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could make so rash an assertion as that above quoted is inconceivable!
Let us, however, turn our attention to the particular passages which have been published (Month. Mag. Sept. 1817) of Mr. Bellamy's translation, and see if he has done better than those who have gone before him.
Bellamy gives us the following translation of Gen. i. 1. “In the beginning God created the substance of the heaven and the substance of the earth." Here he introduces the word “ substance," and without the slightest foundation for it in the original, as I shall presently show. This is, however, no new notion, but has been so often repeated in some schools, that both masters and scholars have thought there were really some grounds for it. The idea has been founded on the word 'N, eth, prefixed to the words “ heaven and earth.” Hebraists have found it difficult to assign an independent meaning for this word ; and some, in their desire to establish particular dogmas with respect to the creation, have taken it into their heads to guess that it meant “substance.” The absurdity of this opinion will be amply shown. Grammarians generally and the Jews have considered it as the sign of the accusative case simply. If we search our Hebrew Bibles with care, we shall find it applied in three modes, apparently different, yet perhaps essentially the same. 1. To denote the noun governed by an active transitive verb. Instances of this are without number, and it is the universal custom of the language : take a few, Gen. ii. 3. “ And God blessed the seventh day," here nx, eth, precedes • seventh day :” according to this new notion, we should read, 6 God blessed the substance of the seventh day." Gen. xii. 12. “When the Egyptians shall see thee, &c. they will kill me, but they will save thee alive,” according to this notion, “ shall see the substance of thee, they shall kill the substance of me.” xviii. 19. “ For I know him that he will command his children," &c. according to Mr. Bellamy, it should be," he will command the substance of his children." xli. 16. “ And Joseph answered Pharaoh," that is, Joseph answered the substance of Pharaoh." What egregious trifling! So universal is this use of the particle, that with pronouns it is combined into one word, and forms a regular accusative, as much so as the accusative in any language. 2dly. It is found after passive verbs, to show the nominative case of the verb. Exod. x. 8. « And Moses and Aaron were brought
back to Pharaoh.” Here eth precedes “Moses and Aaron;" shall
66 the substance of Moses and the substance of Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh ?” So in numerous instances..So after a verb neuter, to denote its nominative, as 2 Sam. xi. 25. “ Be not evil this thing in thy eyes," where eth precedes hădabar, after the verb yr', yērăng, be not evil. See also Gen. xvii. 5. xxi. 5. Numb. xxvi. 55. It is remarkable, that the French and vulgar English use an accusative after the substantive verb, c'est moi, it is me.
3dly. It is applied to denote the state of apposition of two nouns signifying the same thing, as Ezek. iv. 1. “ And portray upon it the city Jerusalem," or, as we say in English, “the city of Jerusalem,” here it is eth Jerusalem. So in Gen. iv. 1. “I have gotten a man, Jehovah,” here eth precedes Jehovah. See A. C. 340.
From this it is apparent the simple office of this particle is to denote the union between the transitive verb and its accusative; between the neuter and passive and their nominatives ; and between noun and noun in apposition, or signifying the same thing.
I conclude, therefore, that Mr. Bellamy, in this instance, has made a worse translation than the one we have at present, and that too from want of proper reflection and consideration.
Gen. iii. 22. Bellamy, in the first part of this verse, “ Behold the man was like one of us with knowledge of good and evil," has, in using the preterite " was,” merely imitated the common interlineary version of Arias Montanus, "fuit,” which so renders 07177. The translators of the common English version give us, “ Behold the man is BECOME as one of us to know good and evil.” This is one of the instances of that careful examination of the context for which they are remarkable. They observed, that, in verse 5 of the same chapter, the serpent says,
66 Ye shall be as Elohim, (God) knowing of good and evil.” They therefore view. ed the words as relating to this change of state predicted by the serpent, and translated 07, IS BECOME as one of us.
070 may, with great propriety, be translated by the verb “be. come," as in Exod. viii. 16. “ Smite the dust of the land, and it SHALL BEOOME lice," v. 17, “ And it BECAME lice,” (in two places.) So with respect to changing the rods into serpents, vii. 9, 10, 12. So Gen. xix. 26. Lot's wife became a pillar of salt. Many other instances might be shown.
It is very true, nn, in the text, is in what is commonly called the preterite; but it is to be remembered, the tenses in the Hebrew are used with great latitude. The preterite is used to signify all time which is past : hence it has the force of the imperfect and plusquam perfectum, or pluperfect. The preterite is also often used for the present tense, in which the Hebrew language is deficient: see Raschi, at Gen. sxiv. 45. Take these instances:
Gen. iv. 1. "'* 'n sp, “I possessed a man,” for “ I possess a
iv. 9. “ And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother, and he said, nyt *5, I knew not,” for “ I know not."
xxxii. 10. “ I was less,” for “ I am less, than all thy mercies."
Ps. i. 1. “ Blessed the man who walked,” for 6 walketh, not in the council of the ungodly,"
2 Sam. i. 5. “ Whence knewest thou,” for 6 knowest.”
It is remarkable, that, in John i. 26, the word rendered stand. eth,” is in the preterite in the Greek. Many similar instances may be shown in the Greek Testament, as Luke viii. 20. Acts i. 11. and elsewhere.
