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angel, as the original imports; and several of the fathers second return, for their irreligious practices, and to invite have quoted Malachi under the name of the angel of the them to repentance and reformation of life by promises of Lord. Origen entertained the extravagant notion, that Mala- the great blessings that should be bestowed at the advent of chi was an angel incarnate sent from God. Calmet, after the Messiah. Jerome and some other ancient writers, thinks that Malachi III. The writings of Malachi, which consist of four chapwas the same person as Ezra, who wrote the canonical book ters, comprise two distinct prophetic discourses, viz. that passes under his name, and was governor of the Jews after their return from the captivity. As he revised the Holy Discourse 1. The Jews having complained that God had shown Scriptures, and collected the canon of the Old Testament,

them no particular kindness, the prophet in reply reminds and performed various other important services to the Jewish them of the special favour which God had bestowed upon church, Ezra has been considered both by ancient Jewish, them; their country being a cultivated land, while that of the and also by the early Christian writers, as a very extraordi

Edomites was laid waste, and was to be still farther devasnary person sent from God, and therefore they thought him tated, by the Persian armies marching through those territovery appropriately denominated Malachi: but for these ries against the revolting Egyptians. (i 1–5.) Malachi then opinions there is no foundation whatever.

reproves them for not showing due reverence to God (6—10.), It is certain that Malachi was a distinct person from Ezra, for which their rejection is threatened, and the calling of the and (as Rosenmüller observes) the whole argument of his Gentiles is announced. (11.) The divine judgments are book proves that he flourished after the return from the cap- threatened both against the priests for their unfaithfulness in tivity. That he was contemporary with Nehemiah was the their office (12—14. ii. 1–10.), and also for the unlawful unvarying opinion of the ancients, and is placed beyond all intermarriages of the people with idolatresses, and divorcing doubt by the subject of the book, which presents the same even their legitimate wives. (11-17.) aspect of things as in Nehemiah's time. Thus, it speaks of Discourse 2. foretells the coming of Christ

, and his forerunner the temple as having been built a considerable time ;—it in- John the Baptist, under the name of Elias, to purify the sons troduces the Jews as complaining of the unfavourable state of Levi, the priests, and to smite the land with a curse, of their affairs ;-it finds fault with the heathen wives, whom unless they all repented. Reproofs are interspersed for withNehemiah after some time separated from the people (Neh. holding their tithes and other oblations, and also for their xiii. 23–30.);-it censures the withholding of tithes, which blasphemy; and the reward of the good and the punishment was also noticed by Nehemiah. (xiii. 5.)? From all these of the wicked are predicted. (iii. iv. 1-3.) The prophecy circumstances it appears that Malachi prophesied while Ne

concludes with enjoining the strict observance of the law, since hemiah was governor of Judæa, more particularly after his

they were to expect no prophet until the forerunner already second coming from the Persian court; and he appears to

promised should appear in the spirit and power of Elijah, to have contributed the weight of his exhortations to the resto

introduce the Messiah, and commence a new and everlasting ration of the Jewish polity, and the final reform established

dispensation. (4–6.). “ The great and terrible day of the by that pious and excellent governor. Archbishop Newcome

Lord," in verse 5. denotes the destruction of Jerusalem by the supposes this prophet to have flourished about the year 436

Romans A. D. 70.; though this expression may also be applied before the Christian æra: but Dr. Kennicott places him about

to the general dissolution of all things, agreeably to the usual the year 420 before Christ, which date is adopted by Dr. Hales, as sufficiently agreeing with the description of Jose

mode of speaking among the prophets. Compare Isa. xiii. phus and the varying dates of chronologers.?

9, 10.3 II. The Jews, having rebuilt the temple and re-established IVAlthough the writings of this prophet are almost the worship of Jehovah, after the death of Zerubbabel and wholly in prose, yet they are by no means destitute of force Joshua relapsed into their former irreligion in consequence and elegance. He reproves the wickedness of his countryof the negligence of the priests. Although they were sub- men with great vehemence; and Bishop Lowth observes that sequently reformed during the governments of Ezra and his book is written in a kind of middle style, which seems Nehemiah, yet they fell into gross abuses after the death of to indicate that the Hebrew poetry, from the time of the Ezra, and during Nehemiah's absence at the court of Persia. Babylonish captivity, was in a declining state, and, being The prophet Malachi was therefore commissioned to reprove past its prime and vigour, was then fast verging towards the he priests and people, more particularly after Nehemiah's debility of age.

CHAPTER V.

ON THE APOCRYPHA.4

1. Account of the First Book of Esdras.-II. Of the Second Book of Esdras.—III. Of the Book of Tobit.-IV. Of the Book of Judith.V. Of the rest of the Chapters of Esther.–VI. Of the Book of Wisdom.-VII

. Of the Book of Ecclesiasticus.VIII. Of Baruch.—IX. Of the Song of the Three Children.x. Of the History of Susanna.—XI. Of Bel and the Dragon, -XII. Of the Prayer of Manasses.—XIII. Of the Book of Maccabees.

