the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me ;' and as the titles are generally considered as names, either of musical psalmist, in the forty-second psalm, rather chose to compare instruments or of tunes. himself to a hart than a hind (see ver. 1.), the twenty- 1. The first of these is Neginoth, which is prefixed to second psalm much better answers this title, in which he psalms iv. vi. liv. lv. lx. Ixi. lxxvi.: it signifies stringed speaks of his hunted soul in the feminine gender, Deliver my instruments of music to be played on by the fingers. Calsoul from the sword, my darling, (which in the original is met proposes to translate the titles of those psalms, where feminine) from the power of the dog. Every one that reflects this word is to be found, in the following manner :Psalm on the circumstances of David, at the time to which the of David, to the master of music who presides over the stringed fifty-sixth psalm refers (see 1 Sam. xxi. 11–15. xxii. 1.), instruments. and considers the oriental taste, will not wonder to see that 2. Nehiloth, which is in the title of psalm v., is supposed psalm entitled the dumb in distant places ; nor are lilies more to have been a wind instrument; but whether of the organ inproper to be made the title of other psalms, with proper kind as Rosenmüller thinks, or of the flute kind as Calmet distinctions, than a garden of anemonies is to be the name of supposes, it is now impossible to determine. a collection of moral discourses.2

3. Sheminith (Psalms vi. and xii.) is supposed to have Besides the psalms, whose titles have thus been consider- been an octochord, or harp of eight strings; from the circumed and explained, there are forty-five called Mismor or psalms ; stance of its being united with the Neginoth in the title of viz. iii. iv. v. vi. viii. ix. xii. xiii. xv. xix. xx. xxi. xxii. Psalm vi., it is supposed to have been an accompaniment to xxiii. xxiv. xxix. xxxi. xxxvii. xxxix. xl. xli. xlvii. xlix. 1. the latter instrument. li. lxii. Ixiii. lxiv. lxxiii. lxxv. Ixxvii. lxxix. lxxx. Ixxxii. 4. Shigguion (Psalm vii.), according to Houbigant, ParkIxxxiv. lxxxv. xcviii.c.ci. cix. cx. cxxxix. cxl. cxli.and cxlii. hurst, and some others, means a wandering song; and is so One is called Shir, or song (Psal. xlvi.); seven are called called, because it was composed by David when a fugitive Mismor-Shir, or psalm-songs, viz. xxxi. Ixv. Ixvii. Ixviii. from the persecution of Saul. But Calmet says, that it sig. lxxv. lxxvii. and cxii.; and five are called Shir-Mismor, or nifies a song of consolation in distress, synonymous with an song-psalms, xlviii. Ixvi. Ixxxiii. lxxxviii. and cviii. In what elegy; with him coincide Dr. Kennicott and Rosenmüller, respects these titles differed, it is now impossible to ascer- who derive the word from an Arabic root, importing that the tain, as Rabbi Kimchi, one of the most learned Jews, inge, inspired writer of this psalm was overwhelmed with sorrow nuously acknowledges; but we may infer that they combined and anxiety at the time he composed it. both music and singing, which are indicated by the respect- 5. Gittiih (Psalms viii. Ixxxi. Ixxxiv.), according to Rabbi ive words psalm and song, with some modifications. In the Jarchi, signifies a musical instrument brought from Gath: Septuagint version these are called a psalm of an ode, and an but as the original Hebrew denotes wine-presses, Calmet ode of a psalm. Four are called Theophilah, or prayers, thinks that it probably is an air or song which was sung at namely, xvii. lxxxvi. xc. and cii.; and the hundred and the time of vintage. Rosenmuller prefers the former derivaforty-fifth psalm is called Tehillah, or praise. So excellent, tion: both, however, may be true. The instrument bearing indeed, was this composition always accounted, that the title this name might have been used by the people of Gath, from of the whole Book of Psalms, Sepher Tehillim, or the Book whom it might have been adopted by the Jews, with whom of Praises, was taken from it. It is wholly filled with the it afterwards became a favourite instrument during the fespraises of God, expressed with such admirable devotion that tivity and dances of the vintage. the ancient Jews used to say, “ He could not fail of being an 6. For Muthlabben, which appears in the title of Psalm ix., inhabitant of the heavenly Canaan, who repeated this psalm upwards of twenty manuscripts of Dr. Kennicott's collation, three times a day."'3

and more than forty of De Rossi's, read almuth, which signiFifteen psalms, cxx. to cxxxiv. are entitled Shir-Hamma- fies virgins. Calmet thinks that a chorus of virgins is intendchaloth, literally Songs of the Steps (in our English version, ed, and that La Ben, that is to Ben, refers to Ben or Benaiah, Songs of Degrees); or, as Bishop Lowth terms them, Odes who was their precentor, and who is mentioned in 1 Chron. of Ascension. They are supposed to have derived this name xv. 18. 20. from their being sung, when the people came up either to 7. Mahalath (Psalm liii.) denotes a dance, such as was worship in Jerusalem, at the annual festivals, or perhaps used at some peculiar festivals and occasions. (Compare from the Babylonish captivity; In Ezra vii. 9. the return Exod. xv. 20. Judg. xxi. 21. 1. Sam. xviii. 6.) Àccording from captivity is certainly called “the ascension, or coming to Calmet, the title of this ode is — " An instructive psalm up from Babylon.The hundred and twenty-sixth psalm of David for the chief master of dancing; or, for the chorus fávours the latter hypothesis : but as some of these odes of singers and dancers." Mahalath-Leannoth (Psalm lxxxix.) were composed before the captivity, the title may refer to probably means a responsive psalm of the same description. either of these occasions, when the Jews went up to Jeru- VIII. Of the word Selah, which occurs upwards of seventy salem, which, it will be recollected, stood on a steep rocky times in the book of Psalms, and three times in the prophecy ascent, in large companies, after the oriental manner, and of Habakkuk, it is by no means easy to determine the meanperhaps beguiled their way by singing these psalms. For ing: in the Septuagint it occurs still more frequently, being such an occasion, Jahn remarks, the appellation of ascen- placed where it does not occur in the Hebrew original, and sions was singularly adapted, as the inhabitants of the East, rendered by AIAYAAMA (diapsalma), which signiñes a rest when speaking of a journey to the metropolis of their coun- or pause, or, according to Suidas, a change of the song or try, delight to use the word ascend.

