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to spoil. It is evident that the difference in sense between 1 and 17.3 is not great, the latter expressing an act of the same kind in a less degree, or to a smaller extent. But it is not so obvious, but it is very certain, that 1.3 is the real primary root; for its sense to rob, or plunder,' comprehends under it the senses of both the other. For to disgrace a man,' to brand him with infamy, what is it but to rob him, to despoil him, of his good name and reputation ?, And to slight or contemn a man, what is it but not to give him that respect which is his due? which is the next thing to robbery. Hence it is not to be wondered if 13 should sometimes give its own proper meaning to its subordinates n) or 793, Accordingly we find his actually used in the sense of 1to spoil.'. 1 Sam. xiv, 36. This, I confess, is the only passage in which the word occurs in that
But one clear unquestionable instance is decisive, and I find the MSS. all agree in the reading. One indeed of Kennicott's MSS, but only one, omits the word altogether; but no one of them gives it without the final 17. The instance is one of the strongest that can be. It occurs in a simple histori. cal narrative in prose. The verb is the first person plural of the future in Kal, in which the final o in
בוהו but for ,בזזו in this place is not indeed for בואו
the verbs quiescent lamed 17, to the best of my recollection, never is omitted. The verb is transitive. . Its object is the detached pronoun masculine of the third
person plural with a prefix, so that the final a can be nothing but radical. Hence, I think, we may conclude that the verb
, (or rather 13, for so the verb 07:5, according to the rule of conjugation of the verbs quiescent lamed 17, should form the third personal plural preterite in Kal) in the sense of ; and that it renders literally, not by a metaphor, as Schultens imagined, “ have spoiled.'
Perhaps if we knew the laws of the Hebrew prosody as accurately as we know those of the Greek and Latin, we should see that the change of the into * is by a poetic dialect on account of the verse. I must observe however, that 1999 is found in this place in one of Kennicott's MSS. mentioned by Bishop Lowth, and in three of De Rossi's. « Om. With respect to this particular passage I shall venture to conclude that the English translation gives the true rendering of the original words; that the original expresses the spoiling of inundation, not by a metaphor, but literally; and, with the greatest deference for the judgment of my late friend Bishop Lowth, that there is no room in this passage for conjectural interpretations.
says De Rossi, speaking of his three,“ priori manu, formâ regulari.” If this should be received as the true reading, which would be contrary to my judgment, Schulten's difficulty would disappear, and any solution of it would be unnecessary.
Perhaps it may be said that, when I speak of the unanimous consent of all interpreters before Bates and Bishop Lowth, in the sense of this passage which I uphold (I speak of the literal meaning of the words) I ought to qualify the assertion with an exception with respect to the LXX, whose version, from the varieties of the MSS, may be thought in some degree doubtful. But upon the maturest consideration, I see no reason to think that their ver, sion of this clause differed from that of all other interpreters. Their text, as it is given from the Alex. andrian MS. in the London Polyglott, is indeed wholly unintelligible. It is equally so in the Roman edition, from the Vatican MS. A version so de praved by the injuries of time, or other causes, as to be unintelligible is to be considered as neutral, or as conducing nothing to the choice of the critic
between two different meanings. But in Breitenger's edition the text is given thus : où dinarao uv of ποταμοι της γης παντες, the two words oυ διηρπασαν being marked indeed as insertions; the one of the editor from other MSS; the other, of the Hexaplar edition, as cited by early writers. In the margin of Froben's edition of St Jerome, printed at Basle, under the patronage of Leo X. in the year 1516, in a note which I guess to be of Erasmus, I find the passage given somewhat differently, thus : o dinerary νυν οι ποταμοι της γης παντες, where the
, pronoun ó rehearses šovos. I have no doubt that one or other of these is the true text of the LXX; and in either way it gives the very same sense, which, in agreement with almost all interpreters antient and modern, is expressed in our English Bible “ whose land the rivers have spoiled.”
“ Rivers," i. e. the armies of conquerors, which long since have spoiled the land of the Jews. And so the passage was understood by Jonathan; who, for the metaphor - rivers, puts, what he understood to be denoted by it, “peoples.' The inundation of rivers is a frequent image in the prophetic style for the ravages of armies of foreign invaders. I must observe however, that the inundation of rivers
bolizes the devastations of foreign armies only, not of intestine commotions; the outrages of invaders, not of intestine commotion; not the turbulence of the rabble of any nation rising in rebellion against their own government.
Thus it appears that the description of the people to whom the swift messengers are sent, agrees most accurately in every particular with the character and condition of the Jews in their present state of dispersion.
We have now heard messengers summoned; we have heard a command given to them to go swiftly with the message; we have heard the people de scribed to whom the message was to be carried. It might be expected we should next hear the message given to the messengers in precise terms. Homer's Jupiter gives the lying spirit of the dream, the mes. sage, to be delivered to Agamemnon, in precise terms; in which terms it is afterwards delivered. This we admire in the epic poet; because by the apparent sobriety and order of the narrative, he contrives to give palpable fiction the air of truth. Sacred truth is often delivered by the holy prophets in the loftiest strains of poetry and in the boldest imagery, but without fiction. It needs therefore no