Imágenes de páginas
PDF

THE SONG

OF THE

THREE HOLY CHILDREN,

Which followeth in the third Chapter of DANIEL after this place, -fell down bound into the

midst of the burning fiery furnace.Ver. 23. That which followeth is not in the Hebrew, to wit, And they walked-unto these words, Then Nebuchadnezzar-ver. 24.

INTRODUCTION. IN some copies of the Greek version of Theodoret, and in the vulgar Latin edition of the Bible, this book is

inserted between the twenty-third and twenty-fourth verses of the third chapter of Daniel : as at the beginning of the book is prefixed the History of Susanna, and at the end is added that of Bel and the Dragon : but none of these additions are to be found in any Hebrew copy, nor do they appear ever to have existed in the Hebrew

or Chaldaick language. It is probable that the same author invented, or composed from traditional accounts, all the Apocryphal additions, which he interwove with the genuine work of Daniel. Annexed to, or incorporated with, the inspired book, they gradually rose into reputation; and under the sanction of the Prophet's name, and the approbation of the Church, which suffered them to be read for instruction of manners, they were perhaps sometimes considered, in a loose and popular representation, as a part of the genuine work of Daniel. It is however universally admitted, that they never were in the Hebrew canon : nor can there be any doubt that they were written, long after the time of Daniel, by some writer desirous of imitating and of embellishing the sacred history : though, as they were not expressly severed from the canonical books by any positive decree, they were received by the preposterous decision of the Council of Trent as genuine, and in every respect

canonical. It is uncertain at what time they were composed. Dr. Gray. The present book consists of two parts; a prayer and a thanksgiving. The prayer is a devout confession of the

sins of the people, and an acknowledgment of God's righteousness, in bringing upon them their captivity and other calamities. And the thanksgiving is a solemn excitation of all creatures whatever, but more especially of the three Hebrew children, who were thus “saved from the hand of death,” to “ bless the Lord, praise and

exalt Him above all for ever.” Stackhouse. Agreeably to this division it may be remarked, that the title, “ The Song of the Three Holy Children,” applies

properly to the latter part of the work only, from ver. 29 to the end. In the Latin version, and also in Coverdale's English translation, as noted by Bp. Wilson, the title is “ The Prayer of Azarias and the Song of the three holy Children." The term “children” appears to mean young men. In the first chapter of Daniel, ver. 4, according to our present translation the word “children” occurs; see the note there : instead of this, two old translations, namely, Coverdale's and another, read “springaldes,” and “springalls,” which latter word is explained by Dr. Johnson to be an obsolete term for “ a youth.” Todd says, in his enlarged Johnson's Dictionary, that in our old ballads and romances the best authorized sense of the word “ child” is that of a youth of noble blood. And this sense exactly corresponds with the circumstances of these “ three holy children,” as described in the above-mentioned passage of Daniel. Edit. The song, said to have been uttered by the three companions of Daniel when thrown by Nebuchadnezzar into

the burning furnace, is to be admired for its instruction and tendency. The righteous persons, who are said to have uttered it, and whose reputation was founded on the authentick accounts of Daniel, chap. iii. 28, appear by their pious fortitude to have contributed with the Prophet to the suppression of idolatry. The veneration entertained for their character, of which the memory was highly celebrated among the Jews, probably induced some Hellenistick Jew to fabricate this ornamental addition to their history. It must have been inserted at a very early period, as it is cited by many ancient writers. The work is composed with great spirit; and the sentiments, attributed to the “three holy children,” are consistent with the piety, for which they were distinguished. The hymn resembles the 148th Psalm, as to its invocation on all the works of creation to praise and exalt the Lord. 'Dr. Gray. According to some authors, it was anciently used in the Jewish church; and adopted into the publick devotions of the Christians from the most early times. In the first Common Prayer Book of King Edward the Sixth, it was appointed to be used, during Lent, in the place of Te Deum. It is still retained in our Liturgy, with a direction for it to be used at the discretion of the minister. And considering the subject of the hymn, namely, that it is an elegant summons to all God's works to praise Him, intimating that they all set forth His glory, and invite us, who have the benefit of them, to join in “praising and magnifying the Lord for ever;" whenever we would glorify God for His work, which is one main end of the Lord's day, or when the Lesson treats of the creation, and sets before us the wonderful works of God in any of His creatures, or the use He makes of them either ordinary or miraculous for the good of the Church; this hymn may very seasonably be used. Wheatley.

