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Such modes of expression', occurring only once and evidently of a late date, are dismissed in far too summary a manner by the generality of the apologists of the Pentateuch, and are even employed by some to prove its high antiquity.
Still more importance may justly be attached to the foreign terms adopted in the Pentateuch, those for instance which betray an Hellenic or a distant Asiatic origin (e. g. phitdah?, topaz, and other products with Sanscrit names), which could only have been introduced in times of frequent contact and active intercourse with strangers. But the strongest evidence is that supplied by the foreign names so closely interwoven with the myths of its primæval history; such as geographical appellations, borrowed from Eastern Asia (as Ararat, Sinear, Chiddekel“), and even Persian enlarge. Gen. ix. 27.] “Abraham ” meant a father of a great multitude; probably derived, according to Greenfield, from av and the Arabic ruham, numerous, copious.-Gen. xvii. 5.
“They called his name Esau” (Esav, that is ‘hairy,'covered with hair, as denoted in the Arabic athai, which is merely a dialectical variation). -Greenfield, Eng. Heb.; Gen. xxv. 25.
“ He called the name of the well Esek (or contention).”—Gen. xxvi. 20.
“She called his name Zebulun” (dwelling). - Gen. xxx. 20.
“They (the children of Israel) said it is Manna, for they wist not what it was.”—Exod. xvi. 15.
1 & 2 & Arótold.
? See Ex. xxviii. 17. [Phitdah is derived probably from pita, Sanscrit for yellow.]
3 Compare kutoneth (coats), Gen. iii. 21; kerub (a cherub), iii. 24; terăphim (images), xxxi. 19. Mekeratheihem, (swords), Gen. xlix. 5.
4 The conjecture of Schumann, that Chiddekel may have been formed by the Semitic author from the root chadad, in allusion to the rapid current of the river (see note on Gen. ii. 14.), derives a remarkable confirmation from the interpretation of the Rabbi Petachja in the twelfth century, who also proves the use of rafts in the navigation of that river, (Comp. Comment. 8. 86.): 8 Nouv. Journal Asiat. viii. p. 277.
words, which by their later forms betray the very date of their adoption, e. g. tubal (brass), Gen. iv. 22; Pharnak (Pers. Farnak), Pharnaces, Num. xxxiv. 25; dath (Pers. dādah, law), Deut. xxxiii. 2; for the derivation of this latter word is too well established to admit the interpretation of Ewald?, or the far-fetched conjecture of Böttchers.
Apart from all these separate arguments, which, taken together, are sufficient in themselves to establish beyond a doubt the later origin of the Pentateuch, the whole external form and pervading character of the language are found to differ in no respect from those of the other writings of the Hebrews. The first four books in particular follow precisely in the self-same track with the purer productions of their literature; whilst the fragments of poetry, on the contrary, which are scattered through them, frequently vary so much in their tone and colouring4, that they can no more be ascribed to the author of the rest of the work than the book of Deuteronomy itself, clearly stamped as it is with the forms and idioms of a far more recent date. If, therefore, the whole of the Pentateuch, or even single portions, were actually written in the lifetime of Moses, it clearly follows that the whole living language, the entire circle of popular conceptions, must have remained unchanged for no less than a thousand years; nay, that a single individual must have created, on
1 In the Septuagint dy yeroo (messengers, angels), also founded on a Persian etymology, i. e. atish dūdah, ' fire-born.'
Dath, disease, Krit. Gram. p. 483. 3 Ashdath, shooting fire, for lightning,—Specimens of Interpretation of the Old Test. (Proben alttest. Schrifterklär.) p. 9. See Hoffmann on the St. Commentatio in Deut. xxxiii. p. 21.
4 Compare Gen. xlix., with Deut. xxxiii.
the instant, the historical-epic, the prophetic, and rhetorical styles, in the whole of their extent?: to those who are willing to belieye all this for the sake of supporting an untenable hypothesis, it is useless, we believe, to submit another argument.
During the two centuries which are open to our view, the character of the Hebrew literature underwent a great and rapid change, though their whole religious system retained its form unaltered,-a fact which forms a sufficient answer to the assertion of Bertholdt, “that when the culture of a nation is completely stationary, even its language may remain unchanged for centuries.” The whole assumption, however, that the Israelites were constantly precluded, by their laws, religion and customs, from all intercourse with the surrounding nations, is itself entirely gratuitous; it is clear, on the contrary, that the Syrians, Egyptians and Assyrians, the Chaldæans and Phænicians, as well as the other and aboriginal inhabitants of the country, never ceased to exercise a considerable influence upon them; and, had it been otherwise, a living language could never be arrested in its progress. Jahn supposes that the neighbouring nations employed some cognate dialects, and could therefore produce but little change in the Hebrew; the extent, however, to which it was influenced by the Aramæan is abundantly evident.
Rosenmüller and others affirm that the Hebrew is less variable than other languages, because only the consonants are written : this inference, however, would apply with equal force to the Arabic, and yet it is a well-known fact, that, independently of all influence from without, this lanSee De Wette, Introduction, p. 210.
CHARACTER OF THE HEBREW WRITINGS.
guage has undergone in short periods considerable changes in its structure, and that it differs very widely in its dialects. Others, finally, have endeavoured to prove a studied imitation of the Pentateuch in the other books of the Old Testament?, and in support of this theory have appealed to the example of the Koran, which became, they say, the model for all subsequent times,-an assertion, however, which is only true with respect to a few detached sentences. The case of Quintus Smyrnæus, who in the fifth century wrote a laboured imitation of Homer, is quite inapplicable here; such an imitation would be attended with much less difficulty in the measured hexameter of the Grecian Epic, than in any irregular prose: Luther's translation of the Bible is still less to the point, for we need only look at the first edition to be convinced of the change which it has undergone.
The Hebrew writings, on the contrary, exhibit no trace of imitation, but are all the productions of the same spirit, in the very same formo; and it would be far easier, where any relation exists, to trace in the Pentateuch itself the influence of the more ancient specimens of the Hebrew literature. This attempt [to prove a studied imitation of the Pentateuch in the other books of the Old Testament,] may therefore be pronounced to be a complete failure, and Eichhorn's dogmatical assertions, that the books of the Pentateuch “ were highly valued as formularies of lan
See Eichhorn on the various dialects of the Arabian Language (Ueber die verschiedenen Mundarten der Arab. Sprache), p. 5.
? Jahn, Introd. p. 84; and in Bengel, Archiv, i. 579. Eckermann, Contributions (Beiträge), p. 110.
3 See Vater, Comment. p. 670. Jost. Hist. of Jews, iii. 208. Ammon, Development of Christianity, i. 122.