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PREFACR, p. xi.
An erroneous translation by the LXX. of that verse in the sixth Chapter of Genesis, fc.
Tue error of these interpreters (and, it is said, of the old Italic version also,) was in making it “the Angels of God," instead of “the Sona"-a mis. take, which, assisted by the legurizing commen of Philo, and the rhapsodical fictions of the Book of Enoch, was more than sufficient to affect the imaginations of such half-Pagan writers Clemens Alexandriuus, Tertulliau, and Lactantius, who, chiefly, among tbe Fathers, bave indulged themselves in fanciful reveries upon, the subject. The greater number, however, have rejecked the fiction with indignation. Chrysostom, in his twenty-second Homily upon Genesis, earnestly exposes its absurdity it and
- It is lamentable to think that this absurd production, of which we know the whole from Dr. Laurence's translation, should ever have been cousidered as an inspired or autheutic work. Se the Prelimiuary Dissertation prefixed to the Tran. slation.
*One of the arguments of Chrysostom is, that Angels are no where else, in the Old Testament,
Cyril accounts such a supposition as " bordering on folly." * According to these fathers (and their opinion has been followed by all the theologians, down from St. Thomas, to Caryl and Lightfoot 1, the term “Sons of God," must be understood to mean the descendauts of Seth, by Enos -a family peculiarly favoured by heaven, because with them, men first began “ to call upon the name of the Lord" - while, by “the daugliters of men,” they suppose that the corrupt race of Cain is designated.
The probability, however, is, that the words in question ought to have been translated “the sons "of the nobles or great men," as we find them interpreted in the Targum of Onkelos, (the most
called “ Sous of God,"_but his commentator, Montfaucon, shows that he is mistaken, and that in the Book of Job they are so designated, (c. 1. v. 6.) both in the original Hebrew and the Vul. gate, though not in the Septuagint, which alone, he says, Chrysostom read.
* Lib. ii. Glaphyrorum.-Philæstrius, in his enumeration of heresies, classes this story of the Angels among the number, and says it deserves only to be ranked with those fictions about gods and goddesses, to which the fancy of the Pagan poets gave birth :-"Sicuti et Paganorum et Poetarum mendacia adserunt deos deasque transformatos nefanda conjugia commisisse." -De Hæres. Edit. Basil. p. 101.
1 Lightfoot says “The sons of God, or the members of the Church, and the progeny of Seth, marrying carelessly and promiscously with the daughters of men, or brood of Cain, &c." I find in Pule that, according to the Samaritan version, the phrase may be understood as meaning "the Sons of the Judges." - So variously may the Hebrew word, Elohim, be interpreted."