modulation. Some imagine that it directed the time of the To ten psalms, viz. cvi. cxi. cxii. cxiii. cxxxv. cxlvi. to music, and was perhaps equivalent to our word slow, or cl. inclusive, is prefixed the title Hallelujah, which, as according to some of our provincial dialects,slaw ;” which, already intimated, forms part of the first verse in our Eng- in a rapid pronunciation might easily be taken for Selah. lish translation, and is rendered--Praise the Lord.

Dr. Wall conjectures that it is a note, directing that the last The title Maschil is prefixed to psalms xxxii. xlii. xliv. lii. words to which it is added should be repeated by the chorus; liii. liv. lv. lxxiv. Ixxviii. lxxxvili. lxxxix. and cxlii.; and and observes, that it is always put after some remarkable or as it is evidently derived from the Hebrew root 5% shakaL pathetic clause. Parkhurst and others are of opinion, that it to be wise, to behave wisely or prudently, Calmet thinks it was intended to direct the reader's particular attention to the merely signifies to give instruction, and that the psalms to passage: others, that it makes a new sense or change of which it is prefixed are peculiarly adapted to that purpose : the metre. Jerome says, that Selah connects what follows Rosenmüller coincides with him, as far as his remark ap- with what went before, and further expresses that the words plies to psalm xxxii., but rather thinks it a generic name for to which it is affixed are of eternal moment; that is, are not a particular kind of poem.

applicable to any particular person or temporary circumIt only remains that we briefly notice those psalms, whose stances, but ought to be remembered by all men, and for

ever: whence the Chaldee paraphrast renders it “ for ever." 1 According to Dr. Shaw, the eastern mode of hunting is, by assembling Aquila, Symmachus, Geier, Forster, Buxtorf, and others, are great numbers of people, and enclosing the creatures, they bunte Travels of opionion that Selah has no signification but that it is a

. , 42. . > Harmer's Observations, vol. iii.

note of the ancient music, the use of which is now lost. 3 Bishop Patrick, in loc. And therefore he thinks it was composed Aben Ezra says, that it is like the conclusion of a prayer, alphabet

, in order that it might be the more readily committed to memory. think that it means a repeat, and that it is equivalent to the alphabetically, i. e. every verse beginning with a letter of the Hebrew answering nearly to amen. Meibomius, and after him Jahn,

Introd. ad Vet. Fæd. pp. 471, 472 Calmet and Dr. T. A. Clarisse are Italian Da Capo. Calmet is of opinion that the ancient Heof opinion that the whole of the Psalms of Ascensions were sung at the tire of the return from the captivity. Dissert. sur les Pseaumes quinze & Calmet, Commentaire Littérale, tom. iv. pp. xi.- xiv. liji. liv. Rosengraduels-Dissert. tom. ii. pari ii. pp. 323, 324. Clarisse, Psalmi Quinde. müller, Scholia in Psalmos, tom. . cap. 4. De Psalmorum Inscriptionibus, cim Hammaäloth, p. 23.

et Explicatio Dictionuin in Psalmorum Titulis obviarum, pp. XXV.--lviii.



brew musicians sometimes put Selah in the margin of their interpreter in our language has remarked, with equal piety psalters, to show where a musical pause was to be made, and beauty;", " are an epitome of the Bible, adapted to the and where the tune ended ; just as in the copies of the Gos- purposes of devotion. They treat occasionally of the creapels, which were solemnly read in the early ages of the tion and formation of the world ; the dispensations of ProChristian church, the Greek word Teros, telos, or the Latin vidence, and the economy of grace; the transactions of the word finis, was written in the margin, either at length or patriarchs; the exodus of the children of Israel; their jourwith a contraction, to mark the place where the deacon was ney through the wilderness, and settlement in Canaan;

their to end the lesson ; the divisions of chapters and verses being law, priesthood, and ritual; the exploits of their great men, unknown at that time; or else he thinks, the ancient Hebrews wrought through faith ; their sins and captivities; their resang nearly in the same manner as the modern Arabians do,2 pentances and restorations; the sufferings and victories of with long pauses, ending all at once, and beginning all at David ; the peaceful and happy reign of Solomon; the ad. once; and therefore it was necessary, in the public services, vent of Messiah, with its effects and consequences; his into mark in the margin of the psalm as well the place of the carnation, birth, life, passion, death, resurrection, ascension, pause as the end, in order that the whole choir might suspend kingdom, and priesthood ; the effusion of the Spirit ; the their voices, or recommence their singing at the same time. conversion of the nations; the rejection of the Jews; the Rosenmüller, after Herder and A. F. Pfeiffer, declares in establishment, increase, and perpetuity of the Christian favour of Selah being a rest or pause, for the vocal perform-church; the end of the world; the general judgment; the ers, during which the musical instruments only were to be condemnation of the wicked, and the final triumph of the heard. Mr. Hewlett thinks it resembled our concluding righteous with their Lord and King. These are the subjects symphonies. It only remains that we notice the sentiment here presented to our meditations. We are instructed how to of Rabbi Kimchi, which has been adopted by Grotius and conceive of them aright, and to express the different affecothers. That eminent Jewish teacher says, that Selah is tions, which, when so conceived of, they must excite in our both a musical note, and a note of emphasis in the sense, by minds. They are, for this purpose, adorned with the figures, which we are called to observe something more than usually and set off with all the graces, of poetry; the poetry itself remarkable. It is derived from the Hebrew word 550 salan, is designed yet farther to be recommended by the charms of which signifies he raised or elevated ; and denotes the eleva- music, thus consecrated to the service of God: that so detion of the voice in singing ; and at the same time the listing light may prepare the way for improvement, and pleasure up of the heart, the serious considering and meditating upon become the handmaid of wisdom, while every turbulent pasthe thing that is spoken.

