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Notes on Genesis 20: 16.
25. In the Chaldee paraphrase of Jonathan, the interpretation which is given above, is recognized: "proselyti fient filii ejus et habitabunt in schola Semi." So Jerome, Augustine and others. Calvin explains these verses in substance as follows: "there shall be a temporary division between them and Japheth. Afterwards a time shall come when they will again be united into one body, and have a common abode. Then the sons of Shem, of whom a greater part had scattered off and separated themselves from the sacred family, are to be collected together, in order that they may abide under the same tabernacle. People also of the stock of Japheth which had been a long time wandering and scattered about, are to be received into the same household. For God by a new adoption has made one people of different races, and has effected a fraternal union among those who were aliens," cf. 2: 14, 19.
II. GENESIS, TWENTIETH CHAPTER, VERSE 16.
"And unto Sarah he said, Behold I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver; behold he is to thee a covering of the eyes unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus he was reproved."
The last part of the verse alone occasions any difficulty: Behold,
not he referring to, thy brother, but it, that is, the thousand pieces of silver, shall be g nb, a covering of the eyes, a recompense or penalty both with thee and with all: 1, and thus justice is done thee. Abimelech, it is said in the 14th verse, made a present to Abraham of sheep and oxen and servants, when he restored him his wife, who had been called his sister. These seem to be given as an expiation for the wrong done him. But he is not satisfied with this; he says to Sarah, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver, which shall be a recompense to you individually for the wrong done, and to others. It is plain from the whole narrative, that Abimelech did not, at least after the explanation in the 12th verse: "she is my sister," intend to impute any blame to Abraham and Sarah for what they had done. On the other hand, he seems to understand the injury is all on his part, and that it consequently be hooves him to make the proper expiation. This consideration aids us in explaining the words, and, "a covering of the eyes;" for if it means, as Rosenmüller and others suppose, that Sarah shall make use of this money to buy her a veil, so that she by this means appear in future to be a married woman, and not deceive others as she had done Abimelech, the reproach would be palpable. And be VOL. VIII. No. 29.
sides, it yet needs proof that the veil was used in this early age as thus distinctive. See Gesenius Lexicon, under . We must, then, give another explanation of these words. And it seems to us that chap. 32: 21 leads to the correct interpretation here.
"I will cover his face," (Eng. vers. appease him,) with the present. The original idea seems to be that of turning away the attention from, by means of a gift, and hence expiatory, so that the injury may no longer be seen. And injury or transgression according to the Biblical representation is before the person injured or concerned, so that he sees it, and when forgiven, it is covered, Ps. 85: 3, or cast behind their back, Isa. 38: 17, or what is equivalent, the eyes or face are covered, so that it is out of view. The Seventy seem to have rightly understood the passage under consideration, who render ἔσται σοι εἰς τιμὴν (fne, penalty) τοῦ προσώπου But this expiation was not made for Sarah alone, but also for
לְכֹל אֲשֶׁר אֹתָךְ וְאֵת כל all who were concerned; hence the words
"in respect to all that has happened with thee and with all." It is a matter of some question whether the word is in the 2d or 3d pers. fem. praet. of Niphal, but probably the former. The meaning given to it is very various. Gesenius: "And she was convicted, had nothing to say in excuse." Rosenmüller: et "reprehensa est; " but how this is consistent with the explanation that Gesenius gives of the preceding words, and with the spirit of the whole passage, is difficult to see. For, of what was Sarah convicted, or for what had she to render an excuse? We find that in the Hiphil sometimes means to judge, to procure justice, and hence in the Niphal it may mean, to be judged, to have justice done one; and accordingly here and recompense is made, or justice done thee. See De Wette's Translation, and Tuch's Commentary on Genesis.
III. GENESIS, FIFTIETH CHAPTER, VERSE 26.
"So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old; and they embalmed him in Egypt."
In the second verse of the same chapter, it is said: Joseph commanded his servants, the physicians, to embalm his father, etc. These are the only instances in which embalming is spoken of in the Bible, and here the object is apparent, namely, to enable them to remove the bodies of the patriarchs from Egypt to the land of Canaan. The custom of embalming, as is well known, prevailed in Egypt even from a very early age; according to Rosellini, II. 3, mummies have
Notes on Genesis 50: 26.
been found of the dates of the earliest kings. The office in the cases mentioned above, was performed by the physicians of Pharaoh, v. 2. The manner of embalming is described by Herodotus, 2. 86, and by Diodorus, 1. 91. The latter says generally: They prepare the body first with cedar oil and various other substances, more than thirty (according to another reading, forty) days; then, after they have added myrrh and cinnamon and other drugs, which have not only the power of preserving the body for a long time, but of imparting to it a pleasant odor, they commit it to the relatives of the deceased. According to Herodotus, the time employed in embalming was seventy days, the time during which they mourned for Jacob, and the forty days of the embalming, spoken of in verse 2d, relates to the time in which the body was kept in the salts of nitre, after the infusion of the spices, which completed the embalming. So that, when rightly understood, there is an agreement between the classical and biblical writers. Comp. "Egypt and the Books of Moses," p. 70 sq.
