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Nothing can be more evident than the n enninscof tlicHetrew particle fE. In connection wiili the words which it precedes, it denotes uncertainty, contingency, and refers to circumstances of a doubtful kind. The translators oi the Common Version ha ve correctly given it this interpretation in the above passage : " Lent "he put forth." In his specimen, i\Jr. Bellamy gives a similar meaning to the word, as implying contingency: 'If he will.' Now, in his Bible, he is positive that 'nurelyf must necessarily be its true meaning, which necessarily proves that he knows nothing of the matter. What extraordinary criticism is contained in the following note!
• The same is evident, Exod. xxxiv. 12, where fB pen, i.e. lest thou make a covenant, should be translated, because; viz. the cause given in the preceding verse, when the Canaanites were subdued; it follows, Take heed to thyself" fQ pen, Because thou shall cut off the sacrifice of the inhabitant of the land. In the translation this clause is rendered, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land; but ni5fi tickroth, cannot possibly mean to make; its true meaning is to cut, to cut off; viz. thou shalt cut off. See where this word can have no other meaning, Isa. xxxvii. 24, And I. will cut down; Jud. vi. 30, And because he hath cut down; ,Ter. xxxiv. 18, The calf which they cut. Now as rfori ticlcroth, literally means, thou ehalt t cut off; and never to make; though it is so translated in various parts of scripture; the word fB pen, therefore cannot be rendered by left, as the above passage in Exodus would read, lest thou cut off the covenant; or properly, the sacrifice of the inhabitant of the land.'
No one ever, disputed the meaning of the verb ma to c«t. The question is not, What is the import of ma, but, In what sense is the word to be understood when combined with ma, as in Exod. xxxiv. 12. Mr. Bellamy affirms that it cannot possibly mean to make: how has he himself rendered it in this connexion? Let the reader peruse the following passages in Mr. B.'s translation, and he will find in every one of them, that ma in combination with rn::, is translated—to make a covenant. Gen. xvt 18, ' In that day Jehovah made for Abram a covenant.' xxi. 27,' They (i. e. Abraham aud Abimelech) made a covenant.' vs. 32,' They made a covenant at Beersheba.' xxvi 28,' We * will make a covenant.' xxxi. 44, 'We will make a cove'>ianl.' The translators of the Common Version, have most correctly represented the sacred writer at Exod. xxxiv. 12, as cautioning the Israelites against forming associations with the Canaanitish nations, from which only the most pernicious conse quences would result. "Take heed to thyself lest thou make "a covenant with the inhabitants of the land," is indubitably the proper translation of the original words. As Mr. Bellamy renders pHH 2Ufl^ ma, man « Thou shalt cut off the sacrifice
* of the inhabitant of the /and,' Exod. xxxiv. 12, he must translate mn D.TrA«Vi Drftmsn W? ' Thou shalt not cut off the
* sacrifice of them or of their gods,' Exod. xxiii. 32. We shall then have a Bible contradictory in its commands, alternately opposing and sanctioning idolatry.
We shall now extract one of Mr. Bellamy's laboured Notes entire, for the purpose of exhibiting him in that character to which above all others he most ardently aspires, and to which above all others too, it will be quite apparent that he has no just pretensions,—that of an accomplished Hebraist.
« Ch. iii. v. 23. Thus Jehovah God sent him forth, from the garden of Eden: when he had transgressed on the ground: therefore he was taken therefrom.'
23 To till the ground from whence he was taken. Here it is understood, according to the common version, that man was turned out of Paradise, to till the ground from whence he was taken. But this is a thing so unimportant, and unnecessary to have been communicated to posterity, that it is surprising the translators did not see the weakness of it. I have above observed that it was not necessary to inform posterity that man should till the ground, in order to live; for as he was obliged to till the ground in Eden, ch. ii. 15, it must necessarily follow, that he was to till, or dress it, out of Eden.
* The word "Dl? lagneabor, is rendered to till; but this word with this construction means to transgress. See Deut. xvii. 2, Where the same word, both consonants, and vowels, is rendered by the word, transgressing. It is participial, with the remote preter, and should be rendered, If there be found—manor woman that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the Lord thy God, that hath transgressed his covenant.
