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In the xxxviii. 4, 7. of this book we read as follows: Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Many translators and commentators have put forth ingenious theories concerning the meaning and application of this passage. Schultzii Schol. in Vetus Testamentum, gives the following inter
-cum pariter stelle matutinae ca ,ברן יהר ככבי בקר :pretation
sons of בני אלהים How things inanimate are to be called
PO '23), stellæ quæ aurora exoriente demum disparent. 09738 "Ja, filii Dei; ex parallelismi legibus iterum intelligenda sunt sidera, nam omnes creaturæ filii Dei vocari possunt. God, appears to be altogether inexplicable.
Most people have concluded by the passage, Darkness was upon the face of the deep, that there was an infinitely extended chaos, that this world was the first great work of the Creator; and if so, it must vecessarily follow that, excepting the short term of six thousand years, God had dwelt from eternity in solitude, and that Adam was the first of created beings. This cannot be admitted, because it is said, when the foundations of the earth were laid, that the sons of God shouted for joy.
If we carry our inquiries beyond the boundary of the solar system, to the region of the fixed stars, the utmost stretch of human thought is lost in infinite space:-no idea can be formed of the vast, the incomprehensible distances of the fixed stars. For when the earth is at its aphelion, or its greatest distance from, and at its perihelion, or nearest approach to, the northpole star, which is the whole diameter of the orbit of the earth, or two hundred millions of miles, no sensible difference can be observed either as to the altitude or magnitude of the star. Like the sun of our world, the fixed stars shine by their own light, and therefore, like our sun, may have their systems, and planetary worlds revolving round them. Hence it does appear, that the fixed stars, receiving no light from our sun, may be justly said to have been a distinct creation.
In answer to those writers who are of opinion that this passage was understood by the sacred writer to refer to inanimate things as being the 07738 2 sons of God, I find that the words 04758 22, benee Elohyim, are always applied to intelligent beings, and never to inanimate things. From this it appears sufficiently evident, that the race of beings mentioned in the verse under consideration were created prior to our world, and that these beings were present when the foundations of the earth were laid by the creative efflux of Infinite Wisdom.
The sense of the original is given in the authorised translation, but there are words added which have no authority from the
Where toast thou at the ,היפה היית ביסדי־ארץ .Hebrew text
foundations of the earth?—0995892 50 1997, when they shouted, all the sons of God, or, agreably to our idiom, when all the sons of God shouted.
Jer. iv. 10. Then said I, Ah, Lord God, surely thou hast greatly deceived this people, and Jerusalem, saying, ye shall have peace. Thus these writers say, God is accused by the prophet of having deceived him, and all Jerusalem, by the promise of peace; but the very reverse is stated to be the case, as he says, Whereas the sword reacheth to the soul.
This impious charge has no authority from the Hebrew Scripture. And therefore, before infidel writers had exposed their ignorance by such a blasphemous assertion, they ought to have been better acquainted with the Sacred Original.
The word nwy, gnaasah, which is translated done it, is to be truly rendered as the same word is rendered in 2 Sam. ïi. 6, requite; and the clause reads: Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not requited it?
It does indeed appear, according to our acceptation of the word deceived, that there is some degree of plausibility in the statement of these writers; but if, as in the passage above, the original text bad been attended to, nothing of this nature could possibly be understood.
The words navn XVI hashee hisheetha, are rendered thou hast greatly deceived; but the verb means to desolate.
This word bas various modes of expression, all partaking of the nature of the root, as words have in all languages, and consequently have various applications according to idiom. It means desolation, Lam. iii. 47. Fear, and a snare is come upon us, Nawn, hasheeth, desolation and destruction. Isaiah xxxvii. 26, That thou shouldest be to lay waste, nixUTS lehashoth (destruction), i. e. for destruction : and so referring to an invading arıny rushing to destroy: ch. xxiv. 12, In the city is left desolation; and the gate is snitten with destruction. Job xxxix. 17, Because God to hishah, hath deprived her of wisdom. 2 Kings xix. 10, Let not thy God in whom thou trustest deceive thee : TAU yashika, desolate thee. It is evident that this passage also means to waste, to desolate, as the king of Assyria was then desolating the cities, and if they should continue in opposition to bis conquering arms, they were threatened with entire desolation. Thus the opposition is applied to the Hebrews as the cause of their desolation. Jer. xxix. 8, Let not your prophets and diviners de
ceive (desolate) you; that is, be the cause of your desolation: the verb is in the Hiphil conjugation, but the translators have rendered it as if it had been in the conjugation Kal; so that the causative
of the verb is not noticed in the authorised version. It is little short of blasphemiy to say, as the clause is translated, Thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem.
Psa. lxxxix. 22. The enemy shall not exact on him, that is, shall not desolate him by making contributions.
So that whether we take the words Oxu xwn hashee hisheetha, to desolation thou hast desolated, under 180 shaah, i. e. to waste, desolate; or T03 nashah, i. e, to exact, deprive; or under XWI nasha, to exact, seize, it is of no consequence, as under all these words the meaning and application are the same, and consistent with the narrative. This proves that these words are of the same origin, and that T3 nashah, and ALI nasha, to exact, or seize, are under their parent root 780 shaah, to waste, to desolate : although the Lexicon writers, copying after one another, have erroneously divided the word into three roots. All these calamities, signified by these words, are the common result of an invading army, which desolates, seizes, exacts, deprives.
