Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ficient in valuable qualities, they became more fond, and more lavish of fine words.

5. “Of the course of Abijah,” it éqnuepias' AB... This was one of the twenty-four sacerdotal families into which the whole order was divided by David, (1 Chron. 24: 3, etc.), and which served in the temple by turns.

9. "The sanctuary,” töv vaov. E. T. “The temple.” Had the word been repov, it could not have been rendered otherwise than the temple;' but o vaos, though commonly translated the same way, is not synonymous. The former comprehended the whole edifice, with all its enclosures, piazzas, and other buildings; the latter included only what was termed, by way of eminence, the house, consisting of the vestibule, the holy place or sanctuary, and the most holy. The altar of incense, on which the perfumes were burnt, was in the sanctuary; the people who were praying without, were in the temple, èv ru 1809, in the court of Israel, though not in what was strictly called the house of God, that is, šv tū vám. In order to render the version as explicit as the original, it behoves us to avoid confounding things in the one, which are not confounded in the other.

15. “Any fermented liquor,” ginepa. E. T. “Strong drink.” Some think that by this name was meant a liquor made of dates, the fruit of the palm tree, a drink much used in the East. But I see no reason for confining the term to this signification. The word is Heb. w shecher, and has been retained by the Seventy interpreters in those passages where the law of the Nazarites is laid down, and in the rules to be observed by the priests when it should be their turn to officiate in the temple. The Heb. root signifies 'to inebriate,' or make drunk. All fermented liquors, therefore, as being capable of producing this effect, were understood as implied in the term. Strong drink is not the meaning. It might be impossible by words to define intelligibly, the precise degree of strength forbidden, or for judges to ascertain the transgression. For this reason, the proper subject of positive law is kinds, not degrees in quality, whereof no standard can be assigned. For this reason, all liquors, however weak, which bad undergone fermentation, were understood to be prohibited, both to the Nazarites, and to the priests during the week wherein they officiated in the temple.

17. “ And, by the wisdom of the righteous, to render the disobedient a people well-disposed for the Lord,” xal anettais, év qooνήσει δικαίων, ετοιμάσαι Κυρίω λαών κατασκευασμένον. Ε. Τ. “ And the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” The construction, in this way rendering the words must be και επιστρέψαι απειθείς εν φροντίσει δικαίων, ετοιμάσαι λαον κατεσκευασμένον Κυρίω. I readily admit

way of that iv in the N. T. is sometimes used according to the Heb. idiom, for εis or ini, and sometimes for oúv or for dia; but this concession is not to be understood as implying, that such a use may bappen equally in whatever way, the words be connected. I question whether the verb incorpé'wai will ever be found joined with the preposition év, for expressing to turn to, or to convert to. It renders it the more improbable that this should be the case here, as in the preceding clause we find the verb ércoloéwai followed by the preposition éni, for expressing this very idea, turning to, or converting to. That in two parallel and similar clauses, depending on the same verb, such an alteration should be made in the construction, is very improbable, being repugnant at once to simplicity, perspicuity, and propriety. It has some weight also, that as in that explanation the sentence has three clauses, though the first and the second are coupled by the conjunction xai, there is no copulative prefixed to the third. This, at least, is unusual, and suits neither the Heb. idiom nor the Gr. In the way I understand the sentence, it has but two clauses. 'Απειθείς is not governed by επιστρέψαι, but by the following verb érovudoar. The placing of a comma after aneltsis, is all the change necessary in the pointing. This makes įv qoovňoel dixalov fall between two commas, and express the manner in which the Baptist was to effect those changes, namely, by inculcating that disposition of mind which, with righteous men, is the only genuine wisdom or prudence. Bishop Pearce has given the same turn to the sentence ; only he seems to think that the word dexaiov peculiarly relates to John himself. This supposition is quite unnecessary, and, as the word is in the plural number, embarrasses the construction. The wisdom of the righteous may well be understood as opposed to the wisdom of the ungodly, in like manner as the wisdom which is from above (another phrase for the same thing) is opposed to the wisdom which is from beneath.

