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ON THE MEANING OF THE WORD TENEA

OR GENERATION.

ALL THESE THINGS SHALL COME UPON THIS GENERATION.” Matt. xxiii, 36.

VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS, TILL

ALL THESE THINGS BE FULFILLED.”

Matt. xxiv, 34.

Sir,

to

a race or

the times of the gentiles be fulTo the Editor of the Investigator.

filled.”+

To this interpretation the usual

and well known objection was made, In a discussion on millennarian derived from the thirty-fourth verse, questions, at which I happened to be which it is considered necessarily present some few months ago, the limits the events spoken of in the prophecy in the twenty-fourth chap- preceding verses

the period ter of St. Matthew's Gospel, and during which the men of that its parallels in the thirteenth of generation were in existence. St. Mark's and twenty-first of St. This generation (yevɛa) shall not Luke's Gospels, naturally came pass, till all these things be fulunder our consideration. Of the filled.parties engaged in the argument, On mention being made of Mede's they who interpreted the coming translation of yɛvea, as of the Son of man mentioned in nation of common origin,” (a transthe thirtieth verse of His second lation sanctioned by most of the and personal advent contended, that Greek lexicographers,) it was as

the tribulation of those days,” serted by one, whose opinions were immediately after which was entitled to great respect on all appear the sign of His coming, questions of Greek criticism, that was an expression not to be re- the translation was not allowable ; stricted to the tribulation at and —that, turning from lexicons to the preceding the destruction of Jeru- original Greek authors, no unamsalem ; but that from the parallel biguous passage, he was persuaded, passage in St. Luke it seemed meant could be adduced that authorized to include all the subsequent dis- it ;-that in such a passage as that tresses of the dispersion, so largely brought forward by Mr. Beggť and and strikingly described long before others from Herodotus, (o puč jev by Moses,* and to continue even as γενεη γενεος δε βασιληιε,) the true long as “ Jerusalem shall be trodden rendering being“ A Phrygian by down of the gentiles, and until birth,"

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See also Mr. Begg's “ Connected View of some of the Scriptural Evidences of

INVESTIGATOR, No. III,

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October, 1831.

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authority ;---and that, from the

JOSEPHUS, A. J. 1, 10. examination of many passages in

Ο θεος και παιδα αυτή γενήσεσwhich the word occurs, he had come θαι εξαγγελλει και πολλην εξ εκεινε to the conclusion, that when used of

γενεαν. . a body of men collectively, as in St.

A numerous race. . Matthew, yɛvea must mean the generation of men then existing.

SEPTUAGINT.-Joshua xxii, 27. In consequence of this assertion, Των γενεων ημων μεθ' ημας. I have looked into such of the Our generations after us. Greek authors as I happen to have by me, and satisfied myself, that But in the passages, which I shall unambiguous passages, such as my now bring forward, the word yɛvea friend required, are to be found is used as a race, independent of authorizing Mede's version of the any express and necessary reference word. And as the subject is one to the original ancestor; and with both of difficulty and importance, the genitive, where it occurs, of it will probably be not uninterest- the individuals constituting the ing to your readers to have the authorities placed before them. On such passages as the follow

SOPHOCLES, Ajax 190. ing I do not lay much stress ; be. Tas aowTo Eloupidav yɛveas. cause, though yɛvea should be rendered race in them, it is nevertheless EURIPIDES, Hecuba 470. in the sense of a progeny or posterity, Titavwv yevɛav. with an express reference, (in the

The race of the Titans. genitive case, or otherwise) to the original ancestor,—such a reference

ÆscHYLUS, Agamemnon 1583. as is not expressed in the Evan

ο δε λοιπον ιοντ' gelists.

εκ τωνδε δομων αλλην γενεαν

τριβειν θανατους αυθενταισιν ILIAD, Y, 304.

to afflict another race, or family Οφρα μη ασπερμος γενεη και αφαντος opposed to that of the PlistheΔαρδανε"

nidæ. That the race, or posterity, of Dardanus become not extinct.

PINDAR, Nem. vi, 54.

Talaipatog yɛvea, (without a geILIAD, 0, 191.

nitive,) anciently celebrated Kρεισσων δ' αυτε Διος γενεη ποταμοιo family. τετυκται.]

In a sense very similar EURIPIDES The race, or descendant of Jove is says, Inkuv yɛvɛav, for the female superior to a river.

sex ; and HESIOD, E kal H, 281.

HOMER, Iliad, E, 265. Ταδε τ' αμαυροτερη γενεη μετοπισθε

[οπα Ζευς λελειπται.] .]