Hence, as it is not possible that God can either deceive or tempt man, it will appear that objectors, who endeavour to calumniate the Scriptures, and by so doing to destroy all social order, have been altogether mistaken concerning the variation of words according to idiom. The true translation is confirmed by the obvious meaning of the word in other parts of Scripture in the authorised version.
The word hox laamor, is in the authorised version rendered saying; but the prefix 5 lamed, which means for, has been omitted by the translators; which will then read for saying: and the clause will read, for saying, Peace shall be among you.
This is certainly a very important question, for God, consistently with his truth, could not promise peace to Jerusalem, and then violate bis solemn word, any more than he could deceive the people. And if, as above observed, deistical writers had attended to the original Hebrew, there would have been no necessity for them to have made this inquiry.
The original Hebrew informs us that the desolation here spoken of was brought about by the people, not by any failure in the execution of the promise of God. At this period the nation had fallen into idolatry, and the prophet was commissioned to inform them that on this account they had forfeited the
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protection which God in his providence had given them, when they observed the commands, statutes, and judgments, as recorded in the sacred volume. And, therefore, the people who had embraced idolatry said, that they should have peace, notwithstanding all that the prophet had declared; and the true translation of one word, which has been omitted in the translation, will remove the objection. The verse truly reads, Then I said, Ah, Lord God, surely to desolation thou hast desolated this people, even to Jerusalem, for saying, Peace shall be among you.
Such are the objections which the enemies of divine revelation advance against the Scripture, to invalidate its truths. But the reader will have reason to conclude in the course of our investigation, that the genuineness and authenticity of Scripture cannot be questioned—the Scripture requires to be honestly represented in order to carry that conviction to the impartial reader, which will effectually silence the calumnies of the infidel.
I shall now beg the attention of the reader while I examine another passage in the authorised version, of a very different description, which, whenever it is read, must necessarily cause a blush on the cheek of modesty. I am sorry to say that in Jerom's translation, passages are found, where no such meaning can possibly be understood in the inspired writings. This feeling is universal; and it is the best proof that such passages in the authorised version as are not sanctioned by the true translation of the Hebrew, which cause a painful feeling in the mind of the hearer, particularly in divine worship; it is the best proof that such passages cannot constitute a part of the Word of God, and that these errors have been made by the translator Jerom.
But some have asked, “ How is it that translation has been given after translation in all Christian nations, and yet that the present translation abounds with errors? what! have none of the Rabbies, or the Christian commentators, found out these contradictions ?” Such persons may now see that some of our com. mentators have found out incongruities in the authorised version before my time, and this, I hope, will be a sufficient answer to those, who may in future ask such a question.,
The passage is in Deut. xxiii. 2. He that is wounded in the slones, or hath his prioy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord.
How Jerom, the author of the Latin Vulgate, could make such a sense, so opposed to the literal meaning of the He.
brew, is only to be accounted for on his not translating from the Hebrew text. I shall confirm the true translation by other passages, where the words are truly translated in the authorised version, which will (I should suppose) be acceptable to your readers. This is one of those numerous passages which require iminediate correction. There is no necessity to enlarge on the authorised version of this verse; I shall proceed to show that in the original Hebrew nothing of this nature is signified, and consequently that the sacred writer had no such understanding; it has, through the errors of the translators, been foisted into all the European translations.
I find that in no other part of Scripture are the words 7727TJEV, dakah-shaphkah, translated to convey an obscene sense; of which the reader will be convinced by referring to other parts of Scripture, where they are truly rendered in the authorised version: this will prove, so as to admit of no contradiction, that they have been misunderstood and misapplied. I have often said that this is that kind of proof which we must necessarily have recourse to, if we wish to have the true meaning of ihe sacred writer ; it silences all the speculative opinions of commentators, however sanctioned by hoary-headed error, by grammars and lexicons, or by any authorities, however learned and respectable: it is appealing to that authority which cannot be controverted.
The word net dakah means, to be afflicted. See Prov. *xvi. 28. afflicted—Psa. xxxviii. 8. broken-li
. 17. a broken spirit-xliv. 19. oppressed—Ixxiv. 21. O let not the oppressed return ashamed.
750 shaphkah, like the above word 1727 dakah, is only so translated in this verse in all the Scripture. This word means an act of separation, see Ezek. xxvi. 8.--xxi. 22.-xvii. 17.Jer. vi. 6.-Dan. xi. 15.-2 Sam. xx. 15.; and when it is connected with 997kerouth, which means to cut, and applied to man, as in this passage, it means to cut off, to be mutilated; literally a man who had lost a limb.
Yet, it appears very inconsistent with the general tenor of Scripture, with divine order, as well as with reason, that because a person had lost a member of his body he should not be permitted to enter in to the congregation to worship God! for this is the plain meaning in the authorised version, viz. shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord. With the true translation of one word, according to idiom, the obvious meaning of the sacred writer, and the proof from Scripture, the halt, the