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BIBLICAL CRITICISM-MATT. xxi.9. TO TIIE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER. SFR-It is not impossible that the view which I take of the remarkable passage, Mati. xxi. 9, may have presented itself to some one before me. I can only say, that with respect to myself, the observation is original; but though it may have been noticed before, it does not therefore follow that the repetition of it can answer no end.
Μatt. xxi. 9-έκραζον, λέγοντες· Ωσαννα το νιώ Δαβίδ. Vulgate-clamabant, dicentes : Hosanna Gilio David. Eng. translation-cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David. This passage has been more frequently read than understood. The word Hosanna is ordinarily taken to signify, to give praise, wben used as a verb, or a song of praise, when thought to be a
In this acceptation it is in common use in our language, whether in prose or poetry. Whitby seems to have taken it thus. In his annotation on verse 8 of this chapter, he says, “at the feast of tabernacles it was the custom of the Jews, not only to sing hosannas with the greatest joy, but also to carry branches in their bands, desiring, as the Jews still wish to do at this feast, that they may thus rejoice at the coming of their Messiah; whence owning Jesus for the person they use the Hosannas.”
It is strange to find a man of Whitby's learning, who must have known the true meaning of the word, so falling in with the vulgar acceptation of it; and it would be, perhaps, an object of curious research to ascertain, if possible, when the error arose : the whence is perhaps easy.
As our translation stands, most naturally the sense of give praise, or, sing praises, seems to belong to the word hosanna. But this is not its meaning: the word, or rather, the two words (for they are two) occur in Psalm cxviii. 25 : “ Save, I beseech." Our commentators have known this to be the meaning ; but misled by early impressions perhaps, and influenced, too, by the mode of pointing the Greek, which has been followed by the Vulgate and, I believe, by Beza, they have forced a meaning on the word, which does not belong to it, and have quite perverted the description of a most important act.
In the Psalm quoted, David calls on JEHOVAH to save him. The express words applied by him to the one living and true God are applied by the people of Jerusalem to the SAVIOUR: The people-έκραζον, λέγοντες Ωσαννα το υιώ Δαβίδ.
-clamabant, dicentes Hosanna filio David.
-cried, saying to the Son of David, Hosanna, that is, save, we beseech thee.” This is the address of the people to one, whom they receive as the promised Son of David, and to whom they offer up their earneşt supplication for salvation in the terms used by the prophet and psalmist to JEHOVAH. The passage, thus explained, presents a clear and decided acknowledgment of Christ as the expected King and Messiah. Apply the same explanation to the other member of the sentence. Save, we beseecb thee, in our most important concerns.'
BIBLICAL CRITICISM.-ON THE QUOTATION IN Heb i. 6.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER. Sir-It is generally supposed that the Apostle in Heb. i. 6. refers to a passage in the book of Psalms, which though not verbally the same with that quoted by him, coincides exactly in sense, especially as it stands in the Septuagint version; the two passages are as follows: Ps. xcvii. 8.
Heb. i. 6, Heb.-6. Worship him all ye gods.'' “ And let all the angels of God worSeptuagint ---- Worship him all ye
ship him." his angels.'
The Hebrew word rendered “ gods” in our version is 'nba, which both in the Septuagint and by the Apostle, is represented by ayyedol" angels”--the Septuagint moreover inserts the word úvtõv “ his angels," and St. Paul the word Okõv, " the angels of God,” neither of which words appear in our present Hebrew text. Besides these differences St. Paul commences the quotation with " and”-każ tpookvvnoátwoar, &c. which is found neither in the Septuagint nor in the Hebrew.
