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sense of the original Hebrew; but they explain the more difficult words by such as seemed to be plainer or more intelligible.
The third class consists of those, in which there is a substitution of plain modes of expression, in the room of those, which seemed difficult or obscure in the Hebrew text. The fourth, of those in which the Samaritan copy is corrected from parallel passages, or apparent defects are supplied from them. The fifth is made up of additions or repetitions respecting things said and done ; which are drawn from the preceding context, and again recorded so as to make the readings in question. The sixth, of such corrections as were made to remove what was offensive in respect to sentiment, that is, which conveyed views, or narrated facts, that were deemed improbable by the correctors. For ple, we refer to the famous genealogies in Genesis v. and xi. in which the Samaritan copy has made many alterations, evidently designed. In the antediluvian genealogy, the corrections are so made that no one is exhibited as having begotten his first son, after he is one hundred and fifty years old. Thus the Hebrew text represents Jared as having begotten a son at the age
of hundred and sixtytwo years; but the Samaritan takes one hundred years from this. In the postdiluvian genealogy, it follows a different principle of correction. No one is allowed to have begotten a son, until after he was fifty years of age; so that one hundred years are added to all those who are represented by the Hebrew text as having had issue under that age, with the exception of Nahor, to whom fifty years are added. The effects of design are most visible in all these corrections; and equally so in the corresponding Septuagint genealogies, we may add, which, while they differ from both the Hebrew and Samaritan, bear the marks of designed alteration most evidently impressed upon them. Other examples of a like nature may be found in the Samaritan copy, in Exodus xii. 40. Genesis ii. 2. Genesis xxix. 3, 8. Exodus xxiv. 10, 11.
The seventh class of various readings consists of thoše, in which the pure Hebrew idiom is exchanged for that of the Samaritan. This has respect to many cases of orthography; to the forms of pronouns; to some of the forms of verbs, for example, the second person feminine of the præter tense, which in the Samaritan has a Yodh paragogic; and to the forms of nouns etymologically considered.
The eighth class consists of those passages, where alterations leave been made so as to produce conformity to the Samaritan
.(אדיר אפס) Samaritan has altered it to lovely as their anger
theology, worship, or mode of interpretation. For example, where the Hebrew has used a plural verb with the noun On5 Elohim, the Samaritan has substituted a verb in the singular number (Genesis xx. 13. xxxi. 53. xxxv. 7. Exodus xxii. 9.) lest the unity of God should seem to be infringed upon. So in many passages, where anthropomorphism or anthropopathy is resorted to by the sacred writer, in relation to God, the Samaritan has substituted different expressions. In Genesis xlix. 7, where Jacob, when about to die, says of Simeon and Levi, Cursed be their anger (DIN 797x), the
is (). In the blessing of Moses, Deuteronomy xxxiii. 12, Benjamin is styled 1717. 7'7! beloved of Jehovah, which the Samaritan has altered to 177' 7' 7' the hand, the hand of Jehovah shall dwell &c. In a similar manner, euphemisms are substituted, in various parts of the Pentateuch, for expressions which appeared to the Samaritan critics unseemly or immodest. Finally, in the famous passage in Deuteronomy xxvii
. 4, the Samaritan has changed Ebal into Gerizim, in order to give sanction to the temple which they built, not long after the time of Nehemiah, upon the latter mountain. Kennicott hias warmly contested the Hebrew reading here, and defended the Samaritan; but the question was settled against his opinion by Verschuir, in his Dissertt. Exeget. Philologica, published in 1773, to the universal satisfaction, we believe, of all biblical critics.
Some of the classes of various readings here described are hardly intelligible, perhaps, to the cursory and general reader; nor will the difference between some of them, (for example, between the second and third class,) be plain to any reader, who does not consult the work of Gesenius, and compare the examples proposed. Under all the classes of various readings, he has produced a multitude of examples, almost to satiety, so as to remove all rational doubt as to the positions which he advances. Never before did the Samaritan Pentateuch undergo such a thorough critical examination; and never, perhaps, in a case that was difficult and had been long contested, was truth made more evident and convincing. Only four various readings in the whole Samaritan Pentateuch, are considered by Gesenius as preferable perhaps to the Hebrew text. These are the wel! known passages in Genesis iv. 6. xxii. 13. xlix. 14. and xiv. 14; all of little importance, and all, we are well persuaded, of
such a nature, that the probability is quite in favour of the Hebrew text. But this is not the proper place for a discussion of such a subject, and we forbear to pursue
it. The result of Gesenius' labors has been, so far as we know, to ruin the credit of the Samaritan Pentateuch, as an authentic source of correcting the Hebrew records ; a result of no small importance, considering the thousands of places in which it differs from the Hebrew, and the excessive value which has been set upon it by critics of great note, in different parts of Europe. The biblical student will henceforth know how little dependence he can place on the Samaritan Codex, to help him out in any difficulties of lower criticism; and he will sincerely rejoice too, that the superior purity of the Jewish Pentateuch over that of rival records differing so often from it, is so solidly established.