Της γαρ τοι γενεης ης Τρωι περ ευρυThe race, or progeny of the per

Δωχ' υιος ποινην Γανυμηδεος jurer is left to more obscurity.

Of that breed, or race, of horses.

[oληται ide.

an

ز

the REDEEMER'S SPEEDY PERSONAL RETURN," &c. P. 149. And « Letters to a Minister of the Gospel on Matt, xxiii, xxiv, xxv, pp. 32–49.

From the SEPTUAGINT two or a race, a family.” For instance; three passages may be added to when our Lord speaks of the Jews nearly the same effect.

as γενεα πονηρα, μοιχαλις, απισος,

or διεγραμμενη, can we suppose that Psalm xiv, 5. "Οτι ο θεος εν γενες δικαια.

he meant those epithets to be applied

distinctively to the Jews then alive, Psalm xxiv, 6.

when he himself declared that they Αυτη η γενεα ζητοντων αυτον, ζη- were but the inheritors of their faΤεντων το προσωπον το θες Ιακωβ. . thers' vices? In truth the whole pre

vious history of their nation shews, Psalm lxxiii, 15.

that the Jews of Christ's time were Ει ελεγον, Διηγησομαι ούτως, ιδα τη γενεα των υίων σε ησυνθετηκα.

but γεννηματα εχιδνων, the viperous

offspring of vipers : witnessing by Genesis xxxi, 3.

their conduct, that they were the true The Lord said to Jacob :-ano- sons of ancestors that had killed the τρεφε εις την γην τ8 πατρος σε και εις prophets. They did but fill up the την γενεαν σε. .

measure of their fathers. StiffLeviticus xxv, 41.

necked and uncircumcised in heart Of the hired Israelite at the year Holy Ghost; as their fathers did,

and ears, they did always resist the of Jubilee, απελευσεται εις την γενεαν

so did they. (Matt. xxiii, 31,-33. αυτ8, εις την κατασχεσιν την πατρι

Acts vii, 51.) κην αποδραμειται. .

But it is to Matt. xxiv, 34, and In the two last quotations a geni. that which is no doubt its parallel, tive is added of the individual, whose Matt. xxiii, 36, (and which, as illusrace or kindred it was.

trative of the former passage, claims By these passages Mede's trans- special notice,) that this paper parlation seems warranted. We may ticularly refers. C. xxiv, 34, Ov un surely say Ιεδαιων γενεα for the race παρελθη η γενεα αυτη έως αν παντα of the Jews, as properly as Teravwv ταυτα γενηται. C. Χxiii, 36, Αμην λεor Σισυφιδαν γενεα for the race of the γω υμιν ήξει ταυτα παντα επι την γε» Titans or Sisyphidæ. The adjectives νεαν ταυτην. Now even if we adopt πονηρα, μοιχαλις, απισος, διεστραμ- the most restricted view of the judgpevn, &c., may be applied to yevea ments predicted, and explain them in this sense, as well as malapatos, simply of the destruction of Jerusaor aowtos, and the demonstrative salem and the calamities immedipronoun avtn, as well as the article ately preceding it, (a view to which ons, used demonstratively by Homer, the whole context appears to me to or alln, by Æschylus.

offer insuperable objections,) even The rendering contended for being on this supposition, can the word admissible, it seems to me, that in yevɛa in the xxiiid chapter be conmost passages where it is used in strued as the generation then living ? the New Testament, it is a transla- In other words, could the miseries tion preferable to that of generation. of the siege and destruction of JeruAnd indeed our translators may have salem be said to have fallen on the intended the word generation in generation of Christ's contemporathat sense ; for according to John- ries? This is a question involving son one meaning of generation is, chronology. We know that from

a In one passage, Phil. ii. 15, they have in fact translated the word, nation; wa γενησθε τεκνα Θε8 ανωμητα εν μεσω γενεας σκολιας και διεγραμμενης.

Now a ge

the time of the prediction to the be- of the fulfilment. And could they ginning of the Jewish war and the then be called the same generation ? massacres at Cæsarea and Alexan- Should we now-a-days say the revodria was 34 years : to the destruc- lution of 1790 and the revolution of tion of Jerusalem, 37.

1830 happened to one and the same neration is reckoned by Diodorus generation of Frenchmen? and others at 30 years; by Herodo- I will only add a word in reply to tus, at 33 :-which latter computa- an objection raised from the word tion is given by Clemens Alexandri- Tape on to the interpretation of nus also, and has been considered yevka advocated. " Is it meant,” tolerably correct by modern writers, it has been said, " that the Jewish who have commented on it. On race having continued till the time either of these computations the ge

of the second advent shall then pass neration contemporary with Christ away?” a supposition contrary to the had passed away before even the belief of most who espouse what are Jewish war began.