Apocrypha. THE SONG OF THE THREE CHILDREN. Apocrypha.

1 Azarias his prayer and confession in the i and as the sand that lieth upon the

flame, 24 wherewith the Chaldeans about | seashore.
the oven were consumed, but the three chil- 14 For we, O Lord, are become
dren within it were not hurt. 28 The song | less than any nation, and be kept un-
of the three children in the oven.

der this day in all the world because
AND they walked in the midst of of our sins.
A the fire, praising God, and bless- 15 Neither is there at this time
ing the Lord.

prince, or prophet, or leader, or burnt
2 Then Azarias stood up, and offering, or sacrifice, or oblation, or
prayed on this manner; and opening incense, or place to sacrifice before
his mouth in the midst of the fire thee, and to find mercy.
said,

16 Nevertheless in a contrite heart
3 Blessed art thou, O Lord God and an humble spirit let us be ac-
of our fathers : thy name is worthy cepted.
to be praised and glorified for ever 17 Like as in the burnt offerings
more:

of rams and bullocks, and like as in
4 For thou art righteous in all the ten thousands of fat lambs: so let
things that thou hast done to us: yea, our sacrifice be in thy sight this day,

true are all thy works, thy ways are and grant that we may wholly go a Ps. 25. 10. right, and a all thy judgments truth. after thee: for they shall not be

5 In all the things that thou hast confounded that put their trust in
brought upon us, and upon the holy thee.
city of our fathers, even Jerusalem, 18 And now we follow thee with
thou hast executed true judgment: all our heart, we fear thee, and seek
for according to truth and judgment thy face.
didst thou bring all these things upon 19 Put us not to shame: but deal
us because of our sins.

with us after thy lovingkindness, and
6 For we have sinned and com- according to the multitude of thy
mitted iniquity, departing from thee. mercies.

7 In all things have we trespassed, 20 Deliver is also according to thy and not obeyed thy commandments, marvellous works, and give glory to nor kept them, neither done as thou thy name, O Lord : and let all them hast commanded us, that it might go that do thy servants hurt be ashamed; well with us.

I 21 And let them be confounded
8 Wherefore all that thou hast || in all their power and might, and 1 Or, by the
brought upon us, and everything let their strength be broken;
that thou hast done to us, thou hast 22 And let them know that thou
done in true judgment.

art Lord, the only God, and glorious
9 And thou didst deliver us into over the whole world.
the hands of lawless enemies, most 23 And the king's servants, that
hateful forsakers of God, and to an put them in, ceased not to make the
unjust king, and the most wicked in oven hot with || rosin, pitch, tow, and 101,
all the world.

small wood;
10 And now we cannot open our 24 So that the flame streamed forth cerita
mouths, we are become a shame and above the furnace forty and nine chalks.cat,
reproach to thy servants, and to them cubits.
that worship thee.

25 And it passed through, and
11 Yet deliver us not up wholly, burned those Chaldeans it found
for thy name's sake, neither disannul about the furnace.
thou thy covenant :

26 But the angel of the Lord
12 And cause not thy mercy to de- came down into the oven together
part from us, for thy beloved Abra- with Azarias and his fellows, and
ham's sake, for thy servant Isaac's smote the flame of the fire out of the
sake, and for thy holy Israel's sake; oven;

13 To whom thou hast spoken and 27 And made the midst of the furpromised, that thou wouldest multi- nace as it had been a | moist whist- Or, cool. ply their seed as the stars of heaven, ling wind, so that the fire touched

i

pour ans sight

mapatha. which is a

of fat and

Plier, leb. cap. 105.

Ver. 2. — Azarias] Called Abednego in the book of Daniel. See Dan. i. 7.

het by

die beste alors un to even tholde

Apocrypha. THE SONG OF THE THREE CHILDREN. Apocrypha.

them not at all, neither hurt nor | Lord: praise and exalt him above all
troubled them.

for ever.
28 Then the three, as out of one 45 ( ye winter and summer, bless
mouth, praised, glorified, and blessed, ye the Lord : praise and exalt him
God in the furnace, saying,

above all for ever.
29 Blessed art thou, O Lord God 46 O ye dews and storms of snow,
of our fathers : and to be praised and bless ye the Lord : praise and exalt
exalted above all for ever.

him above all for ever.
30 And blessed is thy glorious and 47 O ye nights and days, bless ye
holy name: and to be praised and the Lord : praise and exalt him above
exalted above all for ever.

all for ever.
31 Blessed art thou in the temple 48 O ye light and darkness, bless
of thine holy glory: and to be praised ye the Lord : praise and exalt him
and glorified above all for ever. above all for ever.