I. Ir is not known at what time the firsT BOOK OF ESDRAS | Nehemiah, which, however, it contradicts in many instances, was written : it is only extant in Greek, and in the Alexan- The first book of Esdras is chiefly historical, and gives an drian manuscript it is placed before the canonical book of account of the return of the Jews from the Babylonish capEzra, and is there called the first book of Ezra, because the tivity, the building of the temple, and the re-establishment events related in it occurred prior to the return from the of divine worship. The style of this book is much purer Babylonish captivity. In some editions of the Septuagint it than that of the greater part of the Septuagint version, and is is called the first book of the priest (meaning Ezra), the au- said frequently to approach that of Symmachus, the most elethentic book of Ezra being called the second book. In the gant of all the Greek translators of the Bible. Although this editions of the Latin Vulgate, previous to the council of book is often cited by the fathers, it is rejected by Jerome as Trent, this and the following book are styled the third and being spurious, and the church of Rome never recognised its fourth books of Esdras, those of Esdras and Nehemiah being canonical authority: it is not appointed to be read for lessons entitled the first and second books. The author of this book in the Anglican church. There is a Syriac version of this is not known; it is compiled from the books of Ezra and book extant. 1 Jahn's Introduction, p. 435.

II. In what language the SECOND BOOK OF Esdras was ori2. Archbishop Newcome's Minor Prophets, p. xlii. Kennicott, Disser- ginally written, it seems impossible at this distant period to tatio Generalis, $ 14. p. 6. Dr. Hales's Analysis of Chronology, vol. ii. determine with certainty. Morinus conjectures that it was * W. Lowth and Reeves on Malachi.

Hebrew, or perhaps Chaldee, from which it was translated • For a critical account of the

reasons why the

Apocryphal Books, which into Greek, and thence into Latin :5 and this conjecture he are usually printed between the Old and New Testaments, are justly rejected from the canon of Scripture, as uninspired writings, see Vol. Í. Appendix, No. I. Section I. pp. 435, 436.

• Exercitationes Biblicæ, lib. ii. p. 225. VOL. II.

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p. 533

sion, as printed in Bishop Walton's Polyglott, this Gospel them to any purpose. Since then, external evidence affords is thus entitled : “ The Gospel of Saint Matthew the apostle, us but little assistance, it becomes necessary to have recourse which he wrote in Hebrew by the inspiration of the Holy to the internal testimony which the Gospel of Saint Matthew Spirit.” In the Persian version it is :-“The Gospel of affords, and we apprehend that it will be found to preponMatthew, which was spoken in the Hebrew tongue, in a city derate in favour of an early date. of Palestine, but written in Syriac at Antioch ;" and in the In the first place, it is by no means probable that the Syriac version, “The Gospel, the preaching of Matthew." Christians should be left any considerable number of years

II. Matthew, surnamed Levi, was the son of Alpheus, but without a genuine and authentic written history of our not of that Alpheus or Cleopas who was the father of James Saviour's ministry. “It is certain,” Bishop Tomline rementioned in Matt. x. 3. He was a native of Galilee, but of marks, that the apostles immediately after the descent what city in that country, or of what tribe of the people of of the Holy Ghost, which took place only ten days after the Israel, we are not informed. Before his conversion to Chris- ascension of our Saviour into heaven, preached the Gospel tianity, he was a publican or tax-gatherer, under the Romans, to the Jews with great success: and surely it is reasonable and collected the customs of all goods exported or imported to suppose that an authentic account of our Saviour's docat Capernaum, a maritime town on the sea of Galilee, and trines and miracles would very soon be committed to writing also received the tribute paid by all passengers who went by for the confirmation of those who believed in his divine water. While employed at the receipt of custom,” Jesus mission, and for the conversion of others, and more particucalled him to be a witness of his words and works, thus con-larly to enable the Jews to compare the circumstances of the ferring upon him the honourable office of an apostle. From birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus with their ancient that time he continued with Jesus Christ, a familiar attend- prophecies relative to the Messiah : and we may conceive ant on his person, a spectator of his public and private con- that the apostles would be desirous of losing no time in duct, a hearer of his discourses, a witness of his miracles, writing an account of the miracles which Jesus performed, and an evidence of his resurrection. After our Saviour's and of the discourses which he delivered, because, the sooner ascension, Matthew continued at Jerusalem with the other such an account was published, the easier it would be to apostles, and with them on the day of Pentecost was en- inquire into its truth and accuracy; and, consequently, when dowed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. How long he re- these points were satisfactorily ascertained, the greater would mained in Judæa after that event, we have no authentic be its weight and authority.” On these accounts the learned account. Socrates, an ecclesiastical historian of the fifth prelate assigns the date of St. Matthew's Gospel to the century, relates, that when the apostles went abroad to year 38. preach to the Gentiles, Thomas took Parthia for his lot; Secondly, as the sacred writers had a regard to the circumBartholomew, India; and Matthew, Ethiopia. The com- stances of the persons for whose use they wrote, we have an mon opinion is that he was crowned with martyrdom at additional evidence for the early date of this Gospel, in the Naddabar or Naddaver, a city in that country: but this is state of persecution in which the church was at the time contradicted by the account of Heracleon, a learned Valen- when it was written: for it contains many obvious references tiniąn of the second century; who, as cited by Clement of to such a state, and many very apposite addresses both to Alexandria, reckons Matthew among the apostles that did the injured and to the injurious party. not die by martyrdom: and as his statement is not contra- 1. Thus, the evangelist informs the injured and persecuted dicted by Clement, it is more likely to be true than the rela- Christians, that their afflictions were no more than they had been tion of Socrates, who did not flourish until three hundred taught to expect, and had promised to bear, when they embraced years after Heracleon.2

