Page images
PDF
EPUB

the Scriptures, and to guard the Mr. Faber charges upon the Hebrew purity of the sacred text*

: and the text in Dan. viii. 14 ; for the last very existence of such a body as the part of the 11th chap. of Gen. conMasorites, during the long period tains a list of names and nombers, of Gfteen hundred years, is evidence and we all know that in copying of the care taken by the Jews, in such lists, errors are much more apt preserving their Scriptures. Will to occur, than in cojiying a single Dir

. Faber say, that equal care, and and insulated number like that in with equal success, has been em Dan. viii. 14. In the third place, ployed in maintaining the purity of the integrity of the Samaritan Penthe text of the LXX. f; and that the tatquch is not to be compared with various readings called the Keri in that of the Hebrew. For leaving the margins of our common Hebrew out of question the well known and Bibles, and those collected by Kenni- wilful corruption of the Samaritan cott, are equal io number, or impor- text in Deut. xxvii. 4, and the forlance, to those of the Greek Scrip- ged interpretation in the 20th of tures.

Exodus; it I may believe the authors But Mr. Faber says, that the iden- of the Ancient Universal History *, tical transcriptorial mistake, which there are in the different copies, both I deem improbable, not to say im- of the Samariian and Septuagint, possible, has occurred either in the many various readings in the ages Hebrew, or the Samaritan Pens of the patriarchs; while among the tateuch, in Gen. xi. 13. In this Hebrew copies and the Chaldee place (says Mr. Faber), either yan paraphrases, the most undeviating has been written for ww or usw for agreement exists. But in the fourth VIN. I reply, first, that even ad- and last place, I observe, that the mitting the discrepancy between the differences in the years of the postHebrew and Samaritan texts, in this diluvian patriarchs (as recorded in passage, to have arisen from error, the 11th of Gen.) which exist be and not design, it proves nothing tween the Hebrew text and the against my argument: for the oc. Samaritan, are of such a nature as currence of a very improbable mis. to exclude the possibility of their take in Gen. xi. i3, does not render having arisen from the errors of it a whit more probable, that the transcribers. They have plainly orisame mistake should happen a ginated in design. For while the sum second time, in Dan. viii. 14. total of the years of each patriarch Secondly, the alleged error in the is the same both in the Hebrew and former passage, does not include in Samaritan; the particulars of which it the supposition of an equal degree that sum total is made up, differ of negligence, as the mistake which in the two copies. Thus in the

Hebrew, Arphaxad is said to have Prideaux's Connect, Part i. Book v. # The reader will find an account of the

been 35 years of age at the birth of state of the copies of the LXX. in common use

his son Salah, and to have lived 403 in the age of Origen, in Prideaux's Connect, years after that event: these two part ii. book i.; and the preface to the Cam- numbers being added together, make bridge edition of the LXX. printed in 1665, the age of Arphaxad when he died contains the following character, both of the 438 years. In the Samaritan, Arancient and present state of that version :- phaxad is said to have been 135 "Quoniam autem hæc seniorum versio etiam years old at the birth of Salah, and S. Hieronymi tempore corrupta fuit atque io have lived 303 years afterwards. tiolata danda est opera ut ei pristina puritas These numbers being added, give testitui et redintegrari possit. Certum est ex the same sum of years for the whole einplaris quæ habemus Complutense, Aldie life of Arphaxad as the Hebrew Dum, Romanum plurimum inter se et ab Alex. andrino discrepare, alios etiam codices aliqua- text, viz. 438. There is the same fum S. Scripturæ partiuin satis antiquos, nunc discrepancy between the two Pepe cuin eurum aliquo nunccum nullo convenire.""

• Vol. I. pp. 146. 257. Christ. Obsery. No. 113.

2 P

.ארבע for שלש :The rejection of those parts of the at all similar

[ocr errors]

were

periods; for if the Hebrew text and well as of every version ancient our version contain the true number, and modern, (so far as I know), ther Mr. Faber himself being the with the exception only of the judge, the 2300 and 1260 years are Greek version of Theodotion. The elapsed.