Perhaps the English form of expression, which combines a present and a preterite, may meet the force of the meaning, in most of the above passages, as Gen. iv. 1. “ I have possessed a man.”
9. “ I have not been informed.” xxxii. 10. “ I have been less." Ps. i. 1. 6 Blessed the man who hath not walked.” 2 Sam. i. 5. " Whence hast thou known?" John i. 26. "hath been standing." This is in fact a preterite of a compound nature, implying a continuance of an act or effect to the present time, which the Hebrew preterite seems to embrace. Hence, in the text, the full force of the original would be best expressed by the words, “ the man hath become as one of us." This is also confirmed by the word 1975, which is literally, “ TO KNOW, viz. good and evil.” In this respect, the common translation is perfectly accurate, and Bellamy altogether wrong, for there is no such expression as “ WITH knowledge,” in the original. Buxtorf gives us the same rendering as the common English version, in his Concordance. But wbat connexion is there in the sentence and the subject, according to Bellamy's translation ? 4, to, preceding nyr, signifieth a change of state, coming or becoming to another state, “ As one of us the man has become to know good and evil.” This is especially the case, where no precedes 5, as in Ex. iv. 4, 9. viii. 12, 16. 1 Sam. xxv. 37. In this passage, therefore, the translators of the common English version appear to have considered both the Hebrew and the context with much more attention than Mr. Bellamy.
Gen vi. 4. Bellamy says, “ The apostates were on the earth in those days." This is the translation, or rather interpretation of Sebastian Schmidt, given in his Latin translation of the Bible. The common version is, “ There were giants in the earth in those days.” It would have been better to retain the original Hebrew word “ The :Niphilim,” which one renders giants, and the other apostates. Now, although in the spiritual sense the Niphilim have relation to those who fell off from the truth, (from the word 5o, Naphal, to fall) yet it is very clear that, in the literal sense, men of large stature are meant. The Niphilim are mentioned only in one other passage, viz. Numb. xiii. 33. but their posterity were called Anakim and Rephaim, who are repeatedly mentioned. Num. xiii. 33. “ The land which we passed through to explore it, is a land which eateth up the inhabitants thereof: and all the people which we saw in it are men of stature. And there we saw the Niphilim, the sons of Anak, which come of the Niphilim, and we were in our eyes as grasshoppers, and so we were in their eyes." Deut. i. 28. “ The people is greater and taller than we, and we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.” ii. 10, 11, “ The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people large, numerous and tall as the Anakims; which also were accounted Rephaim as the Anakims, but the Moabites call them Emims.” is. 1, 2. “ A people large and tall as the sons of the Anakim." iii. 11. “ For only 0g, king of Bashan, remained of the remnant of the Rephaim: behold his bedstead was a bedstead of iron : Is it not in Rabbath, of the children of Ammon? Nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.”
These observations, however, must not be understood as denying that Niphilim may mean apostates in the spiritual sense, but merely to show what the literal sense is, and that, in translating, we must not destroy the letter. 66 He bindeth up the waters, (his truths) in his thick clouds, (the literal sense) and the cloud (the literal sense) is not rent under them.” Job xxvi. 8.
Mr. Bellamy's translation of 2 Kings, v. 18, has been fully an. swered, in a dissertation in the 6th No. of the Repository, p. 375, by which the reader will be convinced that Mr. Bellamy has not brought as much mind or learning to his work as its importance demanded.
( To be continued.)
( Continued from p. 392.) XVIII. Is the present Greek version the one which was made by the celebrated interpreters, at the request of Ptolemy?
Ans. By no means. The ancient version has either been partially or entirely lost, or so much corrupted, that the version of the present day can no longer be considered the same with the ancient one. Upon this subject hear the opinion of Pagninus, Isagog. c. 9. “ The version of the Seventy,” says he, “ I have compared with the original Hebrew, with the greatest attention, care and diligence, and have found so many additions and omissions, so many cases in which the original has been corrupted, or changed, so many things foreign to the Hebrew text, that I cannot persuade myself it is the version of the Seventy.” Bellarmin, lib. 2. de V. D. c. 6, expresses nearly the same opinion, “ Although,” says he, “ I am not ignorant some are of opinion the original version of the Seventy has perished, I think it more probable it is still extant, but so corrupted as to seem entirely another."
XIX. Inquiry. Have Christ and the Evangelists and the other Apostles, in their quotations from the Old Testament, always followed that celebrated Greek version ?
Ans. They have not. Most usually they have followed the He. brew text itself. Compare Matt. ii. 15, with Hosea, xi. 1. Matt. viii. 17, with Isa. liii. 4, and John xix. 37, with Zach. xji. 10, so also, Rom. ix. 17, with Ex. ix. 16. But did not Christ and the Apostles, at times, refer to the Greek version ? They did : examples will every where be found : but they did so, 1st, To accommodate themselves to their audience, to whom, at the time, that version was familiar; to many indeed more so than the Hebrew text. 2dly, To avoid giving offence to the Hellenistic Jews. Have not the writers of the New Testament, passing by both the Hebrew and Greek texts, cited freely passages from the Old Testament at times? They have: compare Matt. ii. 6, with Micah, v. i, and Rom. xi. 1, with Isaiah, xxix. 10. On this subject see more in my Philologus Græcus, dissertation 9.
XX. Inquiry. What are the principal editions of the Greek version :