sion is calmed by sacred melody, and the evil spirit is still That ihis word was of use in music and singing is evident dispossessed by the harp of the son of Jesse. "This little from the manner in which, we have already remarked, it was volume, like the paradise of Eden, affords us in perfection, rendered by the Septuagint translators; and that it is also a though in miniature, every thing that groweth elsewhere, mark of observation and meditation, may be inferred from every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food : its being joined in Psal. ix. 16. with the word Higgaion, and above all, what was there lost, but is here restored—the which signifies meditation. Now, though in some passages tree of life in the midst of garden. The which we read, Selah may appear to be used where there is no emphatic as matter of speculation, in the other Scriptures, is reduced word or sense, yet it may be applied not only to the imme- to practice, when we recite it in the Psalms ; in those, rediately preceding word or verse, but also to the whole series pentance and faith are described, but in these they are aeted: of verses or periods to which it is subjoined. And if it be by a perusal of the former, we learn how others served God, thus considered, we shall find that it is used with great bút, by using the latter, we serve him ourselves. “What is propriety, and for the best of purposes, viz. to point out to us there necessary for man to know,' says the pious and judisomething well worthy of our most attentive observation; cious Hooker, which the psalms are not able to teach? They and that it calls upon us to revolve in our minds, with great are to beginners an easy and familiar introduction, a mighty seriousness, the matter placed before us.3

augmentation of all virtue and knowledge in such as are IX. “The hearts of the pious in all ages have felt the entered before, a strong confirmation to the most perfect value of the Psalms as helps to devotion; and many have among others. Heroical magnanimity, exquisite justice, laboured for expressions, in which to set forth their praise." grave moderation, exact wisdom, repentance unfeigned, unAll the fathers of the church are unanimously eloquent in wearied patience, the mysteries of God, the sufferings of their commendation of the Psalms. Athanasius styles them Christ, the terrors of wrath, the comforts of grace, the an epitome of the whole Scriptures : Basil, a compendium works of Providence over this world, and the promised joys of all theology; Luther, a little Bible, and the summary of of that world which is to come, all good necessarily to be the Old Testament; and Melancthon, the most elegant writ- either known, or done, or had, this one celestial fountain ing in the whole world. How highly the Psalter was yieldeth. Let there be any grief or disease incident unto valued subsequently to the Reformation, we may easily the soul of man, any wound or sickness named, for which conceive by the very numerous editions of it which were there is not, in this treasure-house, a present comfortable executed in the infancy of printing, and by the number of remedy at all times ready to be found.'s 'In the language of commentators who have undertaken to illustrate its sacred this divine book, therefore, the prayers and praises of the pages. Carpzov, who wrote a century ago, enumerates up. church have been offered up to the throne of grace, from age wards of one hundred and sixty; and of the subsequent to age. And it appears to have been the manual of the Son modern expositors of this book it would perhaps be difficult of God, in the days of his flesh ; who, at the conclusion of to procure a correct account. “ The Psalms," as their best his last supper, is generally supposed, and that upon good

grounds, to have sung a hymn taken from it ;who pro1 Simon, Histoire Critique du Nouv. Test. ch. xxxjii. 3. D'Arvieux's Travels in Arabia the Desert, p. 52. English translation, nounced, on the cross, the beginning of the twenty-second

psalm, • My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' • Calmet, Dissertation sur Sela, Commentaire, tom. iv. pp. xvi.- xviii. and expired with a part of the thirty-first psalm in his Hewlett in loc. Rosenmüller, Scholia in Psalmos, tom. I. pp: lix-xii. Dr. mouth, * Into thy hands I commend my spirit.' Thus He, John Edwards, on the Authority, Style, and Perfection of Scripture, vol. iii. p. 373. Jahn, Introd. ad Vet. Fæd. p. 471. Biel and Schleusner, Lexi- who had not the Spirit by measure, in whom were hidden con in LXX. voce A.xyzdjem. In addition to the observation already all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and who spake offered, it may be stated that Professor Wilson has announced the follow.

as never man spake, yet chose to conclude his life, to solace ing ingenious conjecture respecting the derivation and import of the word Selah :- The root of the word, he remarks, appears evidently to lie in the himself in his greatest agony, and at last to breathe out his two first letters So which are in contraction for 550. to raise, to erall, soul, in the psalmist's form of words, rather than his own. to magnify. Then he considers as an abbreviation for any; so that the No tongue of man or angel, as Dr. Hammond justly obword ASD (selan) is a contracted form of ruso, celebrate ye Jehovah, or serves, can convey a higher idea of any book, and of their esult the Lord, viz. in songs of praise accompanied with musical instru. felicity who use it'aright.” ments, and is nearly of the same import with 793350, in our characters The number of psalms, which are throughout more emiHallelujah, in Greek letters 'Adamaover, that is, Praise ye the Lord. This verse of Psalm Lxviii. Which is thus translated, Ertel him that rideth upon comparatively small : but the passages of particular psalms conjecture receives strong confirmation from the latter part of the fourth nently and directly prophetical of the Messiah, is indeed the heavens by the name JAH. It is higlıly probable that the meaning here which are predictive of him in various ways are very numeassigned to Sela h is the true one, as it corresponds to the dignity and chief end of devotional music, in which the singers and players were frequently * The late Bishop Horne. reminded of the sacred intention of their solemn prayers, praises, and

