Page images




MARCH, 1824. .


If I may judge from internal evidence, I can have no hesitation in attributing the Biblical Criticism on Gen. iv. 26., inserted in the Classical Journal for September, to the author of the New Translation of the Bible; the errors and inaccuracies of which have been so ably exposed by Mr. Whittaker, Professor Lee, the Editor of the Quarterly Review, &c. I find in the Biblical Criticism the same groundless censures of the authorised version, the same palpable errors in Hebrew criticism, the same new and fanciful interpretations of Scripture, as have already been noticed and condemned in the writings of Mr. Bellamy. The author of the Criticism in question proposes to alter the English authorised version of five passages in the Hebrew Bible, chiefly by giving a different translation of the

“There is no doubt,” says our critic, “that br797, being derived from the Pihel bar, to make common, to make profane, implies unholy, impure, unclean, profane.”

It is well known that Hebrew verbs have often a different sense in the different conjugations. This is the case with the verb 5377; which is stated by our best lexicographers to signify “to profane” in the conjugations Niphal and Pihel, and

to begin” in the conjugations Hiphil and Hophal. It is true that my in the conjugation Hophal only occurs in this passage (Gen. iv. 26.), but as the verb frequently occurs in the conjugation Hiphil, in the sense of “ to begin," it is natural to suppose


[ocr errors]

.החל verb

[ocr errors]


ואחללך Gen. xlix. 4., and חללת




that its passive Hophal has a similar sense; that if the one
signifies“ to begin,” the other would signify '“ to be begun." :
This distinction of senses in the different conjugations may be
observed in all the passages quoted by our author to show that the
verb signifies “to profane.'
Ezek. xxviii. 16., are of the conjugation Pihel; and San Levit.
xxi. 9., obnob Levit. xxi. 4., 51789 Ezek. xxii. 26., 588 Ezek.
xx. 9., are of the conjugation Niphal. These passages there-
fore give him no support in affixing the sense of “to profane”
to the conjugations Hiphil and Hophal. Let us now inquire
whether the passages which our author has quoted stand in
need of the new translation which he proposes to substitute for
the authorised version. The first passage is Gen. iv. 26., which
is thus rendered in the English version : “ And to Seth, to him
also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos : then
began men to call upon the name of the Lord.“ If we render
51717 began,says our author, “it would imply that no person
had, before that time, called upon the name of the Lord : but we
find that Adam, and Eve, and Cain, spoke with the Almighty ;
that Cain and Abel offered to the Almighty,”_&c. The words
to call upon the name of the Lord," or, " of Jehovah,"admit of
two interpretations. It may be meant that at that time men
began to address the Deity by his peculiar name JEHOVAH;
or secondly, that they began to assemble in a more public and
regular manner for the purposes of religious worship. The
words also might perhaps be translated, to call themselves by
the name of Jehovah," i. e, the descendants of Seth began to
distinguish themselves from the profane offspring of Cain by
openly professing themselves the worshippers of Jehovah. See
Isaiah xliv. 5. apyrowa N7p/711, " and another shall call him-
self by the name of Jacob.It appears then that no alteration
is at all required in the common translation of Smaug in this
passage. But there are material objections to our author's new
translation: Then the calling on the name of the Eternal
Being began to be profaned.
signifies to call, and not the calling : 1717' is a proper name,
and cannot with any propriety be rendered the Eternal
Being;" still less can 501 be rendered " began to be pro-
faned." The verb in its different conjugations signifies either


[ocr errors]

לקרא I observe then that

· The words 5771 1X, translated in the authorised version with sufficient exactness “then began men,may be rendered more literally “tunc coeptum est, then it was begun.'

to profane, or to begin; but surely the sense of the two conjugations cannot at the same time be given to the same word. The Latin word ferrum sometimes signifies the metal iron, and sometimes a sword, but no one acquainted with the first principles of translation would combine the two senses, and translate ferrum, an iron sword. Mr. Bellamy has fallen into the same unaccountable error, and, if I recollect right, has given the same translation, began to profane, to the same word 57007: and this circumstance strongly corroborates my conjecture that Mr. Bellamy and the author of the Biblical Criticism are the same person.

Let us proceed to the second passage, Gen. vi. 1. “And it came to pass when men began to multiply on the face of the earth." “ If we now consider,” says our author, « first, that mankind began to multiply immediately after the Creation, that the Lord blessed the man, and said, ' Be fruitful, and multiply, the question naturally presents itself, Why is it said, they began now to multiply?” &c. It is not said simply that they began to multiply, but that they began to multiply or to be numerous (as the word signifies) on the face of the earth. They were so much increased in number that they began to occupy a considerable portion of the earth. I will now give the New Translation and the comment, the latter of which is so fanciful and extravagant that it would be absurd to attempt its confutation. It was when men began to profane in multiplying upon the surface of the ground ;-that is,” says our author in explanation, " mankind did not distinguish between a natural and allowed manner of multiplying, and an unnatural manner, forbidden by nature itself!!”