reading 2400 has the support of the What I have first to observe is, version of Theodotion only, which, that this point is to be decided by as it is always printed in the volume testimony, and by the usual rules of the LXX. commonly bears their of criticism; and not by a regard to name.—Thus far as to the testimony any preconceived hypothesis. This of the case. is the only legitimate and safe mode Let us next inquire into the preof deciding any doubtful reading ; rious probability of the case, either for otherwise, instead of coming to in favour of, or against the reading or the Scriptures, to take our opinions the Hebrew text. And here we from them, we in effect make our find that a mistake in the Hebrew, own preconceived notions to be the supposes the alteration of an entire criterion, by which to decide what' word, and the substitution of one is the true text of the sacred volume. word for another, to which it is not

: . Gospel History, which relate to the the other hand, a mistake in the miraculous conception of our Lord, Greek text, required only the inser by Dr. Priestly and his followers, tion of a syllable, consisting of tw is a well known instance of the letters, and the omission of one lette above fallacious mode of reasoning. in the next syllable: Tetpz for Toiz

Now, Sir, after all the attention I Let us suppose, that the author o have been able to give to Mr. Fa- an unpublished history of England ber's reasoning respecting the nun to give out his MS. to be ber jo Dan. viii. 14, it does appear copied for the press.

We can con to me to be wholly built upon two ceive it probable, that the transcri premises which are assumed without ber should make a mistake, in sub proof: first, that the vision of the stituting the name of one town fo ram commences in the year A. C. another, to which it bears a nea 536; and secondly, that the 1260 resemblance; Worcester for TV years most probably end in A. D. chester; or London for Lincoln ; bx 1866. Assuredly, Sir, if these pre. not that he should put Briscol fc mises be granted to Mr. Faber, it Manchester; or Gloucester for Car must follow, that 2400 is the genu- bridge. Now a mistake in the ine reading, for the ussumed princi- Hebrew of Dan. viii. 14. supposk ples include the rery point at issue. that Bristol has been put for Man But I need scarcely add, that both chester ; an error in the text of th the above premises seem to me to be LXX. that London has been put fo without evidence; and if only one Lincoln.--- Let the reader judge whic of them fail of proof, Mr. Faber's is most likely to have happened. whole argument is destroyed.

Hitherto I have argued upon th I now proceed to the further in- supposition, that the care and atter vestigation of the question respect- tion of the Greek and Hebrew trang ing the genuine reading of the three lators were equal. But I presume ditterent readings in Dan, viii. 14. that no one will venture to asser The reading 2200 has now no ex that this was the case. The inte istence, and, as I shall endeavour to grity of the Hebrew Scriptures to th shew afterwards, it perhaps never

time of Ezra, is acknowledged by M had a real existence. There re- Faber, and is undisputed. From th: main, therefore, only the numbers 'time of Ezra to the year of our Lor 2300 and 2400. The reading 2300 1030, there was a body of men i has in its favour the testimony of the Jewish Church, whose profes every Hebrew copy now extant, as sion it was, to write out co yies i

the Scriptures, and to guard the Mr. Faber charges upon the Hebrew purity of the sacred text *; and the text in Dan. viii. 14 ; for the last very existence of such a body as the part of the 11th chap. of Gen. conMagorites, during ihe long period tains a list of names and nombers, of Gfieeo hundred years, is evidence and we all know that in copying of the care taken by the Jews, in such lists, errors are much more apt preserving their Scriptures. Will to occur, than in copying a single r. Faber say, that equal care, and and insulated number like that in will equal success, has been em Dan. viii. 14. In the third place, pored in maintaining the purity of the integrity of the Samaritan Penthe text of the LXX.+; and that the tatquch is not to be compared with various readings called the Keri in that of the Hebrew. For leaving the margins of our common Hebrew out of question the well known and Bibles, and those collected by Kenni- wilful corruption of the Samaritan wif, are equal io number, or impor- text in Deut. xxvii. 4, and the foursance, to those of the Greek Scrip- ged interpretation in the 20th of Loret

Exodus; it I may believe the authors Bot Mr. Faber says, that the iden- of the Ancient Universal History *, tical transcriptoriał mistake, which there are in the different copies, both I deem improbable, not to say im- of the Samaritan and Septuagint, possible, has occurred either in the many various readings in the ages Hebrew, or the Samaritan Pen- of the patriarchs; while among the bleuch, in Gen. xi. 13. In this Hebrew copies and the Chaldee pizce says Mr. Faber), either and paraphrases, the most undeviating das teen written for we or wów for agreement exists. But in the fourth

