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changed into a short one, a short into a long, and one long or short for another; how the vowels are varied, when the word increases, for the change of gender, and number, for regimen and the reception of affixes, on account of the different power of consonants, of accents, of Maccaph, Metheg, &c. &c. Under all these difficulties none but a well educated Jew, or one equally learned in the Hebrew, could give us an edition of the Bible with the Masoretic points and accents, without comparing every word of his proof (with its elements and multifarious marks) with the copy, from which it should be printed. This is doubtless not impossible, but who will promise to perform it? We state here only the most obvious difficulties, without going into the minutiae of Masoretic subtleties, from which these difficulties would be greatly increased. As a further confirmation of these remarks, we would submit the following extracts from the Monthly Review on the subject of Mr. Frey's edition of the Hebrew Bible.*"Few persons are qualified for the task, and fewer still would submit to the drudgery of presenting the public with a new edition of the Hebrew Bible, with all the Masoretic punctuation.-He informs us that he has availed himself [as did Van der Hooght] of the assistance of Hebrew compositors, most of whom knew the language from childhood; and that in correcting the press he has adopted the following method:-A Jewish boy reads to him every letter, point, and accent, from Solomon Proop's Bible, which is considered to be the most accurate ever published, and by these means several mistakes in Van der Hooght's edition have been corrected: and lastly the sheets are revised by a perfect Hebraist (a converted few), who has been engaged at great expense."-Now if these are honest and correct representations, is it expressing an unfavorable presumption of the knowledge of Dr. Mason and Professor Matthews in the Hebrew to say, that we have neither evidence nor belief that they possess that kind or degree of acquaintance with it, (or, as far as we understand, the leisure to compensate for the want of it, if this may be done), which would enable them to redeem the whole amount of their pledge to the public?

See also Repository, vol, i. pp. 459, 460, where this edition is noticed, Ar. Frey is himself a converted Jew.

3. With respect to the various readings, we have some objec tion to the plan, as stated in the proposals, and some exceptions to the censure, which is passed in them on Döderlein and Meisner. To omit all the various readings from the Hebrew MSS. which do not affect the sense in a theological view, is perhaps to omit them almost entirely. To omit all but those, which make some important alteration in the sense of considerable passages, is to omit all but very, very few. Indeed the principal real value of the various readings, from the Hebrew MSS. is the throwing occasional light on an obscure clause, or difficult expression. Of all the readings that could come under these heads, there are not enough to make it worth while to deform the margin with them, as the notices of them will undoubtedly be found in particular comments on the passages which they illustrate. But if, from the consideration that we want to have the scriptures correct, even in the smallest things, and a laudable curiosity of purifying them, even from harmless errors, we desire a collection of various readings from Hebrew manuscripts, then we see no good objection to that of Döderlein and Meisner, which has the advantage of an unblemished character, a twenty years' use, and, as we till lately thought, approbation. The proposals say, that their reputation is unmerited, and their selection inaccurate and indiscriminate. As the first of these allegations depends on the second, we can only say, that we have not found the selection to be inaccurate, beyond what is unavoidable in such difficult printing,* and that

* If we might, in speaking of the accuracy of Döderlein and Meisner, pass from the party accused to the party accusing, we would point out some errors in the prospectus. The prospectus says "To prevent uncertainty in our faith, and to furnish us with a permanent test of doctrine, God has been pleased to commit his revealed truth, in writing, to languages, which, having ceased to be spoken, are beyond the reach of vicissitude or corruption." The proposition implied here is not, we think, correct-at any rate, it has no application to the subject. Is it true that languages, which have ceased to be spoken,' are beyond the reach of corruption? May they not be corrupted by the loss of words, which were current while it was spoken, and by the loss of the proper meaning of words? Languages spoken are exposed to other corruptions, as the addition of words, their change, and the fluctuation of their meaning. All that can be said is, that languages spoken and not spoken are each exposed to corruptions, and neither to the corruptions