the Gospel (x. 21, 22. 34-36. xvi. 24.); that, however unreaIII. Matthew is generally allowed to have written first of sonable their sufferings might be, considered as the effects of the all the evangelists. His Gospel is uniformly placed first in malice of their enemies, they were yet useful and profitable to all the codes or volumes of the Gospels: and the priority is themselves, considered as trials of their faith and fidelity (v. 11. constantly given to it in all the quotations of the primitive xxiv. 9–13.); that, though they were grievous to be borne at fathers, as well as of the early heretics. Its precedencepresent, yet they operated powerfully to their future joy (v. 4. therefore, is unquestionable, though the precise time when it 10–12.); that a pusillanimous desertion of the faith would be so was composed is a question that has been greatly agitated. far from bettering their state and condition, that it would infalDr. Mill, Michaelis, and Bishop

Percy, after Irenæus,

assign libly expose them to greater calamities, and cut them off from the to it the year 61; Moldenhawer, to ől or 62; Dr. Hales, to 63; Dr. Lardner and Mr. Hewlett, to 61; Baronius, Grotius, hopes of heaven (x. 28. 32, 33. 39.) ; that they were not, howWetstein, Mr. Jer. Jones, and others, after Eusebius, to 41; ever, forbidden to use the lawful means of preservation ; but even Dr. Benson, to 43; Dr. Cave, to 48; Dr. Owen and Bishop enjoined to put them in practice, whenever they could do it with Tomline, to 38; and Dr. Townson, to the year 37. In this innocence (x. 16, 17. 23.); that the due observance of the Chrisconflict of opinions, it is difficult to decide. The accounts tian precepts was an excellent method to appease the wrath and left us by the ecclesiastical writers of antiquity, concerning fury of their enemies, and what therefore they were obliged in the times when the Gospels were written or published, are point of prudence as well as duty carefully to mind and attend to so vague, confused, and discordant, that they lead us to no (v. 39. vii. 12. 24—27. v. 13-20.); that if it should be their solid or certain determination. The oldest of the ancient fate to suffer martyrdom at last for their religion, it was infinitely fathers collected the reports of their own times, and set them better to continue faithful to their important trust, than by any down for certain truths; and those who followed adopted base compliance to incur his displeasure, in whose hands are the their accounts with implicit reverence. Thus traditions, true issues not only of this life, but also of that which is to come. or false, passed on from one writer to another, without (xvi. 25–27. X. 28.) examination, until it became almost too late to examine 2. On the other hand, again, to calm the passions of the en

raged Jews, and win them over to the profession of the Gospel, 1 Stromata, lib. 4. p. 502. B. See the passage in Dr. Lardner's Works, he labours to soften and abate their prejudices, and to engage Bvo. vol. vi. p. 48.; 41o. vol. iii . p. 159.

them in the practice of meekness and charity. (ix. 13.) To this · Lardner's Works, vol. vi. pp. 45-47. 8vo.; or vol. iii. pp. 157-159. 4to. Pritii Introductio Lectionem Novi Testamenti, pp. 154–157. Michaelis's Introduction, vol. iii. pp. 96-99.

5 Elem. of Christ. Theol. vol. i. p. 301. The following observations of 3 Of all the primitive fathers, Irenæus (who flourished in the second the profound critic Le Clerc will materially confirm the preceding recentury) is the only one who has said any thing concerning the exact time marks. “Those," says he, "who think that the Gospels were written so when St. Matthew's Gospel was written; and the passage (adv. Hæres. lib. late as Irenæus states, and who supposés that, for the space of about thirty iii. c. l.) in which he has mentioned it, is so obscure, that no positive con- years after our Lord's ascension, there were many spurious gospels in the clusion can be drawn from it. Dr. Lardner (8vo. vol. vi. p. 49. ; 4to. vol. hands of the Christians, and not one that was genuine and authentic, do iii. p. 160.), and Dr. Townson (discourse iv. on the Gospels, sect iv. $ 6.) unwarily cast a very great reflection upon the wisdom of the apostles. understand it in very different senses. The following is a literal transla- For, what could have been more imprudent in them, than tamely to have tion of the original passage, which the reader will find in Dr. Lardner's suffered the idle stories concerning Christ to be read by the Christians, works. Matthew put forth (or published) a gospel among the Hebrews and not to contradict them by some authentic history, written by some while Peter and Paul were preaching the Gospel at Rome and laying the credible persons, which might reach the knowledge of all men? For my foundations of a church there. Now, though it does not appear that Peter part, I can never be persuaded to entertain so mean an opinion of men was at Rome until after Paul's liberation from his first imprisonment, A. D. under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Besides, Matthew has delivered 63, yet we know that the latter arrived there in the spring of A. D. 61, con- to us, not only the actions, but also the discourses of Christ; and this he sequently the date intended by Irenæus must be the year 61.