Of the sixtyfour quarto pages, which the dissertation of Gesenius occupies, about forty are employed in exhibiting the classes of various readings which have been described. This is the most important and most satisfactory part of the work. About the merits of this, there can hardly be but one opinion, among all who are conversant with sacred criticism. According to the arrangement of the author, this constitutes the second part of his dissertation.
In the first part, he has discussed the difficult questions, which respect the origin and antiquity of the Samaritan Pentateuch. Here, also, we discover everywhere the hand of a master in criticism; but we are not prepared, by any means, to accede to all the positions which he has taken. To examine them, however, and to state our reasons for dissent, is by far the most difficult part of the task, which we have undertaken. But as the subject is intimately connected with some of the most interesting topics, which have lately been agitated in the critical world, we hope that at least one class of our readers will not be displeased to have it laid before them.
It is the opinion of Gesenius, that the Pentateuch did not receive its present form, that is, it was not regularly digested and arranged, until the time of the Babylonish captivity. Of course, the Samaritan Pentateuch must have originated still later. He regards that time as the most probable, from which to date the origin of the Samaritan Codex, when Manasseh, the son in law of Sanballat the Samaritan governor, and brother of the high priest at Jerusalem, went over to the Samaritans, built a temple on mount Gerizim, by the aid of his father in law, and instituted the Mosaic worship there. Many of the peculiar readings of the Samaritan Codex, he thinks, can be accounted for by such a supposition; and at all events, we must suppose that Manasseh carried a copy of the Jewish law along with him.
It must be quite apparent, indeed, that if the Jewish Pentateuch did not receive its present form until the Babylonish exile, the Samaritan Codex must have originated still later; and no time of its origin is more probable, on this ground, than that which Gesenius has assigned to it. But that the Jewish Pentateuch had a much earlier date than is here assigned to it, is what we fully believe. To state all the reasons of this, and to examine all the objections made against this opinion by recent critics, would require a volume, instead of the scanty limits of a review. We shall merely advert therefore, in the first place, to some of the leading reasons why we believe that the Hebrew Pentateuch, with the exception of a very few isolated passages, came from the hand of Moses; next, examine briefly the reasons which are alleged against this; and then endeavor to show why a more ancient date is to be assigned to the Samaritan Pentateuch, than Gesenius gives it.
That the Pentateuch, as to all its essential parts, came from the hand of Moses, appears to be probable from the following considerations.
1. The Pentateuch itself exhibits direct internal evidence, that it was written by Moses.
Thus, in Exodus xvii. 14, after an account of the contest between Israel and Amalek, it is added, And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in the book, (92D with the article, not 790?), that is, as the meaning seems obviously to be, in the book already begun and in which other things were recorded, in the well known book. So in Exodus xxiv. 4, 7, after the law had been given at Mount Sinai, it is said, that Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and then, that he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people. Afterwards, when many more laws had been added, the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words, Exodus xxxiv. 27. If it be said, All this has respect only to laws or statutes; the answer is easy. In Numbers xxxiii. 1, 2, it is said, that Moses wrote the goings out [of the children of Israel] according to their journeys, by the commandment of the Lord. This, it will be recollected, was at the close of their wanderings through the desert, after they had come to the plains of Moab, and were consequently on the very borders of the promised land. The close of the book of Numbers declares, that these are the commandments and the judgments which the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses. To what can these refer, but to the written contents of the preeeding book? Finally, in Deuteronomy, which exhibits a repetition of the most important laws for the Jewish nation, this law, the words of this law, and the book of this law, are frequently adverted to. So in Deuteronomy xvii
. 18, the future king of the Israelites is enjoined to write out for himself a copy of this law, that he may learn to keep all the words of this law (v. 19); in chapter xxx. 10, mention is made of the statutes written in this book of the law ; in xxxi. 11, Moses commands that this law shall be read before all Israel in their hearing, that (v. 12) they may observe to do all the words of this law. Particularly worthy of note are the two following passages; Deuteronomy xxviii. 61, where every plague not written in this book is threatened, in case the Israelites are disobedient; and Deuteronomy xxxi. 9-13, 19, 22, compared with xxxi. 24–26, from which it appears not only that Moses wrote some things in the preceding book, but that he wrote until the whole was completed or finished, and then deposited the book in the side of the ark of the covenant.
It were easy to add other testimony of the like nature, from the Pentateuch itself ; but it is superfluous. The fact, that the Pentateuch itself, as a whole, claims to be written by Moses, cannot reasonably be doubted, until it can be shown that it existed, in former days, in numerous distinct volumes, so that a passage in one, which has a reference to its composition by Moses, can be reasonably supposed to relate to nothing farther than the single parcel or small roll, in which such passage is found. But this has never been shown, and never can be. All the evidence before us is of a different nature, inasmuch as it all goes to establish the belief, that the Pentateuch, from time immemorial, has been regarded only as one volume.
2. The remaining books of Scripture ascribe the Pentateuch or Jewish law to Moses as its author.
The book of Joshua, although reduced to its present form in later times, was undoubtedly composed, in respect to its essential parts, at a very early period. In this book, frequent references may be found to the book of the law. For example, Joshua is