we know not how such an abstract, from the mass of Kennicott and De Rossi can be called indiscriminate. We have found

peculiar to the other. The living languages, like living men, have their diseases, the dead have their decay. But be it as it will, how does it ap ply to the Hebrew text? A book, whether in a language spoken or not, is as safe, in the one case as in the other, from vicissitude or corruption. The language as spoken may change and grow corrupt; but the book, the written language, is on record, it is permanent, and does not sympathise with the corruptions of the oral dialect. Our English Bible, written in a spoken language, is as safe from vicissitude or corruption, as the Hebrew Original. Words have become obsolete, but this is no corruption: when they are all obsolete, the language will have ceased to be spoken; but yet be very intelligible, by the usual aids. There is indeed a danger that a book may become obscure, by the loss of all others in the same tongue, which would explain it by comparison. But this is a danger peculiar to a dead language, and has actually happened, in some measure, to our Hebrew scriptures. Moreover one thing is most certain, that many-it would be safe perhaps to say most-of the corruptions of the Hebrew text have been introduced into it, since the language ceased to be spoken: that is, since the Babylonian captivity.

"Before the art of printing, the scriptures, like other books, could be multiplied only by manuscript copies. Whatever was the care and fidelity of transcribers, it would be fanaticism to imagine they never fell into mistake.”—The mistakes of transcribers (properly so called) are not the only source of various readings. Are they indeed the principal source of the most important various readings! We think not.

"The true text of the scriptures is to be found among the MSS. and to be collected from them." On the contrary, it is the standing regret of critics, that the collation of the Hebrew MSS. has done so little toward the restoration of the text. Is it not, in some places, irrecoverably lost; and is it not, in most important places, where it has been corrupted, to be restored principally at least partly-by means of the ancient versions? Marsh says “we still want an edition of the Hebrew Bible, in which the readings of the MSS. are united, as in the critical editions of the Greek Testament, with judicious extracts from ancient versions." Something too has been done by Kennicott and De Rossi, and more may be by others, in collating citations from the Old Testament into the Talmuds, Masora, and other Jewish books. [Vide Marsh's Lecture xi. and Michael. Orient. und Exeg. Biblioth. Th. xi. p. 91. et seq.]

If we were to descend to verbal criticism, which perhaps may be indulged on the performance of those, who propose to exercise it in thousands and thousands of instances, we would say, that 'exactitude' is a reading, unlicensed by the literary Masorite of Litchfield.

It may be thought of more importance however to point out SEVEN errors in the following brief notice in the prospectus:-"Kennicot collated

them, as far as our comparison has reached, to have abstracted the most valuable readings, nor do we think that the purposes

no less than 692 manuscripts of the Hebrew scriptures, in whole or in part, together with 16 of the Samaritan Pentateuch; and De Rossi no less than 589, making together the prodigious amount of 1297 MSS."

1. Kennicott had about 690 sources of various readings; not 692 MSS. of the Hebrew scriptures, as is stated. About 50 of them were printed copies; others were collections of various readings made before his time (as by the younger Buxtorf on the Hebrew, by Morinus on the Samaritan Pentateuch, &c.) the Talmuds, and a few other Jewish writings. We say about 690. Kennicott numbers 694. But we see that 264 and 396 are only different numbers for the same copy, which was, as Kennicott mentions, twice numbered through mistake; and perhaps there may be other errors of the same kind.

2. The copies of the Samaritan Pentateuch are not exclusive of the number 694, as would appear from the statement in the prospectus, but are included in it. All the sources of various readings in the Samaritan text, (of which Kennicott reckons 18,) being numbered somewhere between 61 and 670.

3. The part referred to, in the prospectus, of Kennicott's Dissertation, Diss. Gen. p. 112, and from which these erroneous statements are taken, is not a list, as the reference implies, simply of MSS. of the Hebrew scriptures, nor is it a list of all the sources of various readings which were collated; 94 are omitted because they were of little value and seldom cited.

