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they are encouraged to go on with the building (9—17.), and 2. It is urged, that many things are mentioned in these are permitted to discontinue the observance of the fasts which chapters, which by no means correspond with Zechariah's they had kept during the captivity. (18—23.)
time; as, when events are foretold, which had actually taken Discourse 2. contains predictions of the conquest of Syria, place before that time. But it may be questioned, whether
Phænicia, and Palestine, by Alexander the Great (ix. 1—7.), those subjects of prophecy have been rightly understood; and of the watchful providence of God over his temple in those and whether that, which has been construed as having retroublesome times. (8.) Whence he takes occasion to de- ference to past transactions, may not in reality terminate in scribe, as in a parenthesis
, the advent of Christ (9, 10. with others of a later period, and some perhaps which are yet to Matt. xxi. 5. and John xii. 15.); and then returning to his come. former subject, he announces the conquest of the Jews, particu
3. Another argument is drawn from ch. xi., which conlarly of the Maccabecs, over the princes of the Grecian mo- tains a prophecy of the destruction of the temple and people narchy. (11—17.) Prosperity is further promised to the Jews of the Jews ;-a prophecy," which (it has been said) is not (x. 1—3.), and their victories over their enemies are again agreeable to the scope of Zechariah's commission, who, toforetold. (4—12.) It is probable that this prophetic discourse gether with his colleague Haggai, was sent to encourage the remains to be fully accomplished in the general and final re- and to restore their commonwealth." This, it is granted,
people, lately returned from captivity, to build their temple, storation of the Jews. Discourse 3. predicts the rejection of the Jews for their rejec
was the general scope of Zechariah's commission in the first tion of Messiah, and valuing him and his labours at the eight chapters; nor would it have been a fit time to foretell base price of thirty pieces of silver. (xi.) This prediction was
the destruction of both the temple and commonwealth, while literally fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. (Compare Matt. first chapters and that of the succeeding ones, many circum
they were but yet building. But, between the date of these xxvi. 14, 15. and xxvii. 3—10. with Zech. xi. 11-13.) The stances might have occurred, and certainly did occur, to give Jews themselves have expounded this prophecy of the Mes- rise to a commission of a very different complexion from the
siah. Discourse 4. comprises a series of prophecies, relating princi: and fourth years of the reign of Darius; to the latter, no
foregoing; The former are expressly dated in the second pally to the latter times of the Gospel. The former part of it date at all is annexed. Darius is supposed to have reigned (xii
. 1—9.) announces the preservation of Jerusalem against thirty-six years; and the Jews have a tradition that the three an invasion in the last ages of the world, which most commentators think is that of Gog and Magog, more largely de- the last year of that king's reign. Adinitting, then, Zecha
prophets, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, did not die before scribed in the thirty-eighth and thirty-ninth chapters of Ezekiel. riah to have prophesied again towards the close of his life, The grief of the Jews, for their fathers having crucified the he may well be supposed to have published without any inMessiah, on their conversion, is then foretold (10--14.), as congruity, after such an interval, what would not altogether also the crucifixion itself, and the general conversion of the have accorded with the period and purport of his first comJews. (xiii.) The destruction of their enemies, predicted at mission. And as there is good reason to believe that this the beginning of this prophetic sermon, is again foretold was the case; so upon this ground we may also not improba(xiv. 1-15.); and the prophecy concludes with announcing bly conclude him to have been that very Zechariah of whom the final conversion of all nations to the Gospel, and the pros- our Saviour spake (Matt. xxiii. 35.) as slain between the perity of the church. (16—21.)
