Page images

words to the preceding and some to the following distich, so that the translation of v. 6 will read thus:

"Robber bands are hidden in its (i.e. Gilead's) mountains;
Him who goes down to Jericho they murder.'


"Gilead's mountains"; cf. "the mountains of Samaria " (Jer. xxxi. 5). "Are hidden” (18) is suggested by the ěкрvaν of LXX., to which Bachmann had already pointed as nearer to the true text than the 7 of the Massoretic text. "Him who goes down to Jericho" (777) is a correction of a LXX. reading (codd. Alex. et Marchal.), 777 M' (ódòv Kupiov). That the route from es-Salt to Jericho (see Baedeker, Palestine, pp. 176 f.) was a dangerous one, can easily be believed. Accepting this view, it would be natural to identify the city of Gilead in Hosea vi. 9 with Jebel Osha' (= Hosea's mountain), which is less than an hour's distance from es-Salt, and belongs to the mountain ranges south of the lower Zerka, called Jebel Jil'âd. On the name of the sanctuary in v. 7 no one has been able to throw any light; either Adam or Adamah is a possible name, but we expect some more celebrated name. In the great uncertainty of things we may at least affirm that the present text of this difficult fragment is partly based upon the conjectures of an ancient editor. The result in v. 9 produces a picture of priestly brigandage and assassination which can hardly be called probable.

Nahum ii. 7 runs in the Revised Version thus:

And Huzzab is uncovered, she is carried away, and her handmaids mourn as with the voice of doves, tabering upon their breasts.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]


into ', producing for the next distich:


(the words which follow in the Mas. text) Mr. Ruben corrects

They rise up early, they commit crimes;
In Bethel I have seen horrible things."

the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, finds himself unable to throw any fresh light on this passage. His concluding suggestion that for Huzzab we might point hazzab, (1) "the litter" (Isa. lxvi. 20), (2) possibly, on an Arabic analogy, "the lady" (carried in the litter), reminds one of Gesenius, whose friend Rödiger, I find, actually makes the same suggestion (Gesenius, Thesaurus, s. v. 3). The Targum had preceded both.' But while Prof. Davidson's book was passing through the press, Mr. Paul Ruben mentioned in a corner of the Academy (March 7, 1896) that

referring העתלה we should do well to read העלתה for


to Delitzsch's statement in his small Assyrian dictionary, "etellu, fem. etellitu, great, high, exalted; as a subst., lord, or, if necessary, lady, used of gods and kings." It now becomes plain that 23 is the corrupt fragment of a hemistich corresponding to yn anba. "Huzzab is evidently corrupted from some verb in a passive conjugation, perhaps from p, and some word, meaning "the queen," perhaps 2, has dropped out. The Assyrian root detected by Mr. Ruben in Nahum also, as it appears to me, accounts for the name Athaliah (y), also for the name Athlai (Ezra x. 28), precariously explained by Gesenius as meaning "whom Jehovah afflicted."


Isaiah ix. 19 [Heb. 18] is given by our Revisers thus:

Through the wrath of the Lord of Hosts is the land burnt up the people also are as the fuel of fire; no man spareth his brother.


The rendering "burnt up" shows how necessary it is for translators to leave untranslatable words unrepresented. "Burnt up" is no rendering of Day; Robertson Smith long ago proved that the supposed Arabic connection of any given by Gesenius was imaginary. R.V. follows the LXX., which has συγκέκαυται or συγκαυθήσεται ; but

and the queen sitting in the t * ומלכתא יתבת ציבא .Targ 1

'litter.' Kimchi's (cf. Psa. xlv. 10) was therefore not so far wrong.




[ocr errors]

it omits to state this. The reading of the Targum varies between and л (Lagarde's text). Both confirm the supposition that the Hebrew text originally had, which may be interpreted differently as meaning was burnt up" and "was desolate." Just afterwards R.V. naturally enough translates the received reading



"as food for the fire," which seems indeed to be secured by the parallel phrase "is burnt up." Duhm, however, who has induced Hackmann to follow him, proposes O, “like cannibals." This, he remarks, leads on to the description which follows, in which the people is described rather as "eating" than as "eaten up" (cf. Hos. vii. 7). But the transition involved in the usual text is not too abrupt for Isaiah. For literary readers it may be added that there is a striking parallel passage in Dante. The poet is speaking of Italy:


"While now thy living ones are constant foes,
And each one gnaws the other-even they
Whom the same moat, the selfsame walls enclose."
(Purgatory, vi. 82-81; Wright's translation.)

