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different applications. As to superficial measure, we know it is reckoned no otherwise than by the square of the long measure. Whereas, the cubical form, not answering so well in practice to the mensuration of solids, the standards for them have generally been fixed, without any regard to measures of length or surface. It is with these alone therefore that we are here concerned.
03. Now, the best way of determining our choice properly, among the different methods of translating above mentioned, is by attending to the scope of the passages wherein the mention of money and measures is introduced. First, then, it some. times happens, that accuracy, in regard to the value of these, is of importance to the sense. Secondly, it sometimes happens, that the value of the coin, or the capacity of the measure, is of no consequence to the import of the passage. Thirdly, it happens also, sometimes, that though the real value of the coin, or the capacity of the measure, does not affect the sense of the passage, the comparative value of the different articles mentioned, is of some moment for the bet. ter understanding of what is said. Let us consider what methods suit best the several cases now men. tioned.
g 4. First, I observed that accuracy, in regard to the value of the measures or coins mentioned, is sometimes of importance to the sense,
When this is the case, and when we have no word exactly VOL. II.
corresponding in import to the original term, that term ought to be retained in the version, and explained in the margin, according to the first method taken notice of. An instance, where the knowledge both of the capacity of the measure and of the value of the coin, are essential to the sense, we have, in that public cry, XOLVIĞ OLT8 Snvapus ', which our translators render, a measure of wheat for a penny. It is evidently the intention of the writer to inform us of the rate of this necessary article, as a characteristic of the time whereof he is speaking. But our version not only gives no information on this head, but has not even the appearance of giving any, which the word chenix would have had, even to those who did not understand it. But to say a measure, without saying what measure, is to say just nothing at all. The word penny, here, is also exceptionable, being used indefinitely, insomuch that the amount of the declaration is, a certain quantity of wheat for a certain quantity of money. This suggests no idea of either dearth or plenty; and can be characteristical of no time, as it holds equally of every time. In this case, the original term, notwithstanding its harshness, ought to be retained in the text, and explained in the margin. Again, it was, doubtless, the intention of the sacred penman, to acquaint us at how low a price our Saviour was sold by his treacherous disciple, when he informs us“, that the chief priests agreed to give Judas τριακοντα
3 Rev. vi. 6.
4 Matth. xxvi. 15.
αργυρια. . In like manner, when the Evangelist mentioned the indignant observation of Judas, that the ointment, wherewith our Lord's feet were anointed, might have been sold for more than tpaxoow drvapwv, it was, doubtless, his view to acquaint us with the value of the gift. Once more, when Philip remarked to our Lord, who had proposed to feed the multitude in the desert °, διακοσιων δηναριων aptal, two hundred pennyworth of bread, as it runs in the common version, is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little, it was the design of the historian to supply us with a kind of criterion for computing the number of the people present. But this could be no criterion, unless we knew the value of the δηναριον. .
§ 5. But,' say those modern correctors, in • the examples above mentioned, when the know• ledge of the value of the coin, and the capacity of the measure, is of importance to the sense, no " method can be equal, in point of perspicuity, to * that recommended by us, whereby both are reduc'ed to an equivalent, in the moneys and measures of
the country. Thus, the first passage quoted would • be rendered, A measure of wheat, capable of sup'porting a man for one day,' for thus Le Cene proposes to translate yolvig, for seven pence halfpenny.' · The second, The chief priests covenanted with Judas for three pounds fifteen shillings sterling. The
John, xii. 5.
© John, vi. 7.
• third, Why was not this ointment sold for nine pounds seven shillings and sixpence ? And the
fourth, Six pounds five shillings would not purchase • bread sufficient.'
The exceptions against this method are many. In the first place, it is a mere comment, and no translation. Considered as a comment, it may but that must be egregiously wrong as a version, which represents an author as speaking of what he knew nothing about, nay, of what had no existence in his time. And such, surely, is the case with our sterling money, which an interpretation of this sort would represent as the current coin of Judea in the time of our Saviour. Nothing ought to be introduced by the translator, from which the English reader may fairly deduce a false conclusion, in re. gard to the manners and customs of the time. Be. sides, as the comparative value of their money and measures with ours is not founded on the clearest evidence, is it proper to give a questionable point the sanction, as it were, of inspiration ? Add to all this, that no method can be devised, which would, more effectually than this, destroy the native simplicity and energy of the expression. What is expressed in round numbers, in the original, is, with an absurd minuteness, reduced to fractions in the ver. sion. Nothing can be more natural than the expression, Two hundred denarii would not purchase bread enough to afford every one of them a little. This is spoken like cne who makes a shrewd guess from what he sees. Whereas, nothing can be more
unnatural than, in such a case, to descend to frac. tional parts, and say, Six pounds five shillings would not purchase. This is what nobody would have said, that had not previously made the computation. Just so, the round sum of three hundred denarii might very naturally be conjectured, by one present, to be about the value of the ointment. But, for one to go so nearly to work as to say, Nine pounds seven shillings and sixpence might have been gotten for this liquor, would directly suggest to the hearers, that he had weighed it, and computed its value at so much a pound.
There is this additional absurdity in the last example, that it is said, Enavw, more than: consequently, it is mentioned, not as the exact account, but as a plausible conjecture, rather under than above the price. But does any body, in conjectures of this kind, acknowledged to be conjectures, descend to fractional parts?
§ 6. Now, if this method would succeed so ill, in the first of the three cases mentioned, it will be found to answer still worse in the other two, where little depends on the knowledge of the value. In the second, I may say, nothing depends on it. Now, there are several passages, wherein coins and measures are mentioned, in which the value of the coin, or the capacity of the measure, is of no conceivable consequence to the import of the passage. In this case, either the second or the third method, above specified, is preferable to the introduction of a foreign term, not used in other places of the version,