All were designed to magnify the name, the nature, the per 6 Matthew inforins us, chap. xxvi. 30. that he and his apostles sung an fections, excellences, and works of Jehovah the only true God. In this hymn; and the hyinn usually sung by the Jews, upon that occasion, was sublime exercise the church on earth are fellow-worshippers, in perfect what they called the great Hallel," consisting of the Psalms from the concord with the church in heaven: See Rev. xix. 1-3." (Wilson's Elecxijith to the cxviiith inclusive. ments of Hebrew Grammar, pp. 315, 316. 4th edit.)

• Bishop Horne on the Psalms, vol. i. Preface, pp. I. --iv.

1718. 12mo.

$ Hooker, Ecclesiast. Pol book v. sect. 37.


8. Pra

be any

rous, no part of the Old Testament being cited in the New XI. We shall conclude this section, the importance of so frequently as this book. That those psalms which were whose subject must apologize for its apparently disproportioncomposed by David himself were prophetic, we have David's ate length, with the following common but very useful own authority : "which,” Bishop Horsley remarks, “ may

TABLE OF THE PSALMS, be allowed to overpower a host of modern expositors. For thus King David, at the close of his life, describes himself classed according to their several subjects, and adapted to the and his sacred songs : David the son of Jesse said, and the purposes of private devotion. man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of

I. Prayers. Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of

1. Prayers for pardon of sin, Psal. XXV. xxxvii. li. cxXX. Psalıns Jehovah spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. (2 Sam. styled penitential, vi. xxii. xxxviii. li. cii. cxxx. cxliii. xxii. 1, 2.) I was the word, therefore, of Jehovah's Spi- tunity to the public exercise of religion, Psal

. xlii. xlili. Ixiii. lxxxiv. rit which was uttered by David's tongue. But, it should

3. Prayers, in which the Psalmist seems extremely dejected, though not seem, the Spirit of Jehovah would not be wanting to enable totally deprived of consolation, under his aiflictions, Psal. xiii. xxii. Ixix. a mere man to make complaint of his own enemies, to describe lxxvi. Ixxxviii. cxliii. his own sufferings just as he felt them, and his own escapes his own integrity, and the uprightness of his cause, Psal. vii. xvii. xxvi.

4. Prayers, in which the Psalmist asks help of God, in consideration of just as they happened. But the Spirit of Jehovah described, XXXV. by David's utterance, what was known to that Spirit only, aflictions, Psal. ill. xvi. xxvii. xxxi. liv. Ivi. Ivii. Ixi. lxii. Ixxi. Ixxxvi.

5. Prayers, expressing the firmest trust and confidence in God under and that Spirit only could describe. So that, if David be

6. Prayers, composed when the people of God were under affliction or allowed to have had any knowledge of the true subject of persecution, Psal. xliv. Ix. lxxiv. lxxix. lxxx. Ixxxiii. lxxxix. xciv. cii. his own compositions, it was nothing in his own life, but cxxiii. cxxxvii.

7. The following are likewise prayers in time of trouble and amiction, something put into his mind by the Holy Spirit of God, and Psal. iv. v. xi. xxviii. xli. Iv. lix Ixiv. Ixx cix. cxx. cxl. cxli. cxliii. the misapplication of the Psalms to the literal David has

of intercession, Psal. xx. Ixvii. cxxii, cxxxii. cxliv. done more mischief than the misapplication of any other

II. Psalms of Thanksgiving. parts of the Scriptures, among those who profess the belief 1. Thanksgivings for mercies vouchsafed to particular persons, Psal. ix. of the Christian religion.”

xviii. xxij. xxx. xxxiv, xl, lxxv, ciji, cviii. cxvi. cxviij. cxxxviii. cxliv. For a table of those portions of the Psalms which are

2. Thanksgivings for mercies vouchsafed to the Israelites in general,

Psal. xlvi. xlviii. Ixv. Ixvi. Ixviii. lxvi. Ixxxi. lxxxv. xcviii. cv. cxxiv. cxxvi. strictly prophetical of the Messiah, see Vol. I. Part I. Chap. cxxix. cxxxv. cxxxvi. cxlix. IV. Sect. II. § 1.

III. Psalms of Praise and Adoration, displaying the AttriX. The book of Psalms being composed in Hebrew verse,

butes of God. must generally be studied and investigated agreeably to the

1. General acknowledgments of God's goodness and mercy, and structure of Hebrew poetry; but in addition to the remarks ticularly his care and protection of good inen, Psal. xxiii. xxiv. xxxvi. xci.

paralready offered on this subject,2 there are a few observations c. ciii. cvii. cxvii. cxxi. cxlv. cxlvi. more particularly applicable to these songs of Sion, which the Divine Being, Psal. viii. xix. xxiv. xxix. xxxi. xlvii. 1 lxv. Ixvi. Ixxvi.

, glory, of will enable the reader to enter more fully into their force and lxxvii

. xciii. xcv. xcvi. xcvii. xcix. civ. cxi. cxiii. cxiv. cxv. cxxxiv. cxxxix. meaning.

cxlvii. cxlviij. cl. 1. Investigate the Argument of each Psalm.