temple and the altar. For he was, according to our Saviour's III. Zechariah is the longest of the twelve minor prophets. description, the son of Barachias, and comes in—where, His style, like that of Haggai, is for the most part prosaic, from what is said of him he might naturally be expected though more obscure towards the beginning on account of at the close of that series of prophets (for ihere were none his types and visions. But the difficulties arising from his after him until the coming of Christ) who were put to death alleged obscurity may be accounted for by the fact, " that in the faithful discharge of their duty. That he was become some of his predictions relate to matters which are still in- obnoxious to his countrymen, may be collected from ch. xi. 8. volved in the womb of futurity: no wonder, then, that these And, if the records of the Old Testament are silent concern. fall not within the reach of our perfect comprehension. Others ing his death, let it be remembered that it was a very small there are, which we have good reason to believe have al- part of them, if any, that was written after that event. ready been fulfilled, but do not appear with such a degree of
4. Lastly, upon the same supposition, the allowed difevidence, as they probably would have done, if we had been ference of style and manner may be accounted for, not only better informed concerning the time and facts to which they as arising from the diversity of the subject, but from the difrelate. With respect to the emblems and types that are ex- ferent age of the author; who may well be credited to have hibited, they are most of them of easy and determinate ap
written with more dignity in his advanced years, than when plication. And in favour of the importance of his subject he was but a youth, as he is said to be in ch. ii. 4. matter, it must be acknowledged that, next to Isaiah, Zecha- Upon the whole this conclusion may be drawn; that, riah is the most evangelical of all the prophets, having more setting aside the doubtful authority of St. Matthew's text, frequent and more clear and direct allusions to the character there is nothing else to be found sufficient to invalidate the and coming of the Messiah, and his kingdom, than any of title of Zechariah to the chapters in question ; and, conse the rest. Nor in his language and composition do we find quently, that it was not written by Jeremiah, as Mede, Dr any particular bias to obscurity, except that the quickness Hammond, and others have supposed, nor before the time of and suddenness of the transitions are sometimes apt to con- that prophet, as Archbishop Newcome conjectured, whose found the boundaries of discourse, so as to leave the less opinion was adopted by Archbishop Secker, and also by attentive reader at a loss to whom the several parts of it are
Doederlein. to be ascribed. But upon the whole we shall find the diction remarkably pure, the construction natural and perspicuous, and the style judiciously varied according to the nature of
$ 3. ON THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET MALACHI. the subject; simple and plain in the narrative and historical I. Author and date.-II. Occasion and scope of his prophecy. parts; but in those that are wholly prophetical, the latter
-III. Analysis of its content8.-IV. Style. chapters in particular, rising to a degree of elevation and
BEFORE CHRIST, 436_-420. grandeur scarcely inferior to the sublimest of the inspired writings."
I. CONCERNING Malachi, the last of the minor prophets IV. The diversity of style observable in the writings of (which name signifies my angel or my messenger), so little this prophet has induced many modern critics to conclude is known, that it has been doubted whether his name be a that the last six chapters could not have been written by proper name, or only a generic name, signifying the angel Zechariah : but their objections, however formidable in ap- of Haggai (1. 13.) with Malachi (ii. 1;), it appears, that in pearance, admit of an easy and satisfactory solution. 1. It is alleged that the evangelist Matthew (xxvii. 9.)
those times the appellation of Malach-Jehovah, or the messen. cites a passage now found in Zech. xi. 13. as spoken, not by ger of the Lord, was given to the prophets. The Septuagint Zechariah, but by Jeremiah. But it is more probable (as we translators have rendered Malachi his angel instead of my have already shown in the first volume of this work), that
2 Dr. Blayney's Translation of Zechariah, pp. 35-37. The genuineness the name of Jeremiah has slipped into the text through some of the latter part of the prophecy or Zechariob is satisfactorily proved, by mistake of the transcribers.
a minute examination of its language, style, poctical structure, argument, and scope, by Dr. F. B. Koester, in his Meleteinata Critica in Zecharia
Prophete Partei posteriorem, cap. ix.--xiv. pro tuenda ejus authentià. • Dr Blayaey's Translation of Zechariah, Prel. Disc. pp. xv. xvi.
Svo. Gottinge, 1819.
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.
mode of speaking among the prophets. Compare Isa. xiii. Hales, as sufficiently agreeing with the description of Jose
9, 10.3 phus and the varying dates of chronologers.?