must necessarily be able to do with the greater certainty, while they were Eusebius, who lived in the early part of the fourth century, merely fresh in his meinory, than when, through length of time, he began to lose says that Matthew, after preaching to the Hebrews, wrote his Gospel for the impressions of them. It is true that the Holy Spirit was with the apos. their information, previously to his going to evangelize other nations (Eccl. tles, to bring all the things to their remembrance, which they had received Hist. lib. iii. c. 24.); but he does not specify the time, nor is it mentioned of Christ, according to his promise (John xiv. 26.): but the Holy Spirit not by any other ancient writer. In his Chronicon, however, Eusebius places only inspired them, but also dealt with them according to their natural the writings of St. Matthew's Gospel in the third year of the reign of the powers, as the variety of expressions in the Gospel shows." Clerici Hist. emperor Caligula, that is, eight years after Christ's ascension, or A. D. 41. I Eccl. sæculi 1. A. D. LXII. $ 9.

angel, as the original imports; and several of the fathers second return, for their irreligious practices, and to invite have quoted Malachi under the name of the angel of the them to repentance and reformation of life by promises of Lord. Origen entertained the extravagant notion, that Mala- the great blessings that should be bestowed at the advent of chi was an angel incarnate sent from God. Calmet, after the Messiah. Jerome and some other ancient writers, thinks that Malachi III. The writings of Malachi, which consist of four chapwas the same person as Ezra, who

wrote the canonical book ters, comprise two distinct prophetic discourses, viz. that passes under his name, and was governor of the Jews after their return from the captivity. As he revised the Holy Discourse 1. The Jews having complained that God had shown Scriptures, and collected the canon of the Old Testament, them no particular kindness, the prophet in reply reminds and performed various other important services to the Jewish

them of the special favour which God had bestowed upon church, Ezra has been considered both by ancient Jewish,

them;

their country being a cultivated land, while that of the and also by the early Christian writers, as a very extraordi- Edomites was laid waste, and was to be still farther devasnary person sent from God, and therefore they thought him tated, by the Persian armies marching through those territovery appropriately denominated Malachi: but for these ries against the revolting Egyptians. (i.1–5.) Malachi then opinions there is no foundation whatever.

reproves them for not showing due reverence to God (6—10.), It is certain that Malachi was a distinct person from Ezra, for which their rejection is threatened, and the calling of the and (as Rosenmüller observes) the whole argument of his Gentiles is announced. (11.) The divine judgments are book proves that he flourished after the return from the cap- threatened both against the priests for their unfaithfulness in tivity. That he was contemporary with Nehemiah was the their office (12—14. ii. 1–10.), and also for the unlawful unvarying opinion of the ancients, and is placed beyond all intermarriages of the people with idolatresses, and divorcing doubt by the subject of the book, which presents the same even their legitimate wives. (11–17.) aspect of things as in Nehemiah's time. Thus, it speaks of Discot RSE 2. foretells the coming of Christ, and his forerunner the temple as having been built a considerable time;—it in- John the Baptist, under the name of Elias, to purify the sons troduces the Jews as complaining of the unfavourable state of Levi, the priests, and to smite the land with a curse, of their affairs ;-it finds fault with the heathen wives, whom unless they all repented. Reproofs are interspersed for withNehemiah after some time separated from the people (Neh. holding their tithes and other oblations,- and also for their xiii. 23—30.) ;-it censures the withholding of tithes, which blasphemy; and the reward of the good and the punishment was also noticed by Nehemiah. (xiii. 5.)? From all these

of the wicked are predicted. (iii

. iv. 1-3.) The prophecy circumstances it appears that Malachi prophesied while Ne

concludes with enjoining the strict observance of the law, since hemiah was governor of Judæa, more particularly after his they were to expect no prophet until the forerunner already second coming from the Persian court; and he appears to have contributed the weight of his exhortations to the resto

promised should appear in the spirit and power of Elijah, to

introduce the Messiah, and commence a new and everlasting ration of the Jewish polity, and the final reform established

dispensation. (4–6.). “ The great and terrible day of the by that pious and excellent governor. Archbishop Newcome

Lord,” in verse 5. denotes the destruction of Jerusalem by the supposes this prophet to have flourished about the year 436

Romans A. D. 70.; though this expression may also be applied before the Christian æra: but Dr. Kennicott places him about the year 420 before Christ, which date is adopted by Dr.