IV. Instructive Psalms. This is sometimes intimated in the prefixed title: but as these inscrip

1. The different characters of good and bad men,--the happiness of the tions are not always genuine, it will be preferable, in every case, to deduce one, and the misery of the other,-are represented in the following the argument from a diligent and attentive reading of the psalm itself, and psalms :-: : vii. ix. x. xi. xii. xiv. xv. xvii. xxiv. xxv. xxxii. xxxiv. xxxvi. then to form our opinion concerning the correctness of the title, is there

xxxvii. I. lii. liii. lviii. Ixxii. lxxv. Ixxxiv. xci. xcii. xciv. cxii. cxix. cxvi. cxxv. сxxvii. cxxviii, сxxxiii.

2. The excellence of God's laws, Psal. xix. cxix. 2. With this view, examine the Historical Origin of the 3. The vanity of human life, Psal. xxxix. xlix, xc. Psalm, or the circumstances that led the sacred poet to com- 4. Advice to magistrates, Psal. Ixxxii. ci.

5. The virtue of humility, Psal. cxxxi.

V. Psalms more eminently and directly Prophetical. Besides investigating the occasion upon which a psalm was written, much advantage and assistance may be derived from studying the psalms

Psal. ii. xvi. xxii. xl. xlv. Ixviii. Ixxii. lxxxvii. cx. cxviii. chronologically, and comparing thein with the historical books of the Old

VI. Historical Psalms. Testament, particularly those which treat of the Israelites and Jews, from the origin of their monarchy to their return from the Babylonish captivity.

Psal. lxxviii. cv. cvi. or the benefit that may be obtained from such a comparison of the two books of Samuel, we have already given soine striking examples.a

3. Ascertain the Author of the Psalm. This is frequently intimated in the inscriptions; but as these are not al. ways to be depended upon, we must look for other more certain criteria

SECTION III. by which to ascertain correctly the real author of any psalnı. The histori. cal circumsances, which are very frequently as well as clearly indicated,

ON THE BOOK OF PROVERBS. and the poelical character impressed on the compositions of each of the inspired poets, will enable us to accomplish this very important object. I. Title, author, and canonical authority.-II. Scope.—III. Let us take, for instance, the Psalms or David. Not only does he allude to his own personal circumstances, to the dangers to which he was ex:

Synopsis of its contents.-IV. Observations on its style, posed, the persecutions he endured, the wars in which he was engaged, use, and importance. his heinous sin against God, and the signal blessings conferred upon hiin; but his psalms are further stamped with a peculiar character, by which, I. The book of Proverbss has always been ascribed to if it be carefully attended to, we may easily distinguish him froin every Solomon, whose name it bears, though, from the frequent same words and ideas almost perpetually; complaining of his afilictions repetition of the same sentences, as well as from some variand troubles; imploring help from God in the most earnest supplications ; ations in style which have been discovered, doubts have been prosessing his confidence in God in the strongest manner; rejoicing in the entertained whether he really was the author of every maxim his gratitude for all the blessings conferred upon hiin. Again, in what it comprises. , “ The latter part of it, from the beginning of ardent language does he express his longing desire to behold the sanc. the twenty-fifth chapter, forming evidently an appendix, was tuary of God, and join with the multitude of those who kept holyday! collected after his death, and added to what appears to have With what animation does he describe the solemn pomp with which the been more immediately arranged by himself." The proverbs ark was conducted to Jerusalem! &c. Of all the sacred poets, David is the inost pleasing and tender.

in the thirtieth chapter are expressly called The words of The style of David has been imitated by the other psalmists, who have Agur the son of Jakeh ; and the thirty-first chapter is entitled odes; but these imitations may easily be distinguished from their arche! The words of king Lemuel. It seems certain that the collection type, by the absence of that elegance and force which always characterize called the Proverbs of Solomon was arranged in the order the productions of an original author.

in which we now have it by different hands; but it is not 4. Attend to the Structure of the Psalms.

therefore to be concluded that they are not the productions The Psalms, being principally designed for the national worship of the of Solomon, who, we are informed, spoke? no less than three structure of these compositions will enable us better to enter into their that Solomon himself made a collection of proverbs and Jews, are adapted to choral singing ; attention, therefore, to the choral thousand proverbs. (1 Kings iv. 32.) As it is nowhere said spirit and meaning. Dr. Good has happily succeeded in showing the choral divisions of many of these sacred poems, in his version of the Psalms.

On the peculiar nature of the Hebrew Proverbs, see Vol. I. Part II.

Chapter I. Section VI. 1 Bishop Horsley's Psalms, vol. i. p. xiv. Calmet has a very fine pas- & Extract from Dr. Mason Good's unpublished translation of the Book sage on the scope of the book of Psalms, as pointing to the Messiah ; it is of Proverbs, in Prof. Gregory's Memoirs of his Life, p. 289. too long to cite, and would be impaired by abridgment. See his Commen: • It is not said that these proverbs were written compositions, but sim. taire, vol. sí, pp. vi. viii. or Dissertations, tom. ii. pp. 197—199.

ply that Solomon spake them. Hence Mr. Holden thinks it not improbable > See Vol. 1. Part II. Chap. II. VIII.

ihat the Hebrew monarch spoke them in assemblies collected for the pur. > See p. 220. of this volume.

pose of hearing him discourse. Attempt to Illustrate the Book of Eccle • Bauer, Herm. Sacr. pp. 392–394.

siastes, p. xliv.

pose it.


