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of the radical so doubled into *. At the same time he seems to admit, in the very next sentence, that among the verbs which end in 17, the change of the final ) into * is not uncommon. Now we very often find three verbs in the Hebrew differing in their form no otherwise than thus, that the one shall be a verb ain , the second a verb doubling ain, and the third a verb lamed 07. Three such verbs have not only so near a resemblance in the letters, that, in the oblique forms, the reader will find it difficult to distinguish one from another, otherwise than by the differences of the Masoretic points, which, holding the points to be of no authority, I consider as no distinctions; but though each may have strictly its proper sense, yet in many instances, in the latitude of usage, they have often an intercommunity of signification. When this happens, it is because there is some general radical meaning common to them all, comprehending under it the several specific meanings of each, and producing something of an indiscrimination in the application of them, even in these secondary meanings.
Thus the old lexicographers give us three roots 99, 79), and na. no, to brand with infamy, to disgrace;' MID, “to despise, te slight;' 13,' to plunder,
to spoil. It is evident that the difference in sense between 193 and his is not great, the latter expressing an act of the same kind in a less degree, or to a smaller extent. But it is not so obvious, but it is very certain, that 10 is the real primary root; for its sense to rob, or plunder,' comprehends under it the senses of both the other. For to disgrace a man,' 'to brand him with infamy,' what is it but to rob him, to despoil him, of his good name and reputation? And to slight or contemn a man, what is it but not to give him that respect' which is his due? which is the next thing to robbery. Hence it is not to be wondered if 175 should sometimes give
בזה or בון its own proper meaning to its subordinates
Accordingly we find 0?)'actually used in the sense of 10 to spoil.' 1 Sam. xiv, 36. This, I confess, is the only passage in which the word occurs in that sense. But one clear unquestionable instance is de. cisive, and I find the MSS. all agree in the reading. One indeed of Kennicott's MSS, but only one, omits the word altogether; but no one of them gives it without the final 17. The instance is one of the strongest that can be. It occurs in a simple histori. cal narrative in prose. The verb is the first person plural of the future in Kal, in which the final 17 in the verbs quiescent lamed 7, to the best of my recollection, never is omitted. The verb is transitive. Its object is the detached pronoun masculine of the third person plural with a prefix, so that the final 13 can be nothing but radical.
Hence, I think, we may conclude that the verb
בהו but for ,כזו in this place is not indeed for בואו
(or rather 19, for so the verb 1725, according to the rule of conjugation of the verbs quiescent lamed 17, should form the third personal plural preterite in Kal) in the sense of 175; and that it renders literal. ly, not by a metaphor, as Schultens imagined, ' have spoiled.'
Perhaps if we knew the laws of the Hebrew, pro. sody as accurately as we know those of the Greek and Latin, we should see that the change of the into N is by a poetic dialect on account of the verse. I must observe however, that 13 is found in this place in one of Kennicott's MSS. mentioned by Bishop Lowth, and in three of De Rossi's. “Omnes,” says De Rossi, speaking of his three, “priori manu, forma regulari.” If this should be received as the true reading, which would be contrary to my judgment, Schulten's difficulty would disappear, and any solution of it would be unnecessary.
With respect to this particular passage I shall venture to conclude that the English translation gives the true rendering of the original words; that the original expresses the spoiling of inundation, not by a metaphor, but literally; and, with the greatest deference for the judgment of my late friend Bishop Lowth, that there is no room in this passage for conjectural interpretations.
Perhaps it may be said that, when I speak of the unanimous consent of all interpreters before Bates and Bishop Lowth, in the sense of this passage which I uphold (I speak of the literal meaning of the words) I ought to qualify the assertion with an exception with respect to the LXX, whose version, from the varieties of the MSS, may be thought in some degree doubtful. But upon the maturest consideration, I see no reason to think that their ver. sion of this clause differed from that of all other in. terpreters. Their text, as it is given from the Alexandrian MS. in the London Polyglott, is indeed wholly unintelligible. It is equally so in the Roman edition, from the Vatican MS. A version so depraved by the injuries of time, or other causes, as to be unintelligible is to be considered as neutral, or as conducing nothing to'the choice of the critic
between two different meanings. But in Breitenger's edition the text is given thus : ou dingtaody Oi ποταμοι της γης πανσες, the two words oυ διηρπασαν being marked indeed as insertions; the one of the editor from other MSS; the other, of the Hexaplar edition, as cited by early writers. In the margin of Froben's edition of St Jerome, printed at Basle, under the patronage of Leo X. in the year 1516, in a note which I guess to be of Erasmus, I find the passage given somewhat differently, thus : ó dingradav νυν οι ποταμοι της γης παντες,, where the pronoun o rehearses £dvos. I have no doubt that one or other of these is the true text of the LXX; and in either way it gives the very same sense, which, in agreement with almost all interpreters antient and modern, is expressed in our English Bible “whose land the rivers have spoiled.”
« Rivers," i. e, the armies of conquerors, which long since have spoiled the land of the Jews. And so the passage was understood by Jonathan ; who, for the metaphor rivers, puts, what he understood to be denoted by it, “peoples.' The inundation of rivers is a frequent image in the prophetic style for the ravages of armies of foreign invaders. I must observe however, that the inundation of rivers sym