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When we advert to the state of the Greek text of the New Testament, and to the recent date of its critical emendation, it can hardly excite our surprise that no critical edition of the Hebrew Scriptures, with a revised and corrected text, has made its appearance.
Various readings have been collected and printed in the London Polyglot, in Kennicott's Hebrew Bible, and in De Rossi's volumes. Houbigant, and other editors and eritics, have partially used them in the marginal notes of their respective publications; but no one has yet ventured to employ them in the full extent of their application to the entire Hebrew text. A Hebrew Bible on the plan of Griesbach's Greek Testament, and corresponding to that invaluable work, is still a desideratum in sacred literature.
Mr. Boothroyd's original intention was, we understand, to publish an edition of the Hebrew Bible with a corrected text on Griesbach's plan, and as a companion to bis Greek Testament. This design he has abandoned, in deference partly to the example of Kennicutt, and partly to that of the general prejudice in favour of the Masoretic text; and he has satisfied himself in the present publication, by noticing the various errors which deform the text in common use, and furnishing the means of correcting and improving it. The text of Vander-Hooght is adopted in the body of the work. A copious selection of various readings from the collations of Kennicott, De Rossi, and the Ancient Versions, is given in the inner margin; and below this the notes are inserted. These notes include extracts from the writings of various authors, among which are those of Dathe, Dimock, Delgado, Houbigant, Kennicott, Pilkington, and Geddes; and they point out the readings which the Editor accounts either genuine or deserving of attention.
A work of this description could bave been executed only by an editor of patient and persevering industry; but this, although a very necessary qualification, is not that one of primary excellence to which the critic would be inclined to award his highest approval. The value of this publication must, it is evident, depend on the critical skill of the Editor, in selecting and disposing the materials of which it is composed, and on the correct manner in which it is carried through the press. We shall, in the sequel, have occasion to qualify our praise of this Hebrew Bible; justice, bowever, requires that we report in its favour the judicious conduct of its Editor, who very properly determined to separate the office of the critic from that of the theologian, and to confine himself to the duties of the former. This measure has it seems been regretted by some of his friends; but we have no doubt they will, on reflection, fully approve of his resolution. We accord also in opinion with the Editor, in relation to the question of wilful corruptions of Scripture, so frequently ;הסידך instead of הסידיך lief
charged upon the Jews. Justin Martyr, in more than one passage of his Dialogue with Trypho, urges this accusation, and from him it bas been repeated to the present day. The Greek Father, we apprehend, was outstepping the limits of his discretion and his knowledge; and in the case of others, prejudice, we think, has prevailed over truth. The opinion of Mr. Boothroyd we shall quote as in our judgement founded on truth, and pointing distinctly to the real state of the fact.
• Having completed the Pentateuch and the Historical Books, he is ready to declare that considering the antiquity of these writings, and the innumerable transcripts made since the original copies were totally lost, he has been surprised in finding them not more generally and more materially corrupted. That the Jews have paid particular attention to their Scriptures, is certain ; and he conceives it just to acknowledge that the errors which have obtained, have been more the result of unavoidable circumstances than of criminal purpose and design. It is apparent that the later Jews, when they found any various reading in passages which Christians conceive directly to refer to Jesus as the Christ, did prefer such reading as by changing the sense would destroy the application and countenance them in their unbe
; and some other instances of a like nature; but further than this, he is convinced they have not been guilty of wilfully perverting the sacred oracles.' Preface
Mr. Boothroyd having abandoned his design of publishing a corrected Hebrew text, ought, we think, to have reprinted that of Van der Hooght, which he has adopted, without alteration, confining his emendations to the margin. By not adhering to this plan he has exposed himself to censure by furnishing the occasion of charging inconsistency upon his work. Thus, in Gen. iv, 8. an open space is left in the text, and the reading ATP raba, “ Let us go into the field,” supported by the Samaritan Pentateuch, and the Sept. and Vulg. Versions, appears in the margin. In the Note on this verse, the reading is approved as undoubtedly genuine.? So, in Gen. xlii, 16, a similar opening is left in the text, and the words 57 xb moan :' ,
cannot leave his father, for should he leave his father, his father will die;' which are found only in the Samaritan Pentateuch, are inserted in the margin; and in the notes Mr. B. asserts the genuineness of the passage. But in Exodus vi, 9. the following words are inserted in the text, marked by aster:
: . And they said to Moses, 'Let us alone, and let us serve the Egyptians, for it is better ' for us to serve the Egyptians than for us to die in the desert, Now, as the Editor is not less strongly persuaded that the
And they said , the youth * הנער לעזב את אביו ועזב את אביו ומת:
ויאמרו אל משה הדל גא ממנו ונעברה את מצרים כי טוב לנו : isms
former passages are genuine, than he , is that the latter are so, they should alike have been inserted in the text, or placed in the margin. It would seem indeed that the margin is their most proper station ; as they now appear, they are at once an innovation on the textus receptus, and an unnecessary violation of the Author's plan.