to the general dissolution of all things, agreeably to the usual Hales, as sufficiently agreeing with the description of Jose

mode of speaking among the prophets. Compare Isa. xiii. phus and the varying dates of chronologers.2

9, 10,3 II. The Jews, having rebuilt the temple and re-established IVAlthough the writings of this prophet are almost the worship of Jehovah, after the death of Zerubbabel and wholly in prose, yet they are by no means destitute of force Joshua relapsed into their former irreligion in consequence and elegance. He reproves the wickedness of his countryof the negligence of the priests. Although they were sub-men with great vehemence; and Bishop Lowth observes that sequently reformed during the governments of Ezra and his book is written in a kind of middle style, which seems Nehemiah, yet they fell into gross abuses after the death of to indicate that the Hebrew poetry, from the time of the Ezra, and during Nehemiah's absence at the court of Persia. Babylonish captivity, was in a declining state, and, being The prophet Malachi was therefore commissioned to reprove past its prime and vigour, was then fast verging towards the he priests and people, more particularly after Nehemiah’s I debility of age.

CHAPTER V.

ON THE APOCRYPHA.4

1. Account of the First Book of Esdras.—II. Of the Second Book of Esdras.—III. Of the Book of Tobit.-IV. Of the Book

of Judith.V. Of the rest of the Chapters of Esther.–VI. Of the Book of Wisdom.–VII. Of the Book of Ecclesiasticus. VIII. of Baruch.—IX. Of the Song of the Three Children.-X. Of the History of Susanna.—XI. Of Beland the Dragon, -XII. Of the Prayer of Manasses.-XIII. Of the Book of Maccabees.

I. It is not known at what time the firsT BOOK OF ESDRAS | Nehemiah, which, however, it contradicts in many instances, was written : it is only extant in Greek, and in the Alexan- The first book of Esdras is chiefly historical, and gives an drian manuscript it is placed before the canonical book of account of the return of the Jews from the Babylonish capEzra, and is there called the first book of Ezra, because the tivity, the building of the temple, and the re-establishment events related in it occurred prior to the return from the of divine worship. The style of this book is much purer Babylonish captivity. In some editions of the Septuagint it than that of the greater part of the Septuagint version, and is is called the first book of the priest (meaning Ezra), the au- said frequently to approach that of Symmachus, the most elethentic book of Ezra being called the second book. In the gant of all the Greek translators of the Bible. Although this editions of the Latin Vulgate, previous to the council of book is often cited by the fathers, it is rejected by Jerome as Trent, this and the following book are styled the third and being spurious, and the church of Rome never recognised its fourth books of Esdras, those of Esdras and Nehemiah being canonical authority: it is not appointed

to be read for lessons entitled the first and second books. The author of this book in the Anglican church. There is a Syriac version of this is not known; it is compiled from the books of Ezra and book extant. 1 Jahn's Introduction, p. 435.

II. In what language the SECOND BOOK OF ESDRAS was ori2 Archbishop Newcome's Minor Prophets, p. xliii. Kennicott, Disser- ginally written, it seems impossible at this distant period to tatio Generalis, $ 14. p. 6. Dr. Hales's Analysis of Chronology, vol. ii. determine with certainty. Morinus conjectures that it was 3 W. Lowth and Reeves on Malachi.

Hebrew, or perhaps Chaldee, from which it was translated • For a critical account of the reasons why the Apocryphal Books, which into Greek, and thence into Latin:5 and this conjecture he are usually printed between the Old and New Testaments, are justly rejected from the canon of Scripture, as uninspired writings, see Vol. I. Appendix, No. I. Section 1. pp. 135, 436.

3 Exercitationes Biblicæ, lib. ii. p. 225. VOL. II.

20

p. 533

grounds upon what he considers to be its evidently Jewish | inculcates, have imparted to it an interest, which has rendered style and phraseology: Archbishop Laurence thinks it highly it one of the most popular of the apocryphal writings. probable that the Latin version was immediately and literally IV. The BOOK OF Judith professes to relate the defeat of taken from the Greek: it is indisputably of very high anti- the Assyrians by the Jews, through the instrumentality of quity. It is also extant in an Arabic translation, the date of their countrywoman Judith, whose genealogy is recorded in which is unknown, and in an Ethiopic version where it is the eighth chapter; but so many geographical, historical, called the first book of Esdras), which cannot be traced and chronological difficulties attend this book, that Luther, higher than the fourth century: both, however, seem to be Grotius, and other eminent critics, have considered it rather taken from the Greek, and differ considerably from the Latin as a drama or parable than a real history. Dr. Prideaux, version : which last, in the judgment of Dr. Laurence, may however, is of opinion that it carries with it the air of a true be advantageously corrected by the other two. In the Ethio- history in most particulars, except that of the long-continued pic version, it is termed the first book of Esdras. Both this peace said to have been procured by Judith; which, accordand the Arabic versions have only from Chapter III. to Chap- ing to the account given in this book, must have continued ter XIV. inclusive. The remaining chapters, as found in eighty years. But, as the Jews never enjoyed a peace of so the Latin Vulgate, have clearly no connection with it, but long continuance since they were a nation, he is disposed to form two separate apocryphal pieces, and are thus dis- allow that circumstance to be a fiction, though he is inclined tinguished in almost all the manuscripts of the Vulgate, to think that the book in other respects is a true history. In though they are now printed as part of the second book of opposition to this opinion, it has been contended by HeidegEsdras.