sentences, the general opinion is, that several persons made poetical : the order of the subject is, in general, excellently prea collection of them, perhaps as they were uttered by him. served, and the parts are very aptly connected. It is embellished Hezekiah, among others, as mentioned in the twenty-fifth with many beautiful descriptions and personifications: the dicchapter: Agur, Isaiah, and Ezra might have done the same. tion is polished, and abounds with all the ornaments of poetry, The Jewish writers affirm that Solomon wrote the Canticles, so that it scarcely yields in elegance and splendour to any of or song bearing his name, in his youth, the Proverbs in his the Sacred Writings.6 riper years, and Ecclesiastes in his old age. Michaelis has observed, that the book of Proverbs is of Solomon," comprises short sententious Declarations for the

Part II., To which is prefixed the Title of The Proverbs frequently cited by the apostles, who considered it as a trea- Use of persons who have advanced from Youth to Munhood. sure of revealed morality, whence Christians were to derive their rules of conduct; and the canonical authority of no

(ch. x.-xxii. 16.) book of the Old Testament is so well ratified by the evidence These sententious declarations are generally unconnected, of quotations as that of the Proverbs:' whence he justly although sometimes a connection with the preceding sentence infers that every commentator on the Greek Testament ought may be discovered. They treat on the various duties of man to be intimately acquainted with the Septuagint version of towards God, and towards his fellow-men in every station of the book of Proverbs, and that every Christian divine should life. “The great object in each of the proverbs or axioms of the consider it as the chief source of scriptural morality.2 present part is, to enforce a moral principle in words so few, that

Il. The Scope of this book is, “ to instruct men in the they may be easily learnt, and so curiously selected and arranged, deepest mysteries of true wisdom and understanding, the that they may strike and fix the attention instantaneously: whilst height and perfection of which is, the true knowledge of the to prevent the mind from becoming fatigued by a long series of divine will, and the sincere fear of the Lord. (Prov. i. 2–7. detached sentences, they are perpetually diversified by the most ix. 10.)"3 'To this end, the book is filled with the choicest playful changes of style and figure.” sententious aphorisms, infinitely surpassing all the ethical sayings of the ancient sages, and comprising in themselves Part III. , Contains a Miscellaneous Collection of Proverbs, distinct doctrines, duties, &c. of piety towards God, of equity principally relating to rich Men and Nobles. (ch. xxii. 17. and benevolence towards man, and of sobriety and temper- –xxiv.) ance; together with precepts for the right education of Part IV." Is a Posthumous Appendix, consisting of various children, and for the relative situations of subjects, magis- Parabolic Compositions, written and communicated by Solotrates, and sovereigns.

mon on different Occasions, but never published by himself III. The

book of Proverbs is divided by Moldenhawer and in an arranged Form; yet altogether worthy of the Place Heidegger (whose arrangement was followed in the former they hold in the Sacred Scriptures." (ch. xxv.—xxxi.) editions of this work) into five parts : but the late Dr. John Sect. 1. Comprises a collection of Solomon's Proverbs, which Mason Good has divided it into four distinct books or parts,

(as the title shows, xxv. 1.) was made by the learned under “ each of which," he observes, " is distinguished both by an obvious introduction and a change of style and manner,

the reign of Hezekiah. (xxv. xxix.) The proverbs in this

section are unconnected, and some of them are repetitions though its real method and arrangement seem, hitherto, to

of the moral aphorisms which are delivered in the former have escaped the attention of our commentators and interpre

part of the book.

Sect. 2. Is composed of the ethical precepts delivered by Part I. The Proem or Exordium. (ch. i.-ix.)

* Agur the son of Jakeh” to his friends Ithiel and Ucal. In this part heavenly wisdom and the true knowledge of God That Agur, Jakeh, Ithiel, and Ucal, are proper names, admits are set forth with great copiousness and variety of expression, of no contradiction, though it is impossible at this distance of as the only source and foundation of true virtue and happi- time to ascertain who they were. Jerome mistook the proper

" It is chiefly confined to the conduct of juvenescence name Agur for an appellative, and in the Latin Vulgate has or early life, before a permanent condition is made choice of.... translated the expression thus, without any meaning :- :-" Verba All the most formidable dangers to which this season of life is Congregantis, filii Vomentis," which, in the Anglo-Romish verexposed, and the sins which most easily beset it, are painted sion from the Vulgate, is with equal unintelligibility rendered, with the hand of a master. And, whilst the progress and issues “ The Words of Gatherer, the son of Vomiter.” Some critics of vice are exhibited under a variety of the most striking de- are of opinion, that, by Jakeh, David is meant, and by Agur, lineations and metaphors in their utmost deformity and horror, Solomon ; and some fanciful expositors think that Ithiel and [cal all the beauties of language, and all the force of eloquence, are mean Christ : but these hypotheses are examined and refuted by poured forth in the diversified form of earnest expostulation, in- Mr. Holden. The same close observation of nature, and sensinuating tenderness, captivating argument, picturesque descrip- tentious form, which characterize the precepts of Solomon, are tion, daring personification, and sublime allegory, to win the to be found in the proverbs of Agur, whose admirable prayer ingenuous youth to virtue and piety, and to fix him in the steady (xxx. 7–9.) will ever be justly admired for its piety, and for pursuit of his duties towards God and towards man. Virtue is the contented spirit which it breathes. It exactly corresponds pronounced in the very outset to be essential wisdom; and vice with the petition in the Lord's Prayer-Give us this day to or wickedness, essential folly: and the personifications, thus aptor necor TCY ETICUIIN,—not our daily bread,—but bread or food forcibly struck out at the opening of the work, are continued to sufficient for us.10 its close. The only wise man, therefore, is declared to be the Sect. 3. Contains the admonitions given to King Lemuelli by truly good and virtuous, or he that fears God and reverences his his mother a queen, when he was in the flower of youth law: whilst the man of vice or wickedness is a fool, a dolt, an and high expectation. (xxxi.) infatuated sot, a stubborn, froward, or perverse wretch, and an These admonitory verses “are an inimitable production, as abomination to Jehovah.”5

