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THE FIRST BOOK OF MOSES,
Year before the common era of Christ, 4004.Julian Period, 710.-Cycle of the Sun, 10.-Dominical
Letter, B.-Cycle of the Moon, 7.-Indiction, 5.-Creation from Tisri or September, 1.
First day's work-Creation of the heavens and the earth, 1, 2. Of the light and its separation from the
darkness, 3-5. Second day's work—The creation of the firmament, and the separation of the waters
A. M. I.
B. C. 4004.
a Prov. viii. 22, 23, 24; Mark xiii. 19; John i. 1, 2; Heb. i. lxv. 17; Jer. x. 12; xxxii. 17; li. 15; Zech. xii. 1; Acts iv.
NOTES ON CHAP. I.
self, without foreign motive or influence : he who is
Many attempts have been made to define the term upholder of all things; infinitely happy, because infi-
and kind. Reader, such is the God of the Bible ; but
A. M. 1.
A. M. 1.
Creation of the light, and its
separation from the darkness. 3 • And God said, 'Let there be and God & divided
light B. C. 4004.
B. C. 4004. light: and there was light.
from the darkness. 4 And God saw the light that it was good : 5 And God called the light i Day, and the
e Psa. xxxii. 6, 9; cxlviii. 5. Job xxxvi. 30; xxxviii. 19; 5; ii. 8.-52 Cor. vi. 14.- Heb. between the light and between Psa. xcvii. 11; civ. 2 ; cxviii. 27; Isa. xlv. 7; lx. 19; John i. the darkness. Chap. viii. 22 ; Psa. xix. 2; Ixxiv. 16; civ. 20; 5, 9; ii. 19; 2 Cor. iv. 6; Eph. v. 8; 1 Tim. vi. 16; 1 John i. Jer. xxxiii. 20; 1 Cor. u. 13; Eph. v. 13; 1 Thess. v. 5.
been supposed, by the most eminently learned and pious this is essentially necessary, and no man can safely men, to imply a plurality of Persons in the Divine criticise on any word in either of these languages who nature. As this plurality appears in so many parts of does not carefully attend to this point. the sacred writings to be confined to three Persons, I mention the Arabic with the Hebrew for two hence the doctrine of the TRINITY, which has formed reasons. 1. Because the two languagès evidently a part of the creed of all those who have been deemed spring from the same source, and have very nearly the sound in the faith, from the earliest ages of Chris- same mode of construction. 2. Because the deficient tianity. Nor are the Christians singular in receiving roots in the Hebrew Bible are to be sought for in the this doctrine, and in deriving it from the first words of Arabic language. The reason of this must be obvious, Divine revelation. An eminent Jewish rabbin, Simeon when it is considered that the whole of the Hebrew ben Joachi, in his comment on the sixth section of language is lost except what is in the Bible, and even Leviticus, has these remarkable words : “ Come and a part of this book is written in Chaldee. Now, as see the mystery of the word Elohim ; there are three the English Bible does not contain the whole of the degrees, and each degree by itself alone, and yet not- English language, so the Hebrew Bible does not withstanding they are all one, and joined together in contain the whole of the Hebrew. If a man meet one, and are not divided from each other.” See Ains- with an English word which he cannot find in an worth. He must be strangely prejudiced indeed who ample concordance or dictionary to the Bible, he must cannot see that the doctrine of a Trinity, and of a Trinity of course seek for that word in a general English dicin unity, is expressed in the above words. The verb tionary. In like manner, if a particular form of a Hexna bara, he created, being joined in the singular num- brew word occur that cannot be traced to a root in the ber with this plural noun, has been considered as point- Hebrew Bible, because the word does not occur in the ing out, and not obscurely, the unity of the Divine third person singular of the past tense in the Bible, Persons in this work of creation. In the ever-blessed it is expedient, it is perfectly lawful, and often indisTrinity, from the infinite and indivisible unity of the pensably necessary, to seek the deficient root in the persons, there can be but one will, one purpose, and Arabic. For as the Arabic is still a living language, one infinite and uncontrollable energy.
and perhaps the most copious in the universe, it may “Let those who have any doubt whether onbe well be expected to furnish those terms which are deElohim, when meaning the true God, Jehovah, be ficient in the Hebrew Bible. And the reasonableness plural or not, con ult the following passages, where of this is founded on another maxim, viz., that either they will find it joined with adjectives, verbs, and the Arabic was derived from the Hebrew, or the pronouns plural.
