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CONTENTS OF VOL. III.
XXIII. Synopsis of the Books of the Bible-1 and 2 Kings
THE PRESENT TESTIMONY.
GO-I, L'OM, AM. In the Hebrew Psalter, the three following words occur, 3, DR?, by or Dy. In the authorised version, these words are somewhat indefinitely rendered, by the words “heathen," " nation,” or “people.”
It has been attempted, in the present case, to translate the Hebrew more accurately, by rejecting the word
people” altogether, and by substituting “gentiles” for "heathen.”
The word “people," even when occasionally modified by the plural form to suit the Hebrew plural, is far too indefinite to convey accurately the meaning of the original. “Peoples," indeed, would signify the same, or nearly the same as “nations”; but it is hardly English, nor has it been employed in the authorised version of the Psalms. People, in the singular number, leaves the reader in the dark as to whether it means:-1. the Jewish people; 2. the Gentiles; 3. all nations, including the Jews: or, lastly, whether it is a generic term for Mankind.
The word “heathen” was probably more nearly correct when the authorised version was made than now, it having acquired in our own day a peculiar signification, i.e. not Gentiles as distinct from Jews, but any nation who does not professedly worship the one true God; in other words, all mankind, except Jews, Christians, and Mahometans.
The plan, then, that has been adopted, is :-
“nation” when they occur in the singular, always by “gentiles” when they occur in the plural. II. As this rule has been universally adopted in the
very few cases of exception in which even the word “people” might be preferable, are noticed in the margin.
III. Never to depart from the words of the authorised version, except in the employment of the words “nation" or “ gentiles"; or where such a change having been made, the grammar or sense absolutely requires some farther alteration.
As the writer's object has been to furnish a critical help, rather than a new version to supersede the old, he hopes he has in some measure succeeded. Ps. 2: 1. Why do the gentiles (a pl.) rage, and the gentiles ( pl.)
imagine a vain thing? 8. Ask of me, and I will give thee the gentiles (a pl.) for thine
inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy
possession. 3: 6. I will not be afraid for ten thousands of the nation? (y sing.),
that have set themselves against me round about. 8. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord; thy blessing is upon thy
nation (v sing). 7: 7. So shall the congregation of the gentiles (pl.) compass thee
about: for their sakes, therefore, return Thou on high. 8. The Lord shall judge the gentiles (v pl.): judge me, O God,
according to my righteousness, and according to the inte
grity that is in me. 9: 5. Thou hast rebuked the gentiles (a pl.), thou hast destroyed
the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever. 8. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall
minister judgment to the gentiles in uprightness (5 pl.) 11. Sing praises to the Lord, which dwelleth in Zion; declare
among the gentiles (v pl.) his doings. 15. The gentiles (3 pl.) are sunk down in the pit that they made;
in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. 17. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the gentiles 3
(a pl.) that forget God.
| Having inserted, whilst verifying this paper, for 2, go-i (a sing.), when it was found in the singular number, and (pl.) when it was found in the plural; and for dy, similarly (v sing.) and (v pl.); and for oxb, similarly (5 sing.), and (5 pl.), I have taken editorial liberty, and allowed them to remain, for the saving of time to those who know Hebrew. The versification is according to the English Bible.—ED.
Or “people.” 3 Or “nations,” including the Jews, but gentiles seem to be specially