The phrase, "he was put into a coffin (g, a wooden chest) in Egypt, has been adduced as a proof that the author of the Book of Genesis was not familiar with Egyptian customs. But it proves, on the contrary, to be in accordance with Egyptian usage. For it is plain from various sources that wood was the common material for coffins, and basalt the exception. Herodotus says: "Now, the relatives take away the body (i. e. after the embalming) and make a wooden image in which they inclose it." And if this were not the case, a sufficient reason for preferring wood in this instance, arises from the injunction in the 25th verse: "Ye shall carry up my bones from hence," as the weight of stone would render the transference difficult.
AFFINITY OF ROMANISM AND RATIONALISM.
FROM THE GERMAN.
By Professor Joseph Packard, Theol. Seminary near Alexandria, D. C.
[The substance of the following article is taken from the Beiträge of Dr. Ernst Sartorius, of Königsberg, Prussia, formerly of the University of Dorpat. He may be known to some of our readers as the author of "Lectures on the Person and Work of Christ." It is found in the First and Second Parts of his Beiträge, or Contributions to the Defence of Evangelical Orthodoxy, and in his Reply to Kant. I intended at first to translate the whole, but as the original occupies about 150 pages, and the arrangement and division were peculiarly German, I concluded to give the substance of it digested, and more adapted, I trust, to the taste of the English reader. Occasionally I have translated closely, and at other times I have condensed the argument, omitting the more obvious refutation of erroneous doctrines. I have retained everything of importance in this valuable essay. It is enriched with quotations from the Decrees of the Council of Trent, the works of the principal Rationalists and of the Reformers, many of which will be found here. The discussion of this subject is peculiarly seasonable at this time, and may be of service in the controversy between truth and error.]
It is the design of the present essay to prove the affinity of the systems of Romanism and Catholicism in their fundamental principles. Such an attempt cannot be deemed unreasonable at a time when true Protestantism is assailed in different quarters by both.
The striking difference between the two systems in form, might appear to many, at first sight, as highly unfavorable to our object. While, on the side of the Rationalists we find the most unbounded license of private speculation, and no apparent external or internal unity, we perceive on the side of the Romanists a compact and connected system, which pleases the eye of the spectator by its symmetry, and which he would look upon with complacency, if founded upon pure truth. So striking is this apparent difference, that my attempt to prove their fundamental agreement has been considered as paradoxical, nay, a ridiculous fancy. But, every one acquainted with the subject knows, that this argument is nothing new, that it is to be found in Schubert De Naturalismo Ecclesiæ Romanæ, 1750, and in Chemnitz' Examination of the Council of Trent, and that hints of this accordance are to be met with in the writings of Melanchthon, Luther and Calvin.
Source and Rule of Faith.
The erroneous opinion that there is a wide and essential difference between the two systems, has been designedly kept up by those, who, to divert attention from themselves, and to repel any suspicion of such agreement, have always expressed the utmost horror of Rationalism; and who have been always ready to charge those with it, who are, in truth, the farthest removed from it, and the least in danger of it. If our limits allowed, and if it fell within the scope of this essay, we might show from history, that the relation of the Reformation to the scholastic philosophy was the same as that of modern orthodoxy to the Kantian philosophy. The Reformation began in the attacking by the reformers, of the scholasticism of the Church of Rome. The most superficial historical research, and the slightest acquaintance with the writings of the reformers, will convince any one of this.
But, we proceed to consider some of the principal points of agreement between the two parties, dwelling upon some at greater length than upon others.
Both, then, we should first remark, agree in setting up a different source and rule of faith than the written divine word. They place the subjective word above the objective, and make the former the judge of the latter. They differ indeed widely in manner as to the nature of this human authority: the one holding to a Pope, governed by tradition and the decisions of councils, the other making of every man himself such a Pope, and maintaining, as Wegscheider expresses it, that everything is to be determined "by the precepts of sound reason, tanquam verbum vere divinum internum." This difference in form is accidental, and in no way inconsistent with their identity in principle. In both, there is human authority; in the one case, that of the intuition of reason, in the other, that of Papal supremacy. Both alike leave the sure canon of the external word, and derive their true origin from the subjective. Both are natural religions, and we might also term them with propriety, fanatical religions; for as soon as we leave the written word, we have no security against falling into mysticism, or any other form of fanaticism. We might show, pari passu, that the system of mysticism remarkably coincides with those of Romanism and Rationalism.1
But we proceed to show their remarkable agreement in the doctrines of sin and the justification of the sinner, of which Melanchthon said, that error could be more safely admitted in any other than
1 Beiträge 2. 4-13. The enthusiasm of Romanism in maintaining a successive inspiration for individuals.