IN I reply, first, that even ad- and last place, I observe, that the stating the discrepancy between the differences in the years of the postHebrew and Samaritan texts, in this diluvian patriarchs (as recorded in passage, to have arisen from error, the 11th of Gen.) which exist beand cor design, it proves nothing tween the Hebrew text and the Fuust my argument: for the oc. Samaritan, are of such a nature as sertence of a very improbable mis- to exclude the possibility of their ale in Gen, xi. 13, does not render having arisen from the errors of

whit more probable, that the transcribers. They have plainly orime mistake should happen a ginated in design. For while the sum kond time, in Dan. vii. 14. total of the years of each patriarch ktordly, the alleged error in the is the same both in the Hebrew and tuner passage, does not include in Samaritan ; the particulars of which

supposition of an equal degree that sum total is made up, differ negligence, as the mistake which in the two copies. Thus in the Prideaux's Connect. Part i. Book y.

Hebrew, Arphaxad is said to have The reader will find an account of the

been 35 years of age at the birth of Reof the copies of the LXX. in common use

his son Salah, and to have lived 403 the age of Origen, in Prideaux's Connect, years after that event: these two ni broki.; and the preface to the Cam- numbers being added together, make lage edition of the LXX. printed in 1665, the age of Arphaxad when he died staras the following character, both of the 438 years. In the Samaritan, ArBrent and present state of that version : phaxad is said to have been 135 Ruann autem hæc seniorum versio etiamn years old at the birth of Salah, and Bleronymi tempore corrupta fuit atque to have lived 303 years afterwards.

danda est opera ut ei pristina puritas These numbers being added, give

et redintegrari possit. Certum est exlaia quz babemus Complutense, Aldin life of Arphaxad as the Hebrew

the same sum of years for the whole Rezanura plurimum inter se et ab AlexWhio discrepare, alios etiam codices aliqua

text, viz. 438. There is the same mes

. Scripturæ partium satis antiquos, nunc discrepancy between the two Penmaturus aliquo nunccum nullo convenire."

• Vol. I. pp. 146. 257, CUNST, OBSERY, No. 113.

2 P

tateuchs with respect to the particu- duo millia trecentos dies et tres men. lars, and the same correspondence ses esse completos : post quos temin the sums total of the ages of all pluin purgatum est. Quidam pro duo.. the patriarchs down to Terah the bis millibus trecentis duo millia du. father of Abraham. The only ex centos legunt: ne ses anni et tres ception is, that in the whole length menses superesse videantur. Hunc of the life of Eber there is a real dif- locum plerique nostrorum ad Antiference of sixty years between the christum referunt ; et quod sub An. Hebrew and Samaritan, which has tiocho in typo factum est, sub illo in arisen probably from the error of veritate dicunt esse complendum.” some transcriber. It is well known Now, Sir, the foregoing passage that the result of the above syste- shews that in the time of Jerome . matic difference between the Hebrew 2500 was the authentic and gene-, and Samaritan Pentateuchs is, that rally received reading of the passage, while the Hebrew chronology makes Nor does Jerome affirm that any only 357 years from the deluge to manuscript of authority, or, indeed, the birth of Abraham, the Sainari, any copies whatever, had the reading tan makes 1002 years. I cannot of 2200 days; but he says that quit this subject without adding, that certain persons (who understand the your respectable correspondent, Mr. prophecy to have been accomplished Yeates, who has already favoured by Antiochus Epiphanes) read 2200, your readers with a very interesting lest the prophetical number should account of the Indian Roll of the seem to exceed the period of six Pentateuch, in the Buchanan col- years and three months, during which lection, would render a most impor- Antiochus profaned the city and tant service to the cause of truth, by Temple. In other words, these per. presenting you with a collation of sons not being able to make their own Gen. xi. 10-32, from the Indian scheme of interpretation to accord Roll.

with the received reading, wished ta Having, I hope, said enough to re: amend the sacred text, to make it . move the objections of Mr. Faber suit their hypothesis. Such, unless ! to my arguments, I proceed to lay misunderstand it, is the sum of what before you the following quotation we gather from this passage. from Jerome's Commentary on Da But, further, I conclude from the niel, containing his remarks on the foregoing passage of Jerome, and disputed passage. I am indebted for from his silence with regard to any a sight of Jerome, to the same vene various reading of the number in the rable friend who procured me ac

