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been confidered as a necessary adjunct to every representation of
On ver. 7. the Bilhop remarks, · supposing the Prophet to
Verse is. is much more happily translated by Bihop News
The fun and the moon stood ftill in their habitation ;
By their brightness, the lightning of thy spear.'
On the words d'i neyp vna in ver. 17. Bithup New-
This observation is ingenious; but with respect to the word und we think, that neither Bishop Newcome's translation, nor the old verfion, expresses its full force and elegance. The Septuagint approaches nearer to the Hebrew Heurétas épy or haias-Thus Horace has fundus mendax, and spem mentita jeges.
And here candout obliges us to own, that a translation of the Minor Prophets is attended with peculiar difficulties. The obscurity, in which they are involved, in common with the other parts of the sacred volume, arises, in fome degree, from the fingular conciseness of the Hebrew language, from its numerous afyndeta, and the paucity of its moods and tenses, from the frequent omiffion of preposicions, and the nice and various fignifications ascribed to its particles. But beside these, and other difficulties, incident to every translator of the Hebrew Scriptures, there are others, not less discouraging, which B Mop Newcome bad more particularly to encounter. Such are the want of his. torical records, for the illustration of many facts, to which the writings of the Minor Prophets reses, the nature of those unaccomplished prophecies that occur in them, and which the E 2
event only can diftin&ly explain ; and, above all, the shortness of the several books, which deprives the translator of that most fruitful source of just criticism, the comparison of a writer with himself. A prophecy consisting but of a few chapters must of course contain words, and phrases, about the meaning of which, as they occur but once, we can only form conjectures from the context, or from analogous terms in the fifter diale&ts.
We have before observed, that there are few instances in which our Translator has not adhered to his own rules. The following are among the number of those that we have noticed. Amos, iii. 3. is rendered by Bishop Newcome,
• Can two go together,
Unless they meet by appointment ?' But is not the expression, meet by appointment, one of those modern phrases, which he has himself very properly proscribed, in page xxiii of his Preface, and very pointedly condemned in other translators of the Scriptures ? Amos, iv, ver. 9. is rendered,
· I have smitten you with blasting and with mildew very much.' Whether this translation of the passage be more accurate tban the common English version, which, in compliance with the Masoretic division of the sentence, connects the word nia?? with the following clause, we will not take upon us to determine. But surely the expreffion very much is evidently deficient in point of dignity, and its position at the end of the sentence seems to render it particularly unharmonious.
Amos, vi. 14. is rendered by Bishop Newcome, in exact conformity indeed with the Hebrew original, but in direct oppofition to the rule laid down by himself (Rule V.), as follows:
• Surely, behold I will raise up against thee, O house of Israel, Saith Jehovah, the God of Hosts, A nation ; and they shall oppress you, &c.' The structure of the sentence in the common translation is infinitely more natural, and better suited to an English ear :
“ But behold I will raise up against you a nation, house of Israel, faith the Lord God of Hofts, &c.” Horea, xiji. 14. is rendered, we think, rather obscurely,
• O Deach, where is thine overthrow?
O Grave, where is thy destruction ?' The words thine overthrow, and thy destruction, seem naturally to point out an overthrow, and a deitruction to be suffered; rather than to be inflicted by death and the grave. Of this obscurity, indeed, the learned Translator appears himself to have been fenlible, for he has added the following note to explain the paffage
The destruction inflicted by death.' But certainly a tranlation designed for general use, instead of requiring notes to explain its
meaping, meaning, Tould speak a language intelligible to every capacity. Habakkuk, i. 9.
« All of them shall come for violence ; The supping up of their faces shall be as an East wind; And they shall gather captives as the sand.' Though the word noun be rendered, perhaps with ftri& literal propriety, the fupping up, and though the Translator may shelter himself under the authority of the common English verfion, and that of the learned Peters on Job, yet we cannot but be apprehensive that the phrase will convey either an improper meaning, or rather no meaning at all to the mere English reader. At the same time, however, we must be candid enough to confess, that we know no unexceptionable word which we can recommend to be substituted in its place; unless indeed we follow the Syriac verfion, and that of Symmachus, which appear to have read 7239, or, what amounts to nearly the same, admit the conjeâure of Houbigant, sips, when the sentence will run thus: Before their faces, &c.
But we forbear to infift any longer on this moft irksome part of our office. We will not fatigue ourselves, or durgust our Readers, with a tedious enumeration of trifling inaccuracies. On the contrary, we cannot express our sentiments on this fubject more exactly, or more forcibly, than in the words of a celebrated writer of antiquity-Καθαπερ γε και εν τοις κολοσσικούς έργοις, και το καθ' έκασον ακριβές ζητάμεν, αλλά τους καθόλα προσέχομεν μάλλον, ή έτη καλώς το όλον • έτως καν τέτοις ποιείται δεί την κρίσιν. .
In the work at large, but more particularly in the Notes, the Bishop has enjoyed the advantage of some particular affiftances in addition to those which the press affords. There, which he enumerates in the most candid and grateful manner, confifted principally in the access which he had to the inedited papers of Dr. Durell, Dr. Wheeler, and Archbishop Secker; in collations of the Coptic version made in the ad century; and of the Pachomian MS.; to which must be added some oblervations of Dr. Forsayeth, Archdeacon of Cork, which occupy no inconfi. derable part of the Appendix.
