« السابقةمتابعة »
may judge from internal evidence, I can have no hesitation in attributing the Biblical Criticism on Gen. iv. 26., inserted in the Classical Journal for September, to the author of the New Translation of the Bible; the errors and inaccuracies of which have been so ably exposed by Mr. Whittaker, Professor Lee, the Editor of the Quarterly Review, &c. I find in the Biblical Criticism the same groundless censures of the authorised version, the same palpable errors in Hebrew criticism, the same new and fanciful interpretations of Scripture, as have already been noticed and condemned in the writings of Mr. Bellamy. The author of the Criticism in question proposes to alter the English authorised version of five passages in the Hebrew Bible, chiefly by giving a different translation of the verb 57777. “There is no doubt," says our critic, "that 51, being derived from the Pihel bbny, to make common, to make profane, implies unholy, impure, unclean, profane."
It is well known that Hebrew verbs have often a different sense in the different conjugations. This is the case with the verb 5377; which is stated by our best lexicographers to signify" to profane” in the conjugations Niphal and Pihel, and "to begin” in the conjugations Hiphil and Hophal. It is true that my in the conjugation Hophal only occurs in this passage (Gen. iv. 26.), but as the verb frequently occurs in the conjugation Hiphil, in the sense of “ to begin," it is natural to suppose
VOL. XXIX. Cl. Jl. NO. LVII. А
ואחללך Gen. xlix. 4., and חללת
that its passive Hophal has a similar sense ; that if the one signifies" to begin," the other would signify“ to be begun.”: This distinction of senses in the different conjugations may observed in all the passages quoted by our author to show that the verb signifies “to profane.'
, Ezek. xxviii. 16., are of the conjugation Pihel; and brin Levit. xxi. 9., hann? Levit. xxi. 4., SIINEzek. xxii. 26., 57.7 Ezek. xx. 9., are of the conjugation Niphal. These passages therefore give him no support in affixing the sense of “ to profane” to the conjugations Hiphil and Hophal. Let us now inquire whether the passages which our author has quoted stand in need of the new translation which he proposes to substitute for the authorised version. The first passage is Gen. iv. 26., which is thus rendered in the English version : “ And to Seth, to him also there was born a son ; and he called his name. Enos : then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.” “ If we render sono began,” says our author, “it would imply that no person had, before that time, called upon the name of the Lord: but we find that Adam, and Eve, and Cain, spoke with the Almighty ; that Cain and Abel offered to the Almighty," &c. The words “to call upon the name of the Lord,” or, “ of Jehovah,"admit of two interpretations. It may be meant that at that time men began to address the Deity by his peculiar name JEHOVAH; or secondly, that they began to assemble in a more public and regular manner for the purposes of religious worship. The words also might perhaps be translated, “ to call themselves by the name of Jehovah," i. e, the descendants of Seth began to distinguish themselves from the profane offspring of Cain by openly professing themselves the worshippers of Jehovah. See Isaiah xliv. 5. apuroua Xp771), " and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob." It appears then that no alteration is at all required in the common translation of Smo in this passage. But there are material objections to our author's new translation : “ Then the calling on the name of the Eternal Being began to be profaned.
I observe then that op signifies to call, and not the calling : 0717' is a proper name, and cannot with any propriety be rendered “the Eternal
Being ;" still less can 57717 be rendered " began to be profaned." The verb in its different conjugations signifies either
: The words 55717 1X, translated in the authorised version with sufficient exactness “then began men,” may be rendered more literally
tunc coeptum est, then it was begun.
to profane, or to begin; but surely the sense of the two conjugations cannot at the same time be given to the same word. The Latin word ferrum sometimes signifies the metal iron, and sometimes a sword, but no one acquainted with the first principles of translation would combine the two senses, and translate ferrum, an iron sword. Mr. Bellamy has fallen into the same unaccountable error, and, if I recollect right, has given the same translation, began to profane, to the same word 90777: and this circumstance strongly corroborates my conjecture that Mr. Bellamy and the author of the Biblical Criticism are the same person.
Let us proceed to the second passage, Gen. vi. 1. " And it came to pass when men began to multiply on the face of the earth.” “If we now consider,” says our author, “ first, that mankind began to multiply immediately after the Creation, that the Lord blessed the man, and said, ' Be fruitful, and multiply,' the question naturally presents itself, Why is it said, they began now to multiply?" &c. It is not said simply that they began to multiply, but that they began to multiply or to be numerous (as the word signifies) on the face of the earth. They were so much increased in number that they began to occupy a considerable portion of the earth. I will now give the New Translation and the comment, the latter of which is so fanciful and extravagant that it would be absurd to attempt its confutation. “It was when men began to profane in multiplying upon the surface of the ground :—that is,” says our author in explanation, " mankind did not distinguish between a natural and allowed manner of multiplying, and an unnatural manner, forbidden by nature itself!!”
The third passage is Gen. ix. 20.“ And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard.” Our author observes, as well as I can understand him, that the literal meaning of the words is, “ And Noah began an husbandman.” Had the writer consulted Waltheri Ellipses Linguæ Hebrææ he would have found that in this concise language, verbs, nouns, and particles are frequently omitted; and would have been convinced, or at least would have had reason to be convinced, that our translators were perfectly right in supplying the words to be, corresponding to the verb nints understood. The following is the improved translation, in which, by the way, he inserts the word as, and omits to translate , in site: " And Noah as an husbandman began to profane: he planted a vineyard ;-because," says our author, “he ought not to have begun his business by planting a vineyard !!" I had written remarks on