«ek than the Hebrew; and that