Hebrew from the Arabic. I shall not enter into this “Gen. i. 26 ; iii. 22 ; xi. 7; xx. 13; xxxi. 7,53; controversy; there are great names on both sides, and xxxv. 7.
the decision of the question in either way will have “ Deut. iv. 7 ; v. 23; Josh. xxiv. 19; 1 Sam. iv. 8; the same effect on my argument. For if the Arabic 2 Sam. vii. 23; Psa. lviii. 12; Isa. vi. 8; Jer. x. 10; were derived from the Hebrew, it must have been when xxiii. 36.
the Hebrew was a living and complete language, be“See also Prov. ix. 10; xxx. 3; Psa. cxlix. 2; Eccl. cause such is the Arabic now; and therefore all its v. 7 ; xii. 1; Job v. 1 ; Isa. vi. 3 ; liv. 5; lxii. 5'; essential roots we may reasonably expect to find there: Hos. xi. 12, or xii. 1 ; Mal. i. 6; Dan. v. 18, 20; but if, as Sir William Jones supposed, the Hebrew vii. 18, 22."-PARKHURST.
were derived from the Arabic, the same expectation is As the word Elohim is the term by which the justified, the deficient roots in Hebrew may be sought Divine Being is most generally expressed in the Old for in the mother tongue. If, for example, we meet Testament, it may be necessary to consider it here with a term in our ancient English language the meanmore at large. It is a maxim that admits of no con- ing of which we find difficult to ascertain, common troversy, that every noun in the Hebrew language is sense teaches us that we should seek for it in the derived from a verb, which is usually termed the radix Anglo-Saxon, from which our language springs; and, or root, from which, not only the noun, but all the dif- if necessary, go up to the Teutonic, from which the ferent flections of the verb, spring. This radix is the Anglo-Saxon was derived. No person disputes the third person singular of the preterite or past tense. legitimacy of this measure, and we find it in constant The ideal meaning of this root expresses some essential practice. I make these observations at the very property of the thing which it designates, or of which threshold of my work, because the necessity of acting it is an appellative. The root in Hebrew, and in its on this principle (seeking deficient Hebrew roots in sister language, the Arabic, generally consists of three the Arabic) may often occur, and I wish to speak once letters, and every word must be traced to its root in for all on the subject. order to ascertain its genuine meaning, for there alone The first sentence in the Scripture shows the prois this meaning to be found. In Hebrew and Arabic ! priety of having recourse to this principle. We have The creation
of the firmament A. M. I. darkness he called Night. And 6 And God said, 'Let there be a
A. M. 1. B. C. 4004.
B. C. 4004. the evening and the morning were m firmament in the midst of the wathe first day.
ters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
k Heb. and the evening was and the morning was.
I Job xxvi. 7; xxxvü. 18; Psa. xix. 1; civ. 2 ; cxxxvi. 6;
cl. 1; Jer. x. 12; li. 15.-m Heb. expansion.
seen that the word d'abx Elohim is plural ; we have tioned in this chapter all was ETERNITY. Time traced our term God to its source, and have seen its signifies duration measured by the revolutions of the signification; and also a general definition of the thing heavenly bodies : but prior to the creation of these or being included under this term, has been tremblingly bodies there could be no measurement of duration, and attempted. We should now trace the original to its consequently no time; therefore in the beginning must root, but this root does not appear in the Hebrew Bible. necessarily mean the commencement of time, which folWere the Hebrew a complete language, a pious reason lowed, or rather was produced by, God's creative acts, might be given for this omission, viz., “As God is as an effect follows or is produced by a cause. without beginning and without cause, as his being is Created] Caused existence where previously to this infinite and underived, the Hebrew language consults moment there was no being. The rabbins, who are strict propriety in giving no root whence his name can legitimate judges in a case of verbal criticism on their be deduced.” Mr. Parkhurst, to whose pious and own language, are unanimous in asserting that the word learned labours in Hebrew literature most Biblical x70 bara expresses the commencement of the existence students are indebted, thinks he has found the root in of a thing, or egression from nonentity to entity. It ooks alah, he swore, bound himself by oath; and hence does not in its primary meaning denote the preserving he calls the ever-blessed Trinity dirba Elohim, as or new forming things that had previously existed, being bound by a conditional oath to redeem man, $c., as some imagine, but creation in the proper sense of fc. Most pious minds will revolt from such a defini- the term, though it has some other acceptations in other tion, and will be glad with me to find both the noun places. The supposition that God formed all things and the root preserved in Arabic. Allah XUI is the out of a pre-existing, eternal nature, is certainly absurd, common name for God in the Arabic tongue, and often for if there had been an eternal nature besides an eterthe emphatic syll is used. Now both these words nal God, there must have been two self-existing, indeare derived from the root alaha, he worshipped, adored, pendent, and eternal beings, which is a most palpable was struck with aslonishment, fear, or terror; and
contradiction. hence, he adored with sacred horror and veneration,
D'nun ns eth hashshamayim. The word nx eth, cum sacro horrore ac veneratione coluit, adoravit. -- which is generally considered as a particle, simply deWilmet. Hence ilahon, fear, veneration, and also noting that the word following is in the accusative or the object of religious fear, the Deity, the supreme oblique case, is often understood by the rabbins in a God, the tremendous Being. This is not a new idea;
much more extensive sense. “ The particle nx,” says God was considered in the same light among the Aben Ezra, “signifies the substance of the thing.” ancient Hebrews; and hence Jacob swears by the fear The like definition is given by Kimchi in his Book of of his father Isaac, Gen. xxxi. 53. To complete the Roots. “This particle,” says Mr. Ainsworth,“ having definition, Golius renders alaha, juvit, liberavit
, et the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet in it, tulatus fuit, “ he succoured, liberated, kept in safety,
is supposed to comprise the sum and substance of all or defended.” Thus from the ideal meaning of this things.” “The particle ns eth (says Buxtorf, Talmost expressive root, we acquire the most correct no- mudic Lexicon, sub voce) with the cabalists is often tion of the Divine nature; for we learn that God is the mystically put for the beginning and the end, as a bule object of adoration ; that the perfections of his alpha and 2 omega are in the Apocalypse.” On this nature are such as must astonish all those who piously ground these words should be translated, “God in the contemplate them, and fill with horror all who would beginning created the substance of the heavens and the dare to give his glory to another, or break his com
substance of the earth,” i. e. the prima materia, or mandments; that consequently he should be worshipped
first elements, out of which the heavens and the earth with reverence and religious fear; and that every sin
were successively formed. The Syriac translator cere worshipper may expect from him help in all his understood the word in this sense, and to express this weaknesses, trials, dificulties, temptations, &c.; free- meaning has used the word As yoth, which has this dom from the power, guilt, nature, and consequences signification, and is very properly translated in Walton's of sin ; and to be supported, defended, and saved to Polyglot, Esse, cæli et esse terræ, “ the being or subthe uttermost, and to the end.
stance of the heaven, and the being or substance of the Here then is one proof, among multitudes which earth.” St. Ephraim Syrus, in his comment on this shall be adduced in the course of this work, of the place, uses the same Syriac word, and appears to unimportance, utility, and necessity of tracing up these derstand it precisely in the same way. Though the sacred words to their sources; and a proof also, that Hebrew words are certainly no more than the notation subjects which are supposed to be out of the reach of a case in most places, yet understood here in the of the common people may, with a little difficulty, be sense above, they argue a wonderful philosophic accubrought on a level with the most ordinary capacity. racy in the statement of Moses, which brings before us, In the beginning] Before the creative acts men- t not a finished heaven and earth, as every other trans
The separation of the waters below GENESIS. from the waters above the firmament. A. M.). And God made the firma- waters which were o above the fir
A. M. 1. B. C. 4004.
B. C. 4004. ment, n and divided the waters mament: and it was so. which were under the firmament from the
lation appears to do, though afterwards the process have recourse to the almighty power of God to susof their formation is given in detail, but merely the pend the influence of the earth's gravitating power till materials out of which God built the whole system in the fourth day, when the sun was placed in the centre, the six following days.
round which the earth began then to revolve.
But as The heaven and the earth.) As the word o'n the design of the inspired penman was to relate what shamayim is plural, we may rest assured that it means especially belonged to our world and its inhabitants, more than the atmosphere, to express which some have therefore he passes by the rest of the planetary system, endeavoured to restrict its meaning. Nor does it ap- leaving it simply included in the plural word heavens. pear that the atmosphere is particularly intended here, In the word earth every thing relative to the terraqueas this is spoken of, ver. 6, under the term firmament. aerial globe is included, that is, all that belongs to the The word heavens must therefore comprehend the solid and fluid parts of our world with its surrounding whole solar system, as it is very likely the whole of atmosphere. As therefore I suppose the whole solar this was created in these six days; for unless the earth system was created at this time, I think it perfectly in had been the centre of a system, the reverse of which place to give here a general view of all the planets, is sufficiently demonstrated, it would be unphilosophic with everything curious and important hitherto to suppose it was created independently of the other known relative to their revolutions and principal parts of the system, as on this supposition we must affections.
A GENERAL VIEW OF THE WHOLE SOLAR SYSTEM.
TABLE I.—THE REVOLUTIONS, DISTANCES, &c., &c., OF ALL THE PRIMARY PLANETS
Mean distance Least distance Greatest distance Diameter
Sun Yrs. d. h. m. s. Yrs. d. h. m. s.
93,908,984 97,118,538 886,473 Mercury 0 87 23 14 33 0 87 23 15 40 36,973,282 58,540,512 132,487,077 3,191 Venus 0 224 16 41 27 0 224 16 49 11 69,088,240 26,425,554 164,602,034 7,630 Earth 1 05 48 48 1 0 6 9 12 95,513,794
7,954 Moon 0 27 7 43 51 0 27 7 43 12 95,513,794 222,920 254,084 2,172 Mars 1 321 22 18 27 1 321 23 30 36 145,533,667 50,019,873 241,047,462 4,135 Jupiter 11 315 14 39 11 317 14 27 11 496,765,289| 401,251,495 592,279,083 86,396 Saturn 29 161 19 16 15 29 174 1 51 11 911,141,442 815,627,647| 1,006,655,236 79,405 Sat. Ring 29 161 19 16 15 29 174 1 51 11 911,141,442 815,525,205 1,006,757,678 185,280 Herschel 83 52 4 0 0 83 150 18 0 0 1,822,575,228 1,727,061,434 1,918,089,022 34,457
The following Celestial Bodies, commonly called Planets, revolving between Jupiter and Mars, have been recently discovered all that
is known of their Magnitude, Surface, Diameter, and Distance, I here subjoin.
Mean distance Least distance Greatest dist.
In Table I. the quantity of the periodic and sidereal | edition of M. de la Lande's Astronomy. The columns revolutions of the planets is expressed in common years, containing the mean distance of the planets from the each containing 365 days; as, e. g., the tropical revo- sun in English miles, and their greatest and least dis lution of Jupiter is, by the table, 11 years, 315 days, tance from the earth, are such as result from the best 14 hours, 39 minutes, 2 seconds ; i. e., the exact num- observations of the two last transits of Venus, which ber of days is equal to 11 years multiplied by 365, and gave the solar parallax to be equal to 8 three-fifth the extra 315 days added to the product, which make seconds of a degree; and consequently the earth's in all 4330 days. The sidereal and periodic times are diameter, as seen from the sun, must be the double of also set down to the nearest second of time, from num- 8 three-fifth seconds, or 17 one-fifth seconds. From bers used in the construction of the tables in the third this last quantity, compared with the apparent diame