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Arabic future is not like the Latin or German future, but rather an aorist, (a tense not confined to time,) which is restricted by some particles to the future, by some to the present, and by others to the past. He therefore recommends the learner not to view it as a future, but conceive of it as an aoristIt is unnecessary at this time, to enter into a minute investigation of this peculiarity, in these two languages. For the purposes of the present discussion, it is sufficient to remark, that the custom of the language has settled the proper use and application of its terms, and the mode of its phraseology. In fact, in all languages, men are in the habit perpetually of confounding the tenses, and making aorists both of the present, the past and the future. Two and two are four, applies to all time. I go to town next week, is in form a present, in sense a future. So in the Greek, Matt. xxvi. 29,6 ] will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day, when I drink it new with you in my father's kingdom.” The verb in italics is in the present, in the Greek as well as English, although future in its signification. John v. 24. “ He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed from death unto life.” Here “ hath passed" is past, and not future. To be sure, according to the doctrines of the New Church, this is correctly used in the preterite, for as in that Church, Heaven (life) and Hell (death) consists in state, not in time or place, he who heareth and believeth, that is, receiveth in the life,“ my word” (the divine truth) and “ him that sent me" (the father or divine good) hath in fact come out of hell into heaven, even before the material body has crumbled into its native dust.
We are told in a late publication, in which a translation of the passage, cited at the head of these remarks, different from the common translation is attempted to be supported, that it is said by the assembly of divines, that the same Hebrew word here translated « leaneth,” is rendered « leaned” in 2 Sam. i. 6. and the word translated “bow down” is rendered in the past, Esod. xxxiii. 10. But here the assembly of divines are mistaken in their grammar, for the first word is preceded by Vayyómer, a future used for a perfect, and the latter by another preterite, used as a preterite, both which are, by the rules of the language, exceptions from the general rule above-mentioned. See vol. i. Guarin's Heb. Gr. 611, and others. By the same assembly of divines we are also told that $133 pronounced here with the points Běbó, is rendered “ when he went,” Ps. li. 1. lii. 1. and liv. 1. But the fact is, this word is an aorist and without time, and should be rendered closely “ in going,” which will meet all those passages in the Psalms just as well as the present translation. It comprehends both the expressions, “ when he goeth," and " when he went.” It is the participle of the present tense, in grammatical character. In the text it might be rendered, in my master's going, or when he goeth, indifferently. We are further told, that the observations of the same assembly of divines, in their “ Annotations, &c.” deserve attention, and the following is given as their rendering of the passage. “ In this thing pardon thy servant, that when my master went into the house of Rimmon to worship, and leaned on my hand, and I bowed myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon thy servant in this thing.” “ Admit," says
the writer of the piece alluded to, “ this translation, and all is easy, all is beautiful.” The “ venerable Dr. Gill” is also said to be of the same opinion.
What pity it is the assembly of divines and the venerable Dr. Gill did not read this passage of their Bible with a little more attention, and rather with a view of receiving instruction from it, than of making it bend to their own peculiar and preconceived notions. The assembly of divines and the venerable Dr. Gill thought, to be sure, the worship of the Gentiles, as they adored idols, was a sin, and of so damnable a nature, that it was not for a moment to be tolerated by the prophet, or the divine mercy. Therefore “Naaman's request to the prophet or to the Lord, (says Dr. Gill, is not for pardon for a sin to be committed ; nor to be indulged in his continuance of it; nor to worship the idol along with his master; nor to dissemble the worship of it when he really worshipped it not; nor to be excused any evil in the discharge of his post or office : but for the pardon of the sin of idolatry, which he had been guilty of, of which he was truly sensible, now sincerely acknowledges, and desires forgiveness," &c.
Now if we take up the passage on the principles of plain common sense, without any preconceived notions of our own, it reads thus, “ Shall there not be given to thy servant two mules' bur. I den of earth, for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto JEHOVAH.” That is, I will not any more perform those solemn acts of worship, viz.