It does not appear to be very generally known, (although the passage is referred to in the marginal references on Heb. i. 6, in some of our common bibles) that the Septuagint version, or rather reading, of Deut. xxxii. 43-inserts a passage containing the exact words quoted by the apostle, for which however there is no authority in our present Hebrew Bible. The words are kai προσκυνησάτωσαν αυτό πάντες άγγελοι θεου, which agree to a letter with the quotation in Heb. i. 6. As some of
may not have access to the Septuagint, I shall place in juxta-position a translation of this passage as it stands in that version, together with the translation of the Hebrew given in our English Bible ;~the differences are considerable, and very remarkable :
“Rejoice, O ye heavens with Him, and let all the angels of God worsbip Hinı ;
Rejoice, O ye nations with His people, 'Rejoice, Oye nations with Ilis people,
And let all the sons of God be strong in Him ;
For he will avenge the blood of bis For be will avenge the blood of bis servants,
servants, And he will judge and render ven- And will render vengeance to his adgeance to his adversaries,
versaries. And those that bate him He will repay ;
And the LORD will purify the land of And will be merciful into bis land and bis people.”
to bis people.” I am not perhaps, sufficiently acquainted with the history and source of these remarkable differences between the Greek translation and the Hebrew text, to venture a decided opinion, but it appears to me extremely doubtful, whether the Apostle in the passage referred to, intended to quote from the Psalm, or from the Sèptuagint reading of Deut. xxxii. 43. Mr. Horne in his valua. ble Introduction has barely alluded to the subject, in the chapler on quotations from the Old Testament in the New—and I have not been able to discover any other source of information respecting it.
ON THE ATTENDANCE AT THE UNIVERSITY CHAPEL.
MR. EXAMINER. You will not I trust, refuse your attention to an Oxonian who takes the liberty of remarking upon the Dublin University for what he cannot call other than an abuse-neither will you smile at the simplicity of a country parson's notions, in his deeming the practice which he is about to mention, no less opposed to religious propriety, than unbecoming College discipline.
The practice I speak of struck me a few Sundays ago, when accidentally present in Trinity College chapel at divine service; during all the early part of which I was surprised to observe the young men pouring into their seats ; the greater number being absent at its commencement.
I believe, Mr. Examiner, that you of T. C. D. profess to have taken Trin. Coll. Cambridge for your model : what may be the custom there I am not aware—that of Oxford I know to be very different, as I have in former days often experienced to my cost.Often of a winter's morning do I remember arriving at the chapel door just in time to see it close with the last stroke of the clock, and to catch the first tones of the chaplain's voice, as I turned back shivering to my rooms, disconsolate at the idea of the impending imposition, and inwardly wroth at my scout, for having called me five minutes too late.
At the Dublin University that the same strictness should not be observed (and especially on the Sabbath) with regard to attendance at Chapel, the more surprises me, as I know that, upon other occasions there, the greatest regularity is required ; indeed I have heard of under-graduates being excluded from the Examination Hall for a delay of two or three minutes.
But, Mr. Examiner, by us at least, this matter should be looked upon in a more serious light; as ninisters of Christ, we are bound to censure a practice which renders his public worship almost nu. gatory-disturbing that decent solemnity with which it should always be performed, and even interfering with its essential and most important object.
The collect suggested in our Prayer Book for mental repetition
upon entering church, supplicates the Lord to prepare our unprepared hearts to pray. The accordance with this view of our spiritual wants which the different services present, has always appeared to me not the least of the manifold merits of our beautiful liturgy. How admirable is the preparation by which the sinner's heart is led on, step by step, to that frame in which alone his petitions can be acceptable !—first, exhortation—then, confession-ihen, conditional absolution-each in its proper place-each indispensable for the rightly performing the subsequent act of worship. If these then be indeed indispensable—if these observations be just; is it not improper, is it not highly presumptuous for any person to absent himself from the introductory part of the service ?-is it not as much as to say that he is not as other men are'—that he needs not to be exhorted—to confess—to be absolved ? And if the young and thoughtless overlook the impropriety, and fall into this abuse, is it not, let me ask, the duty of those under whose care they are placed, to point out their error, and to require of them to correct it?