23. “ His days of officiating ;" that is, bis week (for it lasted no longer at one turn), during which time he was not permitted to leave the precincts of the temple, or to have any intercourse with his wife.

28. “Favorite of Heaven,” neyaoitouéve. Vul.“ Gratia plena.” There is no doubt that, in the sense wherein this last expression was used by Jeroin, it was of the same import with that given here after Dod. and with that used in the E. T. “ thou that art highly favored.” But at present, the phrase full of grace would not convey the same meaning. Be. “Gratis dilecta.” This, though in strictness (if we consider only the import of the words taken severally) it may be defended, conveys an insinuation exceedingly improper and unjust. Gratis dilecia is precisely such a compellation as we should reckon suitable, had it been given to the woman whom our Lord permitted to apoint bis feet in the house VOL. II.

40

of Simon, to the great scandal of that Pharisee, who knew her former life. What might even but obliquely suggest a conception so remote from the scope of the evangelist, ought carefully to be avoided.

2 - The Lord be with thee," Kuotos uera 000. E. T. “The Lord is with thee.” Vul. Er. and Zu. “ Dominus tecum." Be. “ Dominus tecum est.” As the substantive verb is not expressed in the original, it may be interpreted either in the indicative or in the optative. When rendered as an affirmation, we cannot queslion iis truth. But it seems more suitable to the form of salutation, which is always expressive of good wishes, to understand it in the latter of these ways. The word zuige, wbich immediately precedes, suits this interpretation, and so did all the forms of saluting customary among the Hebrews, such as “Peace be to this house ; “the Lord be with you ;” and, “the Lord bless you.” See chap. 10: 5. Ruth 2: 4.

3 - Thou happiest of women,” củloynuévn èv yuvaigív. E. T. “Blessed art thou arnong women.'

I conceive this expression here as more properly a compellation than either an affirmation or a salutation; and I understand the pronoun as emphatical, and in the vocative. Such a plhrase as ευλογημένη έν γυναιξίν is, in the Heb. idiom, an expression of the superlative. It is accordingly so rendered by Cas. in this place, “ mulierum fortunatissima." The same idiom is sometimes similary used in the E.T. Thus, ni xahn ¿v yuvauživ in the Sep. which is literally from the Heb. is, with us, “ thou fairest among women," Cant. 1: 8; and ina u opozaa laish gibbor babbehemah, a lion, which is strongest among beasts," Prov. 30: 30. The expression used here by the evangelist we find repeated ver. 42; but as it is coupled with another clause, και ευλογημένος ο καρπός της κολίας σου, it must be understood as an affirmation.

29. “ At his appearance and words she was perplexed,” idé ιδούσα, διεταράχθη επί τω λόγω αυτού. Vul. «Que cum audisset, curbata est in sermone ejus. This version would appear to have sprung from a different reading ; yet there is no known reading that is entirely conformable to it. The Cam. and two other MSS. omit idovou. Si. thinks that the Vul. fully expresses the meaning of the original, and that the evangelist, in saying idovoa, has, by a trope not usual with the sacred authors, expressed the operation of one of our senses by a terin which, in strictness, belongs to another. I admit that there are examples of this kind, but I see no occasion for recurring to them here. It cannot be questioned that such an extraordinary appearance, as well as the words spoken, would contribute to affect the mind of the Virgin with apprehension and fear.

35. “ The holy progeny,"zo yevrouevov öziov. E. T. “ That holy thing which shall be born of thee.” Vol. “Quod nascetur ex te sanctum.” This is one of the few instances in which our translators have deserted the common Gr. and preferred the present reading of the Vul. There are indeed four MSS., only one of them of note, and the first Sy. with some other versions, which concur with the Vul. in reading xx gou after to yevvoiuevov. But though this is the reading of the authorized editions of the Vul. it is not the reading of most of the MS. copies. Some of the Fathers read these words in some MSS. and attempted to account for the omission of them in the much greater number, by imputing it to the Eutychians and other heretics, who (they would have us believe) expunged them, because unfavorable to their errors. But it is far more probable that the orthodox, or ruling party, who were as chargeable with frauds of this sort as any heretics, should have had it in their power to foist the words in question into four or five copies, which are all as yet found to have them, than that any sectaries should have had it in their power to expunge them out of more than fifty times that number, in which they are wanting. As the sense is complete without then, the greater number of copies, especially where the difference in number is so considerable, ought to determine the point. Wet. suspects, and not implausibly, that the inserted words have been transferred hither from Gal. 4; 4. As there is nothing in the words themselves that is not strictly conformable to truth, it is easy to assign a reason why soine modern editors, and even translators, liave thought it more eligible to insert than to omit them. In such cases, this will be found the most common way of deciding.