II. The Jews, having rebuilt the temple and re-established IV. Although 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 the priests and people, more particularly after Nehemiah's I debility of age.
ON THE APOCRYPHA.“
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. 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. · Jahn's Introduction, p. 435.
II. In what language the second BOOK OF Esdras was ori. Archbishop Newcome's Minor Prophets, p. xliii. Kennicott, Disser. ginally written, it seems impossible at this distant period to Latio Generalis, $ 14. p. 6. Dr. Hales's Analysis of Chronology, vol. ii. determine with certainty, Morinus conjectures that it was
Hebrew, or perhaps Chaldee, from which it was translated • Por 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 val. i. Appendix, Vo. I. Section I pp. 435, 436.
• Exercitationes Biblicæ, lib. ii. p. 225. VOL. II.
3 W. Lowth and Reeves on Malachi.
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, who is 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, countrymen. Pbilo 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 Maccabees, 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 (xiji. 40 hope that God would send them a deliverer. According to -15.), and that Ezra restored the whole body of the Serip- 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. Bul 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 Theodoan 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. seems to deserve no inconsiderable attention. This book V. - THE REST OF
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 Italie 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, Moldenhawer is 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 embellishments mentators and critics think it was written about one hundred From the coincidence between some of these apocryphal ani 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 Cleonian 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 re
3 Mr. Hewlett, in his Preface to the book of Judith. spect by the early fathers of the Christian church : the sim
• 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. Molde hawer, Introd, ad Vet. Test. pp. 155-15s. Dr. Prideaux's
Connection, vol. i. pp. 36-40. Jahn, Introd. ad Vet. Fod. pp. 551-561. 1 Primi Ezræ Libri Versio Æthiopica. General Remarks, pp. 280– • From the snbscription to the book of Esther in LXX., it seeins to have
been translated B. c. 163.; at which time it is probable the apocryphal parts * Ibid. pp. 309, 310. 320.
were first interpolated.
the Hebrew canon, nor is the style like that of Solomon. I 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,s 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, CTED Lyn@eperv (iv. 2,), to wear as the sentences ascribed to Solomon, with the result of his a crown, such as was given to victors,—TEMTE HY (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,-70 (iv. 2. x. 12.), the stadium or was written in Hebrew, or rather the Syro-Chaldaic dialect place appointed for the race,—2:$ac (iv. 2.), the reward ap- then in use in Judæa, and was translated by his grandson into propriated to the successful candidate,--and by-26 sve!Y (¥. 12.), Greek, about the year 130 B.-C.,6 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 Platonic 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.”6 From the great cause the author of the book of Wisdom was confessedly a similarity between this book and the proverbs of Solomon, in dew, 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. i. 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.-.) 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 ń Inocu Lopie, the wisPentateuch, and the precept (xvi. 28.), to worship God before dom of Jesus, Ilævsperes Sople, wisdom, the treasure of all the the rising of the sun, have induced some critics to think that virtues, or nogos, 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 ii 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 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 or 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
& Christian Remembrancer, May, 1827, p. 262. 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, · Præf. in Prov. Sal. Drusius de Henocho, c. 11.
* Bishop Lowth's Lectures, vol. ii. p. 177. * Bishop Lowth's Lectures, vol. ii. p. 179.
• Christian Remembrancer, vol. ix. p. 263.