There is also a curious communication or Haggai, ii. 6, 7, 8, 9 from the learned Dr Heberden, which deserves to be particularly noticed, as it tends to shew the milapplication of a prophecy, which, as it stands in our translation, is evidently predi&tive of the Melliah. It is true, that whatever cannot be properly applied to the support of Christianity, ought readily to be puried with, since even the belt cause may luffer from an unfkiiful or unfair defence. On the other hand, chere seenis JA
alarming propensity in some modern writers to reliaquila evidence on the first sulpicion of its authenticity; a propensity, which, though it may be perfectly consistent with the best intentions, seems to carry candour to an excess, and may be construed by the enemies of our faith into lukewarmness and indifference.
Whether this prophecy of Haggai deserves to be ranked among those proofs, which should not hastily be yielded to our adversaries, is a question now before the Public. Readers may judge in some degree of the present state of the controversy, we Thall transcribe the passage as translated by Bishop Newcome, together with Dr. Heberden's communicacion, subjoining a few cursory observations of our own.
For thus faith Jehovah God of hosts :
Saith Jehovah God of hosts.
“ The Prophet in these verses encourages the Jews just returned from captivity to rebuild their temple, and assures them that the Splendour and riches of this new building should be very great, and that it thould be far from being as nothing in the eyes of those who recollected the grandeur of the first temple. This is the obvious meaning of the words, and no other perhaps would ever have been thought of, if the Vulgate Latin 'had not translated 5 non D'727. Defideratus cunctis gentibus :' • He that is desired of all nations,' instead of the desirable' or precious things of all nations;' which is the true translation of these words ; and this sense of them is to be found in all the old versions, the Vulgate excepted. But the Vulgate happened to be the only one wbich was understood and read for several ages; and hence arose the opinion that Christ must be the person desired of all nations, and that he would add glory to this 'temple by his presence.
“ In deference to this opinion the English translators of the Bible have followed the Vulgate against the plain construction of the Hebrew text, and have differed from all the other old translations.
“ The learned father Houbigant, who, as a Romaniit, is ready to pay all due regard to the Vulgate, acknowledges that 7701 being
* Or, de irable things.
the nominative case to a plural verb 9827 must be a plural noun, and ought to be translated precious things :' that it is limited to this meaning by the mention of filver and gold which follows, and that nothing more was intended by the Prophet than the common richness of the building and its furniture.
“ It appears from 1 Maccabees, i. 21, 22, that the second temple was in fact very richly ornamented; and in the 23d verse of the same chapter Antiochus is said to have taken away the silver and the gold and the precious veffels; which, if the book 'had been written in He. brew, would probably have been the very word mentioned by Haggai.
" It is observable that this Hebrew word is found in Daniel, xi. 43, joined with gold and silver, and is translated in the English Bible, precious things. Isaiah likewise, Ixiv. II, mentions the destruction of the temple, and together with it 131700D all our or its pleasant things, nearly the same word with that of Haggai. See allo Joel, üi. Hebr. iv.] 5, and Nahum, ii. 9. [Hebr. 10.)
“Besides, according to Josephus, it is not true that the Mefliah's presence ever added to the glory of the temple which was building in the time of Haggai : for the Jewish historian assures us, in the plaineft words, that, before Chrift was born, this temple was pulled down, and the foundations of it were taken away by Herod the Great, who built an entire new one in its room : his words are, 'Ανελών δέ τις αρχαίες θεμελίες, και καταβαλόμενος ετέρες, επ' αυτών τον ναόν wycis. Joseph. Antiq. 1. 15.11. 3. [Herod) after he had taken away the old foundations, and laid others, upon them erected the temple. Now, if there be any difference between rebuilding and repairing, if Haggai's temple differed from Solomon's, and was a second temple, then Herod's was not the same with Haggai's, but was truly a third temple. [The learned Mr. Peirce, on the Hebr. xii. 26, p. 189, 2d. edit. allows this to be a third temple.)
“ The most plausible objections to the Christian religion have been made out of the weak arguments which have been advanced in its support: and can there be a weaker argument than that which sets out with doing violence to the original text in order to form a prophecy, and then contradicts the express testimony of the best historian of those times in order to shew that it has been accomplished ?"
Bishop Newcome's opinion is to be collected from his Notes. He thinks that the true reading is 717007, and that the vau has been omitted because it was supplied by a point. In support of this conjecture, he observes, that the LXX. render it te fxrexld, and the Arab. electa, exquisita. He adds, that the word is used plurally with the force of the fingular, likę delicia or spes, in Latin, Dan. ix. 23. (where LXX. and Arab, rightly supply wjqx, vir defideriorum). That Cantic. v. 16. we have Dirona 1531 et ipfe totus defideria, for defiderabilis. That Catullus uses amores for a person; and that Cicero thus addresses Terentia and Tulliola, Valete mea defideria.
The Bilhop confesses, that there is a difficulty in applying DIT to a person, and that we should expect to find in the E 4