4. That numbered 692 stands at the end of the list, the 693d and 694th

being among the omitted ones. Hence arises another error in the prospectus, as it is implied that 692 distinct sources of various readings are mentioned in this list, which in fact contains only 600: 94, as above mentioned, being omitted.

5. The number of manuscripts collated by De Rossi was not 589, as is stated, but 751: 589 is the number, which he had collated, when he published his first volume: 751 is given, as the sum of his labors, at the end of the fourth. Since this he has published a supplementary volume, which is noticed by Marsh and Eichhorn, but contains, we believe, only a collation of the Syriac Hexapla: we have not seen it.

6. The number therefore of collated MSS. is not, as stated, 1297; but, as given by De Rossi, 1346; of which he counts 16 Samaritan, 134 foreign MSS. not collated by Kennicott, 617 belonging to himself, and 579, the number which he reckons to Kennicott; taking from him 20 which Ken. nicott had partially consulted and has numbered among his own; but which De Rossi afterward more fully collated.

7. Finally, as Kennicott's printed copies are given in the prospectus as MSS. De Rossi's are omitted altogether. Those collated for his work amounted to 310; 10 of which had before been numbered by Kennicott.

The whole number of copies of the Jewish scriptures in whole or in

of a selection of various readings can be answered by a much smaller one than that of Döderlein and Meisner. A critic,* of competent powers to estimate their value, has in a passing notice of these selected readings found no fault with them, but that Professor Döderlein was less copious and liberal, than Professor Meisner. We are therefore of opinion, that if the readings be not entirely omitted, they would be best taken from Döderlein and Meisner, correcting of course their errors, and where, from want of discrimination, they have omitted any valuable reading, carefully taking it from Kennicott and De Rossi. It may appear worth while to collate the Pentateuch brought from India by Dr. Buchanan.

It may be considered a defect of Döderlein and Meisner, that they designate MSS. by the numbers of Kennicott and De Rossi, without giving us a description of those MSS. These numbers therefore are of no service to one, who does not possess or cannot consult the Bible of Kennicott and the collection of De Rossi. For instance, Leviticus ix. 21. we have run, in the text, but Döderlein and Meisner tell us, in the margin, that is read in the 109th, 529th, and perhaps in the 346th of Kennicott, and in the 789th, 174th, 543d, and 693d, by the first hand, of De Rossi; and that instead of either, we read w na mm, in the Samaritan, and in the MSS. of Kennicott numbered 84, 107, 129, 136, 150,152,181,206,218,248,342,368, 369, 437, 438, 439, 459, 464, 466, 482, 488, 517, 564, 567,581, 593, 597, 610, and also in the 436th, by the first hand. Of all this what is the profit, till we know more of these MSS. than their number on the list? Either the number of MSS. in favor of a reading ought to be simply stated (as in the present case mm 2 et f. 3 K. 3. et 1 p. De R. nwn п mm S. et 28. et 1 p. K.)

part, which have been collated, De Rossi states to be 1698:-viz. 1346 MSS. and 352 printed copies. [The authorities for the correction of these seven errors are the following:-Ken. T. i. pp. 107, 203, 266, 360, 443. T. ii. Diss. Gen. pp. 70, 109, 115. De Rossi, T. i. proleg. p. xxi.—ii. and iii. xciv, ➡vi. T. iv. Diss. Præl. p. viii. et Sum. Collat. Cod. Sub. fin. T. iv. Michaelis, Orient. und Exeg. Bib. Th. xi. p. 84. Bauer's Critic. Sacr. prior, p. 400-1. et Proleg. p. 22. Eichhorn, Allgemeine Bib. Band. ix. p. 493. ii. 562.]

• Eichhorn, Allgem. Bib. Band, viii. 972.
III. No. 2.


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