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Hebrew language, for the Chaldee was then vernacular with the people. Answer. When Josephus says the Jews were convoked and approved of the version of the Law, he does not mean the unlettered multitude; but the principal men, and those skilled in the Law. For it is not probable the king would call those of the lowest order to decide upon the merits of the version.
2. He further endeavours to support his opinion, because, as he says, the book sent to Ptolemy from Jerusalem, from which the version was made, was written in golden letters, whereas, by the custom of the Jews, Hebrew books are never written in such letters: they therefore translated their version from a Chaldee copy. Answer. The newly invented notions of the Talmud, in latter times, in the Tract Sopherim, have forbidden the law to be written in golden letters; but it does not thence follow that eight hundred years ago, or upwards, such a rule was observed.*
3. Because the paraphrase of Jonathant and the Jerusalem Targum, in Gen. iv. 8, add, “ let us go out into the field,” which words are also in the Greek version : but they are not found in the Hebrew text. Answer. The Samaritan text likewise hath these words. So that we might in the same manner infer that those interpreters translated their version from the Samaritan text. 2. Those paraphrases were composed long after the Greek version : the first of those paraphrases was not published till about ninety years ago; and when either of them was composed is unknown: at least neither of them was written before the time of Christ. 3. The Greek text agrees more with the Hebrew text than with these paraphrases; it is therefore more likely that this version was translated from the Hebrew text than from the Chaldee.
* It is a rule among the Jews, that the Word shall be written with ink, and that black. All coloured letters are considered by them as unholy. That nation, in all its customs in relation to religious things, is evidently led to act from correspondences, though unknown to themselves. Black corresponds to the letter of the Word, hence, whatever may be the opinion of Leusden, we can have no doubt in the New Church, that it has been the rule with the Jews, from the beginning, to write the Word only in black ink. See A. C. 1872.
† This paraphrase of Genesis is falsely ascribed to Jonathan Ben Uzziel, who wrote the paraphrase of the prophets. Sce Leusden Phil. Heb. mixt. Dis. V. sec. 4.
A second opinion maintains that the Greek version, at least as to the Pentateuch, was translated from the Samaritan text : because there is a very great agreement, indeed in many places a greater agreement with the Samaritan text than with the Hebrew. Hottinger has collected many passages from the Samaritan Pentateuch itself, which he collates with a certain Greek version, which is called a version of the LXX. for example, Gen. xxiii. 13, to the word 737" the Samaritan text subjoins 19h . The version of the LXX. has AdaxvTa ev th Sexy Cle auto, and xxix. 8, ontoh box all the flocks were gathered together. The Samaritan text has yn The LXX. Tapéves, shepherds.
Exod. vii. 8. The Hebrew text has 'yn wyn" and the Egyptians shall know, but the Samaritan On a all the Egyptians. So also has the Greek version “and all the Egyptians shall know." And x. 11. Vu" and he expelled. The Samaritan has it in the plural wo" and they expelled. So also has the Greek version “they expelled.”
Levit. xvii. 8. The Hebrew text has by, the Samaritan, nwy, so also the Greek text, os ar Tonon, he who shall make. And xx. 27,
, in the plural. So also the Greek text, “they shall stone them with stones."
Num. xxx. 6. The Hebrew text says, Dipus “ shall not stand," in the singular. The Samaritan inpx. So also the Greek version, “ they shall not stand," in the plural. Ch. xxxv. 5, it is said, Dob 66 shall be to them.” The Samaritan text says Oah and the Greek version has 6 shall be to you."
Deut. iv. 13. The Hebrew text has Dynx nis he commanded you,
The Samaritan 1918, and the Greek version TUALTO xury, he commanded us. Ch. xxvii. 17. In the Hebrew text nxt and shall say, in the singular. In the Samaritan inpni, which the Greek version imitates, having kas specs and shall say, in the plural. If any one desires more examples, let him turn to Hottinger. From all these accordances with the Samaritan text, they conclude the Greek version, at least as to the Pentateuch, was made from the Samaritan text. But this opinion appears to me untrue.
1. Because it does not seem in any degree probable, that those interpreters, as they were Jews, would use the Samaritan text. For the Jews did not acknowledge the Samaritan text, but the Hebrew, as authentic, and publicly read it in their synagogues.
באבנים ירגמו the Samaritan text has ,באבן ירגמו the Hebrew text has
2. It is not as yet proved that the Greek version of the present day is in all respects the same which those interpreters composed : for the version of the present day, from time, hath contracted many errors, as we shall immediately prove: therefore those agreements with the Samaritan text might have been easily added and interpolated. 3. Some think a twofold Greek version, of which the one was translated from the Hebrew text, and the other from the Samaritan, hath coalesced, at least as to the Pentateuch, into one version.
A third opinion, which has my own approbation, affirms that the version of the LXX. interpreters was translated from the Hebrew text. This opinion the Talmudists maintain, who several times
say the Greek version was made from the Hebrew text, and that those interpreters changed thirteen places in the Hebrew text, &c. 'The other Jews also, (except R. Azarias,) and the [Christian] fathers, with their common suffrages unite in this opinion. It may be confirmed also by the circumstances narrated by Josephus, viz. that the high priest sent a copy very elegantly and magnificently written : for he thus requests of the king, “ It will comport with your piety and justice, that the Law being transcribed, you will send it back safely, together with those who carry it.” Hence it is plain that this copy was of the highest authority with the Jews, and perhaps one of those which were kept in the archives. This copy, therefore, was written in Hebrew: for if it had been written in any other language, the Jews would not have prized it so highly. Morinus Exerc. 8, c. 5, with many other arguments and conjectures, shows those interpreters to have translated the Greek version from the Hebrew text; which opinion we also undertook to defend.