Greek versions of the LXX, and of cess to the history of Paulus Dia. Theodotion, that both these copies,

qid at that time agree with the Hes Et dirit ei usque ad vesperam et brew, in reading 2300 days. My mane dies duo millia tricenti et mun reasons for this conclusion are, that dabitur sanctuarium.-Legamus Ma. it appears from Jerome's remarks on chabæorum libros, et Josephi histo- the verse immediately preceding, riam ibique scriptum reperiemus, viz. Dan. viii. 13. that he had before centesimo quadragesimo tertio anno, him, both the abovementioned Greek a Seleuco, qui primus regnavit in persions, and also that of Aquila; Syria post Alexandrum, ingressum før he makes an observation, upon Antiochum, Jerosolimam, et uni- their all having retained the Hebrew versa vastasse, reversumque anno word 105ą (in Greek characters) tertio in templo posuisse statuam Jo. in translating the passage, without vis; et usque ad Judam Macha- attempting to give the sense of it bæum, id est usque ad annum cen- in Greek. And it will be found, tesimum quadragesimum octavum, that in many other passages of his per annos vastitatis Jerusalem sex, commentary, Jerome refers to the contaminationis autem templi tres, version of Theodotion.

conus.

[ocr errors]

Now had that version then con- LXX. and Theodotion, from the Tetained the number 2400, which we trapla of Origen, printed in 1772, now find in it, how can we account from the Chisian manuscript at Rome, for the silence of Jerome upon so at the office of the Propaganda ; and important a difference, when we find I am enabled to state, that these cothat he notices those of less mo- pies concur in supporting the readment?- My conclusion, therefore, ing of our Hebrew Bibles in Dan. seems quite legitimate, that the Greek viii. 14; the reading in both being copy then accorded with the Hebrew, εως εσπερας και πρωι ημέραι δισχιλιαι in reading 2300 days. But if Mr. nal tpianool2..— There is a note on Faber can from the writings of other the verse in the version of Theofathers shew that I am wrong, I shall dotion, which I have copied literabe glad to be corrected by him. As tim: it is as follows: for Mr. Faber's assertion, that the MS. Vat. x21 tplamoolai ut in CoHebrew copy which Theodotion dice nostro-Alex. Ald. Compl. Et used contained the reading 2400, Hebr. 6189 wlwm; Juxta Vulg. treit is begging the very question in centi; sed edit. Vat. habet Hall TET COdispute.

Having now closed what I had to From this note it is evident, not offer in defence of the reading of our only that the Chisian copies of the authorised version in Dan. viii. 14; I two Greek versions; but likewise beg leave, Sir, to suggest, that a jury the Vatican MS. of the LXX.; the of Christian critics shall be impan- Alexandrian copy; the edition of nelled,and shall find a verdict either of Aldus, published at Venice in A. D. Guilty or Not Guilty, upon the charge 1518; and the Complutensian edibrought by my respectable oppo- tion, printed in 1515 ; all agree in nent, against the Jews, of having supporting the reading of 2300 days: handed down to us a corrupt reading and the Vatican edition, from which of the number in that verse. Thus, all the Septuagints published in Sir, a solemn judicial decision shall England have been printed *, is the bring to a conclusion this protracted only copy in existence, which concontroversy, which bas, I have no tains the reading 2400.

Add to doubt, appeared irksome and tedious which, that the Vatican edition is the to many of your readers; but which most modern of the whole, having perhaps may have been humbly in- been printed in 1587. strumental, in comforting some of The same most important fact is those, whose hearts were ready to confirmed by the various readings of faint within them (when viewing Bos's Septuagint, which is printed the calamities which afflict and from the Vatican edition, and in the threaten the world), with the hope Appendix to Walton's Polyglot, to that they may not see death, till they which I beg leave to refer the shall have beheld the dawn of that reader. And I have to add, that at glorious period for which the church the same time that I consulted the of Christ has prayed, and suffered, Chisian copy, I was enabled to look and bled, for nearly two thousand into Aldus's edition of the I.XX., and years.

I found in it, in exact conformity to I intended with the above obser- the note which I have copied above, vation to have closed this paper, al- the reading opom012.1. ready too long. But the reasoning I need scarcely add, therefore, contained in it has since received that the reading 2300 is now estasuch confirmation as I scarcely dared blished, without controversy, to be to hope for. By the assistance of the genuine one. And what is of infithe same friend to whom I have so nitely greater consequence than the often acknowledged my obligations, mere determination of a doubtful I have been enabled to consult the Greek versions of Daniel, both by the * Vide Prideaux's Connect, Part ii. Book i.

« PreviousContinue »