32 Blessed art thou that beholdest 49 O ye ice and cold, bless ye the
the depths, and sittest upon the che- Lord : praise and exalt him above all
rubims: and to be praised and exalted for ever.
above all for ever.

50 O ye frost and snow, bless ye
33 Blessed art thou on the glorious the Lord : praise and exalt him
throne of thy kingdom: and to be above all for ever.
praised and glorified above all for ever. 51 Oye lightnings and clouds,

34 Blessed art thou in the firma- bless ye the Lord : praise and exalt
ment of heaven: and above all to be him above all for ever.
praised and glorified for ever. I 52 ( let the earth bless the Lord :

35 O all ye works of the Lord, praise and exalt him above all for
| Or, highly bless ye the Lord : praise and || exalt | ever.
so in the rest. him above all for ever.

53 O ye mountains and little hills, b Ps. 148. 4. 36 50 ye heavens, bless ye the bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt

Lord : praise and exalt him above all him above all for ever.
for ever.

| 54 () all ye things that grow on
37 O ye angels of the Lord, bless the earth, bless ye the Lord: praise
ye the Lord : praise and exalt him and exalt him above all for ever.
above all for ever.

I 55 ( ye fountains, bless ye the
38 O all ye waters that be above Lord : praise and exalt him above all
the heaven, bless ye the Lord: praise for ever.
and exalt him above all for ever. | 56 O ye seas and rivers, bless ye

39 () all ye powers of the Lord, the Lord: praise and exalt him above
bless ye the Lord : praise and exalt all for ever.
him above all for ever.

| 57 O ye whales, and all that move
40 O ye sun and moon, bless ye in the waters, bless ye the Lord :
the Lord : praise and exalt him above praise and exalt him above all for
all for ever.

ever.
41 O ye stars of heaven, bless ye 58 O all ye fowls of the 4 air, + Gr. heaven.
the Lord: praise and exalt him above bless ye the Lord : praise and exalt
all for ever.

| him above all for ever.
42 O every shower and dew, bless 59 O all ye beasts and cattle, bless
ye the Lord: praise and exalt him ye the Lord : praise and exalt him
above all for ever.

above all for ever.
43 O all ye winds, bless ye the 60 () ye children of men, bless ye
Lord : praise and exalt him above all the Lord : praise and exalt him above
for ever.

all for ever.
44 () ye fire and heat, bless ye the 61 O Israel, bless ye the Lord:

[ocr errors]

31.- in the temple of thine holy glory :) That is, in waters which are under the firmament” or expanse: heaven. Grotius.

namely, the clouds and exhalations, which are drawn up 32. — that beholdest the depths,] The lowest parts of from the earth and sea into the higher regions of the the sea. See Ecclus. xlii. 18. Grotius. For all things air. Badwell. are opened to the eyes of God, even the most secret 60. O ye children of men, bless ye the Lord :) Having things. Badwell,

called upon all the other kinds of things and animals, 38. — ye waters that be above the heaven,] He means which are in heaven, in the air, the earth, and the sea, the waters, which Moses says “were divided from the l he now proceeds to men, whose principal duty it is

[ocr errors]

Apocrypha THE SONG OF THE THREE CHILDREN. Apocrypha.

praise and exalt him above all for, bless ye the Lord : praise and exalt
ever.

him above all for ever : for he hath
62 O ye priests of the Lord, bless delivered us from || hell, and saved Or, the
ye the Lord: praise and exalt him us from the hand of death, and de-"
above all for ever.

livered us out of the midst of the
63 Oye servants of the Lord, furnace and burning flame: even out
bless ye the Lord : praise and exalt of the midst of the fire hath he de-
him above all for ever.

livered us.
64 0 ye spirits and souls of the 67 O give thanks unto the Lord,
righteous, bless ye the Lord : praise because he is gracious : for his mercy

and exalt him above all for ever. endureth for ever.
| Or, saints. 65 () ye || holy and humble men 68 () all ye that worship the Lord,

of heart, bless ye the Lord : praise bless the God of gods, praise him,
and exalt him above all for ever. and give him thanks : for his mercy

66 O Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, endureth for ever.

to praise God. And in this address to men, he ob- and thence to particular persons among that people, serves the following order : from the whole race of who were especially occupied in God's worship. Bai. mankind he descends to the peculiar people of God, I well.