37. “ Nothing is impossible with God,” our aduvatível tuod to mam nav óñua. Vul, “Non erit impossibile apud Deum omne verbum." Diss. IX. Part ii. sect. 9.

45. « Happy is she who believed,” μακαρία ή πιστεύσασα. Vul.“ Beata quæ credidisti.” In like manner Cas. “ Beatarn le quæ credideris.” A little after, in the same verse, both bave tibi, where in the original it is evin Agreeable to these is the Sax. This expression of the sentiment by the second person instead of the third, seems peculiar to these translators, but does not affect the sense.

2 • That the things which the Lord hath promised her shall be performed,” ότι έσται τελείωσις τους λελαλημένοις αυτή παρα Κυplov. E. T. “For there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.” Vul. “ Quoniam perficientur ea quæ dicta sunt tibi a Domino." To the same purpose, Be. “ Nam consummabuntur ea quæ dicta sunt ei a Domino."

Cas. differently, “ Perfectum iri quæ tibi a Domino significata suni." The instances in the N. T. wherein örı does not signify because, but that, are very many. The. understands it so in this place. So also does Gro. and some other expositors of name. It must at the same time be acknowledged, that the words are susceptible of either interpretation. The reasons which have induced me to prefer the latter are the following. After suorauw, when a clause is subjoined representing the thing believed, it is invariably introduced by önl, wbich in those cases cannot be rendered otherwise than thai. See Mt. 9: 28. Mr. 11: 23, 24. J. 11: 27, 42. 13: 19. 14: 10, 11. 16: 27, 30. 17: 8, 21. 20:31. I have, for the sake of brevity, referred only to examples which occur in the Gospels. 2dly, The person or subject believed is always subjoined, unless there be something in the preceding words which show clearly what

Now there is nothing here in the preceding words which can suguest what was believed. It is then highly probable, that it is contained in the words succeeding. 3dly, That this clause expresses, not the reward of belief, but the thing believed, is probable from this consideration, that Elizabeth bad doubtless in view the superiority of Mary above her own busband Zacharias, inasmuch as the foriner readily believed the heavenly messenger, which the latter did not. Now, if Elizabeth meant to point out the superior felicity of Mary, on account of her faith, she would never have specified a circunstance which happened equally to her who believed, and to him who did not believe ; for to both there was a performance of those things which bad been told them from the Lord. It would bave been rather inopportune to mention this circumstance as the special reward of her faith, though very apposite lo subjoin it as the subject.

3 Sonne have thought that the words niaga Kvolov, in the end, are better connected with resiwors, and that, therefore, rois hahaanuévois avın should be included between commas. When the era fect is equal in respect of the sense, the simplest manner of construing the sentence ought to be preferred. Admitting, then, that παρα Κυρίου τηay be properly conjoined either with τελείωσις or with λελαλημένοις αύτη, it is preferable to adopt the construction which suits the order of the words, where there is no special reason for deserting that order. The phrase, things spoken or promised to her, does not necessarily imply that it was the Lord who spoke them, even though he be mentioned as the author of the events; but, in speaking of the performance of things promised by the Lord, it is manifestly implied that the Lord bath performed them. A promise is performed only by the promiser. This is therefore better, as it is a fuller expression of what is admitted on all sides to be the meaning. One would almost think of some critics, that they dislike an exposition because it is obvious, and prefer one palpably worse, which requires soine transposition of the words. To transpose the words is sometimes necessary in explaining these writings; but the presumption is always against the transposition, when the words, as they lie, yield as good and as pertinent a meaning:

« AnteriorContinuar »