ger, Moldenhawer, and others, that if it were a true history, The author of this book is unknown; although he person- some notice of the victory it records would have been taken ates Ezra, it is manifest from the style and contents of his by Josephus, whois on no occasion deficient when an opporbook that he lived long after that celebrated Jewish reformer. tunity presents itself of magnifying the achievements of his He pretends to visions and revelations, but they are so fanciful, countryinen. Philo is equally silent concerning this book Indigested, ridiculous, and absurd, that it is clear that the and its author. The time when and the place where he Holy Spirit could have no concern in dictating them. He be- lived are totally unknown. Dr. Prideaux refers the book to lieved that the day of judgment was at hand, and that the souls the time of Manasseh ; Jahn assigns it to the age of the of good and wicked men would all be delivered out of hell Maccabecs, and thinks it was written to animate the Jews after the day of judgment. Numerous rabbinical fables occur against the Syrians. Grotius refers it to the same period, in this book, particularly the account of the six days' crea- and is of opinion that it is wholly a parabolic fiction written tion, and the story of Behemoth and Leviathan, two mon- in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, when he came into strous creatures that are designed as a feast for the elect after Judæa to persecute the Jewish church, and that its design the day of resurrection, &c. He says that the ten tribes are was to confirm the Jews, under that persecution, in their gone away into a country which he calls Arsareth (xiii. 40 hope that God would send them a deliverer. According to -45.), and that Ezra restored the whole body of the Scrip- him, by Judith is intended Judæa : by Bethulia the temple tures, which had been entirely lost. (xiv. 21.) And he or house of God; and by the sword which went out thence, speaks of Jesus Christ and his apostles in so clear a manner, the prayers of the saints ; Nebuchadonosor denotes the that the Gospel itself is scarcely more explicit. On these devil; Assyria his kingdom, that is, pride : Holofernes means accounts, and from the numerous vestiges of the language of Antiochus Epiphanes, who was the devil's instrument in the New Testament, and especially of the Revelation of that persecution, &c. &c. But such conjectures, as an able Saint John, which are discoverable in this book, Molden- commentator remarks, however ingenious, are better calcuhawer and some other critics conclude that it was written by lated to exhibit the powers of fancy and the abuse of learnsome converted Jew, in the close of the first or early in the ing, than to investigate truth, or throw light on what is unsecond century, who assumed the name of Esdras or Ezra. certain and obscure. But Archbishop Laurence considers those passages to be in- The book of Judith was originally written in Chaldee, terpolations, and observes that the character which the un- and translated into Latin. Besides this translation, there known writer gives of the Messiah is a very different one are two others, -one in Greek, and the other in Syriac; the from what a Christian would have given. He is therefore former is attributed to Theodotion, but is certainly much of opinion that this book was written by a Jew, who lived older, for it is cited by Clement of Rome in his Epistle to before the commencement of the Christian æra ; and that, as the Corinthians, who flourished sixty years before Theodo an authentic record of Jewish opinions on several interesting tion. The Syriac version was made from the Greek, whence points almost immediately before the rise of Christianity, it also our present English translation was made.4 seems to deserve no inconsiderable attention. This book V. “ THE REST OF THE CHAPTERS OF THE BOOK OF was rejected as apocryphal by Jerome.

Esther, which are found neither in the Hebrew nor in the III. Concerning the author of the book of Tobit, or the Chaldee,” were originally written in Greek, whence they time when he flourished, we have no authentic information. were translated into Latin, and formed part of the Italic or It professes to relate the history of Tobit and his family, who old Latin version in use before the time of Jerome. Being were carried into captivity to Nineveh by Shalmaneser; but there annexed to the canonical book, they passed without it contains so many rabbinical fables, and allusions to the censure, but were rejected by Jerome in his version, because Babylonian demonology, that many learned men consider it he confined himself to the Hebrew Scriptures, and these as an ingenious and amusing fiction, calculated to form a chapters never were extant in the Hebrew language. They pious temper, and to teach the most important duties. From are evidently the production of an Hellenistic Jew, but are some apparent coincidences between this book and some considered both by Jerome and Grotius as a work of pure parts of the New Testament, Moldenhaweris disposed to refer fiction, which was annexed to the canonical book of Esther it to the end of the first century: but Jahn and most other com- by way of embellishment.5 mentators and critics think it was written about one hundred From the coincidence between some of these apocryphal and fifty or two hundred years before the birth of our Saviour. chapters and Josephus, it has been supposed that they are a According to Jerome, who translated the book of Tobit into compilation from the Jewish historian; and this conjecture Latin, it was originally written in Chaldee by some Babylo- is further confirmed by the mention of Ptolemy and Cleopian Jew. It was probably begun by Tobit, continued by patra, who lived no long time before Josephus. These adhis son Tobias, and finished by some other individual of the ditions to the book of Esther are often cited by the fathers family; after which it was digested into the order in which of the church ; and the council of Trent has assigned them we now have it. There is a Greek version of this book ex- a place among the canonical books. tant, much more ancient than Jerome's Latin translation: for VI. “ THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON” is commonly ascribed it is referred to by Polycarp, Clement of Alexandria, and to that Hebrew monarch, either because the author imitated other fathers, who lived long before the time of Jerome. his sententious manner of writing, or because he sometimes From this Greek version the Syriac translation was made, speaks in his name, the better to recommend his moral preand also that which is found among the apocryphal books in cepts. It is, however, certain that Solomon was not the our English Bibles. Although the book of Tobit has always author, for it was never extant in Hebrew, nor received into been rejected from the sacred canon, it was cited with respect by the early fathers of the Christian church : the sim