XVI. Sixteenthly, it is enquired, whether the style in which the Greek version is translated by the LXX. interpreters be pure Greek ? Answer. The style of the Greek version is not pure Greek, for there are many Hebraisms, and many expressions are interspersed which are not to be found in other common Greek writers; and therefore authors have denominated this version by a kind of new name. Scaliger first thought the phraseology of the Greek version should be called Hellenistic. Sixtinus Amama preferred calling it Hebrew-Greek ; others have called it Hebraizing ; because it is replete with numerous Hebraisms and Hebrew phrases. The Greek and Latin fathers, also, call the style
of the Old Testament Hellenic. The Greek version, in many things, is too closely bound to the Hebrew text: so that sometimes Hebrew words, which cannot with sufficient facility be expressed in Greek, are turned into Greek by a sort of change in termination. Many examples might be adduced, but these few may suffice: gesepss, Joscopes, are strangers, proselytes, and are formed from the Hebrew word w; thus Kspunes from Spa, roxos from 7in, &c. The phraseology, therefore, of the Greek version, may be called Hellenistic, or Hebrew-Greek, or Hebraizing, at pleasure. And in fact it should seem extraordinary to no one, that those interpreters used such a phraseology: for they were Jews to whom the Hebrew language was exceedingly familiar: and therefore very naturally might intermingle Hebrew modes of speech.
XVII. Seventeenthly, it is enquired, Through what causes hath so great a discrepancy from the Hebrew text forced itself into the Greek version ? Answer. The same causes are not stated by all. Hottinger hath answered this question very much at large. I shall briefly bring into view the chief causes of these discrepancies. Rabbi Gedalias, in Catena Kabbalæ, fol. 24, enumerates three causes of those differences, the first of which he draws from Augustin, b. 15, de Civit. Dei, c. 11 & 13, &c. viz. that the Egyptians, out of animosity to the Jews, transcribed their Law, and in transcribing, falsified it. Another cause of the difference he ascribes to the burning of the Alexandrian library, in the time of the civil war of Pompey with Cæsar, in which the original translation of the LXX. interpreters was consumed. As a third cause of the differences, he gives this : because the opinion of some is, that the Greek version is translated out of the Chaldee text.
But none of these three causes is true. The first has no appearance of truth, nor does Augustin ascribe those differences to the animosity of the Alexandrians. The second also is not sufficient, for if the Greek version should have become so corrupt, because the original copy was burnt; we might also conclude that the Hebrew text likewise was corrupt, because the very autograph of the sacred authors hath also perished. The third is refuted above, in the 15th question. Laying aside, therefore, those causes, we shall investigate the real causes of these discrepancies. Hottinger enumerates very many causes, and confirms them by various examples.
§ 1. The first is, because the Greek interpreters used a copy
incorrect as to the vowels, as to the consonants, or both as to consonants and vowels; or because they read the sacred text with false vowels or consonants. I will give some examples of each. They read words with false vowels, e. g. for Kametz they pronounced Tzere, as Ps. xl. 5, for Dv Sām, he placed, they read Shāym, name, for they rendered it by to croped. For Tzere they read Patach, as Ps. vii. 12, 581 Wěāyl, and God, they rendered by used few and not, as they read it as if it had been written 589 Wěăl. For Patach they read Chirek, Ps. vii. 7, for 15% āylãi to me, they read 6 aylī my God; for they rendered it o feos us. For Sægol they read Patach, as Ps. xci. 3, for nain Middě ber from the pestilence, they read 1379 Midbār from the word, for they translated it ano 1998. Sometimes to one word they put several false vowels, as Gen. iv. 26, for xp's bron Hoohă'l Lỉk'rõ, they began to invoke, they read xps brin Höhāyl Likrõ, he hoped to invoke, for they rendered it nation 7bxdaus tars. Sometimes they have read many different words in succession with false vowels, ex. gr. Is. xvii. 11, in the Hebrew text hath WIN IN Kěāyb ānoosh deadly grief. The Greek translators pronounced the pointed words thus, VIR 3x5 kěāb ěnosh, as the father of men, for they rendered it ας πατης ανθρωπων. .
§ 2. The interpreters have also in a wonderful manner erred with respect to the consonants. Hottinger shows how in almost every letter of the alphabet they have read the words with false consonants : ex. gr. for 3 they read i thus Is. lx. 15, it is 121 189. The Greek interpreters rendered it Kes xx n o Bontcov, and there is no one bringing help, as if it had been written ny with Zain. For they read 7, thus Gen. xlvii. 21, for ydyn they read 7'3yn, for they rendered it natada surato, he reduced to servitude. Some. times by Prothesis, in reading they added a letter, thus Prov. xxviii. 28, it is d'yun dipo when the wicked rise up: they read
as if in the beginning there was prefixed the letter Mem ; for they rendered it TOMOS Qorbav, in the places of the ungodly. Not unfrequently they have read words as if transposed by Me. tathesis, as 1 Kings x. 15, for anyo ap they read nay pho, for they translated it Brointcr T& Figar, of the kings round about. Sometimes by Aphæresis they cut off letters; thus Hos. xiv. 2, it is Dito calves, they read 0 fruit, for they rendered it xagros:
§ 3. They often erred both in vowels and consonants in the same words. Ps. iv. 3, it is inhas 17922 777 7, Gnăd măy chěbo