Addison has recorded his
originally written, it is now impossible to ascertain. It is 18, 19. there is mention of a prayer by the king, which is equally uncertain by whom this book was written, and said to be written in the Book of the Kings of Israel," and whether it contains any matters historically true, or whether also, “among the sayings of the seers.". But it is evident the whole is a fiction. Grotius is of opinion that it is an that this composition, which abounds with deeply pious and entire fiction, and that it was composed by some Hellenistic penitent expressions, cannot be the prayer there alluded to: Jew under the name of Baruch. In the Vulgate version it is for it never was extant in Hebrew, nor can it be traced to a placed after the Lamentations of Jeremiah; but it was never higher source than the Vulgate Latin version. As it is menconsidered as a canonical book by the Jews, though, in the tioned by no writer more ancient than the pseudo-Clement, earliest ages of Christianity, it was cited and read as a pro- in the pretended apostolical constitutions, which were comduction entitled to credit. The principal subject of the book piled in the fourth century, it is probable that this prayer is an epistle, pretended to be sent by Jehoiakim and the cap was composed by some unknown person, who thought he tive Jews in Babylon, to their brethren in Judah and Jeru- could supply the loss of the original prayer. salem. The last chapter contains an epistle which falsely XIII. The two books of MACCABEES are thus denominated, bears the name of Jeremiah; there are two versions of this because they relate the patriotic and gallant exploits of Judas book extant, one in Syriac, and one in Arabic; the Latin Maccabæus and his brethren: they are both admitted into translation in the Vulgate is prior to the time of Jerome. the canon of Scripture by the church of Rome.
IX. “The Song of the Three Children” is placed in 1. The FIRST BOOK contains the history of the Jews, from the Greek versions of Daniel (both the Septuagint and Theo- the beginning of the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes to the dotion's), and also in the Vulgate Latin version, between the death of Simon, a period of about thirty-four years. Its twenty-third and twenty-fourth verses of the third chapter, original language has been greatly controverted. Jerome It does not appear to have ever been extant in Hebrew, and expressly, says that he had seen the original in Hebrew. although it has always been admired for the piety of its But this is supposed to have been lost. The title which it sentiments, it was never admitted to be canonical, until it then bore, was Sharbit Sar Bene El, which has been variwas recognised by the council of Trent. The fifteenth verse ously translated, The Scourge of the Rebels against the Lord, contains a direct falsehood; for it asserts that there was no and The Sceptre of the Prince of the Sons of God: a title prophet at that time, when it is well known that Daniel and which is not unsuitable to the character of Judas, who was Ezekiel both exercised the prophetic ministry in Babylon. a valiant commander of the persecuted Israelites. The This apocryphal fragment is therefore most probably the author of this book is not certainly known; some conjecture production of some Hellenistic Jew. The hymn (verses 29. that it was written by John Hyrcanus, the son of Simon, et seq.) resembles the hundred and forty-eighth Psalm. It who was prince and high-priest of the Jews for nearly thirty was introduced into the public formularies of the Christian years, and who commenced his government at the time when church very early, and was so approved of by the compilers this history ends; by others it is ascribed to one of the Macof our liturgy, that, in the first Common Prayer Book of cabees, and many are of opinion that it was compiled by the King Edward VI. it was retained and was used instead of Great Synagogue. It is, however, not improbable, that it the Te Deum during Lent, though it is now seldom read, was composed in the time of John Hyrcanus, when the wars except perhaps when the third chapter of the book of Daniel of the Maccabees were terminated, either by Hyrcanus himis the first lesson. It is on record, that this hymn was used self, or by some persons employed by him. From the Syroso early as the third century in the Liturgies of the Chris-Chaldaic (or Hebrew) it was translated into Greek, and tian church.
thence into Latin. Our English version is made from the X. The HISTORY OF SUSANNA has always been treated with Greek. The first book of Maccabees is a most valuable some respect, but has never been considered as canonical, historical monument, written with great accuracy and fidelity, though the council of Trent admitted it into the number of on which more reliance may be placed than on the writings sacred books. It is evidently the work of some Hellenistic of Josephus, who has borrowed his materials from it, and Jew, and in the Vulgate version it forms the thirteenth has frequently mistaken its meaning.6 chapter of the book of Daniel, being avowedly, translated 2. The SECOND BOOK OF MACCABEES consists of several from Theodotion's Greek version, in which it is placed at the pieces compiled by an unknown author. It commences with beginning of that book. The Septuagint version of Daniel iwo epistles sent from the Jews of Jerusalem to those of (which was excluded for Theodotion's, in or soon after the Alexandria and Egypt, exhorting them to observe the feast second century) does not contain it, as appears by the Chigi of the dedication of the new altar, erected by Judas MaccaMS., published at Rome in 1772. Lamy and some other bæus on his purifying the temple. These epistles, which modern critics, after Julius Africanus, consider it to be both are confessedly spurious, are followed by the author's preface spurious and fabulous.