• The word ntt eth, which follows, and is joined with noittn ha Adaamah, refers to the transgression in Eden; and should be rendered by the preposition on, as in Jud. xxxvi. 5, &c. The clause reads; when he had transgressed on the ground.
1 The word TOM ether, is passed by unnoticed; and the last word DttfD mishaam, rendered from whence, transposed to introduce nrV lukachy he xoas taken. But there was no necessity for this, had the word TOM esher been translated ; for the syntax is the same in Hebrew, as it is in English. The sense of this proposition in the common version is, that Adam was sent out of Eden to till the ground from whence he was taken; but if TOM esher be translated, and translated by a proper conjunction as in Gen. xxx. 28; Lev. iv. 22; Nah. ii. 3, &c. referring to time, as is also signified in this verse ; it reads truly thus: when he was taken from thence. That is when he had transgressed, and had rendered himself unfit to remain any longer in that state, he was taken from thence—Not sent to till the ground from whence he was taken: for we have before been told, that he was created of the dust of the ground: the sacred writings in the original, have no useless repetitions, which always obscure the sense, and frequently subvert the meaning, at in this case.'
The indispensable obligation of meeting every attempt to pervert and corrupt the Scriptures, could alone induce us to prosecute further so disgusting a task as the examination and exposure of the ridiculous effusions of this would-be translator of the Hebrew Bible. What must be the reader's surprise, what his estimate of Mr. Bellamy's qualifications for his work, when he learns the fact that no such word as tnr:> lagneabor occurs in Gen. ii. 23? Extraordinary as it may appear, such is in reality the case. The word is "O]^>, the very same expression, letter for letter, vowel for vowel, as in Gen. ii. 15, and which never can be otherwise translated than as it appears in the Common Version—" to till," or cultivate the ground.
A writer who can thus corrupt the sacred text, it would be charity to remind of the consequences of his most censurable proceedings, and to urge him to desist from the prosecution of a work which may prove to its author not more discreditable than injurious. But how, we would ask Mr. Bellamy, came the word layi before him in the passage? Is it really in his HebrewBible ? If so, he is in possession of a copy which, we may venture to assert, has never been compared with the Book ofJather, or standard copy. With such a glaring proof of his misconduct ». as this before us, with the evidence afforded by his long and laboured note in vindication of a false reading, what can \ve think of Mr. Bellamy's fitness for the office which he has assumed? Whatever be the cause in which this proceeding originated, whether he has adopted this method for the purpose of clandestinely introducing a corrupt reading into the text, or was unable to detect the error on which his elaborate criticism is founded, the pretensions which he makes to a superior acquaintance with the Hebrew Bible, and his assumption of an integral text, are alike invalidated. And yet, this is the man who declaims against 'Hebrew menders' and ' pretenders to Hebrew!'
* Ch. iv. vii.—Lay the sin-offering at the gate, nnab Lapetliach, the door; but this word is used to mean the entrance of the north gate where the sacrifices were slain. See Ezek. xl. 40, 41.'
With equal truth and propriety might it have been remarked, that this word is used to mean the entrance of the cunt gate. See Ezek. xl. 11. Of what utility is such criticism as this?
'— Then shall his attendance be upon thee, and than shall rule oetr Mat.
'The last clause is translated, unto thee shall be kit desire; but thi* does not express the sense of the original, inpwn Teshoukaatho means the work, or attendance of an inferior, one who has toe charge for his superior. Gen. xv. 2, which will read, then be bhall attend upon thee. and thou shall rule over him.'
Mr. Bellamy might as well have remarked, that p» Ge». xlii. 25, means sack, as referred us to Gen. xr. 2, to the word pttfo, in explanation of inpium. It is of more importance to notice that the translators of the Common Version are justified in the rendering which they have given of the word, by Mr. B. himself, who translates the very same expression, ch. iii. 17, 'thy derive /'
* iv. 23. Moreover Lantech said to his wives, Adah and Zillah hear my voice; wives of Lamech, regard my declaration: if I had slain a man for injuring me; even a child of my progenitor.
24. If Cain shall be punished seven fold: truly Lamech seventy and-seven-fold.'
Assuredly, vmnV does not mean of my progenitor: "Qt\ never signifies progenitor. To translate in this manner, is to indulge the fancy at the expense of all philological propriety.
