Praise (Isa. xxv. 1-6.)-A Thanksgiving to be sung by the Jews on their return from captivity (Ila. xxvi. 1-20.)-A Parable representing Israel under the image of a vineyard (Isa. xxvii. 2–6.)-Hezekiah's Song.-The Lamentations of Jeremiah.—The Thanksgiving of Jonah (ch. ii.)- A Parable to be pronounced against the King of Babylon by the nation which he had pillaged and enslaved (Hab. ii. 5. to the end.) The Prayer of Habakkuk (chap. iii.)

In the translation of these beautiful parts of sacred poetry, and in the notes which are adjoined to the translation, to clear up their difficulties or illustrate their meaning, the Author hath discovered much ingenuity, and no inconsiderable Share of fagacity and learning.

Mr. Green hath the following very just and pertinent rem marks on the speech of Lamech to his two wives, Adah and Zillah :

• Lamech acknowledges that he had killed a man; but he avers, it was in his own defence; and argues thus upon it—" If Cain's death, who murdered his brother for no offence, should, as God assured him (in Genesis iv. 5.), be avenged seven-fold; surely Lamech's death, who flew an aggressor in felf-defence, shall be avenged seventy times feven.” Lamech's wives, it seems, had the fame apprehenfions for their husband which Cain had for himself, when he had murdered a brother ; namely, that every one who met him would kill him; or ac Jeast, that the relations of the man whom he had llain would avenge his death. Cain had a fign given from heaven, that is, a miracle wrought for bim (Gen. iv. 15.) to quiet his fears. To quier his wives, Lamech was forced to have recourse to an argument, founded on that fact. To quiet their apprehenfions must have been the occas from of this famous speech.'

The following is our Author's translation of the last prophetig words of David, 2 Sam. xxiii. 18. • I. Now these were the last words of David.

David, the son of Jeffe, faith,
Even the man who was raised on high, saith,
The anointed of the God of Jacob,

And the sweet Pfalmift of Israel.
II. The Spirit of Jehovah speakech by me,

And his word is upon my tongue.
III. The God of Israei faith,
Even to me doth the

Rock of ffrael speak.
The JUST ONE ruleth over men!

He roleih in the fear of God.
IV. As the light of the morning sun shall rise,

A morning without clouds for brightness,

When the tender grass after rain springeth out of the earska
V. For is not my hoose established with God?

Yea, he hath made with me an everlasting covenant,
Ordered in all things and observed :
Surely in him is all my falvation and all my delight.
B 2

VI. Double


VI. Doubtless the wicked shall not flourilh ;

They are all like thorns thrust away,

Which shall not be taken by the hand.
VII. But the man who shall lay hold on them

Shall be armed with iron, and the staff of a spear,

And they shall utterly be burned with fire.' We shall present our Readers with the Author's Critical and Explanatory Notes at large, leaving it to the learned to determine how far they tend to support his hypothesis; and how far the Author is qualified to contend with so profound a scholar in biblical learning as the eminent Prelate whom he hath ventured to attack on a controverted passage in Ifaiah.

• Period 1~8.] The learned secm now to be agreed, that this illurtrious prophecy, introduced in fó magnificent a manner, is to be an. derstood of Chrilt's spiritual kingdom, and his final triumph over the enemies of it. The beginning of its accomplishment may properly be dared from his entrance upon his mediatorial office; it was yet farther fulfilled upon the establishment of Christianity by the civil powers; but when the time shall be of its perfect completion, is yet a secret in the hands of God. * The royal Plalmilt

, when the spirit of prophecy was moft ftrongly upon him, probably joft before his death, being favoured by God with a clearer and more distinct revelation of this great and wonder. ful event, begios first with expreling the deep sense he had of the Divine goodness, in this gracious and comfortable communication to him, and of the certainty and powerfulness of the inspiration he was under. In per. I. this peculiar grace and favour is heightened from a confideration-of the person inspired ; one wbom, from obscure parentage and low condition, God had exalted to be King over his chofen people, and made him an instrument of establishing, or ac leaft of improving, the moft delightful part of his religious worship : and in per. 2.-of the author of the inspiration, the Lord Jehovahthe God and Rock of Israel-whose powerful impulse is expressed by a repetition of the words, He faiib, be speakub, and His word is upor my tongue.

• After this magnificent introduction he breaks out into a kind of transport of joy and admiration at the prospect before him:

The Just One rulesh over man! • In per. 4. he describes the spiritual and glorious effects of this dominion; at per. 5. bis firm assurance of its perpetuity, and of the designation of it to a person of his own house and lineage ; with a Jively declaration of the delight and comfort which this assurance gave him. In per. 6. and 7. be gives a short but dreadful representajjon of the condition of the wicked, and of the everlasting ven. geance which awaits them at that terrible day, when the wheat shall be gathered into his garner, and the chaff shall be burned with fire an. qoenchable.

• Per. s. l'ho was raijed on bigh] This canno: be better explained ihan fron: Pl. Ixxvill. ;0.- The construction would be more natural, if, by a change of the vowels, we read hekim yal, inttead of bukam, the man whom the Most High hath railed op.' In this sense it is used io Jer. 2XX. 9.

. Ibid.