THE

HISTORY OF SUSANNA,

Set apart from the beginning of Daniel, because it is not in the Hebrew, as

neither the Narration of † Bel and the Dragon.

[ocr errors]

INTRODUCTION.

THIS book has no sufficient pretensions to be considered as canonical. It appears to have been written in Greek by some Jew, who invented the history, or collected its particulars from traditionary relations, in praise of Daniel. The history might perhaps have some foundation in truth, though it is not mentioned by Josephus; who indeed has not noticed any of the particulars contained in these Apocryphal additions to the book of Daniel. The Jews in general rejected it as an improbable fable; they had, however, some traditional accounts of the story, and many fancied that it was alluded to by Jeremiah in his prophecy, chap. xxix. 22, 23. See

the note there, The book seems to have been received by the Christian Church as containing a relation not inconsistent with the

Sacred History, but not as the production of Daniel; though, as forming an appendage to his work, and containing an account of circumstances in which he was concerned, it was sometimes cited under his name; and being read by the Church, was considered with reverence. It is received, together with other spurious additions, as canonical by the Romish church, but is suffered to continue in our Bibles only as a work from which moral improvement is to be drawn. Dr. Gray.

16 Two judges hide themselves in the garden! 5 The same year were appointed

of Susanna to have their pleasure of her :) two of the ancients of the people to
28 which when they could not obtain, they
accuse and cause her to be condemned for be judges, such as the Lord spake of,
adultery : 46 but Daniel examineth the mat- that wickedness came from Babylon

ter again, and findeth the two judges false. from ancient judges, who seemed to
THERE dwelt a man in Baby- govern the people,
I lon, called Joacim :

6 These kept much at Joacim's
2 And he took a wife, whose name house: and all that had any suits in
was Susanna, the daughter of Chel- law came unto them.
cias, a very fair woman, and one that 7 Now when the people departed
feared the Lord.

away at noon, Susanna went into her
3 Her parents also were righteous, husband's garden to walk.
and taught their daughter according 8 And the two elders saw her going
to the law of Moses.

in every day, and walking; so that
4 Now Joacim was a great rich their lust was inflamed toward her.
man, and had a fair garden joining 9 And they perverted their own
unto his house: and to him resort mind, and turned away their eyes,
ed the Jews; because he was more that they might not look unto heaven,
honourable than all others.

nor remember just judgments.

Ver. 4. Now Joacim was a great rich man, &c.] The they executed some of the penal laws of Moses in smaller Jews that were carried away captives to Babylon were instances. See Esth. iii. 8. Arnald. not so plundered, but that many among them were both

such as the Lord spake of, &c.] Namely, in Jererich and powerful. See Tob. i. 13, 14, 22. The Jews miah, chap. xxix. 22. He gives not the words, but the seem to have resorted to Joacim's house for advice, or sense of the Prophet. Grotius. as to a seat of justice. See ver, 6, 7, 28, Arnald. Some who seemed to govern the people. That is, who of the Jewish rabbies suppose him to have been Jehoia- governed the people: an ordinary phrase. See Mark x. chin, the captive king of Judah. Dr. Hales.

42, where an expression, very much resembling this in 5. The same year were appointed two of the ancients of the original Greek, is rendered by St. Matthew, chap. the people &c.] The Hebrews never had “judges," either xx, 25, “ the princes." Grotius, Arnald. two in number, or annually appointed. These might 9. - that they might not look unto heaven, &c.] That have been assessors to the chief or president of the cap- is, that they might not look unto or reflect upon the God tives. Grotius. It is probable that the Jews retained a of heaven, nor remember His just judgments against sort of judicial power, even in their captivity, and that such notorious sinners. See Luke xv. 18. Arnald,

« AnteriorContinuar »