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HEBREW STUDENT’S COMMENTARY
HEBREW AND LXX.
EXCURSUS ON SYLLABLE-DIVIDING, METHEG,
INITIAL DAGESH, AND SIMAN RAPHEH.
[The Right of Translation and Reproduction is reserved.]
SINCE the founding of the Theological Tripos Examiners have frequently complained, that the Candidates for it do not, as a rule, take pains to acquire an accurate knowledge of even the Elements of the Sacred Tongue. This has been, doubtless, in great measure the fault of the Curriculum, to the requirements of which they have been obliged to conform their studies. It need, however, be a matter of surprise to none, that the Regulations for a Tripos Examination in the chief subjects of a field of learning so wide as that of Theology,
,כל התחלות קשות should not at the first have been perfect: for
i.e. Il n'y a que le premier pas qui coûte.
We have every reason to hope that from the inauguration of the New Regulations for that Tripos will date a new era in the Hebrew scholarship of the University, and that the Theological Tripos will thenceforth send forth into the world scholars as sound in their knowledge of the Elements of Hebrew as did the "Voluntary Examination' which it superseded. This Student's Commentary has been written with a view to aiding this New Scheme of Theological Studies. The plan of it is as follows:
Words and sentences are treated from a purely grammatical point of view, and in so doing no difficulties have been wittingly avoided, but, rather, some have at times been intentionally raised, when by so doing an opportunity has been afforded of explaining some of the minutive of Hebrew Syntax. Unpointed Hebrew, and Transliteration, have been freely used from considerations of economy. But, if the student will
point for himself the unpointed Hebrew words, and afterwards correct his own vowel-points from a pointed Text, this apparent incompleteness in the Notes will thus be transformed into a distinct advantage. The Hebrew Text quoted in reference to matters of punctuation is that of Baer, in the Books Genesis, Isaiah, Job, Proverbs, Psalms, and The Minor Prophets; in the case of the other Books various editions have at times been consulted.
The Remarks' on the interpretation of the prophecies) are looked upon as of secondary importance, and are consequently printed in smaller type. Enough has, we hope, been given in them, to enable the Student (who is supposed to be studying the Book chiefly with a view to learning the language) to read the prophecies with an intelligent notion of their contents. But, if he should wish to see such questions discussed at much greater length, he may refer to Wright's Bampton Lectures.
The Excursus treat of matters, which may perhaps be of some interest to riper Scholars than those, for whom the bulk of the book is intended.
I am much indebted to Rev. A. T. Chapman, Fellow and formerly Tutor of Emmanuel College, for reading the proofsheets, and for several valuable suggestions, which he has made to me in the course of so doing.
W. H. L.
PROLEGOMENA TO CHAPTERS 1.-VIII.
Personal to the Prophet.
Of the personal history of the Prophet Zechariah hardly anything is recorded. He styles himself “Zechariah, son of Berechiah, son of Iddo, the prophet,” which certainly implies that he was the grandson of Iddo. But in Ezra v. 1, vi. 14 he is spoken of as Iddo.” This, however, presents no difficulty, for similarly Jehu is mentioned as son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi (2 Kings ix. 14), while (ver. 20) he is called merely son of Nimshi. The father of Zechariah, and the father of Jehu, seem to have been (to use an illustration from modern times) somewhat in the position of Abraham Mendelssohn', they could both boast of being the father and the son of a man of reputation. Knobel's supposition, then, that “son of Berechiah" (Zech. i. 1, 7) is an interpolation from Is. viii. 2, where Zechariah son of Jeberechiah is mentioned, is unnecessary. In Ezra v. 1, 2 “Zechariah son of Iddo" is mentioned as prophesying in conjunction with “Haggai the prophet,” and being instrumental in bringing about the resumption of the work of rebuilding the Temple. We know nothing further for certain about him, except that he prophesied up to the month of Cislev in the 4th year of Darius. Something may, however, be deduced from circumstantial evidence.
Among the Priests and Levites who came up with Zerubbabel is mentioned “Iddo” (Neh. xii. 4), as one of heads of the priestly families
1 Son of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, from whose Biblical Commen. tary we quote the opinions of Arnswald,
and father of Felix Mendelssohn Bar. tholdy the musician,