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died not till eighteen years before the destruction of Jerusalem,) for they relate that Onkelos assisted at the funeral of this Gamaliel, provided for it seventy pounds of frankincense, at his own charge.' Again, (page 351) 'Whether the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan were received for this use (the explanation of the Hebrew text) so early as our Saviour's time, I cannot say; but this seems certain, if not these particular Targums, yet some others were then in hands for the instruction of the people, and were read among them in private as well as in public, for this purpose, and that they had such not only on the law and the prophets, but also on all the other Hebrew scriptures. * * * And when Christ was called out to read the second lesson in the synagogue of Nazareth, of which he was a member, he seems to have read it out of a Targum.'
10. Robinson, in his edition of Calmet's Dictionary, (Boston, 1832, Art. Versions,) says, "The Chaldee translations were already in use, in the time of Christ, as is apparent from. Mat. xxvii. 46, among other passages, where the words are quoted according to the Chaldee version. * * * Onkelos, author of the Targum containing the Pentateuch, was, most probably a pupil of Hillel, the grandfather of Gamaliel, Paul's instructor. Jonathan Ben Uzziel, author of the Targum on the historical books and prophets, lived a short time before the birth of Christ.
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11. In the Treasury of Knowledge, (p. 106, part 3, New York ed. 1834,) under the head Versions of the Scriptures' I find the following
account of the Targums: 'The Chaldee Paraphrases or Targums, so called, are translations of the Scriptures into the Chaldean language.
The Targum of Onkelos, who is generally supposed to be a disciple of Rabbi Hillel, who flourished about 50 years before the Christian
The Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel, who was contemporary with Onkelos, and also with our Saviour.'
12. The editors of the Comprehensive Bible, in their introduction (p. 69, Hartford ed. 1832,) say, 'The Targum of Onkelos, who is generally supposed to be a disciple of Rabbi Hillel, who flourished about 50 years before the Chris tian era, comprises the Pentateuch, and is nearly a verbal translation of the Hebrew text into pure Chaldee.
The Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel, who was contemporary with Onkelos, and also with our Saviour, is a paraphrase on the prophets from Ezra to Ezekiel inclusive, and approaches nearer to Onkelos in purity of style, especially in the former prophets, than any of the other Targums.'
On these twelve extracts, in relation to the dates of the Targums, I have to make a few remarks in order to set the subject under consideration in a more luminous point of view.
1. The Targums are commentaries or para. phrases on the Hebrew scriptures, designed to convey the true sense of the text to the common people. As the Jewish people, during the Babylonish captivity, had forgotten the Hebrew language, and made use of the Chaldee, it was
necessary that these paraphrases should be made, not in the Hebrew, but in the Chaldee language.
2. These Targums or commentaries, whether oral or written, were in use soon after the Jews returned from Babylon to their native land; and the written Targums of Jonathan and Onkelos were composed some time before the Incarnation.
3. The word Gehenna is used, in these Targums, to signify everlasting fire, or the punishment of the wicked, by fire, in a future state, in all the following places: Gen. iii. 24; and xv. 17; Psal. cxl. 12; Isa. xxvi. 15; xxxiii. 14; xxxiv. 14. As the revelation of God to mankind was committed to the Jews, and as the inspired prophets were raised up among them, and lived among them, it is absolutely certain that, no people had a better right to understand the true meaning of the sacred text than they.
4. Our Lord being a Jew, according to the flesh, and reading the Targarus, in which Gehenna is used to signify endless burnings, in the synagogue and elsewhere, as is believed, he must have used the word, in his discourses, not for the valley of Jerusalem, but for everlasting burnings, in a future state. That any one should pretend to doubt this, for it is only pretension, is of all things most astonishing.
5. In all cases of dispute respecting the meaning of a word, an appeal must be made to dictionaries and lexicons. I have done this, in my eighth letter, I cited twelve authorities who all concur in saying Gehenna means everlasting fire,
in a future state. I there, stated that, if you could produce half, the number who say it does not mean future wo, I would give it up: but you could not produce one single author to sustain your views. What am I to do in this case? I appeal to the judgment of the public to decide, whether I have not finally settled the argument in dispute. I am satisfied I have, and if any defect can be produced, I pledge myself to set it straight.
To sum up the whole matter in a few words, it may be observed that, the word Gehenna occurs twelve times in the New Testament. It is derived from Ghi, a valley, and Hinnom, the name of a person, who once possessed it; and signifies hell-fire. In this sense it was used by the authors of the Targums before our Saviour's time, and consequently by the Jews generally, as is manifest by Mr. Whiston's note concerning Hades. This is the sense in which Gehenna was explained to the Gentile converts about the year 150, by Justin Martyr. And in fact, no one, I believe, ever called in question or denied this explanation of Gehenna till within these late years, when the demoralizing heresy of Universalism began to stalk through the land with brazen effrontery.
Now sir, I shall consider the question as finally settled, and so it must remain, till you prove by sufficient authority, that the Targums were not written about the time of Christ, and this you cannot do till the last trumpet shall sound.
Now let me address myself to such as have been led away from the truth of Holy Scrip
ture, by the art and cunning of designing men, for such I consider all those who use sophistical reasoning to propagate a doctrine which was unknown in the days of Christ and his apostles. Fellow Christians, we are all hastening to eternity, to the judgment seat of Christ, before whom we must all shortly appear. We have the Holy Scriptures to teach us our duty to God, to our neighbor, and to ourselves. These scriptures teach us, in clear terms, all the doctrines of God, so far as he has revealed them to mankind. Every enquiring mind, by a little attention to the Bible, may see that the doctrine of endless punishment is as clearly revealed as that of endless happiness. The Jews unquestionably understood the Bible to teach the doctrine of endless misery. Christ and his apostles taught this doctrine, and Justin Martyr, in the second century, taught the same; and, in fact, no man ever taught the doctrine of a Universal restoration till Origen broached the sentiment about the year 206; consequently, it was unknown in the days of the apostles. You have more than five hundred passages of scripture that cannot be reconciled with the doctrine. But, supposing the doctrine is true, you can lose nothing in a future state by believing in the eternity, of hell's torments; for th meere belief of the doctrine of endless misery will not make it endless, unless it really is so. Therefore, if I am in error, my error will have no bad consequence, if Universalism be true, but the Universalists will be awfully disappointed, if their doctrine turn out to be false. Consequently, we should use every possible means to prepare