As many readers of Mr. B.'s work have not probably access to the versions, it would have been a valuable acquisition had the readings selected from them been given in all cases of importance in the proper original terms. For example : J18 D'UX is the reading of the Hebrew text in Gen. xlix, 3. In the note on this verse the following remark occurs, “The Vulg. "" principium doloris mei.”—The other versions more pro
perly give the sense of strength to the noun. Here the reading of the Septuagint 'apxTEXyWv pou should have been quoted. In the following example the reading of the Sept. is misrepresented in Mr. Boothroyd's margin. In 1 Sam. iv, 1. the Greek version contains the clause · And the Philistines were ga-,
thered together for war against Israel.' This clause is reckoned genuine by Mr. B. in whose note it appears in the
form : a representation of the Greek words και συναθριζονται αλλοφυλοι επι sopana Ess Todepoy, the proper translation of the passage into He
. In very numerous instances the present Editor corrects the Hebrew text, sometimes by the Samaritan text and the Version of the Seventy together, and frequently by the readings of each separately. In both these cases, but especially in the latter, very great care should be employed. We would not rashly innovate on the Hebrew Bible, nor give the preference to readings differing from its Text, unless when they are sanctioned by unexceptionable authority, and bave the character of necessary emendations. In such examples therefore as the following, we are not disposed to concede the imperfection of the Hebrew text. In Gen. viii, 1. a vacant space is left after the word
, margin as an omitted passage which should be restored. For this addition the Septuagint Version is the sole authority quoted. It would seem less probable that the words should have been omitted in the Hebrew text, than that they are an interpolation in the Greek version. The Sam. T. and Ver. Vulg. Arab. and Onk. support the Hebrew reading in this verse, which cannot
proved to be defective, and which therefore we would not alter on so slight authority. Mr. Boothroyd has not noticed the Syriac Version which, in addition to the words in the text, reads
ndi, omitting the nest of the clause contained in the Seventy. Num.xxii, 18. For pa '930 Mr. Boothroyd would substitute psa nv, on the authority of the Sept. one of Ken
.ופלשתים נאספו למלחמה עם ישראל brew is
,הבהמה are inserted in the ואת כל העוף ואת כל רמש and the words
nicott's codices, and the Arabic of Saadias. From the reading of the Seventy “Tots aqxouse”, we cannot conclude that they read you in the manuscripts from which they translated, since they have rendered out by agxortes, Joshua ix, 14. The Hebrew text is here supported by the Sam. and Onk. and ought to be retained. In Lev. xi, 25. a vacant space is left
which are supported by ירחץ במים for the words יכבס בגדיו after
only the Sam. and one MS. The presumption and evidence are, in our opinion, against the genuineness of the adopted phrase in - this passage. The same formula occurs in the 28th and 40th verses of this chapter, without the proposed addition, which it is more reasonable to regard as an interpolation in the Sam. than as a genuine part of the original text which has been omitted in the Hebrew copies. With the latter the versions strictly accord. These examples, to which more might have been added, are sufficient to prove that the proposed emendations of the Hebrew text introduced into this work, are not al. ways unexceptionable, and that the vigilance of the student must be kept active in its perusal.