This portion of the book of Pro- well in respect to their actual materials, as the delicacy with which verbs, says Bishop Lowth, is varied, elegant, sublime, and truly they are selected. Instead of attempting to lay down rules con

cerning matters of state and political government, the illustrious : Michaelis's Introduction to the New Testament, vol. i. pp. 207, 208. : The following table of the quotations froin the book " Proverbs in writer confines herself, with the nicest and most becoming art, to the New Testament is given from

Moldenhawer (Introductio in Libros a recommendation of the gentler virtues of temperance, benevoCanonicos Vet. et Nov. Test. p. 93.) and from Carpzov Introductio ab lence, and mercy; and a minute and unparalleled delineation of Libros Canonicos Vet. Test. p. 184.

the female character, which might bid fairest to promote the hapProv. i. 16.

piness of her son in connubial life. The description, though Prov. iii. 11, 12

strictly in consonance with the domestic economy of the highest

sphere of life, in the early period referred to, and especially in Prov. x. xii. 1 Pet. iv. 8.

the East, is of universal application, and cannot be studied too Rom. xii. 17. 1 Thess. y. 15. 1 Pet. iii. 9. Prov. xvii. 27. James i. 19.

6 Lectures on Hebrew Poetry, by Dr. Gregory, vol. ii. p. 164. Prov. xx. 20.

In pp. 299–303. * Prosessor Gregory's Memoirs of Dr. Good, p. 298. Dr. G. has admirably elucidated the beautiful changes of style in the third

part of the book of Proverbs. Prov. xxvi. 11..

# Ibid. p. 305.

• Translation of the Book of Proverbs, pp. xvii.-xxv. 366, 367. a Roberts's Clavis Bibliorum, p. 609.

10 Ibid. p. 372. • Dissertation on the Book of Proverbs, in Professor Gregory's Memoirs 11 Some critics have conjectured that Lemuel is another name for Soloof Dr. Good, p. 292.

mon; but this hypothesis is satisfactorily refuted by Mr. Holden, in his Dissertation

on the Book of Proverbs, in Professor Gregory's Me. Attempt towards an Improved Translation of the Book of Proverbs, "Premoirs of Dr. Good, p. 294.

liminary Dissertation," pp. xviii.-XX%.


Prov. iii. 7.

cited in Rom. iii. 10. 15.

Rom. xii. 16.
Heb. xii. 5, 6. Rev. iii. 19.
James iv. 6.

Prov, iii. 31..

Prov. xi. 31. -
Prov. xvii. 13.

1 Pet. iv. 18.

Prov. xx. 9.

Prov. xx. 22.
Prov. xxv. 21.

1 John i. 8.
Matt. xv. 4. Mark vii. 10.
Rom. xii. 17.
Rom. xii. 20.
2 Pet. ii. 22.

But a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.

Prov. x. 1.


closely."! In the exquisite description of a virtuous woman, | against themselves to be inserted in the sacred canon; and in xxxi. 10—31., the initial letters of the verses follow the order with regard to the foreign expressions alleged by Grotius of the Hebrew alphabet.

(supposing all of them to be really foreign expressions, IV. The Proverbs of Solomon hold a conspicuous rank whích, however, is not the case), their appearance may be among the metrical books of the Old Testament. Not only accounted for by the circumstance of Solomon's having inare they admirably adapted to convey instruction by the dulged in sinful intercourse with strange women” (1 Kings treasures of practical wisdom which they open to us, but xi. 1, 2.), whose language he probably acquired. they also afford us a noble specimen of the didactic poetry phenomena in the natural world, and their causes, of the

The beautiful descriptions which this book contains of the derstand by means of the antithetic parallels with which they circulation of the blood (as the late Bishop Horsley thought), abound.2 Much, indeed, of the elegance, acuteness, and and of the economy of the human frame, all show it to be force, which are discernible in Solomon's wise sayings, is the work of a philosopher. It is generally supposed to have derived from the antithetic form, the opposition of diction been written by Solomon in his old age, after he had repented and sentiment. Hence a careful attention to the parallelism of his sinful practices, and when, having seen and observed of members (which topic has already been largely discussed much, as well as having enjoyed every thing that he could in the first volume of this work) will contribute to remove

wish, he was fully convinced of the vanity of every thing that obscurity in which some of the proverbs appear to be except piety towards God. The Rabbinical writers inform us, involved. Sometimes, also, one member or part of a pro- and their account is corroborated by Jerome, that the Jews, verb must be supplied from the other; or, as Glassius has who, after the captivity, collected the Inspired Writings into expressed it in other words, sometimes one thing is expressed the canon, at first refused to admit this book into the sacred in one member, and another in the other, and yet both are to which, from inattention to the author's scope and design,

code, in consequence of some heresies and contradictions, be understood in both members. Thus, in Prov. X. 14. we read,

they imagined to exist in it. But, after considering the exWise men lay up knowledge:

pressions it contains towards the close, relative to the fear But the inouih of the foolish is near destruction,

of God and the observation of his laws, they concluded to The meaning of which is, that wise men communicate, for ever since. There can, indeed, be no doubt of its title to

receive it; and its canonical authority has been recognised the benefit of others, the wisdom they have acquired and admission : Solomon was eminently distinguished by the preserved; while fools, being destitute of that knowledge, illumination of the divine Spirit, and had even twice witsoon exhaust their scanty stock, and utter not merely useless nessed the divine presence. (1 Kings iii. 5. ix. 2. xi. 9.) but even injurious things. Again,

The tendency of the book is excellent when rightly under A wise son maketh a glad father :

stood; and Solomon speaks in it with great clearness of the revealed truths of a future life and of a future judgment.?

