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(עד כי) until
result. Gen. xxvi. 13. And the man waxed great and went forward, and grew he became very strong.” Here the qy is disjoined from the , by a minister, (Merca,) but is nevertheless united with it in the sense, and rendered until.' Gen. xli. 49. “ And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until » qy he left off numbering.' Here is precisely the same point, Athnach, un. der 781,' very much, that there is under feet in the prophecy in question, and under y, a point, Tebir, of precisely the same force as Jetib, in the other. 2 Sam. xxiii. 10. " He arose and smote the Philistines, until (1310) his hand grew weary.” Here the punctuation is altogether similar to that of the text in question. 2 Chron. xxvi. 15. 6. The name of Uzziah spread far abroad, for he was marvelJously helped till (1970) he was strong.” These are all the texts of scripture,* in which the words occur, and in all of them are they necessarily rendered until. Indeed the Jew. ish correspondent of Rittangelius, to whom Mr. English refers us, does not pretend to any such use of the accents, nor do Lipman or Isaac.f He probably borrowed this incorrect
9.W. Or. und Exeg. Bib. ix. 226. “ Preterea,” says Huet, " futilis est interpretatio illa quâ 79 a sequentibus disjungunt cum sequatur ') quod cum 7 præcedenti conjungendum esse sciunt, qui literis HEBRAICIS VEL LEVITER TINCTI SUNT. Demonstr. Evang: p. 490.
According to Noldius, Art, '3 7. 7“I was disputing,” says an author quoted by Noldius, Vindic. page 927, “with a Jew, who urged this perverse interpretation of ') TV, and I referred him to his own Hebræo-Germanick version,
notion from an anecdote related by Mas. clef. *
Mr. English refers the reader to the cor. respondence of Rittangelius and a Jew, preserved in Wagenseil's tela ignea ; " where," says he, “the reader will find Rittangelius first amicably inviting the Hebrew to discuss the point, who does so most ably and respectfully to his Christian antagonist, and unanswerably establishes the interpretation above stated, by the laws of the Hebrew language, by the ancient interpretation of the Targum,.by venerable tradition, and by appealing to history. Rittangelius begins his defence by which reads “till the Messiah come.” (bisz dasz.er komt Mas. chiah,) at which he was silent, and went away."
* Masclef. Nov. Gram. Argum.p. 66,67. “In the year 1712, about the beginning of August, two Jews from Mentz passed a few days at Amiens. The elder and more learned was named Dan... iel Zei, the other Elias Prag. Having had much conference upon the subject of religion, we came at length to the famous. prophecy of Jacob, "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah.' I asserted that it was plain from this, that the time of the Mes. siah was passed. 'Nay,' said Zei, 'you do not punctuate the. sentence rightly. How, said I, is it not read, The sceptre shall not depart from Judah,-pause--nor a lawgiver from bea tween his feet,--pause--until Shilo come-full stop? Does not the sense close with Reglio, and Odki begin a new clause? Do not both the meaning of the passage, and the ancient interpreters demand this division. Nay, does not the accent Athnach, which is placed, in your own Bibles, under Reglio, confirm it? and I then appealed to the Bible of Manasseh Ben Israel, which was at hand. To this, answered Daniel, WITH AN ARCH LOOK, you are not yet fully initiated into our mysteries. Observe the accent under '), it is the office of that to connect the word, under which it is placed, to the preceding. [This we have seen is false.] And though it does that grammatically, yet it does it also as a musical accent. For in cantilating the verse, we raise our voices, and pause upon Od, and begin another hemistick with Ki."
shuffling, and ends by getting into a passion, and calling names, which his opponent, who is cool, because confident of being able to establish his argument, answers by notifying to Rittangelius his compassion and contempt."*
Were the opinions of Rittangelius and his correspondent of any consequence, I should feel greater satisfaction, than I do, in calling the reader's attention to them. Let us however examine the reference, which is so emphatically made. It is good to be positive, but better to be correct, and the reader, I doubt not, will agree with me, that such dogmatical blundering as this, is prevented from being offensive, only as it is ludicrous.
Rittangelius, a converted Jew, while residing at Amsterdam, was requested by his friends, to discuss the truth of Christianity, with a certain Jew, whose name does not appear. Being engaged in editing the Sepher Jetzira, he consented with reluctance. Mr. English tells us, that he first amicably invites the Jew, that he begins with shuffling, and ends by calling names. That he invited the Jew is probably true, but how he began or ended is not so apparent, since both the commencement and conclusion of the correspondence are lost. The first letter however was
Grounds of Christianity examined, p. 43, 44. † Wagenseil's tela ignea, p. 365. # “Id unum," says Wagenseil, “me cruciabat eas literas quia bus cæpta funt disputatio desiderari, postremas quoque, quæ finem sine dubio liti imposuerunt et hominem Judæum ad turpe ac ignominiosum silentium adegerunt, maxima sui parte truncas tantum comparere.” Ibid. p. 327.
probably written by the Jew, who after stating his opinions adds, “this was the argument of my first letter, and the beginning of the controversy." This however is a matter of small consequence. Mr. English says, that the Jew unanswerably established the interpretation above stated, viz. “ The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet forever; for Shiloh shall come.” But the Jew, so far from unanswerably establishing this operation, does not even adopt it. In his first letter, he stated two interpretations, of which this of Mr. English was one ;* but instead of maintaining it himself, he brings forward a far different one, which he professes to have received from his father. Instead of rendering wau “a sceptre," he renders it “chastisement or calamity,” and appeals to 2 Sam. vii. 14. “I will chastise him with the rod of a man," and understands the prophecy to import, that the chastisements and calami. ties of the dispersion shall not cease, till the Messiah come.
He notes indeed, and commends the interpretation of Mr. English, but declares the other to be the most approved, probissimam, and most agreeable to the context. He of course acknowledges with the Christians, that why is to be rendered, "until,' and even adduces Gen. xli. 49. in proof of it. He declares that his rendering of www by a . rod of chastisement, flows directly from
Wagenseil's tela ignea, p. 330.
scripture ; though the word may sometimes signify a sceptre. So far from appealing to the Targum, in confirmation of his own opinion, he calls Rittangelius a monster of stupidity and depravity, for asserting that he did ; “I did not,” says he, “affirm my opinion and that of my father to be the same with the Targum of Onkelos; but I said that of two interpretations which I adduced, one was the very same as that of Onkelos, was quoted by R. Bechai, and was the opinion of our doctors :” and again declares the assertion of Rittangelius, that he had adduced Onkelos in support of his opinion, to be false.* And yet, says Mr. English, he unanswerably established this interpretation !
But it may be said, though the Jew does not support Mr. English's interpretation for himself, yet it seems he brings it forward, and does he not-if not unanswerably establish it-at least defend it, as Mr. English asserts, 6 by the laws of the Hebrew language, by the ancient interpretation of the Targum, by ven
I cannot forbear to present the reader with an abridgement of Basnage's account of this controversy of Rittangel and the Jew, which Mr. English so totally misrepresents,
“ A Jew of Amsterdam pretended to decide this oracle, Gen. xlix. 10. by an interpretation, which he had learned from his father. He maintained, that by the word sceptre which properly signified a rod, Jacob foretold to Judah a long train of afflictions Till the coming of the Messiah, and that this oracle is now fulfilling. Rittangel represented to the Jew, that his explication was not new, that he had no reason to honour his father with the invention of it, for that he had seen it in a book, and that it is contrary to the explication of all the Jewish fathers.” &c. Basnage histoire des Juifs. l. xiv. c. xxi. $ 18, 19.