In truth, I fear that the religious part of college discipline, (and that in England not less than Ireland) is not as well calculated as it might be to promote the growth of piety in after life. Certainly, with respect to the week-day morning attendance at chapel, it appears to me to be the very worst kind of roll-call that can be imagined. But this is a subject on which I do not wish here to enter further. I should not have trespassed even so much upon your time, did I not hope that some of the preceding remarks, though more immediately applied to Sophisters and Freshmen, may not be without some general utility.
I remain, Mr. Examiner,
ON THE ISRAELITISH DESCENT OF THE IRISH, SCOTCH, &c.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER. SIR-I cannot resume my communication* respecting the origin of our countrymen, without acknowledging my obligations to General Vallancey, whose stupendous etymological labors first directed my attention to this interesting subject, and from whose works I have derived the principal portion of the information, which, in another dress I would present to your readers. induced to express my admiration of the General's acuteness and accuracy thus early, as I find it impossible to agree with my worthy friend, Sir W. Betham's censure on that learned writer, which appeared in your Number for April 1827;t or with the im
* Christian Examiner, vol. v. p. 21.
+ Vol. iv. p. 265.
plied sarcasm of your excellent correspondent C. O. who notices him incidentally as “a far sighted antiquarian.” While, however, I would enter my protest against these sweeping condemnations of so distinguished a scholar, I wish it to be distinctly understood that I have only ventured to draw on bim for his facts. My reasonings upon them are very different from his.
Having in my former letter,* given all that I thought necessary as to the evidence afforded by the TRADITIONS current among the Irish, in support of my opinion, I shall now proceed, in the second place, to consider some remarkable customs which formerly prevailed amongst them.
I. The ceremony connected with the anointing of kings and other personages to their respective situations : I shall give the account of this matter in General Vallancey's own words.
“ Religious customs and ceremonies borrowed by the Jews from idolatrous nations of the East, are often expressed by a single word, the true signification of which is not to be found in the Hebrew, Chaldean, or Arabic languages: the same words are frequently to be met in the Irish MSS. denoting the same ceremony, and this is so described, as to leave no room for conjecture; for example, Şamac, Smac, or Smag in Irish is the palm of the hand ; at the coronation of a king, or the ordination of a priest, the chief priest passed the palms of both hands down the temples of the prince or priest, and he was then said to be smac'd; hence smacd or smact, signifies authority; one set over the people; crioch smacd a government, from crioch a territory ; and as a verb smacdam is to govern. The same word is used by Moses, when he put Joshua in authority, with the same ceremony-and Joshua the son of Nun, was full of the spirit of wisdom ; for Moses Tod samached him, laying his hands upon him ; and the chil. dren of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses.Deut. xxxiv. 9. A second example is in the Irish word amarcall, i. e. signum X, that is the sign, with which the Emir or Noble was anointed on the forehead between the eyes ; it is the ancient Hebrew Samaritan, and Irish X Thau ; and hence arose the office of the Jewish priests called immorcalim or immarcalin:")
In a note, Vallancey further states, that the amarchole is not the letter X as stated by Shaw, but the letter n or T, and in the Irish MSS. formed thus x, of which shape it is to be found on the ancient Jewish and Samaritan coins-when joined at top and bottom it answered to the letter w, thus . The Rabbins do not agree in their exposition of the word 570x ammarchal or immarchal. Reland considers it a Persian name viz. Emir-kuleed i. e. Emir of the key, but Vallancey pointedly asks, "may it not as weil come from the Arabic Emir-culeepa, the Emir of the cross X ? Their chief business in unction was the anointing and signing with the x)" which he proves by reference to various authors; and concludes his
* As we have been compelled to delay so long the publication of this paper, it may be well, in justice to our correspondent, to remind our readers, that in his former letter he proposed to prove his theory of the Israelitish descent of the aboriginal Irish, from their traditions, their customs, and their language; on the first of these heads he instanced eight remarkable traditions, and names given to the aboriginal tribes, and traced them to an Oriental or Hebrew origin.--Christian Examiner, Vol. V. p. 21. Edit.