Isaiah x. 4 (first part) runs in the Revised Version : They shall only bow down under the prisoners, and shall fall under the slain.

This is not a smooth form of expression, but the general sense is not inappropriate to the context. We seem to expect a threat of punishment for the grandees analogous to Isaiah's threat to Shebna. If, however, we look at the Hebrew apart from the context, and apart from the historical circumstances of Isaiah, Lagarde's proposal, made originally in the Academy for December 15, 1870, to read лy nba (cf. xlvi. 1, Jer. 1. 2, and also Jer. xlvi. 15 LXX.), i.e., " Beltis boweth down, Osiris is broken down," is highly plausible. I have therefore been

1 See Prophecies of Isaiah, ii. 144 f., and cf. Wiedemann, Sammlung altägypt. Wörter, p. 33; W. M. Müller, Asien und Europa, p. 100, n. 1.

led to suggest in Haupt's edition of the Hebrew Old Testament (London: David Nutt) that a late editor inserted the words proposed by Lagarde in lieu of a group of words which had become illegible, just as (according to the view adopted above) an editor inserted the reference to Sakkut and Kaiwân in Amos v. 26. In both cases the editor fell into an anachronism. It is worthy of notice that Isa. xlvi. 1, Jer. xlvi. 15 and 1. 2, all belong to late compositions; also that the text of Isa. x. 4 seems to have been imperfect in the time of the LXX. translator, who gives simply τοῦ μὴ ἐμπεσεῖν εἰς ἀπαγωγήν. It may perhaps turn out that sobriety of judgment is not necessarily identical with critical hesitancy, as has too generally been supposed. Hesitancy is natural and justifiable for a time, but further study may lead even a lover of sobriety to unexpected conclusions.




"I WAS in the spirit on the Lord's day.", Such is the initial note of the greatest allegorical poem that ever was written. It is hardly the note we should have expected. We should have expected the day itself rather than its spirit to have been the subject of the opening chord. A man about to receive a revelation from heaven might be supposed to be looking first of all upon the curtain, to have his eye riveted originally upon the lifting of that veil which was interposed between him and the mystery. We should imagine that his earliest thought would be, What was the nature of that mystery which should be rent into sunbeams when the curtain fell? what should he see when the veil was with

drawn? This in truth is not his thought at all. His primary question is, not what he shall see, but whether he shall be fit for the sight. The arduous part of the work to him is not the opening of heaven nor the revelation of heaven; it is the preparation for heaven. He feels that what he needs before all things is the spirit of the sabbath. He feels that the things inside this veil cannot be revealed to the eye. There are few spectacles indeed that can be revealed to the eye. I doubt if the most beautiful sights in nature are not indebted for one-half at least of their charm to the voices of the spirit. How many things are beautiful this year that were commonplace last! Why is this? It is no additional painting from the outside; perhaps the tear and wear of time may have diminished the actual glory. But the added charm has come from the spirit of a new day-a day which has lent its association to the once-ignored scene, and invested with imperishable interest what yesterday we passed by on the other side.

The question now is, What in the view of St. John is the spirit of the Lord's day-that spirit which the seer regards as essential and preliminary to any rending of the veil between earth and heaven. Every anniversary day requires its appropriate spirit. Without that spirit, nothing which happens outside will reveal anything to the spectator. The day of a Queen's jubilee requires the spirit of loyalty; without this, no streaming of flags will convey it to the eye, no blast of trumpets will communicate it to the ear. The day which commemorates a victory needs the spirit of patriotism; without this the roll of artillery is all in vain. The day which keeps the anniversary of Shakespeare's birth demands the spirit of poetry; without this the banquet has no significance. The sabbath is in John's view also an anniversary. It is the anniversary of creation and resurrection. It too can only be understood by its appropriate spirit. What is the appropriate spirit of this day as it

« PreviousContinue »