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elucidation; and whether it be worth their while to search any farther. But, besides this, many of the works here quoted, are out of print and difficult to obtain; others are general treatises, which explain passages only incidentally, and would seldom repay the trouble of examination.
The writer would much regret, if these Collations should lead any one to form an unfavourable opinion of the Authorized Version of the Bible. Doubtless, it has some faults, and since it was made, much light has been thrown upon Scripture by the examination of MSS., the comparison of versions, and the labours of scholars; still the reader may rest assured that our present English Bible is one of the best translations that has yet been made of any book, and one over which a special Providence seems to have watched. It was carefully revised by the most learned men of a learned age, at a period when the English language was in its purity. Many of the alterations proposed in this work are upon minor critical points which do not affect the sense of the text, and are of little consequence to the general reader, though of interest to the scholar; some are of doubtful authority, and may well be deemed inferior to the common reading, but they have been given because critics differ in opinion, and it was desirable to afford students means of judging for themselves. One thing, however, may safely be asserted; that unless our Translators have misunderstood the sense of a passage, few have ever rendered it more elegantly or faithfully; it is from this extreme faithfulness that they have so well preserved the distinctive feature of Hebrew poetry, i.e., the parallelism, without having had that object in view. And we must enter the strongest protest against all who urge as a reason for a new translation of the Bible, that the style of our present translation is antiquated and obscure. They seem to forget the benefit conferred upon the English language by fixing its standard and preventing it from deteriorating: while the miserable way in which modern refinement disfigures what it attempts to improve may be seen in such instances as the following :
GEN. XLIII. 31.
Au. Ver.-Set on bread.
Geddes.-Serve up dinner.
GEN. XXVII. 33.
Au. Ver. And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, &c.
Geddes.-Who then, and where is he, said Isaac, in the greatest consternation,
Even Bp. Lowth, perhaps the most elegant of all modern translators, sometimes alters passages for the worse, though there be no dispute about the meaning; as for instance in
ISAIAH I. 3.
Au. Ver. The ox knoweth his owner.
Bp. Lowth.-The ox knoweth his possessor.
ISAIAH LV. 3.
Au. Ver.-Even the sure mercies of David.
Bp. Lowth. The gracious promises made to David, which shall never fail. And it may well be doubted whether the emendations which might safely be adopted into the text or the margin be sufficient to call for a new Authorized Version, considering the difficulties which now would attend its introduction; for whereas in former times the copies of the English Bible were comparatively few, they are now circulated by millions: a new translation would bring these copies into discredit, and unsettle the minds of the unlearned. Yet, considering the unavoidable imperfections of every translation, it is to be regretted that the critical study of the Old Testament has hitherto been so much neglected even by those whose duty it is to expound it; and that men should so confidently expatiate upon the spiritual sense of their text, without taking any pains first to arrive at its literal meaning. A knowledge of Greek is required of all candidates for holy orders, as necessary to the understanding of the New Testament; why should not a knowledge of Hebrew be considered equally necessary for the Old? Can a man be supposed to enter fully into the spirit of a prose author, much less of a poet, if he only know him through the medium of a translation? True it is that the Bible was destined for every nation under heaven, for every grade of society, and therefore it has been wisely ordained that in all languages it seems more than any other book to preserve the distinctive features of its original, and to stand forth in its majestic simplicity, as worthy of the God who gave it. Even its poetical beauties are such as suffer least by translation, being essentially the poetry of ideas rather than of words. Still, those who have time and opportunity will be amply repaid by studying the Scriptures in the Hebrew, and will often find a force and a clearness to which no translation can possibly do justice. More especially is it incumbent upon the clergy, who are set apart to minister to the LORD, and to teach his Word, to neglect no means of rightly understanding that Word; and if they be prevented from entering deeply into critical studies, it is at least desirable for them to know enough of Hebrew to appreciate the explanations of Commentators. They might thus be often preserved from crude and fanciful interpretations, and from building hastily upon false foundations. Moreover, many of the objections which Infidelity has urged against the inspiration of Scripture, have been drawn from passages which fairly admit of a different translation; and though, as it has been truly observed, "the Bible needs no apology," yet it is important for the good of others, that we should be able not only to give a reason for the hope that is in us, but also to meet the Infidel
upon his own ground, and show him that his objections are the objections of ignorance.
The principal abbreviations employed in this work are :—
The names of other authors have generally been given in full.
A list of the abbreviations used by Pool in his "Synopsis" is subjoined :
ἡ δὲ γῆ ἦν ἀόρατος καὶ ἀκατασκεύαστος, καὶ σκότος ἐπάνω τῆς ἀβύσσου, καὶ πνεῦμα θεοῦ ἐπεφέρετο ἐπάνω τοῦ ὕδατος.
Au. Ver.-2 And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Boothroyd.-2 And the earth was desolate and waste, &c.
in this passage gives it the sense of brooding over, fostering.-Gesen., hovered over.
Gen. i. 14, 15, 17, that which is distended, expanded, (from 7), the expanse of heaven, i. e., the arch or vault, of heaven, which, as to mere sense, appears to rest on the earth, as a hollow hemisphere. The Hebrews seem to have considered it as transparent like a crystal or sapphire (Ezek. i. 22; Dan. xii. 3; Exod. xxiv. 10; Rev. iv. 6); hence different from the brazen and iron heaven of the Homeric mythology. Over this arch they Gesenius.—A (for, of the segol form, supposed were the waters of heaven (Gen. as, hence accented Milel, i. e., on the i. 7; vii. 11; Ps. civ. 3; cxlviii. 4). penultima). Root in Chald., to be LXX. σrepéwμa. Vulgate, firmamentum. motionless, confounded, desolate. (Comp. Luther, Veste.
Bayly, Geddes.-Was yet a desolate place, &c.
D); whence, desert. Arab.
8 καὶ ἐκάλεσεν ὁ θεὸς τὸ στερέωμα, οὐempty. Syr. 2, idem, abbreviated from, pavóv. kai eidev ó leòs, őri kaλóv. kaì éyéveto 1. As substantive the state of being waste. ἑσπέρα, καὶ ἐγένετο πρωΐ, ἡμέρα δευτέρα. emptiness, Gen. i. 2. Job xxvi. 7; a desert.? Kai einev ó beds, ovvaxonтW Tо üdwρ TÒ solitude, Deut. xxxii. 10. Job vi. 18.
mi, m. subst. a waste, uninhabited place, wilderness, for (after the form ), Root, in Arabic, to be empty, waste, of a house. It is always combined with wi, Gen. i. 2; Jer. iv. 23; Isa. xxxiv. 11.
ὑποκάτω τοῦ οὐρανοῦ εἰς συναγωγὴν μίαν, καὶ ὀφθήτω ἡ ξηρά· καὶ ἐγένετο οὕτως. καὶ συνήχθη Tò dæр тò vпokáтw тoû oỷpavoû eis tàs σvvaywyàs avтŵv, kai ☎pon ǹ έnpá. 10 καὶ ἐκάλεσεν ὁ θεὸς τὴν ξηράν, γῆν, καὶ τὰ συστήματα τῶν ὑδάτων ἐκάλεσε θαλάσσας· καὶ elder å Beòs, őtɩ kaλóv.
And the Spirit of God, &c. Onkelos and the old Jewish interpreters take as Au. Ver.-8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
ventus Dei, i. e., ventus a Deo immissus; others as ventus vehemens; these interpretations are justly rejected by Rosenmüller, and the best modern critics.
Moved. The primary meaning of in the Arabic is mollis fuit; hence Rosenmüller
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
10 And God called the dry land Earth;