• Ibid. Sweet Pfalmif) This title seems moft eminently to belong to David, not only as he composed most of the Psalms, but established the music service of the Temple.

Per. 3. The Just One.) This is the first time that we meet with the Melliah under this title. The evangelical prophet adopts it, and gives as an insight into his office, as the Justifier of the ungodly, Isa. liji, 12. By the knowledge of him shall the Just One, my servant, justify

many; For he shall bear their iniquities. Our tranlators, not knowing this to be a title of the Melliah, though it is used as such, Acts iii. 14. vii. 52. xxii. 14. James v. 6. 1 Pet. ii. 18. have made it an adjective to the fubitantive following, rendering it, my righteous fervant. But they ought to have known that, in Hebrew, the adjeciive always follows the fubftantive; and would bave set them right.-The Bithop of London, in his translation of this passage of Isaiah, omits this title of the Mefliah, alleging, that it makes the hemiftic too long, and that two or three Mss. omit ic. As to the hemistic, this riile confiits but of :wo syllables; and it mof require a nice discerament, to say a hemistic is too long or too Mort by iwo syllables: and as this title is of such importance as to be the subject of David's last prophetic words, and is frequently mentioned in the New Tetament, if thirty or forty MSS. had omitted it, I should not regard them; especially as it is used here with the utmoi propriety, where the prophet is speaking of Jesus in the very act of juftifying, by bearing our iniquities; to say nothing of the beauty of the figure, the Juj One shall jurify.

· As I published four years ago a translation of the 53d of Isaiah, I will take this opportunity to say a word or two in support of it. The prophet begins this subject at the 13th per. of the lii. The two next periods are plainly opposed to each other. The LXX. found that opposition in the copy they translated from. And this has indaced men of the greatest eminence for learning, Grotius, Le Clerc, Bishop Chandler, Archbishop Secker, Dr. Grey, Dr. Durel, Bishop Lowth, and Dr. Jobb, who could never find in the present text the apodofis of the oppofition in per. 15. to wilh to see it restored. Now, if the Greek translators of Isaiah rendered the same Hebrew word by the same Greek word, I have pointed out the very word which they found out in their copy (See my Note). This word suits the place, while the present reading makes little better than nonsense of it.' Ado mitting the LXX.'s reading to be the true one, there arises chis plain sense and oppoutionAs, on the one hand, many (the Jews) shall be astonished at the

Sigbt of him :
Because his appearance will be meaner than that of a man of rank,
And his figure than that of common men:
So, on tbe other hand, many nations (the Gentiles) shall survey

him with wonder,
Aod Kings that their mouths out of surprise ;
Because they shall see him, of whom they never had been told;
And contemplate him, of whom they had never heard.

в 3



preposition as a radical, and out of the corrupted word makes banokev, bis bigb places: and translates,

But with the rich man was his tomb. The truth is, this word is used in more than a hundred places, but not once in the sense of a tomb. It signifies a hill, and a high place; but there is no way of making it figoify a tomb, but by saying that the Jewish tombs were frequently built on high places, and therefore the word must here signify a tomb. The Bishop is not fingular in his interpretation. There are other learned men who have interpreted in the same manner. But then those men lived in times of darkness, when it would have been heresy to say, that the Hebrew text was corrupted. But since the collation of the Hebrew Manuscripts, we, regardless of the clamours of the bigoted, or of the displeasure of Superiors, dare say such a text is corrupted; it is too absurd to come from the pen of an inspired writer; the ancients found in the copy they trandated a clear confiftent text, &c. And this is taking no other liberty than the great translator himself has taken with several texts in Isaiah, which he has by this means restored, to his eternal honour. Now may we not take the same liberty in this place. The LXX. translated before our Saviour's time, and from a copy as old, perhaps, as Isaiah (Oh, that we had but that translation as it came out of their hands!); and they gave us a plain confiftent sense, consistent with the scope of the prophet and the dignity of the sufferer, as follows:

But he shall avenge his grave upon the wicked,
And his death upon the rich;
Because he had done no wrong,

Neither was deceit found in his mouth. That is, because Jesus was neither malefaclor, as the Jewish Sanhem drim accused him before Pilate; nor impofior, as they pretended he was, when arraigoed at their own tribunal. How the iwo readings differ, and how easy it is to account for the blunders of transcribers, may be seen in my pamplet. It is more to the purpose, to observe with what propriety and majesty this translation follows the period foregoing. The prophet entered upon his subject with telling us, that the Messiah hould be raised up, and exalted, and advanced very high. And when did the advancement of Jesus take place? Why, not in this life; but at his death, when he was advanced at God's right hand, to be a Prince and a Saviour. Now, of this very time the prophet is here speaking. The Jews had murdered Jesus. And what more suitable to his majesty, than when they had rejected fresh overtures of grace made to them by his Apostles, that he should come in the clouds of heaven, as he had told them he should ac his condemoation, and take just vengeance on them, who would not have him to reign over them; that he should come during the lives of that wicked generation who crucified him, destroy those murderers, and burn up their city, and take away their place, that is, their temple and nation. I have made these remarks, not out of love of controversy, nor out of want of respect for the great translator ; but I thought that the importance of the prophecy required it from me,

• Ibid.

B 4

« VorigeDoorgaan »