burnt offerings and sacrifices to idols, and therefore wish earth enough to be given me from the holy man, to build an altar thereon, for burning burnt offerings and sacrifices to Jehovah; but, as I am captain of the host of the king of Assyria, I must attend my master, the king, at his worship: “In this thing (that is, in this particular) Jehovah pardon* thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon, to worship there, and he leaneth upon my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, JehoVAH, pardon thy servant in this thing,” (that is, in this particu. lar.) Now it is to be observed, Naaman here asks no pardon for the burnt offerings and sacrifices, which he had all his life before been offering to idols, for he now says, he will henceforth no more do so, implying that he had before been in the habit of doing it; nor does he ask pardon for the frequent visits he had paid to the house of Rimmon without the king: he had sense enough to know that it was not a sin, but a commendable action, to worship according to the religion of his country and forefathers, indeed that it would have been a sin for him to have omitted it, until he was taught something better, (for there are religious and irreligious, pious and impious people among the Gentiles, as well as among Christians) and therefore no pardon was asked for that; but, as his situation in a public capacity required his attendance with the king at his worship, and there might be an appearance of worshipping another God than Jehovah, he prayed that he might not be condemned for this act of official duty thereafter. Had Naaman looked upon his past religious exercises in the light the assembly of divines and Dr. Gill appear to have done, instead of asking forgiveness for a single past action, under particular palliating circumstances, he would have asked forgiveness for having all his life been in the habit of offering burnt offerings and sacrifices to other gods, and for having likewise all his life gone to the house of Rimmon to worship. For his having gone with the king made it no worse than having gone without the king. His prayer would not have been, “ Forgive me for having gone to the house of Rimmon with the king my master, as his minister and attendant, to support him on my hand when in the act of worship, and having bowed down there ;” but “ Forgive me for having, all my
The word rendered pardon might here with greater propriety be ren. dered " be merciful to," or "be complacent to.” In Amos vii. 2. It evidently should be rendered “ spure.”
life, according to the religious rites in which I was brought up, offered burnt offerings and sacrifices to other gods, and for having constantly attended worship in the house of Rimmon from my youth upward.” But we find he does no such thing. He thinks it sufficient, that in future he determines not to offer burnt offerings and sacrifices to any but JEHOVAH, and merely desires to be pardoned for attending the king, &c. Our translators, seeing this plainly, from their careful view of the context, and knowing the idiom of the Hebrew language, had no hesitation in giving it the present rendering. This has been the case with the other translators. Even Rabbi Solomon Yerchi, whose religion opposed him as strongly to the worship of idols, as that of any Christian divine, in his commentary gives the same view of the passage ; but he felt himself bound by the grammatical construction of the passage and the common use of the language.
Indeed had not the assembly of divines and Dr. Gill taken very llmited views of the divine providence and mercy, which feels and cares for all, Christian, Jew, and Gentile, they would have found no difficulty in the passage, but been perfectly contented with the present translation. On this very point, the apostle Peter received a special warning from Heaven, (Acts x.) so that he found himself compelled to say, “ Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons : but in every nation, he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted with him.” This ought to serve as a lesson to us : and we should remember that the worship of images by the Gentiles in their ignorance is, like the acts of children, not to be tried by the rules which regulate those in a more mature state and in a superior light, and that in reality there is a worship of idols of a more serious nature, viz. the worship of human creeds, and of our own preconceived opinions and self-derived intelligence, which really does condemn, and to which the Word of God awfully points, in this terrible denunciation, “ Ephraim is joined unto his idols, let him alone."'*
Ephraim, in the internal sense, signifies the intellectual principle of the Church, which is said to be "joined to his idols,” when interpreting the Sacred Oracles from human creeds and self-derived intelligence, which are worshipped as superior to the WORD.
EXTRACT From Leusden's Philologicus Hebræo-Mixtus, Dissertation IV.
being the third and last respecting the Greek version usually called the Septuagint.
Sect. XV. The Greek version was not translated from the Chaldee or Samaritan text, but from the Hebrew text itself. XVI. The style of the Greek version is not purely Greek, but Hebraizing. XVII. Three false and several real causes of the variance between the Greek version and the Hebrew text enumerated. XVIII. The Greek version of the present day is not the same which the celebrated Greek interpreters anciently made. XIX. Christ, and the writers of the New Testament, have followed sometimes the Hebrew text, often the Greek version, sometimes, passing by both, have cited freely. XX. There are four principal editions of the Septuagint version, viz. the Complutensian, Venetian, Alexandrian, and Roman. XXI. The Greek translators were not infallibly guided by the Holy Spirit.
XV. We are now come to the fifteenth question, respecting the translation of the LXX. interpreters, in which it is inquired, of what copy did the Greek translators make use, in preparing their version ?
Ans. On this question, the same opinion is not held by all the Rabbinical and Christian writers. There are, in general, three opinions, the first of which insists that the Greek version was translated from the Chaldee text. This opinion was formerly adopted by Philo Judæus; but very little confidence is to be reposed in him in this matter, for he was evidently ignorant of the Hebrew language, as will plainly appear to every one, from his interpretation of Hebrew names, respecting which he strangely philosophizes. Hence it is, that, being ignorant of both languages, it was easy for him to confound the Hebrew with the Chaldee, which is merely a dialect of the former. His steps have been closely followed by R. Azarias, Chap. 8 and 9, Part. I. b. Imre Binach, who confirms his opinion by these arguments :
1. Because Josephus says, all the Jews were called together, and approved of the version of the law, inasmuch as they found it to agree with the original text. Hence he concludes, the version was made from the Chaldee text. And for this reason : because the common people at that day did not understand the