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attempt would be unnecessary, as it is hardly now pretended by any critic, that this is the acceptation of the term in the Old Testament. Who, for example, would render the words of the venerable patriarch Jacob“, when he was deceived by his sons into the opinion that his favourite child Joseph had been devoured by a wild beast, I will go down to hell to my son mourning? or the words which he used “5, when they expostulated with him, about sending his youngest son Benjamin into Egypt along with them; Ye will bring down my grey heirs with sorrow to hell? Yet in both places the word, in the original, is sheol, and in the version of the Seventy, hades. I shall only add, that in the famous passage from the Psalms “, quoted in the Acts of the Apostles“), of which I shall have occasion to take notice afterwards ; though the word is the same both in Hebrew and in Greek, as in the two former quotations, and though it is, in both places, rendered hell in the common version, it would be absurd to understand it as denoting the place of the damned, whether the expression be interpreted literally of David the type, or of Jesus Christ the antitype, agreeably to its principal and ultimate object.

$ 4. But it appears at present to be the prevailing opinion among critics, that the term, at least in the Old Testament, means no more than 72p keber,


44 Gen. xxxvii. 35.

46 Psal. xvi. 10.

45 xlii. 38. 47 Acts, ii, 27.

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grave or sepulchre. Of the truth of this opinion, after the most attentive, and I think impartial, examination, I am far from being convinced. At the same time I am not insensible of the weight which is given to that interpretation, by some great names in the learned world, particularly that of Father Si. mon, a man deeply versed in oriental literature, who has expressly said “, that sheol signifies in the He. brew of the Old Testament, sepulchre, and who has strenuously and repeatedly defended this sentiment, against Le Clerc and others who had attacked it "9. And since he seems even to challenge his opponents to produce examples, from the Old Testament, wherein the word sheol has the signification which they ascribe to it; I shall here briefly, with all the deference due to names so respectable as those which appear on the opposite side, lay before the reader the result of my inquiries upon the question.

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$5. I FREELY acknowledge that, by translating sheol the


the purport of the sentence is often expressed with sufficient clearness. The example last quoted from Genesis is an evidence. Ye will bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave, undoubtedly gives the meaning of the sentence in the original, notwithstanding that the English word

43 Hist. Crit. du N. T. ch. 12.

49 Reponse a la Defense des Sentimens de quelques Theolo. giens de Hollande, ch. xvi. VOL. I.


grave does not give the meaning of the Hebrew word sheol. This may, at first, appear a paradox, but will not be found so, when examined. Suppose one, in relating the circumstances of a friend's death, should say, “ This unlucky accident brought " him to his shroud,” another should say, “It “ brought him to his coffin," a third, “It brought “ him to his grave.The same sentiment is expressed by them all, and these plain words, “This “ accident proved the cause of his death,” are equivalent to what was said by every one of them. But, can we justly infer thence, that the English words shroud, coffin, grave, and death, are synonymous terms? It will not be pretended by those who know English. Yet I have not heard any argument stronger than this, for accounting the Hebrew words sheol and keber synonymous. The cases are entirely parallel. Used as tropes they often are so. Who can question that, when there is any thing figurative in the expression, the sense may be conveyed without the figure, or by another figure ? And if so, the figures or tropes, however different, may doubtless, in such application, be called synonymous to one another, and to the proper term


50 This is precisely the idea which Cappellus (to whom He. brew criticism owes more perhaps than to any other individual) had of the relation between the words sheol and keber. In answer to Villalpandus, who, in explaining a Hebrew inscrip. tion, supposes sh the letter schin, to stand for sheol and mean sepulchre, he expresses himself, thus, “Quis non videt, quam

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Now, if this holds of the tropes of the same language, it holds also of those of different languages. You may adopt a trope. in translating, which does not literally answer to that of the original, and which, nevertheless, conveys the sense of the original, more justly than the literal version would have done. But in this case, though the whole sentence, in the version, corresponds to the whole sentence, in the original, there is not the like correspondence in the words taken severally. Sometimes the reverse happens, to wit, that every word of a sentence, in the original, has a word exactly corresponding, in the version; and yet the whole sentence, in the one, does not correspond to the whole sentence, in the other. The different geniuses of different languages, render it impossible to obtain, always, a correspondence, in both respects. When it can be had only in one, the sentiment is always to be preferred to the words. For this reason I do not know how our translators could have rendered sheol in that passage better than they have done. Taken by itself, we have no word in our language that answers to it. The Latin is, in this instance, luckier; as it supplies a word perfectly equivalent to that of the sacred penman, at the same time that it justly expresses the sense of the whole. Such is the trans

coacta sit ejusmodi interpretatio, quamque aliena a more, ingenio, et phrasi verè ebraicâ. Nam ut a significet Sises quis Ebraismi peritus dixerit, cum bono sepulcrum non signi. ficet, nisi figuratâ locutione apud prophetas, qui tropicè lo. quuntur." Diatriba de literis Ebr.

lation of the verse in the Vulgate, Deducetis canos meos cum dolore ad inferos. Now, though our word the grave, may answer sufficiently in some cases, for expressing, not the import of the Hebrew word sheol, but the

purport of the sentence, it gives, in other cases, but a feeble, and sometimes an improper, verşion of the original. But this will be more evident afterwards.

$ 6. FIRST, in regard to the situation of hades, it seems always to have been conceived by both Jews and pagans, as in the lower parts of the earth, near its centre, as we should term it, or its foundation (according to the notions of the Hebrews, who knew nothing of its spherical figure), and answer. ing in depth to the visible heavens in height; both which are, on this account, oftner than once, contrasted in sacred writ. In general, to express any thing inconceivably deep, this word is adopted, which shows sufficiently that unfathomable depth was always a concomitant of the idea conveyed by sheol. Thus God is represented by Moses as saying ", A fire is kindled in mine anger, which shall burn to the lowest hell, as it is rendered in the common version. The word is sheol or hades ; and Simon himself admits ", that it is here an hyperbole, which signifies that the fire should reach the bottom of the earth, and consume the whole earth. I acknowledge that it is, in this passage, used hy

31 Deut. xxxii. 22.

52 Reponse a la Defense, &c. ch. xvi.

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