3 Mr. Hewlett, in his Preface to the book of Judith.
* Grotii Præfatio ad Annotationes

in Librum Judith, apud Crit. Sacr. tom. plicity of its narrative, and the pious and moral lessons it v. p. 50. Moldenhawer, Introd. ad Vet. Test. pp.

155-158. Dr. Prideaux's Primi Ezre Libri Versio Æthiopica. General Remarks, pp. 280— 6 From the subscription to the book of Esther in LXX., it seems to have 282. 291.

been translated B. c. 163.; at which time it is probable the apocryphal parts Ibid. pp. 300, 310. 320.

were first interpolated.

the Hebrew canon, nor is the style like that of Solomon. made (xlvii. 24, 25.) to the captivity: although it is not Further, it is evident that it could not have been written by improbable that the author collected some scattered sentihim, not only from the numerous passages which are cited ments ascribed to Solomon, which he arranged with the other in it from the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah, who did materials he had selected for his work. Sonntag is of not live till long after that king's reign, but also from its opinion that this book is a collection of fragments or miscelcontradictions of historical truth, particularly in ch. xv. 14. laneous hints for a large work, planned out and begun, but where the author represents his countrymen as being in sub- not completed. Respecting the author of the book of jection to enemies, whom he describes as being “most foolish, Ecclesiasticus, we have no information but what we collect and more miserable than the very babes." Whereas we are from the book itself; and from this it appears that it was expressly informed by the sacred historian, that Judah and written by a person of the name of Jesus the son of Sirach, Israel enjoyed the greatest possible prosperity and peace who had travelled in pursuit of knowledge, and who, accordduring the reign of Solomon. (1 Kings iv. 20, 21. 24, 25.) ing to Bretschneider, lived about 180 B. C. This man being To which we may add, that this book contains several words deeply conversant with the Old Testament, and having colborrowed from the Grecian games, that were not in use till lected many things from the prophets, blended them, as well long after his time; for instance, CTPPLYNOGPE (iv. 2.), to wear as the sentences ascribed to Solomon, with the result of his a crown, such as was given to victors,—Toumeverv (iv. 2.), to own observation, and thus endeavoured to produce an ethical make a triumphant entry as the victors did, after they had treatise that might be useful to his countrymen. This book received the crown,--2300 (iv. 2. x. 12.), the stadium or was written in Hebrew, or rather the Syro-Chaldaic dialect place appointed for the race, Prov (iv. 2.), the reward ap- then in use in Judæa, and was translated by his grandson into propriated to the successful candidate,--and Bpz@svev (x. 12.), Greek, about the year 130 B. c., for the use of the Alexanto confer the prize of victory. On these accounts, Jerome drian Jews, who were ignorant of the language of Judæa. informs us that several ancient writers of the first three cen- The translator himself is supposed to have been a son of turies ascribed it to Philo the Jew, a native of Alexandria, Sirach, as well as his grandfather the author. who flourished in the first century; and this opinion is The book of Ecclesiasticus “is a collection, without any generally adopted by the moderns, from the Platoníc notions definite order, of meditations and proverbs relating to religion, discoverable in it, as well as from its style, which evidently to morals, and to the conduct of human life; generally disshows that it was the production of an Hellenistic Jew of tinguished by much acuteness of thought, and propriety of Alexandria. Drusius indeed attributes it to another Philo, diction; and not unfrequently marked by considerable beauty more ancient than the person just mentioned, and who is and elegance of expression, and occasionally rising to the cited by Josephus; but this hypothesis is untenable, be- sublimest heights of human eloquence." From the great cause the author of the book of Wisdom was confessedly a similarity between this book and the proverbs of Solomon, in Jew, and the Philo of Drusius was a heathen. Bishop matter, sentiments, diction, complexion of the style, and Lowth considers this book evidently to be the production of construction of the periods, Bishop Lowth is of opinion, some Hellenistic Jew, by whom it was originally written in that the author adopted the same mode of versification which Greek.

