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ADVERSARIA LITERARIA. No. XI.—Julii Phaedri Fabulæ
ΠΕΡΙ ΤΟΥ ΦΟΙΝΙΚΟΣ. .
Part II.-[Continued from No. XXVIII. p. 327.] The language of the book of Job is generally thought to approach more nearly to the dialect of Arabia, than that of any other book in the Old Testament. Job bimself was an Arabian; and the author, who celebrates him, must have been conversant with the manners, the language, and the learning of the descendants of Ishmael. We cannot wonder then, if we frequently find expressions and allusions in the book of Job, which can be best explained by the Arabic.
I am inclined to suspect, that bon, in the passage before us, is an ancient Arabic word. It is, I believe, generally admitted, that some ancient words both in Hebrew and Arabic are lost; but that in the latter language, which was once the sister dialect of the former, we can still find words used in senses, which were probably once common to both. The word jo, in which the infirm alif is put for the infirm waw, because the first radical is followed by a fatha, has vertere for its first sense, though Golius makes it only the second. (See Willmet in voce.) from this word comes immediately annus. Now the phenix and the palm-tree were both types of the year, This I shall show presently of the Phoenix ; and the palm-trée was so much considered as a symbol of the year, that the Orientalists ascribed to it as many properties as there are VO. XXIX. CI, II,
VOL. XV. А
days in the year. One of the words for a palm-tree in Arabic is Jss, and this noun seenis to be derived from JLs, by throwing away the infirm letter, and by prefixing the formative Here then
ü: is an evident relationship established between the Arabic word synt, (annus a vertendo, says Willmet) and a word whieh still signifies a palm-tree in the same language. Now if we attend to the context in the chapter before us, we may be led to think, that bor, like Poivič in Greek, bore a double sense, and signified not only the phoenix, as the Rabbids say, but the palm-tree, as the LXX understood the word.—“Then I said, I shall expire in my nest, xxi OTEP é Doing I shall number my days.” If this ambiguity existed in the original, as I am inclined to think it did, we see how the latter part of the verse, as implying the bird, is connected with the former, “ I shall die in my nest;" and bow, as implying the tree, it might have suggested the beautiful metaphors contained in the verse that follows; " My root was spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night on my branch.”
We have seen, tliat both in and Jos signify the year, and that the primary sense of both is turning, iterating, revolving. The roots Sa in Hebrew, and J> in Arabic are clearly the same ; and both convey the same meaning. The author therefore seems to me to hiave followed the Arabic orthography in writing 5007, for it is likely, that if there ever were a word in Hebrew similar in şense, and resembling in sound to the Arabic dyp, it must have been 3, which might also have signified annus a vertendo, Saba certainly signifies the revolving heaven; and bry signifies age. (Dan. 1. 10.)
Let us now turn our attention from the bird and the tree to the country and the people named by the Greeks forvixx and doivixią.
I have no great doubt, that the Phænicians called themselves pays as Bochart supposes. Some of their neighbours certainly did call themselves sons of Anak; and as this was probably considered as an honourable title, it seems likely that the Phoenicians might claim it, whether they had a genealogical right to it, or not.
The primary meaning of pay in Hebrew, and of Sin in Arabic, is to encircle. Perhaps then the sons of Anak meant to call themselves the sons of that heaven which seems to encircle the earth, or of the orb of the day, or of the revolving year.