'* Ch. iv. 25. Now Adam henceforth had respect to Eve his wife, who bare a son; and she called his name Seth: saying, For God hath appointed to me another successor, instead of Abel; because Cain slew him.'
* 25. And Adam knew Eve hi* wife again. The word yr yaadang, rendered knew, requires to be translated as the same word is Exod. ii. 25, had respect. Nlprtt Vathikra, is rendered, and she called; but by thus rendering the word, the translators were under the necessity of putting in the words, said she, for which there is not any authority in the original. According to the idiom of the verb, it means to declare, to shew, to manifest, to make known; and will be truly rendered as the verb is in Job xvij. 14, and she said, jnt Zerang, is rendered, seed, but improperly -, for Seth was at this time born; I have therefore translated the word, according to its obvious sense by successor.'
. Why does the word jw require to be translated had respect?
r. Bellamy has rendered it by—' acknowledged,' ch. iv. 1. The very expression, ':and she called," for which he blames the Translators, he has himself adopted. There is no more authority in the original for his ' saying,' than for their 'said the.' The word jnt does not mean 'successor;' Mr. B. has rendered it posterity in other passages, which is certainly a proper meaning, and should have been used in this place.
* Ch. iv. 26. Moreover to Seth also was bom a son, and he called his Maine Enos; who began to profane, in the name of Jehovah.'
The original words of the last clause, are nw Dtfr2 «npb i>mn m. By what process they can be made to express, 'mho 'began to profane in the name of Jehovah,' it is impossible to surmise. Mr. Bellamy, indeed, tells us that the word bmrt means to profane, and that tr.pb signifies to preach. But if such be the meaning of the words., how is it possible for them to express in their present connexion the sense which Mr. Bellamy has pot upon them? Where does he find a word in the Hebrew text corresponding to 'who?' Why does he omit n*
then, in his version? Whence does he obtain the woixi ' be' 'gan V Does «ipV mean to begin'( No: Mr. B. says, it means ' to preach.'' Does i'mn signify 'to begin V No, Mr. B. tells us, its signification is ' to profane.' But then* is no end to this nonsense. Any page, indeed, of his work may serve to shew the nature of this gentleman's pretensions to critical learning. We transcribe the very next verse, with its accompanying note, as evidence of its author's qualifications for taking his place with any of the Cabhalists. Had he lived in other and better days, he might have aided the Talmudists in stringing together their dark enigmatical comments.
'Ch. v. 1. This is the book, of the generation of Adam: In the day God created Adam; in the likeness of God he made him.'
A plain passage, and, as it may appear to the unlearned
reader, easily to be understood. But let Mr. Bellamy try his
hand upon it, and it shall be made to disclose a meaning far too
. recondite to be ascertained by persons who cannot dive like him
beneath the surface.
'Notes on Ch. v. 1. This chapter contains aa account of the descendants of Adam to the time of Noah. It is said in the day; but it could not be a book of the generations of Adam in the day he **3 created ; it must have reference to time, and not simply day. So we find the DV rot in, which is rendered day, signifies time, and which here is applied to the dispensation given to Adam, which ended in the time of Noah. And as this dispensation was the most perfect and sacred of all the dispensations, it is said: In the day that God created man: in the likeness of God he made him. That is, by this merciful dispensation, God provided the means, whereby man should again be restored, that he should regain the image and likeness of God, bj faith in the Messiah, which he had lost by disobedience to the divine command in Paradise. So that the true meaning appears to be this:
'This is the genealogy of Adum, in the day, time or period, of the first dispensation which God gave to Adam, in Paradise, in the likeness of God, in which he was created.'
The smallest words are sure to be found the most important when a man of penetration and learning makes them speak out!
• Ch. v. 29. And he called his name Noah, saying: Now he will comfort us, concerning the sorrow of our ministry; for the ground which Jehovah cursed.'
Mr. Bellamy informs us that the primary meaning of avr is sorrow.. 'The word in this verse fnyjJDi, 1 therefore trans'late agreeably to its primary meaning, thus— eeen because of 'the sorrow.' But this he positively contradicts, at p. 40, confidently assuring us,' that the primary meaning of nvv is not 'sorrow', but to worship idols. 'This word is applied to