is found in the Proverbs; and that he has performed his The book of Wisdom consists of three parts; the first, translation with such a religious regard to the Hebrew idiom, which is written in the name of Solomon, contains a descrip- that, were it literally and accurately to be retranslated, he tion or encomium of wisdom, by which comprehensive term has very little doubt that, for the most part, the original dicthe ancient Jews understood prudence and foresight, know- tion might be recovered. ledge and understanding, and principally the duties of religion This book has met with general and deserved esteem in and morality. This division includes the first six chapters. the Western church, and was introduced into the public The second part points out the source of true wisdom and the service by the venerable reformers and compilers of our means of obtaining it, in the seventh and eighth chapters. national liturgy. It may be divided into three parts; the In the third part, comprising the remainder of the book, the first of which (from ch. 1. to xliii.) contains a commendation author personifies Solomon, in whose name he introduces a of wisdom, and precepts for the regulation of life, that are long and tedious prayer or address to the Deity, which treats adapted to persons of all classes and conditions, and of every on a variety of topics, differing from the subject of the two age and sex. In the second part, the author celebrates the preceding parts; viz. reflections on the history and conduct patriarchs, prophets, and other distinguished men among the of the Israelites during their journeyings in the wilderness, Jews. (xliv.-1.) And the third part, containing the fiftieth and their subsequent proneness to idolatry. Hence he takes chapter, concludes with a prayer or hymn of the author, and occasion to inveigh against idolatry, the origin of which he an exhortation to the pursuit of wisdom. investigates, and concludes with reflections on the history of The book of Ecclesiasticus was frequently cited by the the people of God. His allegorical interpretations of the fathers of the church under the titles of Inocu Ecp14, the wisPentateuch, and the precept (xvi. 28.), to worship God before dom of Jesus, ITavepetus Ecolz, wisdom, the treasure of all the the rising of the sun, have induced some critics to think that virtues, or Aczes, the discourse. The Latins cite it under the the author was of the sect of the Essenes.

appellation of Ecclesiasticus, that is, a book which was read The style of this book, Bishop Lowth pronounces to be in the churches, to distinguish it from the book of Ecclesivery unequal. “It is often pompous and turgid, as well as astes. Anciently it was put into the hands of catechumens, tedious and diffuse, and abounds in epithets, directly contrary on account of the edifying nature of its instruction; next to to the practice of the Hebrews; it is, however, sometimes the inspired writings, a collection of purer moral precepts temperate, poetical, and sublime." The book of Wisdom does not exist. Besides the Greek copy of this book, and has always been admired for the sublime ideas which it con- the Latin version, there are two versions of it, one in Syriac, tains of the perfections of God, and for the excellent moral and the other in Arabic; the Latin translation is supposed to tendency of its precepts; on which account some of the have been executed in the first century of the Christian æra : ancients styled it Panaretos, or the treasury of virtue. Al- it is full of Greek terms, but differs widely from the present though the fathers of the church, and particularly Jerome, Greek of Ecclesiasticus. “The authorized English version uniformly considered it as apocryphal, yet they recommended of this treatise appears to have been made from the Greek its perusal, in consideration of its excellence. The third text, as exhibited in the Complutensian Polyglott, - a text council of Carthage, held in 397, pronounced it to be a which has, not without reason, been suspected of having canonical book, under the name of the fourth book of Solo- been made conformable in many places to the Vulgate. A mon, and the council of Trent confirmed this decision. Three new translation, made immediately from the Vatican oi ancient translations of it are extant, in Syriac, Arabic, and Alexandrian text, would exhibit this treatise to us in a purer Latin; the last was executed before the time of Jerome, who form."8 says that he did not correct it. It is full of barbarisms. VIII. The book of BARUCH is not extant in Hebrew, and

VII. “ THE WISDOM OF JESUS THE SON OF Sirach, or Ec- only in Greek and Syriac; but in what language it was CLESIASTICUS," like the preceding, has sometimes been considered as the production of Solomon, whence the council of * De Jesu Siracidæ Ecclesiastico Commentarius. 4to. Riga, 1792. Carthage deemed it canonical, under the title of the fifth 5 Bretschneider, Liber Jesu Siracidæ. Proleg. pp. 10–32. book of Solomon, and their decision was adopted by the opinion, that "the little apocryphal treatise, entitled the Wisdom of the

6 Christian Remembrancer, May, 1827, p. 262. Addison has recorded his council of Trent. It is however manifest, that it was not, Son of 'Sirach, would be regarded by our modern wits as one of the most and could not, be written by Solomon, because allusion is shining tracts of morality that is extant, if it appeared under the name of

a Confucius, or of any celebrated Grecian philosopher.” Spectator

No. 63. Præf. in Prov. Sal.

2 Drusius de Henocho, c. 11. * Bishop Lowth's Lectures, vol. ii. p. 177. * Bishop Lowth's Lec'ures, vol : p. 179.

• Christian Reinembrancer, vol. ix. p. 3.

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