Bishop Lowth has classed this book among the didactic Both the father and mother are to be understood in the two poetry of the Hebrews: but Mr. Des Voeuxs considers it as members of this passage, although in the first the father only

a philosophical discourse written in a rhetorical style, and is noticed, and in the second the mother only is mentioned. interspersed with verses, which are introduced as occasion Lastly, many things which are spoken generally, are to be served; whence it obtained a place among the poetical books. restrained to particular individuals and circumstances: as,

To this opinion Bishop Lowth subsequently declared his however, this rule has already been illustrated at length, it will not be necessary to multiply additional examples. The

II. The Scope of this book is explicitly announced in ch. author, with much pleasure, refers his readers to the Rev. i. 2. and xiii. 13., viz. to demonstrate the vanity of all earthly Mr. Holden's “Attempt towards an Improved Translation of objects, and to draw off men from the pursuit of them, as an the Proverbs of Solomon," with Notes, as the best critical apparent good, to the fear of God, and communion with him, help to an exact understanding of this fine compendium of as to the highest and only permanent good in this life, and

to show that men must seek for happiness beyond the grave. ethies that is extant in the English language.

We may therefore consider it as an inquiry into that most important and disputed question,-What is the Sovereign Good of man,—that which is ultimately good, and which in

all its bearings and relations is conducive to the best inteSECTION IV.

rests of man? What is that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life?

(ii. 3.). “ This is the object of the preacher's inquiry; and, I. Title, author, and canonical authority.-II. Scope and

after discussing various erroneous opinions, he finally detersynopsi8.—III. Observations.

mines that it consists in True Wisdom. The scope of the

whole argument, therefore, is the praise and recommendation 1. The title of this book in our Bibles is derived from the of WISDOM, as the supreme good to creatures responsible for Septuagint version, EKKAHEIAXTHE signifying a preacher, their actions. In this wisdom is not included a single paror one who harangues a public congregation. In Hebrew ticle of that which is worldly and carnal, so frequently posit is termed, from the initial word nsap (KOHLETH), “the sessed by men addicted to vice, the minions of avarice, and Preacher;" by whom may be intended, either the person the slaves of their passions; but that which is from above, assembling the people, or he who addresses them when that which is holy, spiritual, and undefiled, and which, in convened. Although this book does not bear the name of the writings of Solomon, is but another word for Religion. Solomon, it is evident from several passages that he was the Guided by this clue, we can easily traverse the intricate author of it. Compare ch. i. 12. 16. ii. 4—9. and xii. 9, 10. The celebrated Rabbi Kimchi, however, ascribes it to the s of the four words which Grotius asserts to be foreign, viz. 7'D (SIR) a prophet Isaiah; and the Talmudical writers to Hezekiah. thorn, Eccl. vii. 6. AJOIN (ABJONAH) desire, xii. 5., WWD (pasuar) to inter. Grotius, from some foreign expressions which he thinks are pret, viji. 1., and 3D11 (GUMATZ) a pit, x. 8.,--two only can at all be con. discoverable in it, conceives that it was composed by order sidered as belonging to his argument for the first occurs in Exod. xvi. 3. of Zerubbabel for his son Abihud; Jahn, after some later and 2 Kings iv. 39. (Hleb.), and the second may be derived from the He. German critics, for the same reason,

thinks it was written brew root 73N (ABAII) to wish: and although the last two are at present after the Babylonish captivity; and Zirkel imagines that it thai they are not Hebrew, for how many other words are there in the He. was composed about the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, from brew language, the roots of which are now only to be found in the kindred some traces of the notions of the Pharisees and Sadducees Arabic or Chaldee dialect ? And if they shall be deemed genuine Hebrew which he conceives he has discovered in this book, and not equally be true and proper Hebrew. It is indeed wonderful, as Wit:

words, there surely is no reason why the last two words above cited should against which he supposes it to be directed. But it is not sius has long ago remarked, to observe of what iritling pretexts learned likely that those Jewish sects would permit a work levelled men sometimes avail themselves, in order to support paradoxes. (Witsii

, Miscellanea Sacra, lib. i. p. 227. Alber, Interpretatio Scripturæ, tom. viii.

p. 189.) But the philological speculations of Grotius are surpassed by · Dr. Gooil's Dissertation on the Book of Proverbs, in Dr. Gregory's those of the late Professor Eichhorn, which are satisfactorily refuted by Memoirs of his Life, p 305.


Mr. Holden in his translation of Ecclesiastes, Prel. Diss. p. xiii. - Oathe Nature of the Scripture Proverbs, see Vol. I. Part II. Book II. & Bp. Horsley's Sermons, vol. iii. pp. 189, 190. Chap. I. Sect. VI.

this hypothesis, Ecclesiastes, pp. 173, 174. 3 See Vol. I. Part II. Book II. Chap. VI. Sect. I.

* Carpzov, Introd. ad Libros Vet. Test. part ii. p. 222. Bp. Gray's Key, • The opinion of these and of other writers are satisfactorily refuted by p. 292. the Rev. Mi. Holden, in his “ Attempt to Illustrate the Book of Ecclesias. * In his “Philosophical and Critical Essay on the Book of Ecclesiastes,' tes." (ôvo. London, 1822.) Preliminary Discourse, pp. V.--xxviii.

4to. London, 1760.

Mr. Holden has refuted

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