The third passage is Gen. ix. 20. And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard.Our author observes, as well as I can understand him, that the literal meaning of the words is, “ And Noah began an husbandman.Had the writer consulted Waltheri Ellipses Lingua Hebrææ he would have found that in this concise language, verbs, nouns, and particles are frequently omitted; and would have been convinced, or at least would have had reason to be convinced, that our translators were perfectly right in supplying the words to be, corresponding to the verb sms understood. The following is the improved translation, in which, by the way, he inserts the word as, and omits to translate , in 57799: « And Noah as an husbandman began to profane: he planted a vineyard ;-because,” says our author, “he ought not to have begun his business by planting a vineyard !!" I bad written remarks on



the other two passages which your correspondent proposes to amend; but after the passages already produced I think it useless to trespass any longer on the patience of your readers : I will therefore only observe that he renders 1'52 's " because he persuaded ;" thus not only giving to 7"Y the sense of persuading, which it never has, but mistaking a noun for a verb in kal, though it is distinguished by vowel points (- -), which no verb in kal ever has. Our authorised version of the Holy Scriptures, though not without its faults, bears ample testimony to the skill, the labors, and the judgment of the translators, but has had the misfortune to be many times assailed by persons equally deficient in a eritical knowledge of the Hebrew language, and in the principles of translation, Nov. 1823.



ITINERARY from TRIPOLI of Barbary to the




The first 13 days or Journies.-The 13th day after departing from Tripoli of Barbary, we reached Gadames. (For the journey to Gadames, and for the description of that town, vide the Itinerary from Tripoli to Timbuctou, in Cl. Jl. No. 56, page 193.)

14th16th Journies.--After departing from Gadames,' they

· The caravans which proceed from Tripoli to Cashenah gu first in a south-westerly direction to Gadames, after which they change their course or direction, and proceed south to Fezzan or Mourzouk, where, having changed with the Fezzanées the merchandise which they carry from Tripoli, they cross the desert directly to Cashenah in a southerly direction.

It is easy to perceive that the Janet of this Itinerary is the Jenet of Major Rennell, that Teghereïn is the Tai-gari or Teghery of Rennell; and we think these three last places are one and the same. It is a common error in maps of Africa to lay down two places or more for one, which proceeds from the various ways of spelling the names; thus in the map annexed to Walckenaer's “ Recherches sur l'Afrique Septenproceed southwards during three days, when they reach a well called Tent Melloulen, which possibly signities in the language of that country, the well of the palm-tree, because there is only one palm or date-tree at this well. When the caravan is in a hurry it performs this journey in two days, and sometimes even in one from Gadames to Tent Melloulen.

17th19th Journies.-From Tent Melloulen, after three days' travelling, they reach Zourânit.

20th26th Journies.-From Zouranit they travel six days, and then reach the torrent of Azawán.

27th Journey:-From the torrent of Azawân they proceed one day's journey, and then stop at the torrent of Tahamalt, the environs of which are shaded by an abundance of trees.

28th-30th Journies.-From Tahamalt to Tanout-Mellen, which, in the language of the country, signifies the white well, they reckon three days' journey,

31st-33rd Journies.-From Tanout-Mellen, or the white wells, they proceed during three days, after which they arrive at Tengacem, or the sheep's well.

34th-36th Journies.-From Ten-gacem they proceed three days successively, and arrive at Gatz. It is here that they gather the leaves and capsulæ seminalis of the senna, which is taken to Tripoli and Tunis, and is distributed from those ports, among all the apothecaries of Europe.

37th-39th Journies.After proceeding three days from Gatz, they go and rest at a place called Egguagant ; this is the name of a river which washes the base of a mountain, which the Africans call Agroûh.

40th-42nd Journies.-From Egguagant they proceed other

trionale," there is a Housa and a Haoussa; but there is but one Housa or Haoussa in Africa, and it is spelt Lugd. Tedment, in this Itinerary, is Rennell's Tadent. Tadent is the name of the mountain at the foot of which is situated Tedment, Aciou is Assieu, Togliâgit is Tagazi or Tagassa, Açoudi is Asouda, Aouderas is the Quatarus of Rennell. Mr. Walckenaer justly remarks in his dissertation on this Itinerary, in his “Recherches Géographiques sur l'Afrique Septentrionale,” that the distances, compared with Major Rennell's, differ, but this must necessarily be the case in all African itineraries, where the journies are performed as the combination of circumstances suggest.

Açoudi, the capital of the territory of Ahir (which is the desert of Hair, situated south-west of Tuat) carries on a direct trade with Cashenah. The term Hair je signifies difficult, hard, harsh: from which we may presume that the district of Hair is rocky, stony, or difficult of passage.

« PreviousContinue »