We have a called millennarian views. Let Matt. further measure of the duration of a

V, 18, be compared with the passage generation in the Sacred Writ itself. in question. Iwta šv n ula kepala In Deut, i, 35, we read that “ the ου μη παρελθη απο το νομο εως αν Lord sware, not one of the men παντα γενηται. .

It is surely not im" of this evil generation shall see plied by the apelon, and the èws, " that good land ” saye Caleb and that the law should ever pass away Joshua only. And ii, 14:4" The unfulfilled. space in which we came from

I am Sir, • Kadesh-Barnea till we were come

Yours, &c. E. over the brook Zered was 38

years, until all the generation of " the men of war (all from 20 years P.S. From an old book before me " old and upwards, Numb. xiv, 29,) I see that many of the Fathers also,

were wasted out from the host, as disapproving of the usual interpreta" the Lord sware unto them.” Let tion, construed yeven as

a race :") it be allowed that the divine judg- Jerome applying it as

" the race of ment was visible in this complete men" generally : Chrysostom, Theoextinction of the whole body of phylact, Euthymius, and, I believe, adults in 38 years : still it assists Origen of “ the race of the faithful ;' to furnish a criterion. And if for the latter interpretation correspondfurther satisfaction on the subject, ing with the γενεα δικαια, γενεα των we apply the laws of mortality, as υίων σε, γενεα των ζητaντων τον θεον, laid down by Ulpian in Italy within of the Psalmist, and the yevoç ekmeka century and a half after the destruc

Toy of St. Peter. The Fathers of tion of Jerusalem, b and make the that age could scarcely have been necessary allowance for the compa- so ignorant of what was to most of ratively unfavourable circumstances them their native language, as to of the Jewish people, we can scarce advocate an inadmissible meaning of suppose that more than 1 in 4, or 1 a word in it; and, as is known, some in 5 of the adult Jews at the time of of them were no friends to millennathe prediction were alive at the time rian views.

7

b See Edinb. Rev. No. 97, pp. 25, 26.

ON THE ADVENT AND KINGDOM OF CHRIST,

AND THE EVENTS CONNECTED THEREWITII.

No, IV.

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The Place of Manifestation. Having proved, as I trust, in my Yes; their posterity possessed it, last paper, that the manifestation of and thus the Patriarchs themselves the kingdom of God is yet future, I may be said to have enjoyed the proceed now to inquire into the place ‘land :' but this reply will neither or scene of that manifestation. This, suit the terms of the covenant, nor I do not hesitate to say, will be on the faithfulness of God, who declares, earth; and that Palestine, or the that not one jot or tittle shall fail of Holy Land, (particularly the region all that he hath spoken. I must reof Mount Zion,) will be the spot peat and beg particular attention to where Christ and his risen saints the circumstance, that the promise will more especially be revealed. to each of the three patriarchs is-

1. First, in regard to the Land in to THEE will I give it AND to thy general, let us consider the terms of seed;" which, if words can plainly the covenant made with Abraham express a thing, does clearly imply, and the patriarchs—that very cove- that there must be a special fulfilnant of grace, under which the ment of the promise to them, as well christian church is now walking. as to their posterity. They all inGod repeatedly promised to Abra- deed dwelt in the land, but not as ham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, per- proprietors; for, excepting a burial sonally and respectively, as also to place, they had no possesion of it at their seed, that he would give them all, but were strangers and pilthe land in which they were stran- grims.' This very fact St. Paul in

It is to the repetition of stances in order to prove, that they these promises and their amplifica- sought a country, yet died without tion that I presume St. Paul refers, receiving the promises. d And St. when he speaks of the covenants of Stephen notices also,

" that though promise' in the plural : b and cer- “ God promised to give the land to tainly he refers to these in the Epis- Abraham for a possession, and to tle to the Galatians, c when he in- his seed after him, yet, that he sists that the promise to Abraham gave him none inheritance in itand his seed continues in full force no not so much as to set his foot under the Gospel; not allowing that

It is unwarrantable therethe covenant afterwards made with fore to say of them, that the promise Moses had any power to do away was fulfilled; when these two places or alter these.

of Scripture so clearly contend, that The question then arises, has this it was not. promise been fulfilled to Abraham, to 2. Secondly, in regard to the seed; Isaac, and to Jacob. Some will reply, though I grant that Abraham's pos

gers. a

on."e

a Genesis xii, 15, ; xvii, 8 ; xxvi, 3 ; xxviii, 13 ; Exod. vi, 34. C chap, iji, 16-19. ( Heb. xi, 13--16, & 39. e Acts vii, 4, 5.

b) Ephes. ii, 12.

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