to his history, which is an abridgment of a larger work, XI. " The History of the Destruction of BEL AND THE compiled by one Jason, an Hellenistic Jew of Cyrene; who DRAGON” was always rejected by the Jewish church: it is wrote in Greek the history of Judas Maccabæus and his not extant either in the Hebrew or the Chaldee language. brethren, and an account of the wars against Antiochus Jerome gives it no better title than that of the fable of Bel Epiphanes, and his son Eupator, in five books. The entire and the Dragon; nor has it obtained more credit with pos- work of Jason has long since perished, and Dr. Prideaux is terity, except with the divines of the council of Trent, who of opinion that the author of this second book of Maccabees determined it to be a part of the canonical Scriptures. The was an Hellenistic Jew of Alexandria, because he makes a design of this fiction is to render idolatry ridiculous, and to distinction between the temple in Egypt and that at Jerusaexalt the true God; but the author has destroyed the illusion lem, calling the latter “ the great temple." This book is by of his fiction by transporting to Babylon the worship of no means equal in accuracy to the first, which it contradicts animals, which was never practised in that country. This in some instances; it is not arranged in chronological order, book forms the fourteenth chapter of Daniel in the Latin and sometimes also it is at variance with the inspired writVulgate; in the Greek it was called the prophecy of Hab- ings. Compare 2 Macc. i. 18. with Ezra iii. 2, 3. and ii. bakuk, the son of Jesus, of the tribe of Levi; but this is 5–8. with Jer, iii. 16. The second book of Maccabees, evidently false, for that prophet lived before the time of therefore, must be read with great caution. It contains the Nebuchadnezzar, and the events pretended to have taken history of about fifteen years, from the execution of the place in this fable are assigned to the time of Cyrus. There commission of Heliodorus, who was sent by Seleucus to are two Greek texts of this fragment, that of the Septuagint, bring away the treasures of the temple, to the victory oband that found in Theodotion's Greek version of Daniel. tained by Judas Maccabæus over Nicanor, that is, from the The former is the most ancient, and has been translated into year of the world 3828 to 3843. Two ancient translations Syriac. The Latin and Arabic versions, together with another of this book are extant, one in Syriac, the other in Latin; Syriac translation, have been made from the texts of Theo- both are prior to the time of Jerome, and both miserably exdotion.
ecuted. The version in our Bibles was executed from the XII. “The Prayer Of Manasses, king of Judah, when Greek. he was holden captive in Babylon,” though not unworthy of the occasion on which it is pretended to have been com
3 Hieron. Prolog. Galeat, sive Præf. in Lib. Regum. posed, was never recognised as canonical. It is rejected as
• Dr. Kennicoli, however, in his “Dissertatio Generalis," cites two
manuscripts, one of which, No. 474., is preserved at Rome, “Libr. Maccab. spurious even by the church of Rome. In 2 Chron. xxxiii. Chaldaice," written early in the thirteenth century; a second, No. 613,
existing at Hainburgh, "Libr. Maccab. Hebraice, written in the year 1 Wheatley on the Common Prayer, chap. ill. sect. 12. Shepherd on the 1448. Dr. Cotton's Five Books of Maccabees, p. xxi. Common Prayer, p. 231. London, 1796, 8vo.
• Prideaux's Connection. vol. ii. pp. 185, 186. s Of this the reader may see a proof in the paranomasia, or play upon & Michaelis, Introd. to New Test. vol. i. p. 71. words, which has already been noticed in p. 282. of this volume.
+ Connection, vol. ii. pp. 186, 187.