We shall now present to our readers a selection of the notes, accompanied with our own remarks, and shall then conclude our review of the work before us by endeavouring to estimate its claims to accuracy.
Gen. i, 24 .“ & certainly more regular.” Dimock. « The present reading room is a vile barbarism, or, if its defenders chuse, an Arabism ; for cer. tainly it is not an Hebraism. The blunder seems to have been committed before the change of letters; for in the S. Alphabet the he and vau are often hardly distinguishable.” Geddes. On this supposition
" The Sam. reading is post , as correctly given in the margin, though erroneously inserted in the note. If the left stroke of the were obliterated in a Hebrew manuscript in which the words were not divided, the remaining part of the letter might be mistaken by an ancient transcriber for a 1 and the read
, which is evidently the correct reading.
• Exod. i. 21. Din ons wyn Geddes and most Expositors render, " and he prospered their own families..". Shuckford contends that this passage ought to be understood literally, and he supposes that Pharaoh ordered houses to be built for the Israelites, who had before dwelt in tents, in order more effectually to oppress them. The connexion best supports the other sense.,”?
Against both of these senses very forcible objections may be made. The relative pronoun 07 is masculine, and cannot therefore be construed with nobar, which is feminine ; while the
".וחית הארץ we should read
,וחית הארץ would thus easily be produced instead of וחיתו ארץ ing
nominative to the verb oy is not iyo Pharaoh, bút obx,' God. Professor Robertson's note is as follows : 'Facere domos, ad
Israelitas referendum est, ad quos relativum mas. Snb ipsis • omnino pertinet, et sic vertendum est, et factum est, cum ob• stetrices timerent Deum, et Deus iis (nempe Israelitis) • domos faceret, ut præceperit Pharaoh ; &c.' And it came • to pass, as the midwives feared God, and God built houses ( to them, (i. e. the Israelites,) that Pharaoh commanded, &c."
Ex quo manifestum est, facere domos et multiplicare popuilum idem significare, cum modo dictum fuit, populum, per pia
illa obstetricum facinora, multiplicatum fuisse. Adificari fioc sensu sumitur. Job xxii. 23. Si conversus fueris ad Omnipotentem, ædificaberis, nempe spe, re, prole, fortunis ortibi « bus. Sic etiam 2 Sam. vii. 11. Annuntiat tibi Dominus, quod
domum faciet tibi Dominus, &c.' This mode of construing the passage, it must be confessed, is a little awkward, but it gives a clear and satisfactory sense, and contains nothing that is radically objectionable.
• Exod. iii. 18. “ 1358 napo.” All the Samaritan Copies, and 27 Hebrew MSS. and the text itself in pp. ch. v. 3. have a different reading, namely, up the passive voice of map, instead of rapa. I know the two verbs are sometimes confounded in the present text; and that wp has the meaning of op about eighteen times in the whole Hebrew Scripture; but neither of these verbs, in the signification of meeting, or befalling, is ever constructed with the preposition sy; whereas when it means to call, invoke, is in its passive voice phal most frequently so constructed; and always, I believe, when
9.46: it is used to express the relation between God and his people. So Deut. xxviii. 10. goby po apa nini w, rendered by our English translators, “Thou art callėd by the name of the Lord, i.e. The Lord is he whom thou invokest and worshippest: So Jerem. xiv. 9. pun mapa niby Thy name is called upon us See also 2 Chron. xii. 14. Isa. lxiii. 19. Amos ix. 12. Dan. ix. 18.--This consideration alone determines the true reading rips' and its true meaning here ; without the aid of MSS. or any other authority: Onk. and Jonathan : 50 read and understood : for they have both xaby inpas invocatus est: steper nos, in the same sort of construction as the Hebrew." Geddes.
This note is more specious than solid: Neither the true reading, nor the true meaning of this passage, is determined by the consideration alleged in its support. In all the above examples taps is construed with av, the latter word invariably accompanies the former when used in the Niphal; or passive sense. Sy tempo to be called upon; expressive of the res lation between God and his people, is as unusual as is so impo in the sense of meeting or befalling
The reading of the Common Version-in-Levi i. 2. is, “ If any man of you bring an offering unto the Lord, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock