Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

even in the most doting old age of any eye-witness or contemporary. The repetitions too, it must be remembered", are often inconsistent with each other, and thus clearly point to fictitious additions, or a compilation from older materials: thus different localities are assigned to the same circumstance3; manna is placed in the holy of holies4, and the people go to the tabernacle”, though neither of them was at that time in existence, and their erection is only narrated in a subsequent chapter6. In many of these cases critics have had recourse to interpolations, insertions and later additions, and modern apologists have added a long list to the original eighteen passages which the Rabbins had marked as spurious; to these they give the names of interpolations, glosses, marginal notes, and additions,

Even Eichhorn admits them to be verbal repetitions, affecting not merely detached parts, but every portion of the history.

? See Vater, p. 406. 13 Compare Exod. xvii. 1 with Num. xx. 1, 2 :

“ And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the Lord, and pitched in Rephidim : and there was no water for the people to drink. Wherefore the people did chide with Moses.” - Exod. xvii. 1, 2.

" Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin, in the first month : and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there. And there was no water for the congregation : and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.”—Num. xx. 1, 2.

4 « And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the Lord, to be kept for your generations. As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.”—Exod. xvi. 33, 34.

5 Exod. xxxiii. [In this chapter, it is said, that “ Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it The Tabernacle of the Congregation.”—Exod. xxxiii. 7.]

6 Exod. xl. [The erection of the tabernacle, by Moses, is described in verses 17, 18, &c. of this chapter, and it is said to have taken place in the second year, verse 17.)

SUPPOSED INTERPOLATIONS.

125

which have, they say, been accidentally introduced into the text. Nay, Kellel breaks up the book of Genesis to such an extent, that, after removing the “dross,as he terms it, but little is left remaining. We subjoin a small collection of those passages which, from their being evidently unmosaic, have been erased by a single stroke of the pen. Gen. ch. i.-iv. Bertholdt.

Levit. ch. xxvi., Bertholdt. iv.-vi. 8, Kelle.

xxxiii. 21, Jahn. ix. 20, to ch. x. Kelle. Num. xii. 3, Eichhorn. xi. 1-26, Kelle.

xxi. 14, 15, Jahn. xii. 8, Bertholdt.

xxi. 17, 18, Jahn. xiii. 18, Le Clerc, Jahn, Ber

ch. xxii.-xxiv., Bertholdt. tholdt.

xxiv. 2, 3, Rosenmüller. xiv. 14, Bertholdt, Rosenm.

xxxii. 41, Jahn. xv. 13-16, Bertholdt.

ch. xxxiii., Kelle. xxii. 14, Bertholdt.

Deut. ii. 10–12, Eichhorn. xxiii. 2, Bertholdt.

ii. 20—23, Eichhorn. xxvi. 33, Bertholdt.

iii. 4, Jahn. xxxiv.-ch. 1. Bertholdt.

iii. 9-11, Jahn, Eichhorn. xxxv. 11, Jahn.

ii. 11, 12, Eichhorn. Xxxv. 20, Bertholdt.

iii. 14, Jahn. xxxvi. 31, Bertholdt.

x. 6-9, Jahn. .ch. xxxvi., Jahn.

xiv. 13, Eichhorn. ch. xlix., Bertholdt.

xvii. 14, Bertholdt. Exod. vi. 13–29, Jahn.

xix. 14, Bertholdt. vii. 7, Jahn.

ch. xxviii. Bertholdt. xi. 1-3, Jahn.

ch. xxxii. Jahn, Eichhorn, xii. 8-11, Jahn.

Bertholdt. xii. 42, Jahn.

ch. xxxii. Eichhorn, Berxv. 35, Eichhorn.

tholdt. xvi. 32–36, Jahn.

xxxiii. 8-11, Jahn. xxxiii. 7-11, Jahn.

xxxiii. 20, Jahn. xxxiv. 33–35, Jahn.

xxxiv. 1, Jahn, Bertholdt. Levit. ch. xi.-xv., Bertholdt.

i Vorurtheilsfreie Würdigung der Mosaischen Schriften, &c., (Unprejudiced Estimate of the Mosaic Writings, as evidence that the foundation of the first book (Genesis) consisted in only one original work, well connected in its parts, but much interpolated.) Freiburg.

126

PROVINCE OF CRITICISM.

Is it allowable, we would ask, to proceed in this manner with all the writings of antiquity? Are we at liberty to throw suspicion on a number of single verses, and even on whole chapters, or to omit them entirely, not because the laws of criticism have proved them to be spurious, but because they are opposed to some preconceived opinion of our own? May we suppose that three or four different hands were concerned in the composition of the Pentateuch', in order to accommodate it to some favourite hypothesis? May we condemn a whole verse2 as an interpolation, merely to get rid of a remark on the word nabi (prophet), because it chances to be at variance with the general usage of the Pentateuch? Are we at liberty to place to the account of some ignorant transcriber all the Hebrew names so closely interwoven with the narrative in the first nine chapters of Genesis, because, as we are told, Hebrew was not the language of the antediluvian patriarchs ?

It is probable, we may grant, that no written memorial of antiquity has descended to our times entirely free from the errors of copyists or occasional glosses of critics, but the Hebrew writings are precisely those which (under a conscientious employment of the Masora) may boast of the greatest correctness. In the case before us, it is the province of criticism to discover whatever errors may exist, by a careful collation with the ancient versions, or by such internal evidence as the language and connexion may supply; but it appears a very arbitrary mode of proceeding to seek only to attack those particular portions which are

Bertholdt, Introduction, p. 842. 2 1 Sam. ix. 9, according to Jahn.

HEBREW LICENSE.

127

manifestly opposed to statements of an unauthenticated writer. A cursory perusal of the Pentateuch is sufficient to show, that all those passages which have lately been condemned as “unmosaic” are integral parts of the whole, and inseparably connected with the context; and, after all, very little is gained by their omission, for the Pentateuch would necessarily be reduced to the smallest fragments, nay, under a strict examination, would vanish entirely away,-if every portion at variance with the age of Moses were for that reason to be rejected'. It is clear also that, as in this case the whole of the text must be sacrificed, so in the other the whole would assume the character of complete and consistent unity, if we are only content to abandon an untenable hypothesis.

It may easily be proved, from the later writings of the Israelites, that, on patriotic and religious grounds, considerable license was always allowed (and particularly at more recent periods) in the treatment of their ancient legends and history. The so-called Midrash,ormethod of interpretation, was early introduced, and, in relation to law and tradition, was divided into Halacha (rule) and Hagada (said), nearly in the same way as the Hindoos have their commentaries on the law (smriti) and on revelation (sruti). This expositional Hagada is found as early as Jeremiah?, then in the Chronicles, the books of Jonah and Daniel, and above all in Genesis, which, according to a numerical statement given by Zunzo, contains a larger proportion of such explanations of the names of places and persons, with narratives to support them, than any other book of the

Compare Vater's Comment. p. 488. De Wette, Introduction $ 147a. Jost. Introd. iii. 121, &c. 2 Chap. I. and li.

3 Page 170.

128

ADDITIONAL CHAPTER.

Old Testament. It is moreover known that the Samaritans, in their own defence, date their temple on Mount Gerizim as far back as the time of Joshua; that Josephus gives a freer version of the history of his country, to adapt it to his heathen readers ; that the Targumists have added many fictitious circumstances to the text ; that even since the Christian æra a whole chapter has arisen so true to

i Pococke is said to have actually found this chapter in a manu. script at Cairo. The Talmud too is supposed to have been acquainted with it. Saadi alludes to it in his ‘Bustan' (see Asiat. Journ. iii. 315). Taylor cites it in the middle of the seventeenth century, and it has now become generally known through the means of Franklin, [by whom it was communicated to Lord Kames,] who quotes it in his ‘Sketches' as a parable against intolerance. It runs as follows:

1. Now it came to pass that Abraham sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. 2. And behold a man drew nigh from the wilderness, and he was bowed down with age, and his white beard hung down even to his girdle, and he leant upon his staff. 3. And when Abraham saw him he stood up, and ran to meet him from the door of his tent, and said, 4. Friend, come in ; water shall be brought thee to wash thy feet, and thou shalt eat and tarry the night, and on the morrow thou mayest go on thy way. 5. But the wayfaring man answered and said, Let me, I pray thee, remain under the tree. 6. And Abraham pressed him sore; then he turned and went in to the tent. 7. And Abraham set before him cream and milk and cake, and they ate and were satisfied. 8. And when Abraham saw that the man blessed not God, he said to him, Wherefore dost thou not honor the Almighty, the Creator of the heavens and the earth ? 9. And the man answered, I

gods for myself that dwell in my house, and hear me when I call upon them. 10. Then the wrath of Abraham was kindled against the man, and he stood up and fell upon him, and drove him forth into the wil. derness. 11. And God cried, Abraham! Abraham ! and Abraham answered, Here am I. 12. And God said, Where is the stranger that was with thee? 13. Then answered Abraham and said, Lord, he would not reverence thee nor call upon thy name, and therefore have I driven him from before my face into the wilderness. 14. And the Lord said unto Abraham, Have I borne with the man these hundred and ninety-eight years, and given him food and raiment although he has rebelled against me, and canst thou not bear with him one night? 15. And

« AnteriorContinuar »